Gaspare Marrali and his father Anthony Marrali always knew their culinary niche in Babylon Village was a little bit different. Although Pronto was initially billed as a regional Sicilian Italian eatery, over the six years of operation the family-owned restaurant had become increasingly diversified.
"We've always had a popular happy hour, with half-priced drinks, and a small plates bar menu, and we always did burgers and steaks, but now we've changed the name to reflect the direction we've been going in," explains the younger Marrali, who manages the business. His Sicilian-born father mans the kitchen, and the family, who live in Copiague, had been considering the revamp for over a year.
"It was time to upgrade," says Marrali. "We always have to keep evolving. We've been watching the new places opening in the village, and we wanted our name and look to reflect our menu."
Bistro 111 will continue in the very casual vein of its predecessor, and the menu is more expansive, with dinner pizzas—the Pizza Barese for $12 features broccoli rabe, sausage and mozzarella cheese—joining salads, small plates and larger entrees like Sea Bass in Bianco ($21), a 12 ounce strip steak ($22), and Florentine Chicken ($17). The southern Italian bent is still evident in appetizers like Crispy Artichoke Hearts ($7) and Eggplant Rollatini ($8). A new craft beer menu will join the drink options.
A grand opening is planned for after Labor Day, with a special tasting menu and other events.