Romolo Gastro Pizza: Roman style cuisine comes to Ridgefield. Mangia Bene!!

 

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You have to descend stairs and into the basement of the newest restaurant in Ridgefield Ct., Romolo Gastro Pizza.   This is not just another pizza restaurant and that is evident as you enter.  It has more the feel of Italian restaurant with the mystery of a speakeasy or some private club.  Signage is minimal with only a small wooden sign announcing that you have arrived at a special eatery.

The dark heavy wooden door opens to a fairly narrow and intimate space of approximately 40 seats.  The room is similar in decor to its sister restaurant upstairs, Village Tavern.  With its low wooden distressed ceiling, brick walls and  dark floor, the space has an air of mystery as it is so unlike any other eatery in town.  There is no mystery however when it comes to the food which I am happy to report was excellent.

After being seated we were treated to warm bread with soft cheese.  . Very tasty and a  sign of good  things to come.   Our party ordered some appetizers which we all shared.  The Burrata Caponata  was a great choice with fresh soft locally sourced burrata cheese with a Roman Style eggplant caponata.

We also enjoyed the Polpette  which are house made Italian meat balls, which have roasted with fresh tomato, basil and topped with fresh ricotta cheese and black pepper.  Poplette can be made in a number of different ways by how you  blend the ingredients and seasonings.  These were tender and full of flavor.  A good choice.

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Polpette

The Langostino was also sampled from the appetizer menu.  Langostino or “little lobster”is a  delicious seafood, though the Langostino is not the same as regular lobster.   The meat was soft and delicious and was  baked and served with a blend of cheeses, herbs and artichokes and a side of crisp bread. Nice dish  for the cheese lover and a good way to start the meal.

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Langostino

The main courses at Romolo  Gastro Pizza are  pasta dishes, salads, meat , and of course their pizzas.   Our table enjoyed one of the pasta dishes as well as ordered from the pizza menu.    The pasta was Lasagna Romano, again a dish in the Roman style.  Thin sheets of house made pasta , parmesan, beef stracotto (Italian slow cooked beef), in a besciamella sauce.   Unlike other lasagna dishes  this does not have marinara sauce but instead is served in a light and tasty cream sauce.  While the portion is not overly large, it was quite filling.

Pizza is the specialty  of the house and the Roman influence again is apparent with the rectangular shaped  pizzas made with a dough that creates an  crispy artisan like crust that performs the culinary feat of being both light yet filling.   There are seven different pizzas on the menu and it comprises the largest part of the menu.  We chose to sample  Nonna Romano, a delicious pizza made with mozzarella, tomato marinara, a touch of garlic, extra virgin olive oil and basil, pecorino cheese, and fior de latte (cheese).  A authentic take on real Roman pizza.

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Nonna Romano Pizza

Braccio de Ferro pizza was very pleasing and  prepared with fresh mozzarella, fresh spinach, garlic, evoo, local ricotta, shaved grana (hard Italian cheese)  and aleppo pepper flakes.  A delicious and filling pie and full of Italian flavor.

Our third pizza was the evening special called Daniella Pizza, which was the same delicious crust with soft burrata cheese, fava bean puree, zucchini, tomatoes, and mozzerella.  A great dish for the vegetarian as many of the pizzas do feature meat as a topping.

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There is an nice wine list of  Italian wines both white and red and are available by glass or bottle.

Romolo Gastro Pizza  is a fantastic addition to the Ridgefield dining scene . Chef Bruno DiFabio a master pizza maker and six time champion in the World Pizza Games  and Chef Germano Minin (winner of Chopped on the Food Network show)  have brought a winning menu of authentic Roman cuisine to the area.

Da noi si mangia bene!

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Romolo Gastro Pizza

378 Main Street Ridgefield Ct  (in the rear of the building, downstairs)

tel. 203.769.6249

web.  http://romolopizza.com

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Tredici North: a stylish new restaurant serving innovative Italian fare

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There is a new Italian restaurant in Purchase NY.  that is not to be missed.  Tredici North has a swanky and creative edge combined with modern elegance.  The beautiful space has three distinct areas, a first floor dining room,  a beautiful and uniquely designed bar area, and a second floor which houses an intimate dining space.

