Dining Features

Mario Maccioni of Circo Dishes on Hamptons Eats

“The food that defines summer on the East End would be the local bounty from the sea,” says Mario Maccioni, owner of Circo in Southampton. Newly opened this season, Circo serves upscale Italian fare with Tuscan influences. Here, Maccioni discusses the importance of taking advantage of seasonal ingredients.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Dan’s Taste of Summer this year?
My wife Maria and I are most looking forward to participating in Dan’s Taste of Summer for the first time. We have never been to the event before and will introduce our restaurant to everyone at the event.

One dish that everyone should try at least once:
Anyone must try fresh sea urchin tagliatelle at least once in their life. Although not a local resource, the velvety taste of sea urchin combined with a little tomato and cream screams of the sea.

What is the best pairing of food and Long Island beer? Long Island wine?
The best pairing of Long Island food and wine would have to be a local rosé with local scallops, simply grilled with black pepper and garlic

If you were to eat at your restaurant as a guest, what would you order?
We most often prefer our local green salad and a grilled Long Island black sea bass. Not only is it good, but it is good for you.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors on Friday, July 17, and continues on Saturday, July 18, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, both at Sayre Park, 156 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the trio of events on August 22 in Cutchogue. For more information on all three events, including tickets and VIP packages, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.

Describe the adrenaline of a Hamptons kitchen.
Working in a Hamptons kitchen is an exercise in controlled chaos. The crush of the weekend diners requires the best of one’s strength, skill and concentration

The perfect drink for a summer night:
The perfect drink for a summer night is a mint julep

If you had two forks in your hands right now, what would you like to stick them in?
I would stick one in a plate of fresh pasta with tomato sauce and a local green salad

Favorite East End-inspired meal?
A mixed plate of fried local oysters, local clams and local scallops

What is your favorite local ingredient?
Our favorite local ingredients are the vegetables from The Green Thumb

What is your favorite aspect of being part of the culinary culture on the East End?
The relaxed atmosphere of the dining scene

Where do you find inspiration?
We find our inspiration in and out of the kitchen in the satisfied faces of our customers

If you were to pack a meal for the beach, what are three things you’d bring?
If we were to pack a meal for the beach we would take a bottle of local rosé and some prosciutto sandwiches

A great meal always begins with:
A great meal always begins with a table full of family members

Circo, 268 Elm Street, Southampton. 631-283-2343, circosouthampton.com

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton presented by Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors on Friday, July 17, and continues on Saturday, July 18, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, both at Sayre Park, 156 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the trio of events on August 22 in Cutchogue. For more information on all three events, including tickets and VIP packages, visit DansTasteofSummer.com.

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