“Stresa is my life” said Giorgio Meriggi, the 73-year-old co-owner of the landmark restaurant in Manhasset, a sentiment shared by his 69-year-old partner Tony D’Arcangelo. The two of them have successfully operated Stresa for over a quarter of a century, quite an accomplishment in the volatile Long Island restaurant business where most restaurants close within a few short years.
Now Stresa, which has always been a culinary and financial success (especially in the last six to seven years), was sold to Antonio D’Anna of Arturo’s in Floral Park. He closed Arturo’s (which opened in 1961) at the year’s end and will take over Stresa on Feb.1.
This upscale restaurant had an army of admirers and steady customers, including Susan Lucci, Billy Joel, former Senator Alphonse D’Amato, the late Alan King and Mario Cuomo as well as his son Andrew, the present governor of New York State. Yes, Stresa had become more than a restaurant, it became an institution.
The good news is the new owner plans to keep Stresa on its present course, to operate it exactly as Meriggi and D’Arcangelo have.
To do that D’Anna is bringing his three sons aboard. Two will work in the kitchen and one will act as a maitre d’hotel. He is also bringing on a pastry chef who will duplicate Meriggi’s efforts each morning in preparing the desserts. Yet, Arturo’s will have some visibility at Stresa through the daily specials being offered in addition to the inherited Stresa menu. Among the specials that are popular at Arturo’s are rigatoni with pink sauce and salmon and layers of crepes with alternating vegetables and meats including tomato, spinach and salami. These are dishes that might entice Arturo’s regulars to make their way to Stresa.