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Modern and elegant dining area

The bar provides a striking focal point with its earthy wood counter, copper bar stools, and a wall behind the bar that uses reclaimed tiles from a roof in Italy to create a large striking fan pattern.

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Bar area

Upstairs, the 13 step under lit stairway leads you to the second dining room and creates the feel that an exclusive dining space awaits.

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Tredici North won “Best Of Westchester” 2016  by Westchester Magazine for their Italian dishes and for the culinary talents of executive chef Giuseppe Fanelli.   Chef Fanelli has perfected his craft while working in many top Manhattan restaurants, and has been featured on such television programs as the Travel Channel’s “Man Finds Food” with Adam Richman and he was culinary champion on Food Network’s hit series “Chopped”.

I had the pleasure of dining at this cutting edge restaurant recently and I foudnd out what all the buzz was about.

Cocktails:  Tredici North has an extensive wine list from which to choose, but the cocktails have an appeal of their own.   The “Flaming Scorpion” is sweet libation of juices, rum and vodka that is potent as it  is tasty.  It is served in a tiki style tall glass.  The cocktail is served tableside and the waiter  actually lights the drink on fire. Very cool ! It is quite the show and a great drink.  Some of the other interesting drinks sampled at our table was the “Sun’s out/Guns out”, and the smooth and delicious “Gin Joint”.

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The Flaming Scorpion

Appetizers:  The Angry Lobster is a fantastic presentation with a 1 pound Maine lobster pan fried with meyer lemon, white wine, roasted garlic, red chili flakes, and a grilled corn on the cob as a side.  Can you say decadent?  A great dish that can be shared as well.

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The Angry Lobster !

Another great dish is the fried Calamari (with a twist!) .  This dish is firecracker hot  and served with celery and gorgonzola cheese.  It was hot and spicy, crispy (not soggy of chewy) and scrumptious.

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Calamari

The “Inside Out  Meatballs” are a specialty and very popular and are panko encrusted beef, pork and veal meatballs that are stuffed with fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese and served in a homemade marinara sauce.  Delicious.irene-075

Another top starter is the grilled Polpo.  Tender Portuguese octopus grilled and served over frisse salad, grilled peaches, fennel, balsamic glazed pork belly and pesto.  This dish clicked all the boxes, savory, sweet, smoky and so fresh. A great combination of ingredients.

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Polpo

All the pastas are made fresh in house, so we just had to sample some.  The Pasutice is a triangle shaped pasta with Maine lobster, tarragon, shaved asparagus, roasted grape tomatoes and a touch of cream. This dish is true comfort food at its very best.  Order a dish and have everyone at the table have a taste.

Main Course:   The main courses we enjoyed continued to impress everyone at our table.  Try the Organic Salmon, lightly smoked with olives, tomatoes, feta and a banyuls (wine)  vinaigrette. Fresh, healthy and so Mediterranean.   Another choice was a special menu item that evening, the Veal Valdostana. An enormous slice of veal served on the bone with a superb sauce and spinach.

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Organic Salmon, lightly smoked

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Veal Valdostana

The last entree choice was the Kobe Beef Ravioli which again was made with homemade pasta and filled with braised Kobe beef, caramelized onions and fontina in a brown butter and thyme reduction.   A wonderful dish that is full of flavor but not too filling.

 Dessert:   Save room for the imaginative desserts.  I can vouch for the “Drunken Monkey”, which is walnuts bananas served with flamed dark rum and poured over banana and chocolate gelato. Fire and Ice was another hit with berries and Longford vanilla ice cream.  Eat this soon after serving as it will begin to melt on you!   The “Nutella Lasagna” is a special dessert as well  and is composed of hazelnut and chocolate whipped cream in between layers of chocolate wafers and  chopped hazelnuts.  So good!   Also sample the fresh Carrot cake and Coconut cake.

Tredici North has combined innovative cooking, beautiful interior design and a friendly and attentive wait staff .  The combination made for a evening of great dining.  Tredici means “thirteen” in Italian and there is nothing unlucky about this newest dining treasure in Westchester. Enjoy!

