The dining room at Pulcinella’s on the Green in Wading River. (Credit: Tara Smith)
A well-loved Italian restaurant has migrated east from Massapequa.
Pulcinella Neapolitan Restaurant recently opened a second location, Pulcinella on the Green, at The Rock Golf Club in Wading River.
The restaurant is the brainchild of co-owner and chef Ciro Tursi, a Naples-born hospitality veteran with decades of experience. “It’s a passion,” Tursi said. “I started in the business when I was 13.”
In Italy, Tursi owned and operated his own restaurant for more than 20 years before moving to the United States, where he continued working in restaurants. With a partner, Tursi first opened Pulcinella pizzeria in Massapequa and later expanded to the full restaurant about 10 blocks away. This is his second venture out-east: Pulcinella also briefly operated a satellite location in Montauk.
The menu is an homage to his Neapolitan roots, featuring many classic pasta dishes featuring homemade orecchiette ($29), pappardelle ($32) and cavatelli ($29).
There are also creative takes, like the egg roll pulcinella stuffed with broccoli rabe, crumbled house-made sausage and fresh mozzarella served with tomato sauce ($18) and Agnolotti Pulcinella, homemade half-moon shaped pasta stuffed with ricotta and spinach in a light brown sauce with cream, crumbled sausage, mushroom and truffle oil ($31).
Another favorite signing? Freshly made pasta tossed inside of a hollowed-out wheel of parmesan tableside.
The menu also features salads, seafood, chicken and veal dishes.
“We try to do traditional recipes, respect the original recipes and the Motherland,” Tursi said with a smile.
The restaurant name is also a tribute to his Italian roots: Pulcinella is a classical character born in Naples in the 17th century and a traditional Neapolitan carnival mask that symbolizes the carefree side of life.
Tursi has a Pulcinella mask on display inside of the eatery, which underwent minor renovations including a fresh coat of paint before launching its soft opening two weeks ago.
The sleek, modern bistro is elegant and approachable with an exposed-brick wall behind the bar and creative light fixtures in each area of the restaurant. There is plenty of seating inside, but no outdoor dining is currently offered.
Both the golf course and restaurant space — formerly occupied by Blackwells and Pure North Fork — are operational again after nearly three years of dormancy.
The 132-acre golf course was purchased by business partners Chris Vene and Anthony Lomangino in 2021 and recently reopened after extensive improvements were made to the hilly course named for a giant boulder on the green.
Vene is also part-owner of Baiting Hollow Golf Club and the Vineyards Golf Club in Riverhead and Parkland Golf Maintenance, which services 11 golf clubs.
Tursi said he hopes to celebrate a grand opening sometime next month once their liquor license is secured.
“It’s a beautiful place,” he said, reflecting on his new location. “I thought I’d give it a shot.”
Pulcinella on the Green is located at the Rock Golf Club: 141 Fairway Drive, Wading River.