New Yorkers looking further afield for culinary delights may enjoy a visit to Monroe’s, a new Marilyn-themed restaurant in Westbury, as the Long Island Press reports.
“Not only is the restaurant itself inspired by the legendary film career of actress Marilyn Monroe, but it is backed by part-time actor/restaurateur Tony Vitucci, who has also owned the venerable Tesoro Ristorante, also in Westbury, since 1981.
‘I was always a big fan of Marilyn Monroe and I wanted to make this restaurant a tribute of sorts to her,’ Vitucci said about the venue on Post Avenue that took the place of Benny’s Ristorante, an Italian American spot that closed in 2019 after more than 30 years. Monroe’s, which opened last July, features a sculpture of the actress along with prints, photos, memorabilia, and a full bar featuring Monroe movie-inspired cocktails such as Monkey Business and the Bombshell Mule.
Vitucci, now 65, originally studied dentistry but ended up in the restaurant business ‘by accident,’ he said, and spent more than four decades in the business. ‘I didn’t mean to get into the restaurant business, it just kind of happened … I also got involved with cooking during this time, but I was mostly working in front,’ he says.
But when it came to acting, he said, ‘I really took a liking to acting,’ and it became a passion that would end up coexisting with his career in the restaurant business. He started out while attending college in Stony Brook, landing parts in soap operas including One Life to Live and continuing with small parts on the TV series Law & Order. His movie credits include Analyze That, Laugh Killer Laugh, and Dreamland. Most recently he played Joe Pesci’s bodyguard in the 2019 movie The Irishman.
The restaurant’s menu is an eclectic mix of American classics and continental fare. Specials include marinated skirt steak, potato-crusted Atlantic salmon, heritage pork chop, tuna poke, branzino, roasted chicken, baby back ribs, and Italian classics such as lasagna Bolognese and chicken Parmigiana.”