The holiday season will be different from anything we've experienced. But we can still enjoy a festive meal, raise a toast and find those perfect gifts for friends and family.
In this guide, we highlight New York City or Long Island restaurants owned or operated by alumni as well as books, albums or art with an Adelphi connection. (Check each dining establishment’s website for updates.)
The Gift of Great Food
If you or someone you know lives in, or plans to visit, New York City, try these alumni-owned restaurants.
- Nick Livanos ’81 and family are established restaurateurs, with three renowned Manhattan restaurants. Oceana, the flagship of the Livanos Restaurant Group near Rockefeller Center, offers American seafood and an award-winning wine list. Molyvos is known throughout Manhattan for its rustic Greek country cooking. Ousia, their newest, offers Greek-focused Mediterranean cuisine.
- For pizza and cocktails, you can stop at Tom Basile, MBA ’92‘s Osteria Cotta Winebar and Restaurant in Manhattan. Here, you can dine on oven pizzas, small plates and entrées, and have your pick of artisanal cocktails, wine, and craft beer selections. At Basile’s Carroll Place, located in the West Village, you can feast on a variety of Italian specialties and browse an extensive drink list.
These alumni own eateries in Nassau or Suffolk counties.
- In the mood for Mexican food? Or is ice cream more your thing? Either way, Matthew Tesoriero ’07 has you covered. Tesoriero is co-owner of Garden City’s Guac Shop Mexican Grill, which offers large portions of healthy Mexican food. He is also co-owner of Spoons Ice Cream & Cereal Bar, located in Seaford, where you can get custom soft-serve ice cream and milkshakes.
- Curbside Mexican Grill, operated by Brandon Porcasi ’17 and his brother, Ryan, offers Americanized, Tex-Mex dishes as well as more authentic Mexican fare.
- Joseph DiVittorio, MBA ’87, is the owner of Eddie’s Pizza in New Hyde Park, where you can get thin-crust, customized and made-to-order pizzas.
- If you’re vegan or looking for nutritious, sustainable food, try the great-tasting dishes at Plant Wise in Dix Hills, co-founded by Pamela Kambanis ’12.
- Vincent Minutella ’97 relaunched O’Donnell’s as the Black Sheep Ale House in 2011. Located in Mineola, it’s a great place to grab a bite from the food truck or meet with friends for craft beers and food, either inside or in the new outdoor beer garden.
- Co-owned by Bradley Finn ’13, Destination Unknown in Bay Shore is an award-winning brewery with a brewing style that incorporates a “thoughtful mix of old and new.” Pop in for good food and great beer.
- Take a drive out to Southold, to Cynthia Rosicki ’82‘s Sparkling Pointe vineyard. You may visit to taste or purchase their quality wines and tour their vineyard.
In addition to patronizing alumni-owned establishments, it’s a great time to support restaurants and other businesses that offer discounts to the Adelphi community through our Panther Partnership Program.
The Gift of a Good Book
- Katherine Hill, assistant professor of English, teaches creative writing and literature to undergraduate and MFA students. She is the author of two novels, The Violet Hour (2013) and A Short Move (2020), the latter of which was reviewed this year in The New York Times and Newsday, among other publications.
- Alice Hoffman ’73, ’02 (Hon.), has written fiction for children, young adults and adults, and one memoir. Her latest book, Magic Lessons (2020), is a prequel to the popular Practical Magic (1995), which was made into a 1998 feature film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.
- Jacqueline Woodson ’16 (Hon.) is a multiple award-winning author of books for young adults, preteens and children. Her latest, Before the Ever After (2020), is described by the publisher as a “stirring novel-in-verse exploring how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed, and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies.”
- Scott James ’84 is a best-selling author of two novels and a three-time Emmy Award winner for his work in television news. In Trial by Fire: A Devastating Tragedy, 100 Lives Lost, and a 15-Year Search for Truth (2020), he investigates the case of the deadly fire in a Rhode Island nightclub that claimed the lives of 100 concertgoers.
The Gift of Great Music
- Danielle Vita ’05 is part of the Americana-infused country-folk duo Corn Nut Creek, which features Vita on fiddle and vocals and Tanya Bradley on banjo. Their EP Feels Like Travelling Home tells raw stories of womanhood.
- Taylor Ackley ’12 is a performer, composer, scholar of American folk music, adjunct professor and director of Taylor Ackley and the Deep Roots Ensemble. On their second album, Hard Tellin’, the group performs traditional American music on a mix of folk and classical instruments ranging from banjo and dobro to French horn and bassoon.
- Christopher Trietsch ’17 plays, composes for and makes his own ukuleles. Beginning Today, his album of his own ukulele compositions, is based on the sights and sounds of Long Island.
- If you’re a classical music lover, the Chamber Orchestra of New York has done all of their recordings in the Adelphi Concert Hall.
- Paul Moravec, DMA, Pulitzer Prize-winning University professor, has composed numerous orchestral, chamber, choral, operatic, and lyric pieces. His most recent, the oratorio Sanctuary Road, was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. Visit his website to learn more about his work and listen to samples.
And, of course, Adelphi University Performing Arts Center gift cards let recipients choose the performances they’d like to see.
The Gift of Art
- J’nell Jordan ’09 is a painter who specializes in art she hopes will “uplift your spirit.” On her website, you can view her work and shop. If you’d like a custom painting, contact her at email@example.com.
- According to the Etsy shop of MaryEllen Hackett ’10, the landscape artist and ranger is “inspired by my experiences of finding my place in the public landscapes that are America’s national parks.”
- If you’ve watched MTV Sneaker Wars, you may have seen Jill Forie ’11 win her sneaker-design challenge. Forie will customize your own pair of footwear for you. Check out Sink or Swim Custom Kicks on Instagram, then shoot her a DM or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lauren Skelly Bailey ’12, MA ’14, offers what she describes as “funktional and sculptural” items. Browse her site, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, email her at email@example.com to commission a piece.
- Ikerson Hopper ’14 draws inspiration from his Onondaga heritage to create T-shirts and hoodies decorated with meaningful tribal symbols. You can purchase them on his ArtistsUntold website.
- Hoa Vu ’17 is a graphic designer, photographer and animal rescuer. Send her a photo of your pet and she’ll create a custom portrait, with proceeds going to Waggytail Rescue. DM her @whisker_land.