Where to Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day
DINING OUT– The leprechauns are coming! St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17th, will be celebrated with all its local color.
Of course, there are the parades. The 19th Annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Sunday, March 11th starting at noon. It will kick off at Lafayette & E. Tremont Aves and wind its way to Harding and Brinsmade Aves. Throughout the area neighborhoods, towns and villages are hanging shamrocks on storefronts and homes giving the greater Bronx and Westchester a sparkling moment in the Emerald Isle. Here are a few suggestions if you want to partake in the traditional foods and reveling sprinkled with a good dose of blarney. Be sure to check ahead for special hours and events, and larger groups are advised to make advanced reservations. Erin Go Bragh!
REVELING AT RORY DOLAN’S, YONKERS!
When it comes to Irish revelry, many consider Rory Dolan’s on McLean Ave. in Yonkers (914-776-2946) the ‘motherload’. Last St. Paddy’s Day we got there about 4:30 p.m. and we lucked out with a spot in their parking area minutes after we arrived. We entered the big, sprawling place to a packed house, the bar area was 5 deep, and the dining sections buzzing as well. Maybe it was our timing, but we were brought to a table where we had a great view of the proceedings. By coincidence, friends of ours happened to be there and came over to join us.
They were serving their St. Patrick’s Day menu and we ordered: Corned Beef & Cabbage for me, Fish & Chips for my companion. Pints of Guinness to help wash it all down. It was a scene, even at this late afternoon hour, and I must commend the staff for handling our table so smoothly. I know they had their hands full. Even Rory Dolan himself, calm as can be, came by to chat, even helped clear our table. Considering the pressure on the kitchen on this day, the food proved to be very good from the Irish Soda bread rolls to the last morsel of corned beef. By the time we left an entry line had formed, and a line of cars up and down McLean. Rory Dolan’s, 890 McLean Ave., Yonkers. www.rorydolans.com
IRISH FARE AT DUNNE’S,
Dunne’s Restaurant & Pub, 15 Shapham Place, White Plains (914-421-1451) is a neighborhood treasure, an authentic Irish tavern with all the traditional Gaelic accoutrements intact. Over the years owner Sean Dunne has taken great strains not to get caught up in the modernist Irish mode so prevalent these days. It is a friendly, home-style place with a good kitchen to boot, dishing out generous servings of traditional Irish-style fare at prices that will leave some money in your wallet. Sean and his staff know how to pour that mug of Guinness while keeping the crowd in spirited conversation. Try such kitchen favorites as their fabulous Corned Beef & Cabbage, Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich, Beer Battered Fish & Chips, or Salmon Crisp, grilled salmon on sautéed spinach topped with baked mashed potatoes. There is an exciting live Irish music session every Wednesday night. And Oktoberfest is celebrated the first Thursday of every month. Open 7 days for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Municipal parking. www.dunnespubandrestaurant.net
ST. PATRICK’S DAY WERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT!
La Riserva, 2382 Boston Post Road, Larchmont 914-834-5584
Irish and Italian combine on St. Paddy’s Day via mother Margaret. 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. www.lariservarestaurant.com
Trattoria Vivolo, 301 Halstead Ave., Harrison 914-835-6199
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. On St. Paddy’s Day they will be serving hearty platters of Corned Beef & Cabbage, too. 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. www.trattoriavivolo.com
Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road, New Rochelle
Owner Nick DiCostanzo will be serving big portions of Corned Beef & Cabbage along with 3-course Early Bird Dinners for a reasonable $14.95. 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 and Chichetti menu at the bar. Party facilities & off-premise catering. Free parking. www.mammafrancesca.com
The Quarry, 106 Main Street, Tuckahoe
Owner Dominic Cesarini has settled into larger quarters in downtown Tuckahoe, a handsomely renovated bi-level 70-seat dining room and bustling bar/lounge that is always engaged in spirited networking. There are artsy exposed pipes and vents on the ceiling. A lovely area rug tempers the noise level. Handsome brown wood and clay tone walls, warm lighting fixtures and modern sturdy dark brown butcher block type chairs and tables highlight the floor with large picture windows looking out onto Main. There is another entrance from the rear parking lot. The staff here is most friendly, efficient and eager to please. They enjoy St. Paddy’s Day, too. Cesarini plans to serve such specialties as Reuben Quesadillas, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Bangers and Mashed, Lamb Stew, Shephards Pie and Fish & Chips starting on St. Paddy’s right thru the weekend. Good burgers and Prime Rib on weekends too. Open 7 days. www.thequarryrestaurantandlounge.com
MORE ST. PADDY’S DAY
Check out Rambling House, 4292 Katonah Ave., Woodlawn (718-798-4510); An Beal Bocht Café, 445 W. 238th St., Kingsbridge (718-884-7127); Lazy Boy Saloon, 152 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains (914-761-0272) will offer live music and kitchen treats; Brazen Fox, 175 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plans (914-358-5911) will have a full menu of traditional Irish specialties and spirits; Brian Mahon’s Hudson Grille, 169 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains (914-831-5663) will have platters of Irish food available; Vintage, 171 Main St., White Plains (914-328-5803) is where Declan Farrell and his staff will be serving a full roster of entertainment and Gaelic specialties. And, of course, there is the reveling in all the pubs and taverns along McLean Ave. in Yonkers.
(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: email@example.com)