When it comes to comfort food, there’s no substitute for a big Italian dinner, which is just what you’ll get at Cappelletti in Noyac—unless you’re more in the mood for a light salad or fresh seafood.
In addition to everything you’d expect from an Italian restaurant, Cappelletti boasts an extensive menu influenced by the local bounty—like fresh bay scallops—and international fare.
The team behind Cappelletti, which opened in 2006, is husband and chef Luigi Tagliasacchi and wife Robin. Luigi got his start in the restaurant industry as a young boy working for his father, Jack, who now owns Il Capuccino in Sag Harbor.
Originally from Florida, with Northern Italian ancestry, Luigi trained in his father’s home country. Robin’s ancestry is Southern Italian, so they have the best of both worlds when it comes to Italian cuisine.
Luigi and his father co-owned Il Monastero in East Hampton for nine years prior to Robin and Luigi opening a gourmet takeout market in Sag Harbor in 1993. They sold the market after 13 years and soon opened Cappelletti—putting Luigi back in the business of a sit-down restaurant.
There are two dining rooms to choose from at Cappelletti, both decorated with Robin’s artwork. The quieter and more intimate setting is far from the bar, romantically lit, and the walls are covered in charcoal life drawings. The second room is adjacent to the bustling take-out section of Cappelletti. Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling and jelly jar fixtures on the walls give the room a warm glow, and music fills the air. Old menus paper one wall, which also displays Robin’s graphic design works. Sit at a table or at the bar for a view of the television and pairing advice from the knowledgeable bartender, Lauren. She can recommend a domestic or international wine to go with any dish. The wide variety of vino is evident by the bottles stacked high behind the full bar.
When the bread arrives at the table, it’s clear a wonderful meal is to come. The warm bread is similar to garlic knots, but easy to pull apart into small, tasty bites.
The salad options are numerous—11 in total, plus any specials that may be offered—though of special note is the hot artichoke salad with fried artichoke hearts, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and olive oil. Rather than tossed together, the ingredients are kept separate on the plate so diners can try each part individually, then mix it all up in the proportions they will enjoy most. The mozzarella is, of course, made in-house. The prosciutto is incomparable.
For an appetizer, one can’t go wrong with the baked clams. Robin says it’s a traditional Italian clam stuffing with a little extra, but she won’t say what—old family secret and all that. Also, check the specials for lobster ravioli, which is handmade and served with sweet butter and asiago and parmesan cheeses. It’s an amazing start to a meal and can also be ordered in a larger portion as an entrée.
Diverging from the Italian offerings, the thin-sliced cucumbers in a Thai sesame sauce is tangy and sweet and, as Robin puts it, “fun.”
The rack of lamb is lightly rubbed and spiced, allowing the meat to speak for itself, with traditional mint jelly on the side.
For steak lovers, the grilled black angus entrée, served with starch and vegetable, is not to be missed. It can be prepared many ways, including with a delectable brandy crème sauce. The green beans are just firm enough while the mashed potatoes have great texture and wonderful flavor.
Seasonally available, the pumpkin ravioli can be topped with alfredo sauce with capers and pistachios, or with clarified butter, asiago and parmesan.
Cappelletti’s desserts are delightful twists on Italian favorities. Rather than serving a traditional cannoli, here the cannoli filling goes into a stemmed glass and the shells are used for dipping. The tiramisu is also served in a glass. It is impossible to choose between these two, so bring a friend and share.
Cappelletti is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., only closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call 631-725-7800. 3284 Noyac Road, Sag Harbor. cappellettirestaurant.com