Tredici North

578 Anderson Hill Road  Purchase, New York      tel:  914-997-4113

http://www.tredicinorth.com

 

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Next Stop: Exit 4 In Mount Kisco

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Food halls are undeniably one of the latest trends in dining. While prominent in New York City, food halls are starting to make their way into the Hudson Valley. Exit 4 Food Hall is the first one to open in Westchester County. Take a trip to Mount Kisco to taste the amazing local and fresh flavors at Exit 4.

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This dining venue offers 9 food stations for customers to try. The restaurant prides itself in serving fresh and local food. Mt. Kisco Seafood, wood fired pizza made from scratch, homemade pasta, and even Myong Salad are the participating local food providers. The restaurant even offers beverages from local breweries and coffee purveyors. Stations include Rotiss-A-Q, Panini/ Sandwich/ Wrap Station, Dirty Roots (salads and smoothies), Fuoco Wood Fired Pizza, Inno Sushi, Piacci Pasta Bar, X4 on Tap, Charcuterie, and Rawsome Seafood Bar.

With 9 stations available, there is always something new and exciting to try. If you come with a group there is a dining option for everyone.

You can meet and converse with new people by sitting at one of Exit 4’s communal tables. Following the theme of sustainability, glass bottles with filtered water is also provided.

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We started our meal with a Bok Choi salad from Dirty Roots (Myong). This healthy yet dynamic salad was comprised of sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried mango, cranberries, and crunchy noodles drizzled in a light red chili vinaigrette.

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Bok Choi Salad

 

We then devoured brussles sprouts pasta from Piacci. The linguini is homemade and prepared daily at Exit 4. This certainly was the perfect summer dish; a very light pasta incorporated with brussles sprouts and butternut squash. The sprinkled pancetta made for a flavorsome topping.

From Inno Sushi, we tried the crispy rice sushi special. Even my-non seafood lover buddy couldn’t get enough of this delish fare. Spicy tuna and jalapeños were delicately topped on firm crispy rice. The contrast between crunch of the rice and zest of the sushi made for a party in my mouth. Inno Sushi devotes themselves to emulating the most popular and newest sushi trends. This includes the trendy sushi burrito and poke bowls.

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Our group then ordered a chicken bowl and brisket burrito from Rotiss-A-Q. In a crispy taco bowl were pieces of rotisserie chicken layered with guacamole, pico de gallo, rice, beans, cheddar, lettuce and roasted veggies.   The brisket burrito included rice, beans, corn, and lettuce. It was fresh and delicious.

I could not pass up trying the high quality fish tacos. These appetizing tacos constituted of tantalizing pico de gallo, luscious avocado and other tasty spices.

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Fish Tacos

We then noshed on a very flavorful and unique wood-fired fig pizza. This unconventional pizza included fig, prosciutto, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella and Italian parsley. There are a variety of pizzas to choose: from traditional pizza to unique pies. Try the Stracciatella or Pistachio for something new and exciting.

To finish this spectacular meal, we unanimously decided to order the skillet cookie. A warm gooey cookie with large chocolate chunks was brought to the table. A scoop of refreshing vanilla ice cream laid perfectly on top of this marvelous creation.

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Skillet Cookie

For a fun and different dining alternative, make sure you stop at Exit 4 Dining Hall in Mt. Kisco.

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Exit 4 Food Hall

http://exit4foodhall.com/

153 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549

(914) 241-1200

 

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Arezzo Ristorante: fine waterfront Italian dining in Westport

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If you want a Tuscany inspired dining experience then you must try Arezzo Ristorante in Westport Connecticut.  The restaurant is set alongside the Saugatuck River  with gorgeous waterfront views.  Diners can choose to eat inside in the covered sun deck, or on the open air patio complete with umbrellas and an outdoor bar.

There is a newly renovated interior with stone archways, stucco walls and charming dark wood beams.  The bar inside is also inviting with dark leather accents and rich wood details.

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Fun and innovative cocktails

 

The menu has quite a selection with dishes finished in the high heat of the wood burning oven.  There are delicious homemade pastas, unique pizza selections and fresh fish, chicken and meat dishes from which to choose.  For the salad lover there are many choices from seasonal produce and fun creations such as roasted beets, pistachios and shaved artichokes.

