I am a lifelong New Yorker, with most of my years spent out east in Long Island. As much as I adore the food that I have consumed in and around Manhattan, I can never knock where I’m originally from as we have some absolutely fantastic restaurants to divulge in (see my best of here). Oyster Bay is one of the more popular towns out there, most notably known for being where Billy Joel is from, and I recently discovered a fantastic Italian restaurant right in the heart of it: Osteria Leana.
Osteria Leana is located on one of the town’s busiest areas: South Street, and has been opened for about a year now. The chef and owner, Peter Van Der Mije, took himself out of New York City, where he worked under Dan Kluger and Jean Jorges to name a few, and headed out to Long Island for this amazing spot.
One word to best describe Osteria Leana’s ambiance is cozy and intimate. The seating inside is around 50 people or less (i’m guesstimating here), which leaves for a much more chilled and relaxed vibe which was perfect for the particular Thursday night that we went.
The concept is simple: classic Italian fare, pastas, grilled meat, and fish. The culinary world can get a little daring and, might I say, a bit “extra” when it comes to pulling out all the stops to make sure some food snobs are wowed by everything they eat. Osteria Leana’s menu isn’t pretentious at all and gets right to the point with how darn good Italian food can truly be.
Here’s what I recommend you try the next time you are there. For their Antipasti section, I would try their Stracciatella Chips, which are spinach and rice chips with locatelli cheese. A lighter fare, per se, but taste amazing and much healthier than your run of the mill potato chip.
For the pastas, their Clam Tagliatelle easily does the trick as it comes with white wine garlic clam sauce served with house made tagliatelle. Simply delicious. If you want something on the poultry side, I would recommend their Roasted Chicken with glazed carrots. If there is ever a dish to remind you of the fall, it is this, as the chicken’s skin is some of the best I have ever tasted and the carrots compliment it so incredibly well. This place easily earns a 10/10 in my book for all these reasons and so much more.
For more information on Osteria Leana, please check out their official website.