Nobody in my immediate circle likes calamari. I love it but it has to be cooked just right, if not it is too chewy. I had to drive over 800 miles from my home in Cayce, S.C. but I found the ultimate calamari at Gregorio’s in Massapequa, N.Y.. Gregorio’s is owned by Greg Cellucci. Gregoriospizzeria.com If I still lived on Long Island I’d be eating at his restaurant at least twice a week. Donna’s step sister Donna and her husband Ritchie (Greg’s father) treated us to the most delicious lunch at Gregorio’s on Wednesday.
We were started out with a basket of fresh bread on the table which consisted of garlic knots and sesame rolls. The sesame rolls were crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, served hot so the butter melted as soon as it hit the bread.
For appetizers we chose baked clams and of course, calamari. The baked clams were served whole in their shell with minimal breading so you could really experience the flavor of the clam. Drizzled over the baked clam was what tasted like a garlic and white wine reduction. A squeeze of fresh lemon was the final touch prior to devouring these clams. My mouth is watering while writing this because they were really JUST THAT GOOD!
I was so tickled that Donna, Ritchie and even mom shared an order or calamari with me. The batter used was not a heavy breading it was light, almost reminiscent of a tempura consistency. The marinara sauce served with the calamari was the perfect accompaniment. It wasn’t too heavy and didn’t mask the flavor of the calamari.
For the main dish I asked Greg’s recommendation, in which he suggested the Fusilli Florentina and so that is what I ordered. I am so glad I did. The Fusilli Florentina consisted of corkscrew pasta with chicken, baby spinach in a pink cream sauce topped w/ fresh mozzarella. Yes, fresh mozzarella! It is made fresh on the premises and boy does it make a difference in every dish served at Gregorio’s.
Mom chose the chicken francese off the menu. There was no need for a knife to be part of the place setting being the chicken was so tender she cut through it with her fork. The wine and lemon sauce was fragrant, smooth and unforgettable.
Donna’s all time favorite pasta dish is linguini with clam sauce. White clam sauce that is. As soon as I saw that on the menu I knew that’s what she’d pick. She absolutely loved it!
I have yet to find an restaurant in South Carolina that serves italian food like this. Actually, not many in N.Y. have lived up to Gregorio’s food. I highly recommend you going if you haven’t already been.