It started with a pharmacy and discount store on City Island in 2018 (Island Pharmacy and Discount). Three years later, Anthony D’Angelo changed locations, dropping the pharmacy aspect of the business and focusing on discounted household and other products.
“My wife was born and raised here on City Island,” D’Angelo says, speaking of Terese MacIndoe. The couple have two children – Anthony, who is almost three, and Victoria, who was born June 28 (after this interview). “Why stay on City Island? I love it and want to be part of the community.”
While at the pharmacy, D’Angelo thought of something else he wanted to be part of: an Italian deli. “I dreamed about it in fact,” he told the City Island Chamber of Commerce. A push from Patrick (Pat) Labatte, now his business partner, made that a reality. The two now co-own A Taste of Italy, which officially opened in March 2022.
They started by testing personal pies, made in a small oven. Then they got bigger ovens, and started serving pies and slices, as well as calzone and garlic knots. There is a full deli (Boar’s Head cold cuts and imported meats and cheeses, along with mozzarella made fresh daily), as well as catering and specialty items, such as a variety of fresh and packaged Italian goods, including imported cheeses, olives, pasta, bread, cookies and more. They serve up a hearty breakfast sandwich with fresh-cut bacon.
“We’re two families serving families,” D’Angelo said. And anyone who steps inside can see and feel the camaraderie.
And the Labattes are the other family, sons Pat (co-owner) and Nicholas, along with mom Georgette and dad Pat Sr. work at A Taste of Italy. The oldest Labatte son is an attorney in New York City. What’s it like working with family? Pat offers: “Nothing better.” And he says about the D’Angelos, “Blood couldn’t make us closer.”
Pat grew up on City Island, and is grateful for the community for their support. His favorite pizza? “I’m a plain slice guy,” he told the Chamber of Commerce.
His mom Georgette likes the chicken parmigiana pizza. But notes that A Taste of Italy sells a lot of margherita pizza, and “a lot of people like prosciutto on their pizza.” On the sandwich menu, the Al Capone sandwich (chicken cutlet and the deli’s own daily freshmade mozzarella) is a big seller.
Terese, D’Angelo’s wife, worked in the City Island Pharmacy at age 13, and loves the fact that her husband opened a business here. Her favorite pizza: pepperoni; favorite sandwich: Italian combo. “The community is the best part,” she says, adding that she loves her children growing up around everyone. “Little Anthony even sweeps sometimes, with his little broom and dust pan,” she laughs. “He loves it.”
“Customers are the best part of the day,” says D’Angelo.
Adds Pat Labatte: “We invite everyone to come and visit – and have ‘a taste of Italy.’”
A Taste of Italy is located at 250 City Island Avenue, City Island, NY, and is open Mondays through Saturdays, 9 AM to 7 PM, and Sundays, 11 AM to 6 PM. Learn more on their website: https://atasteofitalycityisland.com/, or contact them by phone: 718-885-0919.