HEY MONDO, MONDO ITALIANO! IT’S-A SO DELISH-A BY DENA MILLER | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MORGAN TIMMS There may be 2,000 miles separating Taos from New York City but there’s an easy way to transport yourself there in spirit, your nose following an aroma redolent of the finest Italian restaurants that the city and Long Island have to offer. And it’s right here in the heart of town. ‘Every dish we offer reminds me of my favorite dishes and restaurants.’ Mondo Italiano is your ticket to “Italian world” in Taos and the most authentic cuisine you’ll find without a plane ticket or a ride on the Long Island Expressway. Though owner and chef Jennifer Debow has been a part of the Taos restaurant scene for many years, it wasn’t until two years ago that she and her husband, builder Genaro Jimenez, took the plunge and built in their current location, giving her a sprawling kitchen in which to make her magic while offering customers cozy indoor and breezy outdoor seating areas. Debow, after all, grew up on Long Island and fondly recalls the many Italian meals of her youth. “But here’s the thing — though Italian can be haute cuisine, the best memories come from the comfort of a good pasta or a great slice of pizza from the neighborhood shop,” she said. “I’m very nostalgic about this food and in developing our menu, I sought to re-create those memories. Every dish we offer reminds me of my favorite dishes and restaurants.” Let yourself adopt those memories as your own as you swoon over the tastes, smells and ambiance of Mondo Italiano. That, after all, is what Debow wants you to do. “As much as my food is personal to me, I want to make it personal to you, too.” And she has set the stage well for you. Once you’re greeted and seated, take in the funky overhead lighting, the retro serving 26 DINING OUT WINTER/SPRING 2020
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