Gold Coast Business Association honors small place with big taste

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When a local business has a ribbon cutting ceremony through a sponsorship with the Gold Coast Business Association, it becomes an established part of the North Shore’s economic community. It is a way of saying “welcome” to new places, which can serve the people of the area. Robert Occhipinti, owner and head chef of Maldon & Mignonette in Sea Cliff, which is right on the border of Glen Cove, said he is excited that his restaurant has been granted an opportunity to join the ranks of other local businesses in the association. He said the location is exactly what he envisioned for his dream restaurant, which opened on Oct. 18, 2018.
“We were looking for quite some time over here and this location stumbled upon us,” Occhipinti, of Smithtown, explained. “I saw the way it was laid out and I said, ‘This could [provide] what I want to bring.’” “I just want them to feel like they’re in the comfort of my home,” he later added, This homey atmosphere is apparent when looking around Maldon & Mignonette. With only 14 tables and a bar, the setting is intimate and mellow, with ambient music quietly creeping through the air under the dim mood lighting. The comfort provided by the atmosphere makes people want to stay for hours, oftentimes after the restaurant closes its doors, according to Occhipinti. With the dining room taking up the entirety of the building’s first floor, the top level is dedicated to the kitchen, where Occhipinti cooks up what he said is among the best food in the area. He described his food as seasonal American cuisine with a European twist, with the menu constantly changing based on what ingredients are in season. This helps things stay fresh, he said, and provides customers with a different experience every time they come in. Given the restaurant’s small space, Maldon & Mignonette is able to provide its customers with excellent service with only five full-time employees. Occhipinti does have some extra help in the form of his parents Ann and Bob, who take time out of their lives to work in various capacities throughout the restaurant. “We were so thrilled,” Ann said of her son’s ability to open up his restaurant in Sea Cliff. “This was his dream. He wanted to have his own restaurant, and it was just amazing how this fell into place.” Steve Warshaw, Gold Coast Business Association president, and Gabriella Palmeiri, the vice president, said they are happy to be welcoming Maldon & Mignonette into the association. “The more restaurants, in my opinion,” Warshaw said, “the better this [community] becomes a go-to location for everybody.” “It kind of catches the eye of people in the community and [helps them] to realize that,” said Palmeiri on the significance of ribbon cuttings such as this one. “Especially in locations that have been existing restaurants in the past, it shows that there’s a fresh new take on this business and that you should really come out and support your local businesses . . . It’s all about supporting our community.” Perhaps most enthusiastic about the ribbon cutting was Mary Stanco, a board member on the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce. A self-described picky eater, Stanco said Occhipinti’s bronzini with spinach is the best she’s ever had, and raved about the restaurant and all it has to offer. Maldon & Mignonette is at 243 Glen Cove Ave. and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. To make a reservation, call (516) 801-3250.