Go back to 1994 at Grasso’s on historic Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor. Grasso’s has been in business for 20 years, and to thank her customers, owner Gail Grasso revived not only her menu from 1994, but her prices as well.
“We wanted to celebrate,” says Grasso. “It’s because of our loyal customers that we’re still here. I had a meeting with my staff, and I couldn’t figure out a way to thank our customers. Then it came to me. Why not go back to when we started, in 1994? We brought back the menu and the prices. We didn’t have a liquor license when we first opened in 1994, and customers were allowed to bring their own wine. So we decided to keep that as well. We went back to the beginning.”
In 1994 the name of the restaurant was Trattoria Grasso Due. According to Gail Grasso, it has gone through a number of renovations over the years, including the name change. “During our last renovation, we added the walnut floors and painted. I’ve been told by our customers, that the look and feel of the place is like a sophisticated Manhattan restaurant complete with live music,” she says.
Jazz entertainment is offered five nights a week, from Wednesday through Sunday, and the food is new American cuisine. “We’ve always prided ourselves from the beginning on serving fresh products, simply prepared,” says Grasso. “We take a healthier approach to eating, heart healthy. Those on a carb-free diet can substitute what we call zucchini linguini for the pasta. It’s made from fresh zucchini and it’s delicious.”
Chef Tony Canales has been at Grasso’s since the beginning — a rare and wonderful thing these days. Some of his most popular throw-back dishes are a delightful Bolognese sauce served fresh pasta, a zucchini gorgonzola appetizer, a lighter version of linguini carbonara, a hearty seafood risotto, as well as any of their veal dishes. Canales has maintained long-standing relationships with local baymen, ensuring his shellfish dishes are the freshest around.
“The zucchini is not fried,” says Grasso, “so it’s healthier, and our carbonara is made with chicken stock, not with heavy cream.”
Dessert is a treat, and includes table-side preparation of their most popular 1994 dessert, strawberry zabaglione. Bananas Foster and strawberry flambé is another delicious option.
The 1994 throw-back menu is offered every Sunday from 3:30 to 9 p.m. A full regular menu is also available, and you are more than welcome to bring a bottle of wine or two with no corkage fee.
The throw-back menu will continue until the end of the year. Grasso’s idea has been so well received that she is planning on doing something similar on Sundays in the new year.
“Why get rid of a good thing?” she says. “It’s a wonderful and inexpensive way to enjoy a Sunday evening with the family. We will change the menu slightly, probably going back to what we served in our second year of business in 1995.”
So if you haven’t been to Grasso’s I highly recommend you go. The food is absolutely fabulous and so are the prices.