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Orto Opens in Miller Place

Chef Eric Lomando, Owner of Kitchen A Bistro in St. James, opens at former Brian Scott's location.

With two successful restaurants already in St. James, chef and restaurant owner Eric Lomando was approached about an open location in Miller Place.

The owner of and loved the location, the historic Daniel Miller House, which dates back to the early 1800’s, and opened on Feb. 4.

“It’s far enough away from our other restaurants that we’re not necessarily competing with ourselves, which is a good thing at this point,” Lomando said.  “It seems like a very close community…which is nice. It seems very welcoming, definitely community oriented and hopefully we can provide them with a nice place to eat, drink and hang out.”

Even though, Orto has experienced steady business as they work out the kinks.

“It’s a mix of our customers from others restaurants and definitely some local people, it seems good so far,” he said. “Saturday was very busy. We found out we have some work to do to get things up to where we want, but the last couple nights there has been enough people in here to start to get a sense of things."

Lomando started his career in the restaurant industry as a busboy at the age of 14. From there, he washed dishes, started doing prep work and worked at various positions learning the ins and outs of the industry before he opened Kitchen A Bistro in 2001.

He moved the bistro to its current location in 2009 and opened Kitchen A Trattoria in the original space. The young chef spent some time at culinary school but points to the hands on work as the key to his success.

“They don’t teach you the right things [at culinary school] and the emphasis was misdirected,” he said. “It’s being on the job, working hands on and constantly evaluation ‘how can this taste better?’

Orto serves Rustic Italian cuisine with a menu that changes daily, featuring market and seasonal driven food.

“It doesn’t mean everything on the menu changes, but it changes to accommodate us to be able to use fish that maybe isn’t as heavily commercially fished,” Lomando said. “It’s stuff that’s hook and line caught but maybe I can only get 10 to 12 pounds of it today, and it’ll last me today and tomorrow."

In the early stages of the restaurant, Lomando has brought his mentality that he and his entire staff must be better today than they were yesterday.

“The expectation is that...from start to finish, whether it’s the quality of the cocktail, or the service, or the work in the kitchen by us will be better today than it was yesterday, and better tomorrow than it is today," he said. "It’s to constantly push forward and work on every single detail of what we’re doing to provide people with the best experience we can.”

