One of the longest-running restaurants in Sag Harbor is known for its focaccia — and you may have mistakenly thought that it closed. But Espresso Da Asporto, which opened on Division Street in 1992 and relocated to Main Street five years ago, was merely on hiatus this past winter. “A lot of people still don’t realize that we’re open,” said co-owner Danny Cheng. “We had a late start. We’re open and we’re going to stay open year-round.”
The Sag Harbor institution is known, largely, for its focaccia sandwiches, which are prepared on handmade bread and served with a host of dressings for dipping. “We serve all the locals in the wintertime, and, in the summer, we cater to everyone, including people on the boats,” Cheng said. He and Rich Camacho own Espresso together, which also serves pizza and pasta dinners and offers an extensive catering program. “We have a really large catering menu,” he said. “Give us a day or two. We have very generous-sized catering portions. We’re really known for our famous focaccia sandwiches.”
Once the afterschool stomping ground of the Pierson crowd, Espresso Da Asporto relocated when the building that originally housed it was sold. The spirit, however, remained the same: a convivial atmosphere, and delicious, casual, homemade food. Catering runs the gamut, including antipasto, salad, pasta, and sandwiches. I’d be remiss not to mention a large tiramisu platter. For $85, a hungry traveler can invest in a large serving of the stuff. Happily, to my mind, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing, tiramisu included.
From 11 AM to 3 PM daily, the restaurant runs an affordable series of lunch specials, featuring, among other items, a jumbo slice of pizza for $3.70; a 3/4 parmigiana hero for $8.99; penne Bolognese for $10.95; homemade spinach ravioli in tomato sauce for $11.95; penne a la vodka for $10.95; and a sautéed steak sandwich for $10.95. But the regular menu focaccia sandwiches run somewhere between $12.95 for the Espresso combo (Genoa salami, ham, capicola, fontina, provolone, mixed greens, tomatoes, and sweet pickled peppers) and $15.95 for the grilled salmon (with arugula and sliced onions). Me, I’m a sweet Italian sausage and broccoli rabe kind of girl. Take my word for it.
Still, there are other ways to go at Espresso Da Asporto, and you won’t leave disappointed. There are calzones, for instance, as well as a host of pizzas, which you can order at the kitchen’s choosing. You can also build your own. Pasta is predictable, but I’m ok with predictable when it comes to pasta. Sometimes, you just need a plate of carbonara. Sometimes, only linguine with white clam sauce will do the trick. There is a full compendium of options available, a pasta suitable for every single palate.
There was, of course, some confusion this past year, when Espresso took a break. Some in the community believed it to be a forever break. Cheng cannot emphasize this enough: Espresso Da Asporto is open for business, and its focaccia is just as good as it has ever been. Summer may be ending, right before our very eyes, but Espresso will be here as the August days fade into September. You may crave a cool sandwich today, but before long, you’ll want something warm, straight from the oven. I know where to send you, friends. It’s a place that has been there all along.