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Popular Astoria Trattoria Expanding to UES: LOOK INSIDE

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Chef Rocco Sacramone is opening a location of his popular Queens Italian restaurant Trattoria L’incontro on the Upper East Side. L’incontro by Rocco is currently under construction at 1572 Second Avenue, between 81st and 82nd streets.

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Astoria’s Trattoria L’incontro has been called one of the best Italian restaurants in Queens, with a menu featuring a mix of classic Italian dishes and modern interpretations. For instance, the current menu offers pasta options of bucatini cacio e pepe and a papparadelle dish with shitake mushrooms and lobster. The eatery is known for a revolving list of specials conveyed to the waitstaff via earpiece – as well as a chef who might come out to give you a hug.

Chef Sacramone was born in a small town in Abruzzo, Italy and moved to the United States in 1970. He learned to cook from his mother, Tina, who joined him in the kitchen when Trattoria L’incontro first opened in 1999.

The restaurant gained popularity first with locals and then as a destination. Notably, it went viral when Sacramone posted a video of him and his team dining outdoors during a snowstorm to protest the pandemic-era indoor dining ban. In response, Dave Portnoy – founder of Barstool Sports – raised and donated $100,000 to the restaurant.

We are giving away a $100 gift card to Hoexter’s. Details here.

While Trattoria L’incontro is known for being roomy and large, the Upper East Side location is decidedly more intimate. Chef Rocco met East Side Feed there for a preview of the space and a chat about the soon-to-open restaurant.

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Formerly home to Prime Butcher, the space has been transformed to look modern and luxurious, opening onto a dark-countered bar with a striking, large bubble chandelier. In the main room, blush banquets line the walls set with dark metal wine racks. Behind the bar is a cozy, VIP-esque booth lined in velvety gray, looking back on the rest of the dining room. With 34 tables and bar space, the restaurant will be able to accommodate 80-85 comfortably.

ALSO READ: Popular Gluten-Free, Kosher Spot Modern Bread & Bagel Opens on UES

Rocco himself is warm and friendly, and his excitement for working in the neighborhood is apparent. He says he’s always been “intrigued” by the Upper East Side because many of his Astoria customers come from the neighborhood. He’s been at his Queens restaurant for 25 years and seems eager to open this new space to a mix of familiar and new customers. He says the menu will be similar to the one in Queens, but with some updates, calling it “modern with a rustic twist.”

“L’incontro” means “the meeting” in Italian, and that’s what Rocco hopes this will be: a place to get together. L’incontro by Rocco is expected to open on June 4 and will be open daily from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. It will initially offer only wine and beer, with a full bar to be added within two months.


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  1. Andrea May 29, 2024

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