Port Jefferson Station’s L.I. Pour House has reinvented itself as an all-new, Southern-inspired restaurant called Mr. P’s Southern Skillet.
Everything happened this month.
A large part of the transformation was bringing on executive chef Anthony Citarella, who has over 25 years of experience in the culinary field.
“The way he has revamped the menu is amazing,” said Mr. P’s owner, Anthony Pallino. “It’s great quality food served with classiness.”
Before taking on this role, Citarella worked in restaurants across the U.S., including Long Island eateries such as Patchogue’s Locale Gastro Bar & Pizzette, Smithtown’s Insignia Prime Steak & Sushi and Massapequa’s Taste American Grill.
He even traveled to Yucatan, Mexico, for training.
His passion for creating his own dishes started in his teenage years.
“I began working in the industry at 17 years old, working for Calamari Kitchen in Commack,” said the Dix Hills resident. “I learned so much there and started feeling the love for what I do.”
Cooking in Commack prompted attend Johnson & Wales University, where he graduated the culinary program in 2000, second in his class.
Before being hired in Port Jeff Station, Citarella was cooking in the South. In 2006, he helped launch a seafood restaurant in North Carolina called Fishy Fishy Cafe.
“To this day, they still use the menu I made,” said Citarella, who worked for that restaurant for two years.
Now, the 42-year-old chef is focused on his new menu at Mr. P’s, a menu he describes as “Southern comfort food with eclectic American.”
Some of his favorite dishes include the pork chop with sweet potato hash, 20 oz. cowboy ribeye with bacon shallot and herb butter, and chicken and waffles.
All the entrees on the menu also boast the location of the farms at which the animals were raised.
“I wanted that farm-to-table feel,” Citarella explained. “In the South, there are so many farms, and I wanted to bring that feel here.”
As for appetizers, there’s the spinach artichoke dip, fried pickles and large Bavarian pretzel.
But his favorite is the spicy Southern shrimp.
“It’s a buttery hot sauce with charred bread; it’s excellent,” said the chef.
“I like to describe us as down-home cooking,” he added, “great personalities, with great generosity of spirit.’
Scroll down to see photos from his dishes at Mr. P’s.