Toto’s Restaurant – Super new Italian steakhouse offering the most mouth-watering cuisine on the South Shore
Located right next to the Jones Beach Hotel in Wantagh, Toto’s Restaurant, an Italian steakhouse, opened 5 months ago.
When it comes to Long Island’s crowded South Shore culinary landscape, it takes something special to stand out, but that’s exactly what the owner of Toto’s Restaurant – a brand new restaurant in Wantagh – says he does. brings to the table.
Located right next to the Jones Beach Hotel at 3275 Byron Street in Wantagh, Toto’s Restaurant – an Italian steakhouse – opened about 5 months ago. However, owner Tom Ulaj can boast of an impressive career as a restaurateur, having owned a different restaurant in the same location for several years before selling it.
“I originally opened a restaurant at Jones Beach Hotel called Per Un Angelo in 2000 … I ran it for about 15 years, sold it, then took it over about a year ago.” , did he declare. “It was originally an Italian restaurant, but I turned it into an A1 quality Italian steakhouse because I already own a successful Italian restaurant in Bellmore called Villa D’Aqua, and I just wanted to do something about it a little different for customers, create another success.
Tom describes Toto’s cuisine as a “high end product”, but maintains that the price remains affordable and fair given the high quality of its menu. But even relying on word of mouth so far, Tom said business is already booming and many diners have already become loyal customers.
“We have a lot of customers coming back time and time again, and that makes me feel very, very good and proud,” he said. “I can say that we are going to be a very successful restaurant from the first comments I have received. So far I have to say that 95% of our customers keep coming back.
Prior to Toto’s, Tom owned up to eight restaurants throughout his career; he entered the business as a young man 53 years ago and over time has owned numerous establishments in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester County and New Jersey, before finally moving to Seaford, Long Island 21 years ago.
“I like catering,” he says. “I was very successful and I was very lucky, but I also put a lot of effort into it to be successful. And thank goodness I made it this far.
There has been a lot more effort to transform Per Un Angelo into Toto’s Restaurant than just changing its name; a whole new menu had to be concocted to accompany Tom’s unique vision for an Italian steakhouse, and to that end he recruited Executive Chef Enko Purisic, a gentleman with over 30 years of experience preparing dishes appetizing in countless restaurants.
“I was very lucky to find Enko to be my best executive chef, and I worked closely with him to come up with a new menu for Toto’s,” said Tom. “Enko has also been very successful with Italian restaurants. So we got together and put together a menu that we believe will make us one of the best steakhouses on the South Shore of Long Island. “
Enko, who is also a co-owner of Toto’s, has worked at numerous restaurants over the years – including a Manhattan restaurant owned by famous actor Chazz Palminteri – and was kind enough to review some of the signature dishes he has. created so that Toto’s stands out from the competition.
“I’ve been an executive chef at many Italian restaurants and steakhouses over the years, and wanted to come up with something new that would combine these two concepts,” he said. “We have great fish – including calamari, shellfish and lobster – and all the top quality A1 USA meats including sirloin, porterhouses, New York strip loin, chateaubriand. and the rack of domestic lamb. And we also have wonderful pasta for Italian dishes and delicious homemade desserts including cheesecakes, creme brulee, pancakes and much more.
Another indispensable member of Tom’s staff is his managing director and co-owner, Milla Vukmanovic, who he said he turned from a career in music to come and work for him.
“She’s a big, big help in my restaurant,” he said. “She’s been working for me for 13 years and she’s very successful in the restaurant business, even though she actually has a PhD in Music! But I changed my mind about coming to work for me, and she’s a big plus for my business.
Toto’s main dining room comfortably seats 65 people; In addition, the establishment has two other rooms, including an outdoor dining room and a space for the organization of parties supported by the restaurant, which represents an important part of Toto’s activities at the present time. As business grows, Tom noted, the party room can also be used as a second dining room when needed.
In addition, Toto’s also has a very well stocked bar – with a second bar currently in preparation for a lounge located at the front door, where people can enjoy a drink while waiting for their table – and an extensive wine selection. , with more than 150 different vintages to choose from.
Tom said Toto’s had what is basically called the business as a “soft opening” 5 months ago, which means he avoided advertising the new establishment in order to leave it to his own. staff have time to do things perfectly. But now he thinks it’s time to start spreading the word about the culinary delights people can expect to encounter when they walk through the door of Toto’s restaurant.
Toto’s is open six days a week for lunch and dinner, the only day of the week they are currently closed is Monday; However, this may change depending on demand. During the week, the doors open at 12:00 p.m. and at 1:00 p.m. on weekends.
Currently, between the management of Villa D’Aqua in Bellmore and Toto’s restaurant in Wantagh, Tom has stated that he has no other aspirations at the moment to open other restaurants, but rather wants focus on Toto’s reaching its full potential as the premier Italian steakhouse on Long Island.
“I will try to keep what I have, try to be successful, try to please my clients as much as possible,” he said. “And no matter how good our restaurant may seem to someone, when you actually come and visit for yourself, it will be even better than you expected. I encourage you to come and try Toto’s restaurant, I promise you will enjoy it and look forward to coming back. ”
To learn more about Toto Restaurant and to make a reservation for lunch or dinner, please call 516-783-6484 or visit their website at TotosRestaurantLI.com.