Chef - Owner
Chef Gary Lanza
Chef Gary Lanza’s first recollections of “working in the kitchen” involved standing on milk crates frying calamari. Working alongside his father, Gary learned the finer points of the culinary arts while immersed in the hustle and bustle of the family’s restaurant, La Vigna, located in Greenvale, NY. Though a host of options were afforded to him, Gary knew that the kitchen was his true calling. After graduating the Culinary Institute of America in 1989, Gary worked with the finest chefs in the industry at the famous Le Bernardin of New York City. His roots with the family business however were deeply set and he returned to La Vigna. In 1997, Gary branched out and opened the Meridian Café in Locust Valley. The instant hit provided locals a variety of foods, drinks and cigars which was followed shortly after with a gourmet take-out and catering location named Gino & Company – named after his father. In short order, Gino & Company’s phone number became a “regular speed dial” on the phones of many within the community who wanted to call in a dinner order and have it ready in minutes.
In 2011 Gary’s opened the MERIDIAN. Located in Locust Valley, NY, the two locations offer a host of menu items.
The MERIDIAN with its warm and inviting atmosphere, sushi kitchen, brick oven and main bar, offers an Asian and American Fusion Menu. Next door, at the MERIDIAN CATERING, patrons can enjoy a classic Italian menu all prepared fresh to go for your next event.
Gary's most recent creation is The Chef's Table. Located at 15 Birch Hill Road. The Chef's Table is a very unique way of dinning. This private dinning room accommodates 8-18 guests in a completely private setting. Chef Lanza will create a custom made menu for your family and friends.
In addition to overseeing the entire operation, Chef Lanza also provides intimate dinner parties in the comfort of his patron’s own homes. As a private chef, Lanza, working with his patrons, develops a special meal for special occasions with paired wines, desserts, and full service.
The Chef’s Philoshophy - Chef Lanza believes that “starting with the freshest ingredients and keeping things simple is the foundation for all cooking. Without it you have nothing.”