New York City restaurateurs Pietro and Kelly Molendini took over the classic St. James farmhouse turned restaurant. The former co-owners of Vite Vinosteria in Astoria, Queens, who had moved from the city to Centerport, spent the summer renovating the dining room to a modern, clean look with neutral tones and contemporary artwork from Pietro Molendini's native Rome. They also expanded the bar from about four to 11 seats.
Pietro Molendini has spent 30 years in the food industry, with a decade of that at Cipriani and stints at both Bar Pitti and Da Silvano. Along the way, he met chef Fabian Garcia Manca, who eventually headed the kitchen at Vito Vinosteria and now joins the Molendini’s in St. James. Kelly Molendini said Manca and her husband scour the tristate area and beyond for ingredients. "They are never home," she joked, and said that the pair source some of their meat from the Bronx, burrata from New Jersey and dried pasta from Italy and Sicily.
- Excerpts from Newsday, Full article here.
St. James, Long Island
St. James is a hamlet in Suffolk County, New York, United States. St. James is part of the Town of Smithtown and is located on the North Shore of Long Island.
In the early 20th century, St. James was a popular vacation spot for glitterati of the stage and screen. Summer residents included Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore, Buster Keaton, Myrna Loy, and Irving Berlin, among others. Noteworthy persons of the hamlet have included Stanford White, architect; William Jay Gaynor, New York State Supreme Court Justice and Mayor of New York City
The St. James General Store, located on Moriches Road, is said to be the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States. It and a number of other historic structures were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 as part of the Saint James District.
Many of these 19th-century structures are located along New York State Route 25A, otherwise known as North Country Road. Among them is the Saint James Church, the source of the hamlet's name during the 1850s. In 1873 St. James Rail Road Station was established. Although small, the historic station-house is the second-oldest on the Long Island Rail Road.