Joe Ciminera
Barilla Italian Luncheon
Joe Ciminera
Sea Grille at Gurney’s Inn & Spa
Montauk, NY

Friday, June 15, 12:00 noon
Members $55, guests $65

In Joe Ciminera’s Italian-American household, every holiday, every day, for that matter, was celebrated with a different feast, lovingly prepared by his Italian grandmothers. "I grew up in a household in which food was the answer to every problem," Ciminera recently told Wendy Philcox of the National Culinary Review. "Basically all we did was cook and eat, cook and eat! It was a way of life." At his restaurant, the Sea Grille at Gurney’s Inn, Ciminera has maintained his childhood love of food in his lighthearted but heartily flavored menu.

Hoping to make the kitchen his career, Ciminera enrolled in the French Culinary Institute. After graduation, he completed a six-month apprenticeship under chef Vincenzo Provino at the Albergo Venezia hotel in Milan. Moving back to New York, Ciminera worked in the kitchens of Le Cirque, Les Célébrités, and Le Petit Bijou. After helping to create the Midtown iteration of Carmine’s, he began making his way east, first revamping Brooklyn’s Abbraciamento. Next were stints at Long Island’s Villa Dora and the prestigious Village Club at the Guggenheim family’s Sands Point estate. Ciminera was then hired by Gurney’s Inn, founded in 1926. His youthful enthusiasm and the Inn’s historical setting were an unexpected but highly successful match; packed from opening day, the restaurant was named 2000 Number One Restaurant in Montauk by Dan’s Paper. "I was so taken by the combination of flavors and textures, I was almost in tears," wrote freelance restaurant critic Yvette Somekh. In Newsday, Peter Gianotti called Ciminera’s cooking "visually vibrant with tastes that frequently rival the presentation." Julia McCornick, a critic for Gourmet, called his food "out of the ordinary," and his presentations "grand."

For those diners looking to add a little more imagination to their home kitchens, Ciminera recently launched his own cable television show, Joseph Plays with Food, which showcases imaginative interpretations of classical Italian flavors such as his "Italian Sushi," tricolor risotto in a calamari tube. Ciminera’s whimsical nature and visual flair have made him a TV favorite. "Move over, Emeril, Now Joseph Plays with Food," enthused local writer Ken Giustino. "[Ciminera’s] quick wit combined with his good looks and exquisite skills make the cameras love him."

Schedule a play date for this Friday lunch. Your palate will thank you.


Assorted House-Made Sausages, Black Truffles, and Three Onions on Grilled Tuscan Bread

Crêpes filled with Pork, Veal, Broccoli Rabe, Grana Padano, and Whipped Mascarpone

Vine-Ripe Tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella Drizzled with Extra-Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil and 50-Year-Old Balsamic Vinegar

Andy Field Reserve Chardonnay 1998

Alternating Red and Yellow Chioggia Beets with Angelica Peppers in a Basket
Andy Field Reserve Chardonnay 1998

Barilla Pappardelle over Confit of Farm-Raised Guinea Hen
Hargrave Cabernet Franc 1998

Sweet Potato–Wrapped Chilean Sea Bass with Sea Urchin Cream and Sweet Pea Compote
William Hill Chardonnay 1999

Basil, Roasted-Pepper, and White Potato Gelati
Duck Walk Aphrodite Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 1998


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