By Morris Gut
March 25, 2023
FOOD - Partners Imer Rraci and Chef Avni Brahimaj have opened Torcello Ristorante in the free-standing house that previously housed long-running La Riserva on Boston Post Road in Larchmont. Torcello, which is named after an island off the northern coast of Venice, espouses the classics of Northern Italian Cuisine
Imer Rraci is a 30-year veteran of the hospitality business, having formerly worked for the former Giambelli’s in Manhattan, and Valbella in Old Greenwich, Ct. He had operated his own restaurant Delvina in New Jersey.
The dining rooms have been enhanced with black and white photos of Italy set against white walls. The antique mirrored middle dining area sparkles against the white table-clothed seating. Wooden floor tiles lend a lovely contrast.
From Chef Avni’s kitchen come such fine starters as: Mozzarella Caprese, a colorful platter of beefsteak tomato with fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers; Artichokes Roman Stye, roasted baby artichokes, garlic, herbs, evo; house made Crab Cake, served with tartar sauce; and Eggplant Rollatini, with ricotta and spinach in a light tomato sauce.
Thin Italian Roman Piadina are prepared daily: Fig Flat Bread, figs, goat cheese, walnuts, with honey and evo; and Pear Flat Bread, pears, gorgonzola, pecans, arugula, balsamic glaze.
Fresh made Salads include traditional Cesare; Tre Color; or Insalata Di Barbabietole, baby arugula with red and golden beets, tomatoes, red onion, goat cheese and balsamic glaze.
Fresh made Pastas include Rigatoni Bolognese with meat sauce; Pappardelle Milanzane, fresh tomatoes and eggplant topped with fresh mozzarella; Risotto Di Funghi, with porcini mushrooms in a truffle cream sauce; and Spaghetti con Vongole, baby clams in garlic and oil served with a red or white sauce.
Main courses include Pollo Torcello, chicken breast topped with applewood bacon and melted fresh mozzarella in alight bourbon mushroom sauce; Veal Martini, scallopini lightly breaded with parmesan cheese in a lemon and white wine sauce; Pollo Scarpariello, boneless chicken with sausage and cherry peppers in a garlic lemon and white wine sauce; and Veal Sorrentino, scallopini topped with prosciutto and fontina cheese in a cognac sauce. There is a daily selection of fresh fish and seafood.
Carnivores will enjoy hunkering down to a Veal Chop, served with sauteed shitake mushrooms; 12 oz, Filet Mignon, served with a peppercorn brandy sauce; a hefty Shell Steak, grilled and served with sauteed peppers, mushrooms, and onions; and classic Rack of Lamb. All entrees served with vegetable of the day, and supplementary sides are available.
Torcello Ristorante Italiano is located at 2382 Boston Post Road, Larchmont. Open for dinner only from 4:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Main courses at dinner range: Appetizers: from $15. Entrees: $24 to $46. Bar & cocktails. Private party facilities. Take out. Proper casual dress. Major credit cards. Reservations accepted: 914-833-1118. www.torcellolarchmont.com
SEASIDE FAMILY STYLE MEALS AT MAMMA FRANCESCA!
Family-style Dinners for 4 to 8 guests are now being served at Mamma’s. The special menu is available all week and cost is $22.95 per person.
When Nick DiCostanzo was growing up on the Island of Ischia on the Coast of Naples, Italy, his earliest memories where of the simple seaside meals he would enjoy with his family, farm-to-table and of course sea-to-table. As proprietor of Mamma Francesca Italian Restaurant in New Rochelle for over 35 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. Nick is in the kitchen preparing robust specialties: fresh Ischia Tomato Salad; Brick Oven Pizza; Giant Meatballs; good retro versions of Chicken, Veal or Shrimp Parmigiana; 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. Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road, New Rochelle. Open 7 days. Pizza Bar. Happy Hours. Free parking. 914-636-1229 www.mammafrancesca.com
SPRING HUDSON VALLEY RESTAURANT WEEKS THRU APRIL 2!
This popular dining out promotion originally created and sponsored by The Valley Table Magazine includes approximately 150 restaurants, past participants and some new from all over the Hudson Valley even stretching the borders into Scarsdale, White Plains, Mamaroneck, and New Rochelle. Patrons are always anxious to cash in on the seasonal bounty at reasonable prices. There are added price options this year. Restaurants are expected to offer 3-course luncheons and dinners for $24.95, $29.95, or $39.95 or $44.95. Beverage, tax & tip are not included. Dine-in or take-out. Sometimes there are caveats, so be sure to verify the hours and the menus. Reservations are advised. For additional information and an up-to-date list of participating restaurants go to: https://valleytable.com/restaurant-week/
(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. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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