Sea Cliff restaurant to host benefit dinner


Foodies from Sea Cliff are in for a treat. On Tuesday, Jan. 16, The Crispy Pig, 243 Glen Cove Ave., Sea Cliff, is hosting a special dinner to benefit the Mutual Concerns Committee, a non-profit that supports seniors and needy individuals in the community.

The dinner consists of a five-course tasting menu and there will be two seatings — at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The cost is $75 per person with a cash bar. All proceeds will be donated to support programming for Mutual Concerns.

The restaurant’s owner, Mike Imbriano, approached committee president Peggie Como about sponsoring a benefit dinner in late December. He teamed up with chef Robert Springer, of Glen Head, to host the first-ever dinner to support Mutual Concerns.

“I had met Rob about a year and a half ago when he came to the restaurant,” Imbriano said. “He had been talking about wanting to do an event at Crispy Pig, so I thought what better way to give back to those who need food, than with food.”

Imbriano added that this was the first time a benefit dinner would be held to support the committee. “No other restaurant in the area has done an event like this,” he said. “It’s great to give back.”

The Imbriano family formerly owned an Italian grocery in the area, called Bon Appetito, and was always very involved in helping their community, according to Imbriano. He said the benefit dinner, however, is “dear to my heart.”

“So many people in the community need food, and Mutual Concerns does a great job to support those people,” he said.

Springer, like Imbriano, recognized the importance of the committee’s efforts in feeding those who are hungry.

“We may live in a wealthy community, but there are still people that need help, and who aren’t as fortunate,” he said. “This dinner will not only benefit the restaurant, but the community, and all around it will help quite a few people.”

Springer is a private caterer who is no stranger to preparing intimate tasting menus; he played guest chef at Chef’s Table, owned by Gary Lanza, in Locust Valley. He described the dishes for the dinner as “technical,” requiring about 12 to 16 hours of prep work in advance.

Diners will be treated to five sumptuous courses. The starting dish is a pumpkin soup with crème fraiche, hazelnut oil and toasted pepitas. A braised pork belly glazed with apple cider follows, sitting delicately atop shredded Napa cabbage and a parsnip puree. Course three features seared scallops, accompanied by a bright beet puree, faro, and colorful heirloom carrots. Roasted short rib and creamy polenta with earthy mushrooms rounds out course four, and for dessert — caramel bourbon donuts.

“It’s a nice opportunity to try different things,” Como said. “People have already been calling Mike to make reservations, so there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation for this new venture.”

Como added that she’s very grateful to Imbriano and Springer for supporting the committee in this unique way.

To make a reservation, call Imbriano at (516) 637-1411.