Buon appetito

Joe Gannascoli cooks it up at local restaurants


In the mood for some delicious, homemade-style crabmeat salad, stuffed peppers or an untraditional eggplant dish? East Rockaway resident Joe Gannascoli acts as a celebrity chef at Il Luogo in Lynbrook every Tuesday night, cooking up his specialities for an appreciative crowd, working alongside Chef Marco Jara who Gannascoli calls “brilliant.”

“At home, I only just cooked for holidays and Giant parties,” said Gannascoli, who played Vito on HBO’s The Sopranos. “I wanted to get back into cooking. I had restaurants before, and worked in New York City and L.A. I missed the day-to-day mechanics of a restaurant. Here I get to create and to schmooze.” And schmooze he does, coming out of the kitchen to talk to the customers.

Gannascoli cooked up a full menu at Il Luogo for the Feast of St. Joseph last week, including grilled swordfish with lemon, garlic and olive oil, linguini with stuffed calamari and sautéed pork chops with vinegar peppers.