Table Hopping with Morris Gut
Valentine’s Day is Monday, Feb. 14th. Restaurants and nightspots throughout Westchester are gearing up to serve some of their most delicious specialties. Take out is a fine option, too. 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.
Casual Cool at The 808 Bistro, Scarsdale
This eclectic Italian and American eatery on Scarsdale Ave. glows nightly in a rainbow of alternating colors. Glistening ceramic and metal tiles highlight the 50-seat dining room and ceiling. There are modern artworks and lighting, silver metal chairs softened by stressed leather seats for comfort. It’s a Manhattan vibe and it’s all kept properly casual. Chef/owner Sal Cucullo Jr. is a C.I.A. graduate who practically grew up in restaurants. He knows how to cook Italian, but for as long as I have known him his creativity has never been bound by culinary borders. He can knock out a delicious version of Grandma’s Gnocchi in a basil-pomodoro sauce one moment, and in another prepare a decadent Baked Macaroni and Cheese with chunks of lobster and shrimp, infused with truffle oil, that will propel you to foodie heaven. The 808 Bistro, 808 Scarsdale Ave., Scarsdale. 914-722-0808 www.the808bistro.com
Salsa Party at Minis Latin Fusion, New Rochelle
Nicole Pirraglia-Piparo of City Island opened Minis Latin Fusion, a charming eatery serving colorful, flavorful Latin/Caribbean specialties such as fresh made traditional Sancocho Stew, ‘Picaderas’ such as Cuban Spring Rolls, and Shrimp Tostones. ‘Plato’s Fuertes’ include Pernil, Mofongo, Ropa Vieja, and Churrasco with rice & beans. New Haitian dishes via Chef Evens Auguste include Conch, and Tassot de Cabrit, fried goat. Minis is open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch Tuesday – Sunday. Take out. Free parking. Minis Latin Fusion, 237 Main Street, New Rochelle. 914-355-5609 www.minislatinfusion.com
Romeo & Juliet at Magno’s Grill
It’s a special Surf & Turf for Valentine’s: Filet Mignon with 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, opened his 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
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(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. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)