Talina in Babylon to bring authentic Romagna cuisine and experience to Long Island


Chicken parmigiana will not be on the menu. Neither will fried calamari.

Stuffed shells? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Talina Osteria Romagnola won’t be a typical Italian-American restaurant such as you’d find in Brooklyn or Long Island. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But co-owner and main visionary Pietro Faetanini, 48, specifically wanted to bring a taste of his home country (and a very specific region of Italy) to Long Island.

Though he speaks Italian, Faetanini hails from the independent Republic of San Marino, a European microstate within Italy’s Romagna region.

He’s named the restaurant after his late grandmother, a legend in the kitchen back home.

Talina was born from our strong desire to show a glimpse of Romagna, not only through our dishes, but also with our memories, emotions and experiences that led us to get here,” Faetanini shared with Greater Long Island.

“We want this to feel like an escape, like you just stepped into Romagna,” said Brittany Middlemiss of North Babylon, a Talina co-owner, chef and Faetanini’s fiancée.

Rounding out the ownership trio is Molto Vino of Babylon owner Massimiliano Gargiulo.

The three actually met at Molto Vino several years ago, when Middlemiss worked the kitchen and Faetanini, now a renowned mixologist on Long Island, worked the bar.

But this isn’t Faetanini’s first foray into ownership. He ran his own bars and restaurants in San Marino for nearly two decades before emigrating to New York — eventually getting hired at Molto Vino.

Work on Talina got underway at 376 Deer Park Avenue in January.

They’re hoping to open this summer.

How it happened

The future home of Talina Osteria Romagnola, just north of the LIRR train trestle, operated as a deli for some 60 years.

That was before Gargiulo took over the space in 2016, eventually opening Molto Pizza during the pandemic in August 2020.

Right away he knew he made a mistake by not including a bar, but didn’t want to shut it all down after muscling through the state’s COVID restrictions and gaining a nice following. So he waited. The plan was to close for renovations last fall.

That was when Faetanini approached him about his idea for Talina.

It took zero convincing.

“I thought it was a great idea,'” Gargiulo said. “‘I said, ‘You’re great at what you do, and we’ve already worked together. This will be a perfect fit for both of us.’

Molto Pizza closed in October to make way for Talina.

About the food & experience

Sure, Faetanini says, you could order a pasta dish and cocktail at the bar and leave. Maybe then hit another place to have drinks in downtown Babylon.

But Talina is going to be about the experience. In San Marino, eating together is the night out.

The trio is looking to match that dining experience exactly.

That means fresh pasta made by hand. To that end, they’re mimicking grandma’s pasta-making station in a lofted area toward the rear of the dining room (pictured above).

Seven pasta dishes will appear on the menu, yet only two options for your Secondi Piatto, or second course. The star of that show will be the grilled meats and vegetables board, which comes in three different sizes (small, medium and large).

Among the pasta offerings you’ll find ravioli, gnocchi and spaghetti, but also strozzapreti, which is made without eggs and is hugely popular in San Marino and the Romagna region.

For those already familiar with the region, the flatbread known as piadina headlines the Antipasti menu. The traditional flatbread of Romagna comes rolled with cheese and prosciutto.

There are four dessert options and an extensive bar menu specially curated by Faetanini, also the former bar manager at Michaelangelo’s Wine Bar in Massapequa Park.

Middlemiss will be the head chef, which means rolling out lots of pasta.

“I have visited Italy so many times and this was an entirely different experience [in San Marino] than what I was used to,” said Middlemiss, who, before this venture was working as a private chef on the North Shore. “I was used to spaghetti and clams, all those dishes from southern Italy. This I would describe as more rustic, and a little bit heavier.”

Faetanini envisions the 40-person restaurant, which is lined with windows and skylights, as a place for people to feel at home, to be transported back to the warmth, scents and memories of a doting grandmother’s kitchen.

“Because this is the beauty of Romagna,” he said. “Feeling at home, every moment, everywhere.”

Check back with for interior photos later this summer.

Follow their journey on Instagram:

View this profile on Instagram

@talina_ny • Instagram photos and videos

Top: Massimiliano Gargiulo, Brittany Middlemiss and Pietro Faetanini have teamed up to open an authentic Romagna restaurant in the heart of Babylon Village, inspired by Faetanini’s home country of San Marino. (Credit: Michael White)

Our Local Supporters