The restaurant located at 10 Matinicock Ave. in Port Washington is still LaMotta’s, although you could be excused for not knowing it at first.
The bar room was completely ripped up and renovated and the menu was overhauled as well.
“It was like opening up a brand new restaurant,” said Nadine Delmonte, the catering director for LaMotta’s.
She said that restaurant management decided to shake up the interior of the restaurant, which has been a Port staple for almost a quarter of a century.
Previously the indoor bar was smaller and those seated at the bar had their backs to the windows and Manhasset Bay.
Delmonte said the goal of the renovated space was to provide better views of the water and a more sophisticated experience.
“Customers used to only want to sit outside, but now you actually want to sit in there,” she said.
Plans to renovate the bar room were started in October of last year, with the room being ripped up in February. The new room was ready to go by the beginning of the summer.
There are 20 seats around the bar, which is situated in a horseshoe shape. Another 20 seats are available at high top tables.
Delmonte said the renovation spurred further changes.
“Once we put in this whole renovation, we decided we need to bring in a new team,” she said. “We couldn’t just leave it the way it was.”
Save a few veteran members in the kitchen crew, LaMotta’s brought in a new staff for 2018.
Chief among them was Massimo Fedozzi as chef, who formerly ran Salt on the Water in Merrick and Floral Terrace in Floral Park.
With a new chef came a new menu. Delmonte said some classic items were kept on the menu — such as Guy’s pasta and linguine and clams, two of LaMotta’s most popular dishes — but otherwise all new dishes were created.
“We wanted to keep the people that were coming here, and have customers we lost come back,” she said.
The new options are in line with what the restaurant has traditionally offered: seafood with an Italian twist.
There are also non-seafood options like the popular chicken Milanese. Of the new options, Delmonte’s favorite is “The Flybridge”: a tower of raw seafood including lobster tail, oysters, littlenecks, jumbo shrimp, tuna poke and crabmeat salad.
A serving for two to four people costs $85, while the serving for four to six will set one back $155.
Along with the new food menu, the drink menu has been upgraded to match the bar.
We brought in a woman to redo the drinks and I gave her free reign,” Delmonte said. “I let her bring all the drinks she wanted and she brought in a lot of different things.”
In addition to cocktails, there are seven beers on tap along with a variety of bottles and cans.
Delmonte said the changes, especially the renovation, helped the restaurant better utilize its location on Manhasset Bay.
“Port Washington is such an amazing town and we have an amazing view, and it was so underutilized,” she said. “People go to the Hamptons or Nantucket, but we have so much to offer here.”
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.