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Pasta Tasting:  Orecchettie with sausage, Gnocchi, and Seafood Risotto

 

 

Entree selections include dishes for all tastes such as Filet Mignon, Melanzane al forno (Eggplant), various chicken and veal dishes, as well as seafood delights such as Branzino, Fisherman’s Stew (scallops, shrimp, and calamari in a tomato broth with fennel) and more.

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Halibut aqua pazza with clams, mussels in a cherry tomato broth

There is also an delightful selection of desserts including fruit tarts, brulees , tiramisu and gelato.

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Tiramisu

The view from the outdoor patio is fantastic and the overall ambiance is perfect for dining al fresco on a warm summer evening.   For a real Italian restaurant experience,  check out Arezzo Ristorante in downtown Westport.  Delicioso!

Arezzo Ristorante/Bar

5 Riverside Ave  Westport Ct      203-557-9375

http://www.arezzowestport.com

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Frank Pepe: delicous award winning pizza

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In the mood for pizza, but not your local pizza place?  Then pizza lovers should head to Frank Pepe Pizzeria for their delicious coal fired pizza specialties.  The pizza is famous for its thin, crisp, lightly charred crust made from a special family recipe.   The original Frank Pepe Pizza opened in New Haven in 1926 and now has 8 locations all run by family members.  The locations in our area are Yonkers, New York , New Haven, and Danbury Ct.   The Danbury restaurant is run by Frank Pepe’s  Grandson, Gary Bimonte.  His passion for his product and home style traditional cooking will make you feel like you are part of the family.

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Frank Pepe has had the honor of being voted the best pizza in the State of Connecticut and was recognized as one of the top 10 pizza restaurants in the nation by the Huffington Post.

There are many pizzas to from which to choose.  The day we visited we sampled the Clam Pizza made from locally sourced calms which tasted light and fresh.     The spinach gorgonzola  cheese pie was unique and was a nice blend of ingredients with just the right blend of fresh toppings.  I am not usually a fan of gorgonzola cheese, but it was delicious on this pizza.

The original tomato pie is a real delight.  With crushed imported Italian tomatoes, olive oil and grated  cheese, this pizza is one of their most popular pies and is a house specialty.  The light crispy crust which comes about by its baking in the large coal fired oven give this a unique taste.  We also sampled the sausage pizza which was topped with fresh sausage made only for Frank Pepe.

 

 

From July  to September there is fresh tomato pie with tomatoes from local farms, fresh mozzarella, garlic and basil.  It sounds terrific and I can’t wait to try it.    If you looking for a family night out, join the Pepe family for some great traditional pizza recipes.

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Owner Gary Bimonte grandson of Frank Pepe

 

Frank Pepe

59 Federal Rd Danbury Ct

http://www.pepespizzeria.com

 

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Classic family Italian dining: Frank Guido’s Little Italy

 

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“Chi Mangia bene,vive bene”  orhe who eats well, lives well” is the motto of Frank Guido’s Little Italy a wonderful  Italian restaurant . Located in the Hudson Valley town of Kingston, it could easily be found in the heart of New York City.   This is the perfect place to go for a  traditional Italian meal  and to enjoy  “family style” , which is large plates meant to be shared with your family or friends.

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The interior space is a lovely dining room with brick walls, tables covered in white table cloths and Italian themed paintings.   One wall is covered in family photos spanning generations which emphasizes the family feel.  Another wall is covered in photos of famous people who have dined at the restaurant including Yankees Phil Rizzuto, Joe Torre, and actor James Gandolfini  (The Sopranos) just to name a few.

With so many choices on the menu we decided to start with Eggplant Papettas which was like a veggie meatball with a soft texture served with marinara sauce.  It was delicious.   Another pick was the classic stuffed artichoke  which was fresh and light ans served with  seasoned breadcrumbs inside and an olive oil base.

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Eggplant Papettas

For our main course selection we chose the Chicken Parmigiana (how could one not choose this classic?).  We had to try this house specialty and we were not dissapointed.  It was fantastic with fresh mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese and “Mama’s” tomato sauce.  The portion was huge!

