If you thought you couldn’t get a taste of the Olympics at home, all you have to do is take a drive up Mineola Boulevard.
, formerly , recently and is bringing the Olympic spirit to Mineola Blvd.
It was the idea of George Echeverria, executive chef and owner of Andiamo. A football fanatic, Echeverria has loved sports since he was a child and loved the idea of going out with friends to watch Monday Night Football with a plate of wings and a beer.
He wanted to combine that atmosphere with his love of the Olympics in a way he didn’t get at restaurants at which he previously worked.
“The Olympics should be just as big as the Super Bowl here,” he said.
What Andiamo is doing is offering their customers an Olympic special that runs any time the Olympics are being televised – essentially, all day. Anyone who sits at the bar or at a table near the bar where the TV can be seen gets 50 percent off any regular menu item and drink.
“The idea was that here you can have the sports event with good Italian food and wine for about the same price as wings and a beer,” he said. “And you also get a nice, classy atmosphere.”
Andiamo hopes this discount will also encourage customers to try things they’ve never had before. Since the menu is “modern and classic Italian,” it has everything from gnocchi and lasagna to chutneys and frog legs.
“People could try new things,” Echeverria said. “Maybe you’re not willing to try something weird for $12, you can get for $6 instead. So maybe you’ll try it, and if you don’t like it, it was only $6.”
He hopes customers will take to the new types of dishes the way he took to the new types of Olympic sports.
“I love the Olympics because you get to learn about sports you normally wouldn’t care about,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the trampoline one. It’s strange, but it seems really cool.”
Echeverria also hopes this will be a good way to . The restaurant is family-owned, with Echeverria’s relatives working alongside him.
Working previously at the Zagat-rated Soigne in Woodmere and the highly rated Panamahatties in Huntington, Echeverria came to PastaVino as a consultant chef, buying the restaurant in February after it switched names.
“Because of my strong culinary background, everything is made on premise,” he said. “What makes us different is that you can come in with a party, we can take care of the picky eaters and impress the more adventurous palates.”