How to Savor Bronx Restaurants
By Morris Gut
DINING OUT- The traditional Thanksgiving meal is one of my favorite annual feasts. And while most of us enjoy sharing it with family and friends at home, there are folks who would rather leave the work to others.
If you have decided to dine out for Thanksgiving this year, there are some fine options but be sure to reserve your table early as not all restaurants will be open…
Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road, New Rochelle 914-636-1229
An a la carte Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings will be served all day. There is a new Sunday Brunch Buffet. 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 Italian Restaurant in New Rochelle 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. Daily Happy Hours. Party facilities & off-premise catering. Free parking. www.mammafrancesca.com
Mulino’s of Westchester, 99 Court Street, White Plains (914-761-1818)
General manager Gimmy Cavagana and his staff will be open all day serving traditional turkey with all the trimmings from 1 pm to 8 pm, along with their regular menu of Italian classics. It is also the kickoff for their annual Holiday Fest which lasts right thru December. The lovely fountain garden is beautiful as is the lavish dining room and lounge. Alternatives to turkey include their Cold Seafood Platter, a wonder and fine to share as is their decadent Black Linguine with baby lobster tails; plump tender Rack of Lamb served on the long bone; delicate Dover Sole finished off in the dining room; and perhaps for dessert you can have the wait staff prepare fresh Zabaglione with fresh ripe berries. Open 7 days thru the holiday season. Bring the whole family. The place sparkles right now! Valet parking. Reservations advised. www.mulinosny.com
Dubrovnik, 721 Main Street, New Rochelle 914-637-3777
Thanksgiving Dinner will be served all day (rotisserie style), along with their regular menu. Founded by Jerry Tomic, Dubrovnik became a sensation: Westchester’s first restaurant devoted to Croatia, a multi-level 85-seat establishment with seasonal outdoor enclosed patio, state of the art temperature controlled wine cellar, al fresco wood fire rotisserie BBQ, lush seasonal herb garden and bar/lounge. Talented chefs led by Antonio Selendic man the kitchen and they will transport you to the beautiful Adriatic in flavorful style. Veteran restaurateur and operating manager Nada Bernic (previously of The Terrace in upper Manhattan), also insists they use 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; Rack of Lamb; or whole roasted fish prepared out on the BBQ. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Handsome private party and meeting facilities for up to 120 guests include a wine cellar room and garden room for banquets. Valet parking. www.durbrovnikny.com
La Piccola Casa, 410 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck 914-777-3766
Proprietor/self-taught chef Walter Ricci is originally from Peru and had an Italian grandfather. Thru the years he worked many popular kitchens in greater Westchester including the former Umberto’s in Rye and Giorgio’s in Port Chester which he ran for 10 years. The restaurant is housed in the landmark DeLancey House where author James Fenimore Cooper lived for a time across from scenic Harbor Island Park along Boston Post Road. Walter will be serving Turkey with all the trimmings along with his new updated menu featuring many of his well-known specialties: Italian classics with concentration on the finest ingredients. By advanced order he can also prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for the whole family for take home. Walter does his own shopping daily. During a recent visit I saw a customer served a giant Double Cut Pork Chop. Looked darn good, too! The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Free street parking. Reservations accepted. www.lapiccolacasa.com
SAVOR THE BRONX’ RESTAURANT WEEKS RUN THRU NOV. 17th!
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and the Bronx Tourism Council invite you to the 7th Annual ‘Savor the Bronx’ Restaurant Week that will run thru Nov. 18, 2017.
More than 35 restaurants from throughout the borough will be offering discounts and incentives all during the event. It is a perfect opportunity to visit some of the most exciting international eateries in the Bronx.
At this writing, participating restaurants include: Artie’s Steak & Seafood; Bronx Draft House; Jake’s Steakhouse; Mott Haven Bar & Grill; Ceetay; Siam Square Thai Cuisine; Antonio’s Trattoria; Emilia’s Restaurant; Ice House Café; Lucca Fine Italian; Mike’s Deli; Antonio’s of Belmont; Tosca Café; BSK Bistro; Porto Salvo; The Bronx Public Kitchen; Kingsbridge Social Club; Lloyd’s Carrot Cake; Havana Cafe and Cabo Mexican Cuisine. Craft breweries include: Bronx Brewery; Chelsea Craft Brewing Co.; and Gun Hill Brewing Co. All have websites. Customers are advised to make reservations in advance. There are always caveats, so do check ahead for full details. For further info: www.savorthebronx.com
ARTIE’S PRE-THANKSGIVING BASH NOV. 22nd!
Proprietor Spiros Chagares holds this annual event the night before Thanksgiving to thank all his many friends and patrons. The celebration starts at 7 p.m. All are invited. The evening will be filled with great food and live music by The Mighty Joe Band. Dance the night away. No cover charge. Table reservations are suggested. Artie’s Steak & Seafood, 394 City Island Ave., City Island, Bronx. Phone: 718-885-9885. www.artiescityisland.com
If you are passionate about your cooking & dining and you enjoy sharing your experiences, you may want to participate on an online discussion forum called Chowhound.com. It was originally founded by Jim Leff and Bob Okumura in 1997, foodies with an unquenchable hunger for everything culinary. Chowhound.com now sports a new colorful format and offers quick posting and response times on many of your favorite food-related topics, along with posts from regions across the country and abroad. There is a Bronx Board, West/Conn Board, Manhattan Board, NJ Board, etc., and cooking forums as well. You are welcome to join the conversation, or just look in from time to time. There is no cost to register. Go to: www.chowhound.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)