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Chicken Parm

I also wanted seafood so the waiter suggested  Penne Angelina which consisted of pasta with jumbo shrimp , scallops, lobster meat, served in a white clam sauce ( I substituted the sauce of tomato sauce).  This mouth watering dish was a hit and  there was plenty to take home for another meal.

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Penne Angelina

 

Penne Ala Vodka was  a nice side choice  and was a perfect blend of marinara sauce, vodka and a touch of cream.  Very tasty.

Dessert:  I shared the Guidomisu, their take on Tiramisu and the Bomba which was vanilla and chocolate gelato with a  cherry and almond center finished with a chocolate coating.  A great way to end the meal.  The last sweet was a the Chocolate Mousse Cake, composed of white and dark chocolate  mousse between chocolate cake and served with whipped cream. Nice !

 

If you are in the Kingston NY area, Frank Guido’s Little Italy is the perfect choice for great old school Italian comfort food.  With great service and comfortable interior, you will feel right at home.

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Frank Guido’s Little Italy

14 Thomas Street Kingston New York

845-340-1682                 http://www.frankguidoslittleitaly.com

 

 

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Sabbia: a new rooftop restaurant at Eataly in NYC

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Eataly has opened a new  roof top bar and restaurant in Manhattan on the 14th floor of Eataly at 200 5th Avenue in the Flatiron district.    Sabbia (“sand” in Italian) is Eataly’s new pop-up restaurant and is sure to be a hit.  Eataly is the amazing gourmet Italian marketplace and eatery that is part owned by Chef Mario Batali and Joe and Lydia Bastianich.  I had the opportunity to attend a press only launch party for this new hip restaurant.

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Oyster Bar

The theme of Sabbia is the  beach and seaside resorts of the Italian coastline.   The rooftop bar and restaurant with its retractable glass roof creates an environment in which you are no longer in Manhattan, but rather you are at a hip seaside resort in sunny Italy.  The decor features, cabanas, beach chairs, palm trees, vintage travel posters, and more.   The atmosphere is casual and laid back as if you were on vacation.

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Cabanas, Beach Chairs and more !

The menu consists of healthy, easy to eat  “coastal” foods from both  land and sea.  During the preview we were able to sample calamari, shrimp, scallops, and chicken as well as other dishes.  Eataly is also partnered with Island Creek Oysters of Massachusetts which has set up an oyster bar in a small boat right in the restaurant.

There is also a full bar which specializes in  12 unique and fresh cocktails , as well as a selection of wines and beers. Some of the cocktails that are available are “Hoppy Hour”, “Sorrento Spritz” and many more.

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A flight of cocktails

 

Sabbia opens Friday April 29th and will be open through October.   Don’t miss out on this special coastal Italian experience on a rooftop in the heart of Manhattan. So grab your sunglasses and sandals and get ready for summer.

Sabbia  (at Eataly)

200 5th Avenue  New York New York     14th floor

https://www.eataly.com/us_en/stores/new-york/archive-new-york/sabbia-rooftop-restaurant/

212-937-8910

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Zero Otto Nove: A fresh look at Italian cuisine in Armonk

 

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I have heard about the wonderful food at Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Avenue in  the Little Italy Section of the Bronx and was interested in eating at their Westchester restaurant in Armonk.    Located off Old Route 22 in a former commercial building, the restaurant decor has an industrial modern interior combined with traditional touches.  The brick walls, exposed trusses and  large opening garage door are  a hint to is past and this has been blended with traditional touches to create a warm inviting effect.   On a Sunday evening I visited for dinner and  it was a full house and most tables were filled with families and tables with  couples .  Some tables were filled with a variety of dishes which encourages sharing a variety of plates.

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The food is Southern Italian inspired by the owner and chef Roberto Paciullo from Salerno Italy. The menu is both familiar yet unique and there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy and to share.

Starters:  I began with Parmigana di Melanzane E Zucchine  (Eggplant and Zucchini parmigiana)  with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce. The sauce was fantastic as only the finest San Marzano tomatoes are used and the pasta is made fresh daily.

