Mother’s Day 2019, Where to Dine Out
By Morris Gut
FOODIES- Mom deserves her special day. If you are planning to dine out on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th, here are a few suggestions in greater Westchester that cover a wide variety of tastes. Special Hint: Mother’s Day is a big restaurant day, so be sure to reserve a table early.
If possible, you can even take Mom out before or after actual Mother’s Day to keep it less stressful. Enjoy!
Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road, New Rochelle
When Nick DiCostanzo was growing up on the Island of Ischia on the Coast of Naples in Italy, his earliest memories where of the simple seaside meals he would enjoy with his family, farm-to-table and of course sea-to-table.
As proprietor of Mamma Francesca for over 30 years, located on the banks of Long Island Sound with 6-story views of the ‘Queen City’s’ seafaring boat clubs, this culinary philosophy still holds true, albeit with a sprinkling of contemporary taste.
There is a talented new kitchen staff preparing a seasonal menu of robust specialties: fresh Ischia Salad; individual sized pizza; Giant Meatballs; good retro versions of Chicken, Veal or Shrimp Parmigiana; Mamma’s Chicken Breast Europeo, stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, mushrooms and spinach in a Marsala wine sauce; a big platter of Misto Frutti di Mare loaded with shrimp, clams, calamari and mussels in a red sauce over linguini; and Pork Chops or Sirloin della Nonna, served with sliced potatoes, peppers, mushrooms and onions. New Pizza & Vino Bar. Daily Happy Hours. Party facilities & off-premise catering. Free parking. www.mammafrancesca.com
Artie’s Steak & Seafood, 394 City Island Ave., Bronx
This restaurant would thrive anywhere but it’s right in the middle of City Island, the charming seaport village just below the Westchester line. The Zagat N.Y.C. Restaurant Survey designated Artie’s Steak & Seafood one of the best in the Bronx.
Owner Spiro Chagares and his staff offer patrons an inspired melding of traditional and contemporary dishes served with flair. Sit back in one of several dining areas and enjoy such changing specialties as: hearty Seafood Chowders; Smoked Salmon Roll-Ups; Wood Grilled Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops; hunks of tender Short Rib; a massive Zuppa Di Pesce; tender Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb; Chardonnay Poached Salmon with seafood; and fresh Lobster prepared in a variety of styles.
There’s a loaded Lobster Salad Roll at lunch and their Mediterranean style Pizzas are good to share, too. Check out the redesigned bar/lounge most evenings for good networking. Private party facilities. Off premise catering. Open 7 days. Free parking. www.artiescityisland.com
Vistamar Restaurant, 565 City Island Ave., Bronx 718-709-0888
Seafood and sea views on City Island. Vistamar Restaurant & Lounge took over the sprawling space that previously operated as Don Coqui and the views are breathtaking. Evenings you can see Manhattan lights in the distance while enjoying ‘Cucina Latina’ prepared with style.
Check out the menu for such house specialties as: Seafood Tower, Mofongo, Chuleta, Rabo, King Crab Legs, and Lobster in a variety of styles. Weekly happy hours and nightlife schedule. Reservations are suggested. Ample parking. www.vistamarcityisland.com
Krave Restaurant, 8 South Division Street, New Rochelle
A vibrant Chyrisse Crisp and her team have brought to Westchester an exciting new Caribbean restaurant loaded with colorful, comforting dishes from the islands. There is a long sparkling bar/lounge area leading into the dining room, part glass enclosed, part banquet seating.
Start with an order of Lamb Meatballs, or Cod Fish Cakes. It is a lovely modern setting for such specialties as: ‘Pass The Dutchie’, traditional foods served in Dutch pots: Dutch Pot Fried Chicken; Jerk Pork & Jerk Chicken; Stewed Oxtail; Ackee with choice of fish; even Curry Goat on weekends. Whole fish include: Red Snapper, Salmon and Bronzini. If you’re in a vegetarian mode try the Tofu Chop Suey. Open
Tuesday thru Sunday.
Casa Amore, 65 First Street, Pelham
Proprietors Chris Gizzo and Ben Mondello have put a lot of love into this new dining room and kitchen. Count on Executive Chef Brian MacMenamin to prepare a variety of seasonal Italian/American specialties. A 3- course prix fixe Mother’s Day Lunch will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($45), and Dinner from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. ($59), plus tax & service charge. Look for such dishes as: Brandied Lobster Bisque, Maryland Crab Cake, Chicken & Waffles, Berkshire Farms Wagyu Double-Cut Pork Chop and Chilean Sea Bass. Get your sweet tooth ready for 3-Cheese Cheesecake Brule, and Zuppa Del Ducca, the original tiramisu. www.casaamore.net
Hurley’s Steakhouse & Pub, 15 Division St., New Rochelle
Seasoned restaurateur Paul Hurley has opened a handsome 90-seat gastro-pub next to the Avalon complex offering such amenities as a cozy fireplace, dark wood & brick walls, separate bar/lounge and full-service dining room featuring such specialties as a seafood Raw Bar, Porterhouse Steak for two, Colorado Rack of Lamb, Prime Beef Short Ribs, and a loaded 10 oz. ‘Queen of the Sound’ prime beef Burger stacked with lettuce, tomato, American cheese, fried oysters, sautéed mushrooms, smoked bacon on a brioche bun. Daily happy hours from 4 to 7 p.m. feature $1 oysters. Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Municipal & valet parking. www.hurleyssteakhouse.com
Magno’s Grill, 108 Centre Ave., New Rochelle 914-235-0008
Chef/owner Angelo Magno had put his talents to work at such lauded kitchens at Tango Grill, Milonga and Gaucho Grill. He has joined forces with his family at his own 60-seat spot featuring fine versions of Italian and Argentinean classics. Look for such house specialties as: fresh Empanadas, Chicken or Veal Parmigiana, hearty Paella, hefty Pork Osso Buco, and Argentinean Parrillada, hearty mixed grill with chimichurri sauce. Cocktail bar. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Municipal parking nearby. Reservations accepted. www.magnosgrill.com
Dubrovnik, 721 Main Street, New Rochelle 914-637-3777
An a la carte Mother’s Day menu will be served along with traditional specialties. Jerry Tomic, a native of Croatia, always dreamed of bringing a true taste of the Adriatic to Westchester. Talented Chef Antonio Selendic mans the kitchen and he will transport you to the beautiful Dalmatian Coast in flavorful style. Jerry Tomic and managing partner Nada Bernic insist in sourcing all the finest ingredients in the seasonal marketplace. Most everything is house made from the bread to desserts. Try the Warm Octopus Salad; Steamed Mussels; Bay Scallops on the Shell; 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 out on the BBQ. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Outdoor deck. Reservations suggested. Private party facilities. Valet parking. www.durbrovnikny.com
(Morris Gut is a restaurant 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 over 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)