GIOIA, a homey trattoria, swings open its doors in downtown Oyster Bay


From the team behind perennial Oyster Bay favorite 2 Spring, comes Gioia, a homey trattoria straight from the heart of Emilia-Romagna, with a grand opening Dec. 9.

Gioia, as its name suggests, is all about the joy of being at the table. Here you will discover classic Italian cocktails crafted tableside, a traveling cheese trolley, and baby gem Caesar salads tossed in front of you. In full view in the front of the restaurant, fresh pastas will be made all day, prosciutto is cut on a hand cranked Berkel slicer and mozzarella is hand-pulled and cut to order.

The simplicity

The warm and welcoming space is all exposed brick, marble table tops and candle light.

It’s ambiance and Italian hospitality. As chef Jusse Schenker says, ​​“With Gioia, we’ve created a welcoming atmosphere that brings people together with the joy of handmade pasta.” Settle in with your aperitivo and peruse the menu; it’s a beautiful postcard from Bologna and Parma.

Iron Chef Jesse Schenker expands his footprint in Oyster Bay with fabulous ‘FOUR’

Order from the antipasti selection, including grilled cauliflower with ricotta and pistachio, velvety eggplant with caramelized onions, beet carpaccio or that freshly sliced prosciutto with gnocco fritto.

Fresh, house made pastas take center stage with mushroom lasagne, ravioli with spinach and sage in brown butter, or gramigna (another Emiglia Romagna specialty) spicy sausage and  grana padano. The piatto del giorno, one for each day of the week, will feature a hearty selection to look forward to such as a  T-bone ala Modena, roasted pesto chicken, spicy whole lobster or lasagne bolognese.

Desserts are simple and lovingly homemade as you’d expect from the region, and Chef Schenker’s kitchen. Rich chocolate cake from Ferrara, a crisp crostata with fresh fruit and whipped cream and made to order zabaglione with torched moscato are a few selections from the dessert menu.

Raise a glass

The wine list is described as a “day trip from Bologna” and everything is sourced from within two hours of the Emiglia Romagna region. There is a comprehensive representation of multiple local wineries offering  multiple variations of classic and new-need-to-try sparkling, red, white and orange wines.

Perusing their selection is like walking into  a neighborhood wine shop in Parma. There are many interesting gems here, none over $100,  to be discovered and savored. 

Community focused, by intention

Chef Jesse Schenker and partner Claudia Taglich wanted to offer the community a chef-driven experience with exceptional ingredients and authentic culinary execution, but at a more accessible price point (nothing is over $30) and with a comforting, Italian countryside feel.

Gioia sits beautifully in the middle of the spectrum of Lush LIfe Group’s culinary portfolio in Oyster Bay, with 2 Spring and the Chef’s Counter at Four on the higher, fine dining end and casual, yet carefully crafted Gimmeburger at the opposite end.

“Oyster Bay is such a special place, and it’s turning into a real foodie destination,” said Taglich. “We think it’s just perfect here, situated directly between NYC and Montauk, it’s everything we ever wanted as a home base.”

Gioia’s hours of operation are Monday to Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner service and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch on Saturday & Sunday.

Scroll down for some stellar courtesy photos from GIOIA, Oyster Bay.

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