Authentic Italian With A View: Maiella
Written by: Geo Hagan

If you have a penchant for authentic & delicious Italian food, then perhaps you have already heard of the exceptional restaurant Trattoria L’incontro owned and overseen by the stellar Chef Rocco Sacramone. Specializing in Abruzzese cuisine, this revered eatery is known for its long menu, sumptuous daily specials and amazing waiter staff. Well that same winning formula has been applied to the newly opened Italian restaurant, Maiella in Long Island City. It features a spacious and modern floor design with an inviting bar area and impressive seating overlooking the water – all topped off with a mesmerizing view of Manhattan. Chef Rocco has applied his trained and experienced hand to the menu and highlights include a decadent burrata and a totally satisfying lobster tagliarini. We tracked down the gifted chef to ask about his new venture and future plans. See the interview below: 

“The secret is to have great product, consistency and a fantastic staff …”

When did you first get interested in having a culinary career? 

I started working in restaurants when I was 14-years-old. That’s when I realized my passion for the industry 

Was Italian cuisine always your main area of focus? 

Yes. Growing up Italian and with my mother’s cooking really had a large influence on me.

What ingredients do you feel define you the most and what is the most essential item you need in the kitchen? 

Flour and eggs are always a must in my kitchen

There are restaurants that open and close, left and right. It’s hard for a business to stay open and relevant, yet Trattoria L’incontro has been a staple in Astoria for years. The rave reviews keep pouring in. What’s your secret?

The secret is to have great product, consistency and a fantastic staff.

Why did you decide to open your new Long Island City restaurant, Maiella? 

With the location, space, and the beautiful view, the temptation to open Maiella was hard to resist. 

If I only had 1 night in NYC and was going to Maiella for dinner, what  are the must-have dishes you recommend?

I would definitely recommend trying the burrata, the tagliarini with lobster, and the short rib.

What do you think Maiella is doing differently than other Italian restaurants in New York?

Besides being in a great location with a beautiful view, we have a very diversified menu 

Maiella is still quite new, but what are some plans, new menu items, seasonal dishes we can expect in the coming months?

With fall and winter approaching, we’ll add more pumpkin and porcini mushroom to the menu

Lastly, when you are not in the kitchen working, where do you like to go for a nice dinner and drink in NYC? 

I really enjoy sushi, and try to stay local with the choices here in Astoria.

For more information about Maiella, click here 

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