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Eggplant and Zucchini Parmiagiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can taste the difference with the fresh quality ingredients.     I also shared the Grilled Octopus with fresh tomatoes, capers, cannellini beans and olive oil.  Delicious !  Also shares was the Polpettine, Polenta and Caprino which is an innovative and tasty delight of small meat balls, polenta, and goat cheese.  Both appetizers were delectable and the presentation was pleasing.  There  is also a wood fired oven on premises which provide diners with a choice of fresh pizza selections.

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Meatballs with Polenta and Goat Cheese

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Grilled Octopus

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Wood Fired Oven Pizza

Main Course:  The entrée I picked was the Mediterranean Sea Bream with clams, cherry tomatoes in white wine.

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Sea Bream and Clams

Sea Bream is a mild tasting white fish which was cooked with the other ingredients in aluminum foil to keep in the moisture and taste.  The foil is opened table side and the aroma of flavors that escape is quite amazing.  The dish was a fantastic combination of flavors.

The other dish was a pasta dish which was suggested by the waiter and I am glad I ordered.  This is a unique dish of  Radiatori in Cartoccio , which is pasta with porcini mushrooms, tomatoes, bread crumbs and parmigiano reggiano also cooked in aluminum foil.  Because of the unique preparation of this dish, the food was soft creamy and amazing.  As the foil was peeled back, you could witness the pasta unfurl in front of you as the flavors wafted over the table.  This is not your typical old school Italian dish.

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Pasta,porcini mushrooms,tomatoes cooked in tin foil

Dessert: is homemade and fun to share.  The cannoli  alla Zero Otto Nove  was a variation of the classic cannoli  as it was two flat thin canolli pastries filled with sweet ricotta creme.  I had to indulge in the Sogni Cioccolato  (chocolate cake with dark  and flavored with Grand Marnier and covered in Nutella).  Hats off to the pastry chef for two provided two great ways to finish a fine meal.

Zero Otto Nove is a really innovative Italian restaurant with food for the whole family and is prepared and served from the heart.  The service was great and they  made you feel like you were part of the family.

Fun Fact:  Zero Otto Nove means  zero eight nine (089) which is the area code for Salerno Italy from where the owner/chef is from.

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Zero Otto Nove

55 Old Route 22 Armonk NY       Tel:  914-273-0089

web:  http://www.089armonk.089roberto.com

 

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251 Lex: a real culinary experience comes to Mt.Kisco

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251 Lex  is a new addition to the Mt. Kisco dining scene and is not just a restaurant , it is a true dining experience.  The menu is Mediterranean and is an eclectic blend or local and seasonal  ingredients that are blended into creative dishes.  The mixing of ingredients is a constant adventure which showcases the chef’s creative talents. The menu changes daily depending on the the availability of ingredients.

The restaurant is housed in a two story Victorian age house that has had its interior totally transformed with an urban modern motif, and use of expansive windows (first floor), subdued lighting, repurposed wood floors, Edison bulbs, and a interesting curved bar with a copper top.  The larger upstairs dining  room has a bit more formal feel with its barrel ceiling , dark wood floors  and tables with white linens.  The restaurant is only 5 months old but already has fans with many local diners.

The menu offers a 5 course tasting menu for $49 and I decided to try this so that I could sample the many specialties the chef has to offer.    The first course began with  trio of fresh fish

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Fresh fish trio

consisting of house cured salmon tartare with red onion and tsatziki, along with yellowfin  hamachi in a cashew vinagarette and scallops with sumac.

I then sampled the roasted beet salad with sesame hummus, cucumber, feta cheese, duck prosciutto in a  red wine vinegarette.  The course was light and refreshing considering the combination of interesting ingredients blended together to create a unique taste.

I was then brought the house made goat cheese with candied grapefruit and filo slivers.  An unusual paring that made for a beautiful presentation and a delight to the senses.

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Goat cheese with candied grapefruit and filo slivers

Another delicious  selection was the apple puree soup 054with  roasted mushroom, scallions and sumac in a creamy but light yogurt base.  I absolutely loved the blending of these ingredients to produce a crisp pure taste.

My favorite Mediterranean dish was the Spanish grilled octopus which was expertly prepared and a staple of the menu as I was informed.  The octopus was had a light crispness to the outside and was soft and tender inside  and served in a light vinagarette with fresh lemon, with Israeli couscous on the side. Absolute perfection for the seafood lover.

