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By now you may know that famed restauranteurs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich have come to Westchester.  With the opening of Tarry Lodge on Mill Street in Port Chester, local residents can taste the fare of the heralded twosome who run Babbo, Esca and Del Posto plus many other wonderful eateries in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Their new home is actually over 100 years old and has served as everything from a speakeasy to a family restaurant.  With high ceilings, a beautiful mosaic floor and a sweeping bar, the restaurant feels like a destination.  Book a reservation on Open Table well in advance, or stop by and take your chances in the bar, where the full menu is served on a first come, first served basis.



We went to celebrate a birthday and the atmosphere was festive. The staff was welcoming and forthcoming with their recommendations from the extensive menu.  The theme is Italian trattoria and there’s something to please everyone.  For wine lovers, the back of the menu features several hundred varieties, sorted by Italian region.

The list of Vini Italini commands more than a cursory reading.

Start your meal with a selection from the antipasti list including a sampling of three freshly sliced prosciuttos, Bacal Mantecato (whipped, salted cod ) or fennel with blood oranges.  For the less adventurous there are salads and thirteen fresh-baked pizzas.  Our table shared the Quattro Formaggio with grilled eggplant, which was warm, cheesy and ample.

It was difficult to select a dish from the pasta courses as so many of them were appealing.  Fusilli alla Crazy Bastard was a spicy, creamy tomato and cheese mixture that I would love to try to replicate at home.  Garganelli with Funghi Trifolati (three mushrooms), Black Fettucine with Lobster and Chiles and Linguine with Clams and Pancetta were all delectable.  



The “Secondi” included an array of lamp chops, veal, fish and steak all accompanied by innovative sauces and sides such as cardoons, mint pesto, and blood orange marmalade. In addition, each weeknight features a special so there’s something new whenever you go.  The list includes Chicken all Cacciatora, Braised Lamb Shank with Celery Root and on Sundays Lasagna all Napoletana.

We ran out of room for dessert and finished with coffee and biscotti. So you’ll have to go yourself and report back on the sweets.



Highly recommended!


 

ADDRESS: 18 Mill Street, Port Chester NY 10573 
 
PHONE: 914.939.3111 
 FAX: 914.939.0444 
 
CHEF/ OWNERS: Mario Batali, Joseph Bastianich,  Andy Nusser, Nancy Selzer 
 
HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE Yes 
 
DRESS CODE Casual 
 
RESERVATIONS Recommended but not required 
 
CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED  All major 
 
PRIVATE PARTIES/ROOM Yes 
 
WEBSITE www.tarrylodge.com

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Lulu's on Garth Road is now a Scarsdale institution. Opened on Valentines Day seven years ago, the bakery is known for their delectable cakes, cookies, brownies and bars and their custom cakes for special occasions.

I stopped in recently to purchase one of their extra-long marble pound cakes and noticed the recent renovation of the bakery.  The white woodwork, marble counters, warm light and seating area for custom orders give the site elegant appeal.

The refrigerator case featured colorful cupcakes, and a beautiful array of cakes including the Coconut Dream Cake –which is fluffy coconut cake, coconut custard and home made marshmallow cream. The Chocolate Polka Dot - devil's food cake, chocolate pudding and fresh vanilla cream looked yummy as well as the Dulce De Leche - yellow butter cake, dulce de leche creme, frosted in caramel buttercream with toasted almonds.

Behind the glass to my right were cookies available by the pound as well as an innovative array of brownies and bars.  I sampled a chocolate dipped macaroon bar, a melted chocolate blondie and a brownie brick. Also to good forget was a peanut butter cookie sandwich with peanut buttercream in the center. Lulu’s has also recreated the Yodel and after I recover from the first taste test, I will let you know what I thought of this new twist on my favorite childhood treat.

Lulu’s is featuring special holiday menus for Passover and Easter including a flourless chocolate torte and a whimsical Easter Egg cake. Under the direct supervision of Rabbi David J. Fine, Lulu's creates innovative Kosher products.  Owned by Jay Muse and staffed by an energetic crew it's always fun to stop in.
    
Lulu’s Cake Boutique
40 Garth Road
Scarsdale, New York
722-8300
http://www.sweetsbylulu.com

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At Mima in Irvington, all that’s old is new again. Both the setting and the menu are classics with a nouvelle twist. You’ll find this Vinoteca halfway down Main Street in Irvington, in the former digs of the Red Hat.  With pressed tin ceilings, iron railings and dark wood moldings, even first-time diners will feel as if they’ve been here before. The staff is upbeat and welcoming and their attitude shines through in the first-rate service.  Diners are greeted with an extensive wine list, with many tempting choices offered for tastings or by the glass.

The menu is brief but long on appeal.   Start out with a dish of Mima’s olives and a selection of cheeses and cured meats such as proscuitto de Parma, porchetto or speck accompanied by ricotta fresca, robiola or tallegio.

Their handmade pastas included spaghettini with shrimp, arugula and san marzono pomodoro and rigatoni with veal bolognese.  Move onto an entree from the list of “carne” or “pesce.” We ordered the “veal involtini” with pine nuts, currants, bread crumbs, escarole and borlotti.  There were braised short ribs, wild salmon and even rabbit for adventurous eaters.  Each offering combines familiar ingredients with a few novel additions.

For dessert, we couldn’t resist the bombolini with ricotta fresca, and powdered sugar.  They turned out to be the Italian version of fresh donut holes sprinkled in powdered sugar, accompanied by a caramel sauce. These will not be easy to forget.

