So living on Long Island, you know there’s two things that there’s a wealth of: Small business owners and great places to eat. And today we’re here in Wantagh, New York, to visit one of my newfound favorite places. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it doesn’t matter what time of day, the Little Kitchen here in Wantagh has something special for you. Come on in and take a look.
"Little Kitchen" Video Transcript
Dean Miller (00:12):
So living on Long Island, you know there’s two things that there’s a wealth of: Small business owners and great places to eat. And today we’re here on Wantagh, New York, to visit one of my newfound favorite places. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it doesn’t matter what time of day, the Little Kitchen here in Wantagh has something special for you. Come on in and take a look.
Like we said before, we’re sitting down here at the Little Kitchen here in Wantagh with the owners, Lina and Carlo. Guys, thanks so much for taking a few minutes and sitting down with us. It’s a pleasure. Give me a little insight. You’ve only been here a couple weeks so far. Business is going okay at least I hope?
Carlo Stanisci (00:57):
Yeah, pretty good I think, right?
Lina DeFalco (00:57):
Dean Miller (00:58):
Give me a little idea of the inspiration behind the place.
Carlo Stanisci (01:02):
Little Kitchen’s really just an offshoot, really of our home. I mean, we always entertain in the kitchen, always cooking. Cousins are always over and we thought that this place would kind of sort of-
Lina DeFalco (01:17):
Carlo Stanisci (01:17):
Replicate that. Extend that.
Dean Miller (01:17):
Terrific. Yeah, when you walk in, it definitely has that homey feel to it, which is great. [crosstalk 00:01:23] Like I said, last [inaudible 00:01:25], you walk in the door, you see smiling faces. You get wonderful smells when you walk in the door. Why don’t we go get to work, see what it’s all about and make some meatballs?
Lina DeFalco (01:34):
Let’s do it.
Carlo Stanisci (01:34):
Dean Miller (01:34):
Dean Miller (01:37):
All right, so meatballs are a very personal thing to most people. I still think mine are the greatest in the world. This guy does some really good stuff and mine have been stolen. I’ll bring up my point first. So my meatball recipe has kind of become a hybrid of 30 or 40 others. I don’t have a family recipe. My grandmother was the only Sicilian woman in the history of the world who knew how to burn water. So, but I have mom and three aunts are all phenomenal cooks. So I’ve watched them over the years, but even mine have evolved. So tell me a little bit about the recipe you’re working on here.
Carlo Stanisci (02:08):
We’ve got parsley, garlic, we’re using panko breadcrumb, Parmesan and buttermilk.
Dean Miller (02:16):
I know some people get sensitive to the smell of garlic, but there’s just something about it. The minute it starts going, you’re like, all right, I’m home. I’m good.
Carlo Stanisci (02:23):
Man, you’ll see. Once you have these meatballs, between the garlic, parsley, the cheese, the flavors just work really, really well together. Going to take some parsley that’s already chopped. Going to take some parmigiano, pepper, get a couple cranks in there.
Dean Miller (02:49):
Why panko as opposed to your classic breadcrumb?
Carlo Stanisci (02:52):
I think panko helps with the texture of the meatball, more so than the regular bread.
Dean Miller (03:30):
All right. So next up, we’re working on?
Carlo Stanisci (03:32):
Next up, we’re working on pulled pork. This is a pork shoulder, roughly about six pounds, trimmed. Fat cap is pretty much trimmed off, you just have a little bit of it. So what’ll happen is, when you slow cook it, that fat will render and just keep that meat really nice and juicy. So the way we’re going to prep this is we’re going to use our house blend of spices. Give that a smell.
Dean Miller (03:59):
Carlo Stanisci (04:00):
Look at that color.
Dean Miller (04:01):
That’s all right.
Carlo Stanisci (04:01):
Just going to rub that on there. You’re pretty much just going to coat the whole piece of meat. So we’re lucky enough to source our meats from a local butcher shop called Meat Grinder. They are a father and son team that have been doing it for a number of years and they’re located on Wantagh Avenue.
Dean Miller (04:25):
Right down the block [crosstalk 00:04:25]?
Carlo Stanisci (04:26):
Right down the block, yeah. So they’re definitely a great-
Dean Miller (04:28):
There’s something special about the restaurant community. We touched on it earlier, in how there’s never really any competition. It seems like every time you run into a restaurant owner or a chef or people who are committed to that industry, how they’re so in tune with each other and that community.
Carlo Stanisci (04:45):
Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’ve been really fortunate enough to be supported by a lot of the local businesses on Railroad Avenue. And it’s been great. I mean, they’ve been super welcoming and we just kind of want to give back.
Dean Miller (04:58):
Carlo Stanisci (04:58):
So any chance that we can work with any local businesses, we certainly will do that.
Dean Miller (05:03):
That’s what it’s all about.
Carlo Stanisci (05:03):
Dean Miller (05:04):
Nothing wrong with the big boys, but you know what? All us little guys got to help each other out as well.
Carlo Stanisci (05:08):
For sure. Well, there you go, guys.
Dean Miller (05:11):
That’s already looking beautiful. Love the color on it.
Carlo Stanisci (05:15):
We’re going to let this sit overnight and then this will go into a hot oven, about 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. What will happen is, you’ll get this beautiful caramelization right on that fat cap. And we’ll let it rest for a little bit. And then we’ll slow cook it-
Dean Miller (05:15):
Carlo Stanisci (05:35):
For the next three hours.
Dean Miller (05:46):
All right. So now it’s that moment we’ve always been waiting for, like I was saying earlier, you come to a town like Wantagh, there’s a pizzeria on every other corner, but there’s something special about having a homemade, real old school, traditional meatball. So let’s dive right in.
Absolutely fantastic. The texture, the blend of that pure beef with the basil and that buttermilk brings out such a great taste in it and the texture. Meatball snob or not, you need to come down and try these things out. Nonna’s meatballs here at Little Kitchen in Wantagh. You will not regret it. You’ll want to come back time and time again.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I’m going to get back to eating some more. We hope to see you again real soon.