A Bay Shore man sporting a pinstripe suit uses a wooden spatula to pull a pizza — made with imported Italian tomatoes — from a brick oven. He places the pie near an antique 1930s cash register, surrounded by photos of movie mobsters, like Don Vito Corleone from “The Godfather” and Tony Montana from “Scarface.”
The scene is nothing out of the ordinary at family-owned Got a Guy Eatery, the gangster-movie-themed restaurant in Calverton, which opened its doors in early May.
Executive chef and co-owner Anthony Asciolla, 39, said he grew up watching the classic mob films with his Italian mother and grandmother.
The concept for the name of the restaurant came from Christine Littmann, 39, a co-owner and Mr. Asciolla’s fiancée. She said it derived from a traditional Italian phrase — “I got a guy.”
The couple, who met in 2004, have been business partners for about 10 years, co-owning Bay Shore catering group Perfect Peach Events. Mr. Asciolla said the business has hosted weddings and events across Long Island.
Since catering is seasonal, Mr. Asciolla said, they decided to pursue the restaurant as a way to acquire consistent income. Mr. Asciolla started leasing the building, located in the shopping plaza west of J&R’s Steakhouse last December.
Mr. Asciolla, who has been cooking since he was 16, previously worked at Carlyle Catering in Bethpage State Park, now Lessing’s Heritage Club, The Local in Babylon and Bistro 25 East in Blue Point. The menu, which ranges from regular Sicilian pizza to chocolate pasta for dessert, features mostly his grandmother’s classic recipes with minor modifications.
“I wanted to try to recreate that,” he said. “I try to keep it traditional, with just a little twist. If you go too far off, you scare people off. I try to balance it out. … That way you don’t fall into the same category as the hundreds of pizzerias on Long Island.”
Since the catering business offers an international menu, he said, it made it difficult to keep his cooking strictly Italian. He kept “Eatery” at the end of the restaurant’s name to keep his options open.
“Now I don’t have to keep myself in a box,” he said.
The restaurant offers a pay-it-forward program, “Favor for a Friend”, where visitors can pay for a slice or pie in advance for anyone who enters the restaurant later.
“It’s just another way of giving back,” he said. “They can get a chicken bacon ranch, whatever they want. I’m not going to limit them to a regular pizza.”
Ms. Littmann has high hopes for the business: she aims to franchise Got a Guy on Long Island.
Mr. Asciolla said he’d consider franchising the business in upstate New York and New Jersey, but feels it’s too early to make that decision.
The business is a reflection of the community and will be molded to fit Riverhead’s needs, Ms. Littmann said.
“The only way we’re going to know what the community needs from us is for them to come in, try it out, let us know what they’re looking for,”she said. “What everyone wants from us is what this is going to become.”
The restaurant also hosts pizza-making classes for children and adults and a monthly “Sunday brunch” consisting of a seven-course dinner with off-menu dishes. The two most popular hits, Ms. Littmann said, are cannoli-stuffed French toast and candied bacon-stuffed fried chicken with waffles.
The restaurant, located at 4490 Middle Country Road, is open weekdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.