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George Santos’ campaign spent more than $26,000 at Italian restaurant – enough for 1,700 Margherita pizzas

Rep George Santos’ campaign has provided no shortage of mysteries for political reporters and observers to try to unravel.

One of the latest, from his campaign finance disclosures, is exactly how Mr Santos’ team managed to spend more than $26,000 at a single Italian resturaunt since his first run for Congress in 2020.

The campaign finance disclosures released this week showed Santos’ campaign spent $26,032.06 over the last three-plus years at Il Bacco Ristorante Italiano in Little Neck, New York – an Italian spot located in Queens.

According to tallying done by Business Insider, the Santos campaign spent enough money at the restaurant to purchase 1,131 orders of the restaurant’s rigatoni bolognese, 2,002 Caesar salads, 3,718 cannolis or 1,735 Margherita pizzas, which go for $15 each.

The campaign held 32 different events at Il Bacco Ristorante Italiano, a typical haunt for a number of New York Republicans, including events it listed as fundraisers and dinner meetings.

Social media posts indicated it has long been a favourite of Mr Santos, and the positive feelings appear to have been mutual – Slate reported that restaurant owner Joe Oppedisano and his daughter accepted appointments to the “Small Businesses for Santos Coalition“.

The campaign also owes another restaurant nearly $19,000 for its election night party.

That night, when Mr Santos celebrated a comfortable victory over Democrat Robert Zimmerman, relatively little was known about the past of a man who now stands accused of fabricating much of his resume.

Mr Santos announced earlier this week that he will not serve on Congressional committees for the time being, though he has also steadfastly refused to resign his seat in the House despite the controversy swirling around the dishonesty about his background and murky campaign finances.

On Thursday night, Talking Points Memo reported on the contents of a recording it obtained in which Mr Santos is heard saying “I’ve obviously f***** up and lied to him, like I lied to everyone else” about his chief of staff in a moment of rare candor regarding the events that have torpedoed his political life.

There are questions about Mr Santos’ spending at Il Bacco, too.

According to Slate’s reporting, Mr Santos, on at least seven occasions, ate meals at the restaurant that cost exactly $199.99 – one cent shy of the $200 threshold at which campaigns are required to submit reciepts for their spending.