Carpaccio opens at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station

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It’s the year 2022. The mission: track down octopus carpaccio and a whole spritzer menu. And for that, you don’t drive to one of our quaint inner cities; Instead, you should go to the mall.

The Walt Whitman Shops at Huntington Station, specifically where the aptly named Carpaccio has taken up residence in the prominent space once occupied by BRIO, an early pandemic victim.

An airy space with clean lines, decorative tiling, and seating for 245, Carpaccio is a visually striking spot that seems to cater equally to shoppers having lunch and those avoiding retail for a night. While the name may be unfamiliar, Carpaccio’s culinary and decorative DNA is not: this is the reinvented Italian concept from Limani Hospitality Group, which also operates Limani in Roslyn, Limani Taverna in Woodbury and Limani Grille in Commack. “This is our first restaurant in a mall and when the opportunity presented itself, we didn’t say no,” said the group’s partner and CEO, Franco Sukaj.

While longtime chef Peter Spyropoulus runs the Greek-influenced seafood Limani chain, behind the staff of Carpaccio is chef Massimiliano Francucci, a Caprico native who last worked at Prime 1024 in Roslyn. Sukaj said Francucci had a loose take on Italian cuisine, and indeed the dense, bistro-style menu covers a wide spectrum from Italian-American (chicken parm) to Mediterranean (grilled squid) to regional Italian (risotto with mushrooms).

As the name suggests, there are several variations of carpaccio on the menu — beef, yellowtail, salmon, and squid — but that’s just a starting point for an offering that also includes pizza, salumi boards, salads, appetizers like mussels, oreganata, three types includes meatballs (including veal) and appetizers galore (shrimp stuffed with crab and mozzarella, grilled branzino, filet mignon, chicken piccata). Some pastas, like fettuccine, pappardelle, and ravioli, are made in-house; A few full American dishes, including lobster mac-and-cheese, also make appearances. Prices range from $14 to $22 for appetizers, salads, and meatballs; $16 to $22 for a choice of six pizzas; and $23 to $59 for the larger meat and fish entrees.

Equally notable is the drinks menu, anchored by a range of spritzes and modern twists on classic cocktails, along with a handful of beers and 18 wines by the glass.

Sukaj said about 50 people have been hired for the company, which is still in the soft opening phase. There’s also plenty on the menu: branzino ceviche, panini, cauliflower crust pizza, and a weekend brunch are all coming soon.

Limani devotees will find at least one familiar dish on Carpaccio’s menu: the tenderly fried zucchini and eggplant, which could cause a riot if they were ever eliminated. However, Francucci gives it an Italian touch in the carpaccio and serves it with fried mozzarella.

Carpaccio is available daily for lunch and dinner at The Walt Whitman Shops at 160 Walt Whitman Rd, Huntington Station; 631-479-3816.

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