December 2018

Where to Celebrate The Holidays!

The Holiday Season is upon us, so whether you’ve been naughty or nice, time to make plans with friends and family. If you are going out, here are some festive suggestions for every palate, each offering a good dose of Holiday cheer. Seasoned Greetings!

 

GIGANTE RESTAURANT

660 WHITE PLAINS ROAD, EASTCHESTER

914-961-1001

Mulino’s at Lake Isle, the state-of-the-art catering facility at Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester, now sports a new a la carte full-service restaurant. Beautifully decorated for the Holidays, Gigante Restaurant has opened offering an Italian/modern American menu in a contemporary setting. Picture windows overlook al fresco patios and swimming pools. Chef Samuel Kim will be at the helm in the kitchen. Chef Kim previously worked for Clyde’s Restaurant Group at 1789 in Georgetown, D.C., and The Modern and Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurant Group in Manhattan. We recently enjoyed cocktails at the sparkling bar along with delicious Fried Calamari and Soshito Peppers. Restaurateurs Louis Gigante of Mulino’s of Westchester in White Plains, and his son Louis Gigante, Jr. oversee the day to day operation. www.giganterestaurant.com

 

SAGE CAFÉ/MARKET/MORE

700 NORTH AVE., NEW ROCHELLE

914-740-5755

Sage Café/Market/More opened in a bright, airy 135-seat multi-sectioned space last January just across from the main entrance at IONA College on North Ave. in the Beechmont section of New Rochelle. There is an eclectic international menu offering lunch, dinner and weekend brunch in a casual contemporary setting, a bar/lounge that bustles during happy hours, semi-private party space for all types of events, and a convenience market for eat-in or take-out. Large picture windows look across at the IONA campus. Colorful modern prints hang on the walls. A Sage waterfall flows in the lounge, fish tanks, too. Specialties include: Sage Mediterranean Mezze Platter, tzatziki, red pepper hummus, and baba ghanoush served with cucumber, carrots and fresh pita chips; Sesame Chicken Lettuce Wraps, spicy sesame chicken, bib lettuce wraps, cucumber, napa slaw and plum sauce; Prime Rib Sliders served on onion brioche rolls; and Maryland Crab Cake Burger served with coleslaw, aioli, and signature fries. There is a popular Happy Hour served Monday thru Friday, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Weekend Brunch. There is occasional live entertainment. Free parking. www.sagecmm.com

 

HURLEY’S STEAKHOUSE & PUB

15 DIVISION ST., NEW ROCHELLE

914-738-6000

Enjoy a cocktail by the fireplace. Seasoned restaurateur Paul Hurley has opened a handsome 90-seat gastro-pub in New Rochelle 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.   www.hurleyssteakhouse.com

 

GROWLERS BEER BISTRO

25 MAIN STREET DEPOT, TUCKAHOE

914-793-0608

Located inside a renovated 1906 powerhouse Metro-North building. Growlers serves an ever-changing roster of international craft brews in a rustic 65- seat industrial space. There is a busy cocktail bar, communal high-top tables and a rear room with banquette seating. On occasion, you can hear the railroad whistle its way past. There are 20 taps on hand, and servers who are knowledgeable about their product. Wines and specialty cocktails are also available. Great starters include: New York Style Fresh Baked Pretzel served with choice of dipping sauces; Hot Artichoke Spread, served with bread crisps; and Beer Cheese Potato Skins. Burgers and Sandwiches are always on hand: Turkey Reuben, on toasted rye, Dijon mustard, Swiss, sauerkraut and Russian dressing; Growlers Beef Burger with choice of toppings, served on brioche roll; and Veggie Burger, spicy bean-based burger with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato and red onion on toasted brioche roll. Happy Hours: 4-7 p.m. www.growlersbeerbistro.com

 

PELHAM PIZZERIA

113 FIFTH AVE., PELHAM

914-738-7554

You can debate about your favorite pizza joints: Louie & Ernie’s, Bronx; Sal’s, Mamaroneck; Johnny’s, Mt. Vernon; Cole’s, Bronxville; even Frank Pepe’s in New Haven. I submit, Pelham Pizzeria is right up the with the best of them! One of the most popular pizza shops in the area, Pelham Pizzeria & Ristorante, has been marking a 40th Anniversary in bustling Pelham, N.Y. with a classic Italian-American menu and first-rate pizza specialties. The menu runs the gamut of popular dishes at reasonable prices for eat-in or take-out: Hot Appetizers, Soups, fresh crisp Salads, Hot & Cold Wedges, Pastas, Lunch & Dinner Entrees, and of course, Specialty Pizzas galore. The display case at the counter beckons with its fresh baked pizzas by the slice: Sausage Pie with the house signature lumps of tasty sausage; Spicy Crush Slice; Spinach Pie, White Pizza, and Chicken Cutlet Pie. Many of the classic Italian-American red-sauce favorites are here: Veal, Chicken, Shrimp or Eggplant Parmigiana; Homemade Lasagna; Baked Manicotti; Veal or Chicken Francese; Shrimp Scampi; Veal Marsala; and hearty Grilled Chicken with Broccoli Rabe and Potatoes. Portions are very generous. www.pelhampizzeria.com

 

DON JITO

122 MAMARONECK AVE., MAMARONECK

914-902-5486

This new popular spot serves a tempting fusion of Mediterranean and Latin cuisines with pizzazz. Tacos & Tapas, they like to say. Dark woods, brick and brown textured leather are reminiscent of a Spanish wine cellar. Let Sue Vitiello and the staff help you thru such house specialties as: Chorizo Flatbread, Donjito Wings, Pulpo a la Plancha; Tacos with a variety of fillings, short rib barbacoa is a favorite; Paella Barcelona; Chicken Enchiladas; or marinated Skirt Steak. There are house made Churros and Tres Leches Cake for dessert. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch is pending. Inviting bar area. Party facilities. The same group has a sister restaurant in Scarsdale called: Popojito. www.donjito.com

 

ERNIE’S WINE BAR

7 PONDFIELD ROAD, BRONXVILLE

914-652-7859

I have been impressed with the great food, fine wines and hospitality I have encountered at cozy Ernie’s Wine Bar & Eats in Bronxville. Out of Ernie’s tiny kitchen come laudatory renditions of American/Global dishes bursting with flavor. Oenophiles, take note. The carefully selected wines served here, many from small-batch independent producers, can be heavenly. It is a wonderful place to unwind, take in some music on special nights, and indulge. The small bar is great for networking, too. Recent food tastings here have included Luisanna’s amazing meatballs, cheese & charcuterie platter, Duck Wontons, Duck Confit, a wonderful Fettuccine Carbonara; Mushroom & Pea Risotto, and Baked Cod with Vierge Sauce. There is live entertainment. Check ahead for updates. Open Monday thru Saturday for happy hour and dinner. www.ernieswinebar.com

 

ARTIE’S STEAK & SEAFOOD

394 CITY ISLAND AVE., CITY ISLAND, BRONX

718-885-9885

Owner Spiros Chagares puts a lot of Holiday spirit into the traditional and contemporary dishes served here. 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. A variety of craft beers are on hand. Check out the bar/lounge most evenings for good networking. Private party facilities. Open 7 days. Free parking. www.artiescityisland.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 greater Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: gutreactions@optonline.net)

 

 

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