First his restaurant goes up in flames. Then insurance payouts, construction, inspections and permits draw out the rebuild to more than three years. Finally, when he’s ready to reopen, it’s into the teeth of a pandemic — with the future of indoor dining hanging in the balance.
But for Luigi Quarta, grief, frustration and boredom have given way to jubilation now that his Hicksville restaurant, Luigi Q, reopened for business.
Luigi Q opened in 2005 and has been a permanent fixture on Newsday’s top Italian lists ever since. The menu blended regional Italian and New American dishes, but the cognoscenti knew that they couldn’t go wrong if they just let Quarta design the meal. Although he presided over the dining room with his pressed Oxford shirts and Scottish-tinged Italian-accented English, he was also the ultimate authority in the kitchen so that even though a number of talented chefs passed through (including Pastor Alfaro, who left to open Bivio in Huntington and Rico Bermeo of Sophia in Amityville), the food never perceptibly changed.
Jorge Gonzalez, the chef before the fire, has returned, along with such house favorites as seared diver scallops with shallots and sage, virtually all-crab crab cakes, double-cut pork chops with hot peppers and roasted potatoes, filet mignon with caramelized onions and a Barolo reduction. Pastas include tagliatelle with rabbit ragu, lobster ravioli, paccheri Luciana (with octopus and tomatoes) and strozzapreti (“strangle the priest” fresh macaroni) with béchamel, tomato sauce and Parmesan.
Having grown up on the Adriatic coast near Bari, Quarta is mad for seafood, bringing in fresh swordfish, sea urchin, bianchetti (whitebait), scungilli (conch) and more whenever he can.
The dining room and lounge area have been reconfigured and, with their contemporary light fixtures, wood and brick accents, evince a hushed urbanity that the old décor lacked. In accordance with COVID-19 regulations, tables are well spaced and, along the walls, separated by plexiglass dividers.
Uncompromising in the kitchen, Quarta also has a reputation for being strict in the dining room: no children, no athletic apparel and, unusual for a restaurant in 2020, no takeout. “The food doesn’t hold up,” he declares.
Now open daily for dining and cocktails.
Reservations are encouraged.
- We are currently open for indoor dining and for drinks at bar.
- To promote social distancing in the restaurant we will seat tables 6ft apart.
- Our Staff will be wearing masks and gloves during hours. Staff is monitored prior to their shift for any COVID symptoms.
- In accordance to government orders we ask that you wear your mask any time you are moving through the restaurant. Masks may be removed while you are seated at your table.
- We will be frequently sanitizing all surfaces through out the restaurant.
- Our staff has been educated on the importance and priority of all CDC guideline for hand washing and sanitizing.
Please Visit NYS.GOV website for more information the guideline we are following.
Call or email us for reservations