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Bringing a taste of Italy home with Mannino's Restaurant

Now more than ever before, it is vital to support local businesses during the current coronavirus pandemic. While you may feel that it is impossible to have a positive dining experience from home, it is easy to recreate an atmosphere that pairs perfectly with the delicious food from Mannino's Restaurant in Oakdale, New York.

Photo from Gallery on Mannino's website

You and your family are deciding where to dine in for dinner. This is most likely a lengthy process as not one of your family members can agree on what they are in the mood for. Collectively, you all decide that Italian food could really hit the spot right about now, but where could you eat where every family member could find something they would enjoy on the menu? Fortunately for you, Mannino’s Restaurant in Oakdale, New York will most definitely serve as the place where everyone is able to find something to fulfill their craving.

Mannino’s Restaurant is located right on Montauk Highway, just minutes away from all parts of Oakdale. Lucky for you, the deliciousness that is Mannino’s can be experienced in another parts of Long Island, as there is are other Mannino’s locations in Commack, New York as well as in Smithtown, New York.

The family-friendly, yet upscale dining experience is like no other. Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Mannino’s is only offering curbside pick-up. While you may not get your typical dining experience, the delightful taste of the food still follows you to your home.

Photo by Emily Palazzotto

The Pandemic & Curbside Pick up

Open from 12pm to 9pm customers must now call ahead to order their food. The menu is not limited, however there are no specials offered at this time. Once your order is placed over the phone, you will be given a number, and a time to come and pick up your food. Upon arrival, customers pull up in their car to the main entrance of Mannino’s. Here, one will come to a tent to pull up underneath. At this time, a restaurant worker will approach your vehicle while wearing a mask, ask for your order number, and then take your method of payment, whether it be card or cash. They will return with your change and your food. There is little to no contact, following the CDC guidelines for New York State at this trying time.

Curbside pick-up abiding to CDC COVID-19 rules

Photos by Emily Palazzotto

Although this curbside pick-up is not the optimal way for Mannino’s to be running, it is vital to slow the spread of the coronavirus, especially since this is a New York restaurant and the area was so heavily burdened by COVID-19. As of current studies, the CDC says that social distancing of minimally six feet is the best preventative measure we can take to prevent a spread of the virus.

Since the closing of the Mannino’s dining room, most of the staff has been forced to go on unemployment, besides the select few who have stayed on to do curbside pick-up.

Influence and Culture

One of the best things that Mannino’s Restaurant has to offer is its extensive menu. It is easy to find something appetizing for each person you are dining with. Even better, the portions tend to be on the larger side, so it is an option to share entrees.

Mannino’s is a family owned restaurant which employs some of the Mannino’s themselves. “Unlike chain restaurants, the staff is like an extended part of an Italian family” says Sal Bonsignore, who has been a manager and server within the Mannino’s “family” for six years now. Although the Mannino family is Sicilian, the food served in their restaurant is diverse, as it is a combination of both Northern and Southern Italian cuisine.

This diversity of influences leads customers to be able to try dishes representative of different parts of Italy – it is truly like taking a bite of Italian culture when you dine at Mannino’s.

What to Eat

Choosing where to order in from is always a struggle for my family, especially with my father being a professional chef. He is always very critical of the places we dine. Mannino’s however is always a fan favorite.

Coming from an Italian family, especially being raised on my Italian grandmothers’ delicious food, my family has high expectations – our favorite dishes never disappoint.

Appetizers such as clams oreganata and calamari arrabitata style are the perfect start to this decadent meal. Paired with Mannino’s warm bread and a glass of red wine (according to my parents), these starters have the ability to bring you closer to Italy with each bite.

Calamari Arrabiata has the perfect amount of spice! Clams Oreganata with fresh lemon juice is so satisfying. My dad's homemade garlic bread with red wine to pair with our meal.

Photos by Emily Palazzotto

Chicken Parmigiana is a staple dish in Italian food. This Mannino’s dish most definitely lives up to its high standard. The gooey cheese paired with the sweet tomato sauce on top of the crispy chicken will literally make each bite do a little dance across your taste buds.

Mouth watering Chicken Parmigiana

Photo by Emily Palazzotto

The Shrimp Oreganata is my favorite meal that my grandmother makes on Christmas each year. Nobody cooks quite like your grandmother. Right? The first time I ordered Mannino’s Shrimp Oreganata I was skeptical, because there was just no way a chef could replicate what my grandma makes. Boy was I wrong! This dish is equally as delicious, maybe even a little bit better than what my grandma makes (don’t tell her – aside from being an amazing cook, she is an expert at Italian guilt as well).

Freshly made Shrimp Oreganata

Photo by Emily Palazzotto

Chicken Francese is another one of Mannino’s popular dishes. The tangy lemon sauce paired with the buttery-soft chicken is a pair like no other. Paired with Mannino’s delicious broccoli rabe, this is a meal fit for royalty.

Mannino's popular Chicken Francese with a side of their Broccoli Rabe

Photos by Emily Palazzotto

The Veal and Shrimp Dolce has the ability to make me salivate by just thinking about it. The melted mozzarella cheese a top the vegetables, shrimp and veal, paired with the garlicy wine sauce comes together perfectly.

Veal and Shrimp Dolce - a fan favorite

Photo by Emily Palazzotto


The biggest factor of the Mannino’s dining experience that sways you to feel as if you are in Italy while dining there is its atmosphere. When taking out, I tried by best to recreate the same kind of atmosphere on my patio.

Photo by Emily Palazzotto

Photo by Emily Palazzotto

Setting up pretty place settings, adding a bottle of red wine to the table, lighting the firepit, turning on our backyard lights and playing some soft Italian music in the background of our meal definitely helped add to the take out experience and make it more realistic to what one typically experiences when dining at Mannino’s.

Photo by Emily Palazzotto

According to Bonsignore, “when the restaurant is open, the atmosphere there definitely has an impact in dining experience”. Everything from the décor, lighting, table settings, music and even the staff’s attire contributes significantly to the atmosphere, which can be viewed from their photo gallery.

Small Businesses and COVID-19

While our nation’s leader is putting effort toward showing these small businesses support during this pandemic, it is vital now more than ever to show your community’s small businesses more support and loyalty than ever before. Even with the support from the government, many of the local businesses around you face the harsh reality that they will have to permanently close their doors due to the lack of business. “Even with curbside pick-up, sales are way down overall”, says Bonsignore.

It is not difficult to recreate your own atmosphere to mimic that of Mannino’s at home. Even though your dining experience at the moment may lack its typical character, Mannino’s food is just as tasty from the comfort of your own home.

While times like this are economically weighing on all of us, if we are capable, it is vital that we come together to support local businesses, such as Mannino’s so that we can all, hopefully one day soon, sit inside and enjoy their food again.

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