After a year and a half of dealing with building code setbacks, Italian restaurant Oro has opened in Long Island City.
Located at 41-17 Crescent St., the 160-seat space offers classic Italian dishes Ravioli, Chicken Milanese and an array of pizza. Chef Scott Andriani, who was hired just after the grand opening on Aug. 26 – the official open date was Aug. 3, has been in the process of overhauling the original menu.
“It’s a pretty drastic change from the menu that was here when I got here,” Andriani said. “It was Italian influenced but it wasn’t real Italian foods so we’re bringing back traditional food and traditional pairings and modernizing them a little bit.”
Andriana, who graduated from the Paul Smith’s College culinary program, was often hired at restaurants to revamp them. After working in California, Europe and owning his own Italian restaurant in Ireland, the Brooklyn-born chef landed in Long Island City. Before Oro, he worked at a hotel restaurant in the Hamptons where he revamped the menu there.
“This is actually the first time I’ve been in Long Island City in 10 years,” Andriani said. “A lot has changed. It’s like a little mini Manhattan.”
The new additions will officially be implemented on the week of Sept. 5 and patrons can also choose to order a lunch or dinner prix fixe for $25 and $28, respectively.
The lunch menu contains an array of salad, sandwich, pasta, meat, fish and pizza options. Andriani also added a cluster of dry-aged steaks titled The Butcher’s Block on the menu, which he says veers away from the more traditional offerings at an Italian restaurant. Filet Mignon, veal chop with Mushroom Au Jus and Tomahawk Ribsteak with charred peppers and rosemary range from $37 to $52.
All the bread and pasta is handmade at the restaurant and Andriani makes anywhere from three to six types of bread every day. From dinner rolls to brick-oven bread, the chef said the bread service is a big focal point at the restaurant.
The menu will change every two and a half to three and a half months to incorporate seasonal ingredients and the restaurant will eventually organize wine and cocktail party dinners. The chef will also add daily specials.
At 5,100 square feet, the space is large enough to host private events. A 25-seat bar serves a large wine menu and cocktails such as the Moscow Blue with vodka, Lillet Blanc, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer and muddled blueberries and the Oro Mojito with rum, Demerara SS, lime juice, soda water and muddled cucumber and mint.
“[Oro is] definitely different than anything else in this area,” Andriani said. “[There is] nothing [in Long Island City] compared to this size.”
The restaurant is open on Mondays through Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the bar closing at 2:30 a.m. and Saturdays from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The bar closes at 2:30 a.m. that day.
On Sundays, Oro will only be open for private events.