Helaine Schneiderman February 24, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Rude, didn't honor a reservation.Had absolutely NO record of it . When I called the following day asking for an explanation I was told by the waiter that someone would call back by Tues. This reservation was made at the urging of the Hostess at Kitchen a Bistro to "try our new reservation. She made the reservation which was confirmed by Orto Fri. Night. I STILL HAVEN't heard from these people.p
L Wacik February 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I just made a reservation for Orto and spoke to a wonderful person who was friendly, up beat, was able to answer all my questions. She explained Orto's Rustic Italian fare, their no credit card policy [which I appreciated] and was very welcoming. The place is packed everytime we go by...we look forward to an exceptional dinner in one of our favorite Historic Miller Place locations.
tenacious February 26, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Great restaurant! Great experience! Great food and staff! Welcome to Miller Place! It's about time this location got an establishment that will be a keeper! We enjoyed the butternut squash soup, raviolo of braised short rib and farm egg, organic chicken with sweet potato diavoloa, beef shell steak with creamy polenta, pear crostata with rum raisin gelato, and tiramisu. The staff were polite and friendly and knew the menu well. We brought our own wine (no cork fee) but they also have a nice wine/drink menu of their own. We will definitely return with friends in the near future. Yes, it's cash only and they said so when we made reservations and there was an obvious sign on the door as well. As a Miller Place resident we are grateful to have Eric Lomando open an establishment in our back yard.
Eric Lomando March 02, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Both my choice to allow you to bring your own botle of wine with out chargeing a corkage and my choice to not accept credit cards are universal through out all three of my restaurants and simply exist to help provide value to the guests. We chose not to pay a processing company to allow us to accept credit cards and in turn try to pass that savings along to our customers. I have been in bussiness for 10 years and have had little problem with state or irs. I don't appreciate your accusations in this post we are simply working hard to try and offer a nice product at a fair price.
Eric Lomando March 02, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I don't know I am fairly sure that it would not hurt my bottom line to charge industry standard 300 percent markup on wine. (incidently the wine we sell in both Kitchen a Bistro and Orto is marked up only slightly above retail) and if you find my food expensive I am certainly not begging you to come here. Would it hurt my bottom line to give a credit card processing company 3% in an industry where highest attainable profit margins are typically in the range of 6-10% absolutely. However i am sure you know everything about my bussiness, I wonder what it is I have done to offend you. Seeing as I dont believe we have ever meet and you for what ever reason are very vocal in attempting to trash my bussiness.
DM/MP March 02, 2012 at 10:47 PM
If I were you Eric( or any other local business owner) I would never ever ever ever ever advertise with the Patch based on their liberal policy regarding character and business assassination.
Eric Lomando March 03, 2012 at 06:02 AM
views and opinions are one thing accusations and slander are another. But the greatness of the internet is that it allows people to say whatever they want with out having to look someone in the eye while they hide behind a screen name.
BillLongisland March 03, 2012 at 08:45 AM
DM/MP is a self-admitted Union Democrat, you see. As long as you agree with him on Everything, he tolerates your Existence, you are an approved poster and he likes you. If you don't agree with DM/MP, you are a "Village Idiot". This is what Union Democrats like DM/MP calls "Free Speech". Well it is "Free Speech" if you like in a totalitarian government like Venezuela, but he really doesn't feel comfortable in a republic form of Government, and Society like we have in the United States.
Henry Powderly (Editor) March 03, 2012 at 06:28 PM
The level of comments here is disappointing and in many cases violates our terms of use due to unsubstantiated accusations and personal attacks. We will be suspending some accounts as a result.
DM/MP March 03, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Thank you Henry.I understand and accept whateve comes my way.My apologies if I violated the TOS but it seemed like there was no one watching this thing.
Marian Larson March 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Eric...With cash, a bottle of wine and friends in tow, I am looking forward to dining at Orto soon. Cheers to the small business owner and welcome to Miller Place! :)
Captain Howard Hawrey March 04, 2012 at 02:08 AM
My question to you sir is? How do you distinguish between legitimate critical comments and personal attacks when allowing comments here? I don't have the answer myself. You my friend are in a difficult situation! The electronic highway is the good the bad and the ugly! How and when do you implement proper sensorship? I enjoy the patch and wish you well but this is a tough issue to tackle!
David March 04, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Ate there last week with 3 friends. food was only fair. Service was fair. Price was high for the relatively small serving sizes and food quality. Also cash only. Try the Bistro or Trattoria instead. They are wonderful. DMH
j corley March 04, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Just ate there an hour ago. Everything was pitch perfect. food, service, room, etc. If you love the bistro and the trattoria you will love orto. I think that negative comment was written by the owners of Blonde. It has no relation to the place I just had dinner at.
Eric Lomando March 05, 2012 at 04:26 PM
i appologize, for you being dissapointed with your experiance, we are working hard to get better and I am confident that we will. In the early days at both the bistro and trattoria we made plenty of mistakes and have since grown into very good consistent restauarnts.
Henry Powderly (Editor) March 05, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Absolutely, Captain, but we make it very clear in our terms that we can make those determinations at any time. The bottom line is we try to allow unfettered debate at all costs, but in the case of libel and defamation we have a zero tolerance policy. Open debate is important, and we believe all sides can still be heard in a way that treats all commenters and community members with respect.
Margaret Hargreaves March 08, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Are you considering an Eastrr Brunch or just dinner.....Plase send info on menus, etc.
aimee ankelman April 26, 2012 at 08:51 PM
My husband and I recently had dinner at Ortos with seven other couples. Needless to say we all will never dine their again. For starters, the waitress was rude and inpatient. She actually dropped a plate of food on my friend and was annoyed and unapologetic. The dinner was mediocre at best, and some of our orders were not correct. We had to keep sending drinks back to the bar because they were made incorrectly. Then to top it off the waitress gave us a bill that was ridiculously priced. When we questioned the bill, she said there was a mistake of $700!!!! These eight couples go out to dinner every weekend and will NEVER go back to Ortos again!

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