Neither will the entire meal.  As we exited the restaurant another diner turned to me and remarked, “Wasn’t that the best? I’ve eaten here many times and I’ll be back again and again.”

One cautionary note – reservations are necessary and not always easy to get.  I emailed the restaurant on a Monday and they were already booked for the following Saturday. But luckily the receptionist took my number, and when they received a cancellation at the end of the week they called us to confirm.  

So plan ahead and be persistent. You’ll be well rewarded for the effort.

Mima Vinoteca
Kitchen & Wine bar
63 Main Street
Irvington
914.591.1300
http://www.mimarestaurant.com/

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Area restaurants, grocers, delis and gourmet shops offer a varied choice of delectable treats.  Whether you’re looking for a hearty Italian meal or a dietetic treat, there’s something for everyone within the boundaries of our zip code. Below are a few of our favorites. What do you crave? Add to the list by sending in your secrets in the Comments section below:

Have you had the Mozzi Sandwich from Michael’s Gourmet?  It’s a satisfying combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil dressing.
Michael’s Gourmet Food Shop, 13 Spencer Place -723-3024


Guests for dinner? Serve them the ultimate dessert … the Renaissance Cake from La Renaissance Bakery –layers of almond meringue filled with chocolate cream, mocha buttercream and whipped cream, surrounded by slivered almonds.  Go for it!
La Renaissance, 9 Harwood Court – 472-0702



Veal Martini from Moscato – no matter how many times we order it, we want to have it again!
Moscato - 874 Scarsdale Avenue - 723-5700


Whether you like ‘em hot, extra hot or with Chernobyl sauce, the Buffalo Chicken Wings from the Candlelight Inn are famous. 519 Central Park Ave - 472-9706



Looking for a healthy lunch? One reader swears by Mrs. Green’s fresh-made soups. Try the vegetable or chicken soup from Mrs. Green's Natural Market, 780 White Plains Rd.  -- 472-0111



Trader Joe’s Non-Fat Plain Frozen Yogurt is as the carton says, “pleasantly tart” like Pinkberry, but much lower in cost.  It’s only $3.49 for an entire quart.  Try it!
Trader Joe’s, 727 White Plains Rd - 472-2988



Grandma’s Pizza – Here’s one you may not have tasted: a thin crispy Sicilian pie crust with ripe san marziano plum tomatoes, fresh garlic and fresh basil -- from the Scarsdale Pizza Station, 844 Scarsdale Avenue – 723-4700



Another guilt-free lunch is the Corfu Salad at Metro Deli – oversized with scallions, dill, feta, tomatoes and olives. Metro Deli at 4 Palmer Avenue or 878 Scarsdale Avenue - 713-0309
    

For an afternoon boost, sip a cool, refreshing Sorbet Sipper.  It’s a sweet mixture of sorbet and fruit juice available at Haagen-Dazs, 19 Spencer Place -723-7990
 
Need to feed the family? Stop by Mona Lisa Salumeria for Chicken Balsamico. Go early as they often run out.  Mona Lisa Salumeria, 829 Post Rd - 723-3493

No list would be complete without mentioning Lange's.  A fresh turkey on rye with russian is our favorite but their extensive menu of sandwiches, panninis and salads offers something special for every customer. 57 Spencer Place - 472-0330
 
We’re sure there are more great tastes out there, so add them to the list.

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A good friend had the prescience to make a reservation at Spadaro in New Rochelle before the New York Times review appeared in the Westchester Section this weekend.  We were the fortunate diners who got to relish our dinner as a crowd hovered outside the window on a chilly May night, hoping to get a table at this suddenly-hot eatery. 

Sited in a strip mall adjacent to Quiznos on Main Street in New Rochelle, the unassuming locale belies the delights within. The setting is intimate to say the least, and the size of the table makes it difficult to juggle all of the small plate offerings.

The best part of the meal is the beginning.  After Rosa takes your drink order, which is either “red” or “white”, out comes irresistible toasted Italian bread brushed with olive oil.  If you nod your head when she mentions the antipasto, a veritable feast arrives in short order, each served on small plates, served family style. 

On the night we were there, the antipasto featured fresh roasted vegetables included broccoli rabe, asparagus, string beans and red peppers and olives.  Before we could sample these, a bowl of steamed muscles were served, followed by a plate of creamy buffalo mozzarella and freshly sliced Prosciutto de Parma and another of spicy soppresetta and Italian cheese. 



There are no menus, relieving me of the burden of scrutinizing complicated selections and making tough decisions. Instead, Rosa returned to inform us of the pasta selections for the evening, which included a pappardelle with Bolognese sauce, a white and green pasta in cream sauce with peas, a ravioli and the Pasta Spadaro with mushrooms. 

After we gobbled up the steaming pasta, Rosa returned to tell us about the roasted or grilled meat, chicken and fish selections.  Our branzino arrived, complete with head, tail and bones and was fishy, but tasty.

And you would think we would have passed on the desserts, which included amaretto cheesecake, profiteroles and tiramisu – but we indulged in those and also opted for steaming cappuccino.  The check arrived and we were pleased to see that the tab was about $50 per person, quite reasonable for the size of the feast we had just enjoyed.



The biggest challenge is figuring out how to get in. Reservations are recommended!



Spadaro

211 Main Street

New Rochelle

(914) 235-4594

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