Meet the Chef: Deli Counter Owner Michael Mosolino

Michael Mosolino (second from right) and his staff
Michael Mosolino (second from right) and his staff

From humble beginnings come great things. Michael Mosolino, successful owner and chef at The Deli Counter in Southampton certainly had his share of struggles and heartbreak at a very early age—he ran away from home as a teenager. In fact, Mosolino turned his story into an inspiring memoir titled Come, My Darling, Come (published in 2009 by Amereon House) in hopes of reaching other youths who may unfortunately be facing a similar situation.

Despite Mosolino’s “humble beginnings,” his gourmet cuisine is anything but. With an impressive resumé including working alongside Ina Garten as well as hosting a cooking show for nearly 15 years—before cooking shows were popular (with the exception of Julia Child and a few other notables of course)—Michael’s awe-inspiring dishes are nothing short of fresh, flavorful and inimitable.

The Deli Counter is anything but your typical “deli.” This gourmet eatery offers up an attractive  menu of  fresh and savory choices daily. From the moment you walk through the door, the aroma of various foods takes over. The only question on your mind will be—“What should I order?”

There is no question why this is a popular lunch spot. With an elegant display of amazing choices including freshly grilled vegetables, bean salad, fresh tomato and mozzarella, succulent chicken dishes, homemade beef stew, perfectly cooked pizza, Stromboli and sandwiches named after famed chefs and culinary icons like Jacques Pepin, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Julia Child to name a few as well as other tempting options, there is something for everyone.

“I like to use whole ingredients from local farm stands and purveyors. I believe real tastes and real ingredients are what make ‘real’ flavors come together. I’m always experimenting and creating new dishes,” said Mosolino.

On the day I visited, Michael prepared an amazing sampling of culinary treats that I shared with my friends at the office—they were never so happy to see me as when I walked through the door that lunch time. Linguini with fresh clams, a hearty beef stew, several varieties of pizza, bean salad, asparagus Stromboli, grilled vegetables and assorted sandwiches were to our delight. It didn’t take long before the bountiful platter was emptied.

First on my plate was the beef stew, made with quality beef slow-cooked to perfection, carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs and spices—all the more delicious because of its robust brown gravy. Next up was the asparagus Stromboli—a heavenly combination of fresh asparagus, mozzarella and prosciutto baked in crisp dough. Although I was starting to feel full, I could not pass up the shrimp bisque. This creamy, hearty soup was well worth the added calories, but just to balance things off a bit, I shared in the grilled vegetables—zucchini, eggplant, peppers and mushrooms—which were delicious.

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a warm, filling bowl of soup and The Deli Counter prepares six different soups daily including specialties like Michael’s Famous Turkey Bisque, Tomato Shrimp Bisque, Chunky Chicken Noodle, New England Clam Chowder, Chile Con Carne, Lobster Bisque and Penna Dutch Chicken Pot Pie to name a few.

In addition to lunch, The Deli Counter also serves breakfast and their catering business is booming as well. Whether he’s catering a holiday party, wedding, anniversary, business event, school function or any special occasion, the options are endless. Mosolino can customize your special celebration.

Mosolino’s road to success, love and family is truly a remarkable journey. It’s hard to believe that this former runaway has accomplished so much against all odds. If you, like Mosolino, believes in “giving back,” then you will understand the genuineness of Mosolino and the love that is shared with his food, family, friends and of course his customers.

When it comes to being a successful chef you must have understanding and knowledge, be passionate and love what you do—and that defines Michael Mosolino.

Everyone at Dan’s concurred—the food at The Deli Counter is amazing! It’s one of our favorite lunch spots.

The Deli Counter, 623 Hampton Road, Southampton, 631-283-1774, 631-259-2987.

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