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Tapas comes to Bell

By Gabriel Rom

Sangarita’s, a sister restaurant to successful tapas bars in Whitestone and Long Beach, is Bell Boulevard’s latest ethnic cuisine addition.

The restaurant, co-owned by Joseph Loccisano and Vincenzo Costanza, is offering its popular take on Spanish-style tapas in an upbeat and family-friendly setting.

Loccisano first started in the restaurant industry at the age of 12 as a busboy and is now involved with a host of restaurants in the area from Whitestone to Long Beach.

He first got the idea for a tapas restaurant while on vacation in Puerto Rico. After his first experience with the food, he fell in love with the concept and decided he would bring small-plate Spanish cuisine to Queens.

The menu at Sangarita’s pays homage to cooking from throughout Spain and the Latin American world. The Cauliflower al Catalan features the vegetable with diced almonds and raisins drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and their boquerones, small anchovies, come fresh from Spain and are prepared with olive oil and garlic. According to Loccisano, many of the restaurant’s ingredients are imported directly from Spain.

And then, of course, there are the sangrias which come in five different variations, and can all be imbibed free of alcohol.

As for atmosphere, Loccisano says he wants to keep it upbeat and not too stuffy.

“We like to play Latin-America music, like Merengue and Bachata, just a little louder than usual to give our place the vibe,” Loccisano said.

He also plans to schedule flamenco performances to offer diners live entertainment and to the cultural atmosphere of the restaurant.

Loccisano’s earlier ventures throughout the borough were successful, so, for the Whitestone native, expansion to Bayside seemed natural.

“I know all about Bell Boulevard and I thought it would be a good addition to the neighborhood because there really isn’t really a restaurant like ours,” he said.

“Before we went forward I asked around and people thought it was a great idea, and everyone was saying we’re kind of tired with the options we already have. So suddenly I realized that expanding would be a great opportunity to take a shot and to take a risk.”

So far, so good.

Sangarita’s is located at 40-02 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, NY 11361. Their phone number is (929) 373-7105 and their website is www.sangaritas.com

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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