The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

December 1, 2006

CASUAL & COMFORTABLE: Medina native brings culinary experience home to share with opening of new restaurant

Come Saturday, being hungry in Medina will be less of a problem, thanks to a young, but classically trained local chef.

Zambistro, owned by Michael Zambito, 24, will open its doors tonight to the public for three hours of menu sampling and mingling with the staff and Michael, who doubles as head chef.

“I’m trying to sort of bring a fine dining element to Medina,” he said. “It’s a young man’s business.”

Michael has gained a multitude of experience throughout his life, getting an early start in the kitchen as a child, working at the Apple Grove Inn as a teenager and finally heading off to the Culinary Institute of America in New York City after high school.

“He used to be in my mother’s kitchen all the time,” said his mother Rita Zambito. “It gets in your blood.”

With culinary mastery under his belt, Michael has put an emphasis on casual fine dining in the creation of his menu. He is offering upscale cuisines in the style of Medina, he said.

While attending the Culinary Institute of America, he had an internship at Chefs d’France in Epcot Center. The staff spoke only French, and though he isn’t fluent in the language he had to catch onto the names of the cuisines so he could understand orders barked by the head chef was yelling.

“Six months later I walked out a whole new cook,” Michael said. “It really shaped my career.”

Selections at Zambistro include everything from Nana Zambito’s spinach bread to filet mignon and fresh made egg pasta. Michael gives a lot of credit to food networks for giving people ideas and expanding their knowledge of the food industry.

On the outside, Zambistro looks much like its predecessor Cafora’s. But on the inside, Michael has opened up the dining area, moved the bathroom and redesigned the kitchen.

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