Italian restaurant Felice offers Tuscan dishes and atmosphere in its new location in Roslyn
Half New York City, half Italian countryside, Felix is ready to take the people of Long Island on a journey.
“I want them to feel in Italy,” said Jacopo Giustiniani, founder of the Felice brand and partner of SA Hospitality Group. “I really want to fly them to Tuscany without flying…and the six hour jet lag.
“I really want to recreate the vibe, very similar to the Cortona area, to really bring them home without having to fly,” he added.
The new Italian restaurant opened last month at 1382 Old Northern Blvd. in Roslyn. As to why Roslyn was chosen for the brand Long Island’s premier location after opening seven joints in Manhattan and a pair in Brooklyn, Giustiniani pointed to a few factors.
The first was at the request of one of his best clients in New York. The second was the view.
“We are in full [Roslyn] Pond and it really reminded me of Tuscany,” said the Florence-born restaurateur. “We take a lot of inspiration from Tuscany, because I grew up there.”
Italian cuisine and wines
Felice’s menu features a host of pasta dishes, such as baked gnocchi formaggio e tartufo, made with 24-month-aged parmigiano-reggiano, taleggio, gruyere, blue cheese and black truffle, as well as Tuscan-style linguine ai frutte di mare. mix of seafood, white wine sauce, garlic, fresh parsley and crushed cherry tomatoes.
For entrees, there’s salmon served with roasted summer squash, pearl onions, basil, mint and Castelvetrano olive spread. And then there’s the oven-roasted Mediterranean sea bass with Yukon Gold potatoes, cherry tomatoes, chopped capers, Taggiasche olives, braised shallots, parsley and lemon slices. One of Giustiniani’s personal favorites is the prime dry-aged sirloin steak and bone-in ribeye.
“Growing up in Florence, we were famous for the steak alla fiorentina,” he said. “It’s a nice piece of meat, and it’s served at the table. The chef comes outside and cuts it for you. This is very fun.
Felice’s starters include ricotta crostone made with fresh ricotta, spiced Italian lime honey, figs and sliced almonds; vongole veal and oregano meatballs; Baked Little Neck Clams; and calamari in white wine, grilled panko, garlic and fine herbs.
As for the atmosphere, Giustiniani describes the ninth establishment Felice as “rustic chic”.
“We decided to keep most of the structure, the wooden beams that have been there since the 19th century,” he said. “But we also wanted to bring in our Felice elements, the marble, the lettering, our beautiful colorful rug and our stripes.”
Bottles of wine line the walls of the restaurant’s indoor dining room, showcasing an offering the brand’s founder from wine-growing Tuscany is proud of.
“We’re not just a restaurant, but we’re also a wine bar,” Giustiniani said. “The wine list is quite extensive, we have nearly 200 labels.
“I curated the list with mostly Italian wines of course, but we also have a few American wines and a few champagnes,” he continued. “I think the wine list is quite unique for New York and Long Island.”
Top photo: Felice Roslyn’s dining room. (Facebook)