Where to Dine Out for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day: Time to romance over food & wine

By Morris Gut

Amore! The coupling of good food and wine with the sensual is the aphrodisiac of literature and verse through the ages. Pucker up!

Valentine’s Day is Thursday, Feb. 14th. Warm things up a bit, make a whole weekend out of it! Restaurants and nightspots along the Sound Shore are gearing up to serve some of their most titillating specialties. Here is an eclectic round-up of delectable dishes and dining venues for you and your loved one and don’t forget to reserve early…

SHARE A COMBO PLATTER AT ARTIE’S, CITY ISLAND!

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. Big combo platters. There’s a loaded Lobster Salad Roll at lunch and their Mediterranean style Pizzas are good to share, too. Check out the bar/lounge most evenings for good networking. Craft beers. Private party facilities. Off premise catering. Open 7 days. Free parking. Artie’s Steak & Seafood, 394 City Island Ave., Bronx. 718-885-9885 www.artiescityisland.com

ROMEO & JULIET AT MAGNO’S GRILL, NEW ROCHELLE!

It’s a special Surf & Turf for Valentine’s: Filet Mignon w portobello, Port wine sauce & Lobster Tail stuffed with crabmeat, shrimp, scallops in scampi sauce. This talented group also serves Jurassic Tomahawk Steaks, and a fine version of Parrillada, hearty mixed grill with chimichurri sauce. 

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, and hefty Pork Osso Buco.  Cocktail bar. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Municipal parking nearby. Reservations accepted. Magno’s Grill, 108 Centre Ave., New Rochelle. 914-235-0008 www.magnosgrill.com  

PORTERHOUSE FOR 2 AT HURLEY’S 

STEAKHOUSE, 

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. Hurley’s Steakhouse, 15 Division St., New Rochelle. 914-738-6000 www.hurleyssteakhouse.com 

COCKTAILS & A VIEW AT LA PICCOLA CASA, MAMARONECK! 

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 in Mamaroneck, along Boston Post Road. Walter will be serving his new updated menu featuring many of his well-known specialties: Italian classics with concentration on the finest ingredients. There’s terrific Baked Clams, Seafood Pasta, and Rack of Lamb. Pastas are terrific, especially with seafood. Walter does his own shopping daily. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Free street parking. Reservations accepted. La Piccola Casa, 410 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck. Phone: 914-777-3766.

PIZZA & VINO BAR AT MAMMA FRANCESCA, NEW ROCHELLE!

A new flashy red-tiled woodburning pizza oven has been installed at Mamma Francesca in New Rochelle. There is a whole new renovated pizza station for it, too, with serving counter at the bar/lounge. Mamma Francesca had built one of Westchester’s original woodburning brick oven pizza ovens years ago. 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. 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. Daily Happy Hours. Free parking. Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road, New Rochelle. 914-636-1229  www.mammafrancesca.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 & Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: gutreactions@optonline.net) 


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