Due to circumstances beyond our control, my party showed up late for our reservation at Il Capuccino Ristorante in Sag Harbor. In fact, only two of the four of us turned up, a third joined us very late. As my tall son (aka Teenage Boy) stepped to his seat by the front window, his head bumped the globe lighting fixture overhead, sending it CRASHING to the floor. Later on we basically ate and ran.
This is not how we typically approach an evening out. When I asked if the accidentally-smashing-a-light trick happens a lot, the young server sweeping up the shards said pleasantly, “No, never before.”
If we’d been trying to put the Il Cap. Staff to some sort of test, they would have passed with flying colors. The servers and Bartender Joe were as polite and helpful as could be in the face of our inelegant marauding.
I needed a drink and so started with an Amber’s Rum Punch. Yum – it was floaty and coconutty and rum-rich…Our server Darren brought us some “bread” – as in hot garlic knots covered in garlic and dripping in oil – oh my.
We were impressed that “Cap’s,” as the locals call their neighborhood place, offers a full Gluten Free Menu, in addition to all the traditional Italian fare. They even use separate strainers and pots for the gluten-free dishes. But anyone can order them – the gluten-free soups are especially popular.
I ordered a Watercress and Feta Salad. Served on a huge triangular plate, it was so pretty – fava beans, radishes, artichokes, red onions, peas and a bit of avocado. I quite liked it drizzled with lemon-thyme dressing.
Teenage Boy started with a Garden Salad of fresh greens, tossed with house dressing and topped with shredded carrots, croutons and tomatoes. He inhaled it. Then he moved on to a Lasagna Napoletana, which he raved about as he devoured it. He described the meatballs, sauce, ricotta and mozzarella as “awesome.”
I love that a sizeable pot of grated cheese was placed on our table, near the lasagna. I tried to figure out ways to use it on my food – but it didn’t seem a good fit for mango.
My entrée was the Polo Mango. That’s a chicken breast sautéed with mango, papaya, prosciutto and cilantro with angel hair pasta and red sauce on the side. I ate the whole thing!
The third member of our group arrived, as if on cue, to order the Fruita de Marni. A steaming heap of shrimp, mussels, clams, calamari and tiny whole squid atop linguine. He lapped up the fruita but couldn’t finish the pasta. He and Teenage Boy ran out as soon as they’d stuffed themselves to catch a film at Bay Street Theatre.
I sat a while and noted what a great place Il Capuccino is to bring a first date – based on my observation of the couple just outside the window. The reggae music playing softly in the background plus a load of Italian food seemed to work some magic.
Il Cap’s Wine List contains some Italian wines, as well as wine from around the world including Long Island’s own Lenz and Paumonok. When we dined at Il Cap, the arugula, scallops and mushrooms were local too.
We had a lovely – if brief – time in the first floor’s center dining room. You can reserve a room upstairs for a larger party. We’re planning to go back to this neighborhood place for brunch this weekend.
Il Capuccino, 30 Madison Street, Sag Harbor. 631-725-2747. www.ilcapuccino.com [/expand]