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.