NEW YORK, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- With a legend's home and inspiration as the backdrop for its food, Valentino's on the Green will open September 2010 in the former mansion of late silent film star, Rudolph Valentino. Chef Partner Don Pintabona brings an unparalleled artisanship to the new restaurant, and with the influence of an icon, creates a seamless blend of modern and classic tastes.
The property located in Bayside, Queens has undergone a multi-million dollar, interior and exterior restoration. With a golf course view, flanked by an elegant patio, garden, and pond, the 170-seat ground floor a la carte restaurant features the Fiorello Room – a dining room tribute to another former resident, late New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia – and the Valentino Room, a red velvet and mahogany-rich hideaway, which includes a bar and grand fireplace. A wine wall with the restaurant's world-class selection gracefully separates the two larger ground level spaces. The second floor holds a 230-seat banquet space with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Throgs Neck Bridge and Little Neck Bay and offers a behind-the-scenes bridal suite that was once the bedroom of Valentino himself.
"It's an honor to work in the home of an iconic screen legend like Valentino," says Pintabona. "Though he was known for his talents on the stage and dance floor, and adored for his sensual style, Valentino found his true passion in farming, fishing, and cooking for friends and family. If we can channel his enthusiasm for creating beautiful food, then that's a great accomplishment for us."
Pintabona has launched several successful eateries, among them Tribeca Grill with Robert De Niro. Heading up the kitchen with Pintabona will be Queens native Chef James "Jimmy" Canora (Tribeca Grill, Delmonico's), who brings many fine dining accolades to the Valentino's table. Pastry Chef Lauren Ragone, also from Queens, most recently held the same position at Manhattan's prestigious Hotel Plaza Athenee.
The on-site Shared Table Farm garden will provide produce for the restaurant, while the in-house butchery will supply the finest cuts of meat. In addition, plans are in the works to implement groundbreaking, fully sustainable, aquaponic/hydroponic, horticultural technology at Valentino's in the near future.
Among the featured menu items offered at Valentino's on the Green will be:
- Valentino Lobster Zela Rambova – the signature dish
- A wide array of local seafood appetizers including a grand shellfish tower, grilled octopus soffrito, Shrimp "Gugliemi," and Steamed Prosecco Mussels with orange, fennel, and saffron
- Traditional favorites such as oreganata, piccata, marsala, and parmigianas
- A selection of shared antipasti, salumi, and artisanal cheeses
- Salads prepared with local ingredients including a Classic Valentino Caesar, prepared tableside
- Fresh homemade pastas including a Cabernet Cavatelli with braised short rib and wild mushrooms; homemade ravioli, tortelli, and agnolotti with seasonal fillings
- Meat offerings will include the finest cuts of pork, lamb, and grass-fed beef
- Pastries baked on the premises including tarts, biscotti, cannolis, as well as trendy dessert items crafted by our pastry chef. Homemade gelati and sorbetti will also be offered
- Signature dishes from the cookbooks of Pintabona and Canora
Valentino's on the Green's management team also brings a wealth of restaurant experience to the mansion. Partner Giorgio Kolaj boasts decades of global success in the business. General Manager Michael LaHara previously held similar positions at Tavern on the Green, Pastis, and Balthazar. And Wine Director Don Castaldo comes to Valentino's having worked at Crabtree's Kittle House, San Domenico, Blue Hill at Stone Barn, Alain Ducasse, and other acclaimed eateries.
"It is not often that one has the opportunity to create a grand experience founded on such a unique piece of history and heritage," shares Kolaj. "It is a privilege to have been entrusted with renovating the home of the legendary Rudolph Valentino."
Valentino's on the Green can be found on the web at www.valentinosnyc.com and reached by phone at 718.352.2300. The address is 201-10 Cross Island Parkway in Bayside, Queens.
SOURCE Valentino's on the Green