Where to Take Mom on Mother’s Day
By Morris Gut
DINING OUT– Mom deserves her special day. If you are planning to dine out on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th, 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,
There will be a lovely Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet, all-you-can-eat with complimentary champagne, Bellinis and sangria, served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $28 per person; $12 children.
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. There is also a talented new kitchen staff preparing 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. Daily Happy Hours. Party facilities & off-premise catering. Free parking. www.mammafrancesca.com
Artie’s Steak & Seafood, 394 City Island Ave., Bronx 718-885-9885
Special menu on Mother’s Day. 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
Dubrovnik, 721 Main Street, New Rochelle
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. “Fresh food, simply prepared is the Croatian way”, says Tomic. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Outdoor deck. Reservations suggested. Private party facilities. Valet parking. www.durbrovnikny.com
Tesoro D’Italia, 160 Marble Ave., Pleasantville 914-579-2126
A veteran restaurant team has pooled their years in the hospitality business and opened Tesoro D’Italia Ristorante, a casual family-friendly Italian eatery on Marble Ave. in Pleasantville. The sprawling space had previously operated as Trattoria 160. Heading the day-to-day operation is Peter Lucaj who had been general manager of Ciao Ristorante in Eastchester for 16 years. Chef de Cuisine is seasoned Dan Pennacchio whose family from father Paolo and siblings on down have been in the restaurant trade for many years. The restaurant is divided into a main dining room for 100 guests, a semi-private fireplace room for up to 40 guests, and a lovely glass enclosed wine room seating up to 25. A spacious banquet room can accommodate 130 for all types of parties and private events. There is an inviting color-tiled bar/lounge area for networking and spirited conversation, and casual dining too. A dramatic wine wall highlights the dining room along with smoked glass dividers and white tablecloths. Grey and white hues help polish the space. Check out such delightful specialties as: Eggplant Rollatini; Rotelli Melanzana, Chicken Payard, and Broiled Veal Chop. Open 7 days. Ample free parking. www.tesoroditaliany.com
Ciao, 5-7 John Albanese Place, Eastchester
Zef and the amiable crew at this big bustling multi-level trattoria are marking their 28th Anniversary with a major renovation of the restaurant, a dramatic new seasonal outdoor deck, and generous platters of Italian/American cuisine served with gusto. Be seated and have Peter, the genial general manager suggest such open kitchen specialties as: Hot Antipasto for two, three or more, loaded with delectable fruits of the sea; fresh Arugula Salad with goat cheese, marinated Portobello mushrooms, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar; house made Pappardelle with fresh tomato, basil and chunks of fresh mozzarella; Salmon ala Ciao, with white wine, lemon, capers and asparagus; or Veal Salvaggio, decadently good with cognac, garlic, sage, shitake and porcini mushrooms. From the grill come such hefty cuts as: Broiled Veal Chop, Black Angus Shell Steak, Sausages Frioli served with peppers (hot or sweet), mushrooms, onions and sliced potatoes; and Pork Chops with vinegar peppers. Good pizzas, too. Cozy, friendly bar with Carole Ann at the helm. Party facilities. Open 7 days a week. Special Mother’s Day menu. Major credit cards. Free and valet parking. www.ciaoeastchester.com
Alex’s Bar & Grille, 577 North Broadway, N. White Plains
There will be Mother’s Day specialties. Proprietor Alex Ahmetaj, a veteran of the restaurant-hospitality field, updated the menu at his 120-seat restaurant and bar/lounge offering big cuts of aged steaks and chops along with generously served Northern Italian/Continental fare. The staff brings years of experience and a European flair to White Plains. Customers enter the multi-section dining room thru the inviting bar/lounge with its black industrial ceiling, banquets and soft lighting. The handsome dining room is split into cozy sections with white tablecloths, colorful deVelleneuve impressionist paintings and warming sconces. Mediterranean clay colored banquets and chairs compliment wooden walls and plush beige curtained windows. There is a seasonal outdoor deck facing North Broadway at the corner of Fisher Ave. Check out such specialties as: Pan Fried Calamari with hot cherry peppers, Linguini alla Vongole, a delicious fresh Branzino prepared tableside, classic Veal Parmigiana, grilled Filet Mignon, NY Sirloin Steak, or the Pork Chops. Save room for the house made Tiramisu or Cheesecake. Daily happy hours in the bar/lounge 4 to 7 pm.
(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 over 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)