Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Food, Wine
DINING OUT– Amore! The coupling of food and wine with the sensual is the aphrodisiac of literature and verse through the ages. Pucker up! Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, Feb. 14th. Restaurants are gearing up to serve some of their most titillating specialties. Here are a few delectable dishes and dining venues for you and your loved one, and don’t forget to reserve early…
PASSIONATE DÉCOR AT LA RISERVA!
The Vivolo family of venerable La Riserva in Larchmont have completed a major renovation of the premises and it is stunning! ‘La famiglia’ Vivolo have been serving ‘the Italian classics’ here for over 38 years and the refreshing atmosphere and friendly ambiance keep it a treat.
The dining rooms at La Riserva have been beautifully refurbished: resplendent with new white tiled bar, plush new dark wood floors, chairs and tabletops. The ceiling is now a lush red and the new brick walls are highlighted by vintage black and white photos depicting scenes from Vivolo’s hometown of Accadia-Foggia in Italy. Private party facilities. Open 7 days for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Free parking. Closed Mondays. La Riserva, 2382 Boston Post Road, Larchmont. 914-834-5584 www.lariservarestaurant.com
SHARE A PASTRY AT NUTMEG CAFÉ!
Nutmeg Café opened on Main Street in Tuckahoe offering a variety artisanal baked goods, craft foods and beverages for eat-in and take-out. Proprietor and creative force behind Nutmeg is Cindy Bothwell. You may recognize Cindy from her years working Farmers Markets around the county in Bronxville, Irvington, Chappaqua and Scarsdale, selling her signature goods under the ‘What’s For Dessert?’ brand. The Café is warm and inviting. There is seating for up to 25, soft background music, exposed brick walls and display cases filled to the brim with the tempting daily larder. Bothwell calls her way of cooking and baking: “American home-style rustic” and insists on keeping up with the seasons. Delightful beverages include such exclusive artisanal makers as Joe’s Coffee out of Brooklyn. Fresh made soups and salads are available and posted daily on the blackboard. Enjoy delectable cheddar scallion scones; caramelized onion & gruyere crostada; and cauliflower, leek & Asiago quiche. Open daily; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nutmeg Café, 64 Main Street, Tuckahoe. 914-779-1328 www.thenutmegcafe.com
ROBUST ITALIAN AT TRATTORIA VIVOLO!
Chef-owner Dean Vivolo of Trattoria Vivolo serves his robust regional Italian cuisine out of a vintage diner across from Harrison’s Metro-North station. Sit at the counter, tuck into a booth, or take a table in the rear greenhouse and enjoy the surprising contemporary and traditional flavors emanating from his kitchen: tasty thin-crusted pizza; Crostino di Polenta, topped with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola and tomato sauce; Linguine with Clam Sauce; Lasagna Bolognese al Forno; and by special request, warm fresh Zabaglione with fresh fruit for dessert. Good wine list. Sparkling lights evenings. Open 7 days. Trattoria Vivolo, 301 Halstead Ave., Harrison. 914-835-6199 www.trattoriavivolo.com
FRENCH LOVE AT LA PANETIERE!
Pull up to La Panetiere in Rye and enter the beautifully appointed dining rooms, proprietor Jacques Loupiac’s long-running bastion of French cuisine will create an unforgettable experience. The professional staff led by Cheryl Just and Stephane, the genial maître d’ and Chef Dean Lupiac will fill you with passion. Each course is artfully plated. The Dover Sole and Grand Marnier Souffle are wonderful. Fine wines, too. It’s the best way to visit Paris without leaving Westchester. La Panetiere is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Monday evening thru Sunday. Private party facilities. Catering. Bar/lounge. Take out. Major credit cards. Ample parking. Reservations advised. La Panetiere, 530 Milton Road, Rye. 914-967-8140 www.lapanetiere.com
LOVE, CROATIAN-STYLE AT DUBROVNIK!
There will be a vivacious Valentine’s menu. Jerry Tomic founded Westchester’s first restaurant devoted to Croatian cuisine and atmosphere. Talented Chef Antonio Selendic mans the kitchen and he will transport you to the beautiful Adriatic on the Dalmatian Coast in flavorful style. Join Tomic and veteran restaurateur and floor manager Nada Bernic, previously of The Terrace in Manhattan. Most everything is house made from the bread to desserts. Try the Warm Octopus Salad; Fresh Cod Filet with grapes, olives, pearl onions; Mama Tereza’s lobster, shrimp, scallops, fish, clams and mussels steamed in a seasonal broth over pasta; Grilled Rack of Lamb; or whole roasted fish prepared on the BBQ. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Reservations suggested. Private party facilities. Valet parking. Dubrovnik, 721 Main Street, New Rochelle. 914-637-3777 www.dubrovnikny.com
LOVE AT A LANDMARK OLDE STONE MILL!
lorio Rugova, a veteran of the hospitality business, has assumed management of the landmark Olde Stone Mill Restaurant in Tuckahoe and he has been busy refining the menu. It will become known as Florio’s at the Olde Stone Mill. Florio previously managed La Fontanella in Pelham. Most recently, he was affiliated with Jordan Hall 10803, also in Pelham. Olde Stone Mill has evolved into an Italian/American kitchen with Continental overtones. The handsome bar/lounge is wood and stone. A passageway leads to the lovely 85-seat main dining room with airy picture windows, piano, warming hearth and beautiful table settings. The airy atrium room has become a popular gathering place, too. Look for such new specialties as: Clams Casino, Pork Osso Bucco, and Vitello Oscar Portions are generous. There are private party accommodations. The Olde Stone Mill, 2 Scarsdale Road, Tuckahoe. Open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Free parking. Phone: 914-771-7661 www.theoldestonemill.com
CELEBRATE WITH TRUFFLES AT LE SIRENE!
The Fratelli Brothers: Cosimo and Gerardo, have combined their considerable talents in opening Le Sirene Ristorante on Palmer Ave. in Larchmont. They are veteran restaurateurs who also own such venerable dining rooms as San Pietro, Caravaggio and Sistina in Manhattan. They know how to cook with finesse the authentic Italian way: “Let natural food flavors express themselves,” is their culinary philosophy. Owner Cosimo Bruno is general manager and host, but also shares kitchen duties with Executive Chef Alberto Pepe. Let the warmth guide you into the pastel dining room. The bar/lounge is a good spot for cocktails and a snack. The Brunos know their wines. Cosimo is a Certified Sommelier. The ‘pizzaoli’ is at his wood fired pizza oven at the end of the bar ready to prepare over a dozen of his tasty individually styled pies. Have them prepare one with shaved truffles on top. Le Sirene is located at 1957 Palmer Ave., Larchmont. Phone: 914-834-8300 www.lesireneristorante.com
(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in the Bronx and Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)