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Beet salad

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Grilled Octopus

The last main course was a  poached halibut with pressed herbs in a olive oil and white wine sauce and served with carrot confit.  The fish was hand selected that day from a local source and like all the seafood, it is fresh and delicious.

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Halibut

My tasting ended with a flour less gluten free chocolate cake with cinnamon gelato.  What a nice and refreshing way to end the meal and cleanse the palate.

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Flour less Chocolate cake with Cinnamon gelato

Service at the restaurant was top notch with water glasses filled, courses brought promptly  and the waiter explaining each dish and answering my questions.   There are specials everyday as well as wine pairings available.  Brunch is served on Sunday and lunch other days of the week.   With the arrival of warm weather, 251 Lex will be expanding its seating to an outside patio.

251 Lex is a truly amazing culinary journey for your taste buds.  It is not just dinner it is a dining experience.  Reservations are recommended

251 Lex

251 Lexington Avenue Mt Kisco, New York   .  914-218-8156

http://www.251lex.com

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Trattoria 632: Fresh ingredients and classic recipes make this Italian Restaurant a winner

When I walked into Trattoria 632 an Italian restaurant in Purchase, I immediately felt a homey and soothing vibe. The friendly hostess who was there to greet us made us feel as if we were friends and not just customers on our first visit.   We passed through the bar area, which is an informal space with a bar, pizza oven, seating and room for a band. We were seated in the main dining room a space with molding, hardwood floors and stained glass windows.

Dining room

Dining room

Dining room with stained glass windows

Dining room with stained glass windows

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Figs

We were seated and introduced to our seasoned waiter, Tony who took time to explain all the specials that evening. I learned that the restaurant had won the Best of Westchester Award (2014) from Westchester Magazine for Best Italian Restaurant.  With that in mind it is easy to see why diners love this spot and keep returning. I loved that the menu consisted of interesting dishes yet included all the classic Italian favorites that I love.  The seafood is so fresh that the specials are based on what the chef buys that day.  The salad dressings are all made in house as well as the fresh mozzarella cheese.   I learned that many of the tasty desserts are also homemade by the owners Mother, whom I had the pleasure to meet during my stay.

Our party of four shared the appetizers. We ordered fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, figs topped with walnuts and gorgonzola cheese, stuffed clams with shrimp, bell peppers and applewood bacon and zucchini flowers with with ricotta and mozzarella cheese. All the dishes were delicious with raves from the table about the clams which were also served in a light scampi sauce.

Stuffed Clams

Stuffed Clams

Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini Flowers

For my entree I ordered the daily special which was a stuffed filet of sole with fresh crab meat and vegetables.   Also ordered was the salmon filet special which was served in a mustard sauce. Chicken parmagian was also ordered and served with a side of pasta and was delicious.

Salmon in Mustard Sauce

Salmon in Mustard Sauce

Stuffed Filet of Sole

Stuffed Filet of Sole

Shrimp and scallops over squid ink pasta

Shrimp and scallops over squid ink pasta

All the dishes were amazing and everyone was very happy with the freshness and presentation of their selections. As a side dish we ordered shrimp and scallops over squid ink pasta which was a nice item to share, and the sauce was very tasty with a bit of a kick!

Though we were full we had to try the homemade desserts as I was told by a patron in the next table not to pass them up.   I ordered the homemade tiramisu which was so very light and airy.  We also split a tasty Napolean with fresh whipped cream, homemade carrot cake and very tasty peanut butter mousse pie with an oreo crust.

Homemade Carrot Cake

Homemade Carrot Cake

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Tiramisu

Napolean

Napolean

The owner was present as was several members of his family and it was a pleasure to meet them and enjoy a wonderfully prepared meal in a warm family atmosphere. I felt like I was dining with my family.  That is how special this restaurant made me feel.  There is also music every Thursday night which lightens the mood in the bar area.  This is a great place to enjoy classic Italian dishes that we all crave as well as fantastic fresh seafood specials.  Portions are a nice size and the price is reasonable. An excellent restaurant for you to try and enjoy.

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Trattoria 632

632 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, New York                                             

Phone: (914) 481-5811

website: http://trattoria632.com

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