An Italian Tavern

With fresh salads, warm antipasto and comforting entrees, Osteria Leana is an eclectic favorite.
With fresh salads, warm antipasto and comforting entrees, Osteria Leana is an eclectic favorite.

When driving down South Street in Oyster Bay, a diner can easily miss the small red and white sign hanging off the side of a building, indicating a chic new Italian restaurant behind it. Hidden behind the Knitted Purl and Taste of Mexico deli row of stores, with its Italian-style storefront facing a parking lot, Osteria Leana proves to be a modern hidden gem.

The communal table at the center of the restaurant reminds one of a traditional Sunday dinner in which the entire family crowds around the table to eat. Osteria Leana provides a fine dining experience in a homey yet contemporary setting with its wooden decor.

The simplistic design pairs well with the freshness of each dish. Chef and owner Peter Van Der Mije sources his products from local providers such as Southdown Coffee in Huntington, St. Rocco’s Bakery in Glen Cove and Channing Daughter’s Winery in South Fork, along with many others. The menu changes every few days depending on what Van Der Mije can buy fresh. Van Der Mije’s menu also changes with the seasons.

Osteria Leana offers a variety of signature Italian fare with new twists throughout each course. From the antipasti or appetizer to the primi piatti or pasta course and the secondi or meat course, diners can always expect their seemingly straightforward dishes to be everything but that.

14329869_1478767605471945_1676041768949670089_nThe cioppino soup is described as a simple seafood soup with tomato broth and croutons but it’s so much more. Filled with calamari, clams, scallops, and vegetables, the light soup with vibrant flavors is the perfect start to any meal. The Rottkamp salad is a mixture of green, red, dandelion and arugula greens straight off the Rottkamp farm in Brookville, served with a balsamic House dressing. With just the right amount of tangy dressing, the salad proves to be a fresh start.

The most popular antipasti dish is the calamari alla griglia. Everyone is used to the original fried calamari served with marinara sauce, but Van Der Mije flips the table. Because the spicy olive potato salad and red peppers are made in the same pan as the calamari, the sear from the potatoes rubs off onto the calamari, creating a delicious char flavor with a slight kick.

osteriab
Osteria Leana boasts an array of cozy classics.

A must-have primi piatti dish is the squash ravioli with burnt butter sage sauce. Orange zest is added to the squash to bring out the ingredients. Perfect for fall, the homemade raviolis are filled to capacity with creamy squash that oozes out when cut into, becoming a new favorite comfort food.

The Freebird Chicken features pan seared chicken served with roasted carrots in a lemon glaze with flakes of Parmesan cheese. With just the right amount of crunch and a hint of lemon, Van Der Mije turns a simple meal into the unbelievable.

Along with its many handmade pasta and meat dishes, Osteria Leana offers many contorni options to complement main dishes. From roasted carrots with honey ricotta and soppressata flakes to Brocolli Fonduta, which is grilled broccoli served warm with Fontina cheese and bread crumbs.

If you have room for dessert, there are many mouthwatering options to choose from. The tiramisu is original yet melt-in-your mouth delectable with the perfect blend of chocolate and coffee flavor. The ricotta cheesecake was refreshing with its whipped apple salad crust in place of the usual graham cracker. If you’re in the mood for hazelnut coffee goodness, try the affogato, hazelnut gelato with a hot shot of espresso poured over the top, making the gelato melt and the two flavors come together as one.

osteriaPair your meal with your choice of red, white or sparkling Italian wine from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Even if you want to just stop in for a glass, the restaurant has a small bar at the back for a quick drink. Osteria Leana also boasts of its craft beers and non-alcoholic options. The cucumber mint lemonade is refreshing and heavenly with small cubes of cucumber in the drink, showing that Van Der Mije gives exceptional care to everything, including his drinks.

Osteria Leana is located at 76 South St., Oyster Bay; 516-584-6995; www.osterialeana.com.

Want It In Print?

We now offer matted and framed copies of articles upon request.

Christina Claus
Christina Claus is the former editor of Port Washington News.

Leave a Reply

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Colleges Plan For The Fall Semester 

Less than four months out from the start of the fall semester, Long Island colleges are weighing all options to accommodate their students safely.

How Parents Can Manage Stress During The Pandemic

Many are expected to parent full time, work full time and teach full time—all at the same time. This does not leave much leftover time, or energy, for self-care.

Singer-Songwriter Alec Benjamin Talks Debut Album

In the end, all Benjamin wants to accomplish with his music is make people think more about what they’re listening to.

Positive Effects Of Pets On Mental Health

Pets parents know how much joy their companionship brings, but did you know having a furry friend is scientifically proven to boost your mental health?

The Coronavirus Pandemic And Shavuot

For several months, we were not allowed to come together physically, yet social media has connected us together.

Get Updates Via Email

Enter your email to be updated with all the latest news and special announcements.

x