Cinzia Gaglio spent the summers of her childhood heading to Sicily to visit her grandparents, developing a taste for both the food and the culture that surrounds it.
When she and her husband Tim Gaglio opened Osteria Salina in Bridgehampton at the start of last summer, she didn’t just name the restaurant after an Island off Sicily, she wanted to bring the sense of “rural elegance” to the community at large.
“We’re holding up very well,” Gaglio said, “People have really responded to the simple, healthy cuisine.”
Diners at a table at Osteria Salina are brough fresh cucumbers from Balsam farms, coated with Sicilian olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt.
“Each item is unique,” Gaglio said, “we specialize in Sicilian, Aeolian, slow food. We’re also very vegan friendly.”
One of Osteria Salina’s star dishes, is the Caponatina Eoliana e Crostini, a spread of eggplant, tomato, golden raisins, celery, agrodolce and capers, served with toasted bread. The appetizer is savory, sweet and sour, and comes in at $15. It can also be served as a bed for a swordfish filet.
“I have a very holistic view of food and I think that a lot of restaurants have forgotten their origins,”Gaglio said, “The word “restauro” in Italian means “to restore”. That’s the purpose of a restaurant, restoring the body with proper nutrition.”
Gaglio also prides her restaurant on its selection of drinks, in particular Il Spriz, by Mionetto, similar in style to aperol spritz served over ice with a wedge of orange. The red drinks flavor is somewhere between prosecco and Campari.
“I think Sicily is going to be the next big region of Italy to be discovered,” she said, citing the Island’s contributions to what’s already conceived of as typically Italian cuisine. “There’s even some evidence that gelato may have originated in Sicily.”
In terms of desserts, Osteria Salina also offers its home made biscotti, which means “twice cooked” in Italian, made from almonds and chocolate— that tastes more like candied nuts than the store bought varieties. These may be bought separately in little bags to be taken out, but in the restaurant, it is served with a special biscotti liqueur for dipping.
“There are a lot of people who say when food is good for you it can’t taste good,” Gaglio said, “But that’s just not true.”
Osteria Salina is located at 95 School St.