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New Local Restaurant Is A Family Affair

45 Shore Road in Port Washington has been the home of two successful restaurants. On July 22, it will begin its third life as Tramonto, with new owners Jeannette Rodriguez, German Rodriguez and Patricia Bunch. Executive Chef Johnny Giordani, who was in charge of the kitchen during the restaurant’s previous incarnation as Brio, will remain in the same capacity.

Jeannette and German Rodriguez are husband and wife and Patricia Bunch is German’s sister. They say their objective is to create a warm and inviting Italian restaurant with moderate prices.  For now, the menu will remain pretty much the same as it has been, although the chef will start “tweaking some of the classics to provide a more modern twist,” says German Rodriguez. “We will also try to make changes to the menu frequently so that it is never boring, but we will keep old favorites.”

This is the first restaurant for the family.  They were inspired during a trip to Santa Margarita on the Italian Riviera to think about opening a restaurant, re-creating the atmosphere and food they experienced during their trip.  Port Washington, with its location on Manhasset Bay, reminded them of the Italian Riviera. Although they are accountants by training, when the site became available, they couldn’t resist.

One of the three owners will be in the dining room at all times and, for the most part, family members make up the rest of the staff; waiting tables, busing and assisting in the kitchen.

“For us, this is a dream come true and we are putting in as many hours as it takes to make this a success.  We don’t expect it to be easy, but we are not afraid of hard work.”

Tramonto’s has a room for private parties that can accommodate up to 85 people, valet parking and take-out service. There is also a Prixe Fix menu daily. Although the restaurant has been operating continuously since the sale, the grand opening will be on July 22. The festivities will start with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner for local mayors at six and an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. for the public. “We want to introduce ourselves to the community and give them an opportunity to sample the new menu items,” said Bunch.