Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dining Out Italian Style


Culinary Corner


By Morris Gut

ENTERTAINMENT- If you want to take a nice spring drive up the Sprain Parkway and stop off for a great meal, this a place to consider. 


A veteran restaurant team has pooled their years in the hospitality business and opened Tesoro D’Italia Ristorante, a casual family-friendly Italian eatery on Marble Ave. in Pleasantville. The sprawling space had previously operated as Trattoria 160.

Heading the day-to-day operation is Peter Lucaj who had been general manager of Ciao Ristorante in Eastchester for 16 years. Chef de Cuisine is seasoned Dan Pennacchio whose family from father Paolo and siblings on down have been in the restaurant trade for many years.

The restaurant is divided into a main dining room for 100 guests, a semi-private fireplace room for up to 40 guests, and a lovely glass enclosed wine room seating up to 25. A spacious banquet room can accommodate 130 for all types of parties and private events. There is an inviting color-tiled bar/lounge area for networking and spirited conversation, and casual dining too. A dramatic wine wall highlights the dining room along with smoked glass dividers and white tablecloths. Grey and white hues help polish the space.

The regional Italian menu includes such popular starters as: Fried Calamari with dipping sauce; Baked Clams; Eggplant Rollatini; Grilled Portobello Mushroom; Italian Baby Eggplant; and Hot Antipasti Platter for two, with baked clams, fried calamari, shrimp oreganata and grilled Portobello.

Fresh Salads include: Tesoro, with chopped lettuce, cucumbers, chick peas, roasted peppers, cannelloni beans and tomatoes; Arugula, with goat cheese, marinated Portobello mushrooms, tomato and balsamic vinegar; classic Caesar Salad; a wonderful Endive Salad with roasted peppers, gorgonzola, balsamic and olive oil; and Caprese, with fresh mozzarella, grilled eggplant, roasted peppers and beefsteak tomatoes. 

Hearty Pasta specialties include: a delicious Fusilli Melanzana with fresh tomatoes, basil, eggplant, parmigiana cheese, fresh mozzarella in a meat sauce; Linguini Seafood, with shrimp, calamari, clams, mussels with fresh tomato, basil, sautéed garlic & oil; Two-Color Cavatelli, with broccoli rabe, sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, garlic & oil; house made Mushroom Ravioli, stuffed with porcini and Portobello, ricotta, served with a light truffle cream sauce; classic Linguini with Clam Sauce; and Pasta al Salmone, served with sliced fresh salmon in a pink sauce. 

Generously served main courses include: Chicken Tesoro, breast of chicken dipped in parmigiano cheese with white wine, lemon, peas and asparagus; Veal Chop Valdostana, stuffed with fontina cheese, prosciutto, parsley, white wine and shitake mushrooms & truffle oil; classic Filet of Sole Francese, served over spinach; Chicken Payard, breast of chicken pounded very thin, served with endive, avocado, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, oil & balsamic; Veal VSOP, veal scallopini with porcini and shitake mushrooms served in a garlic sage and cognac sauce; and Risotto Seafood, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, crab meat in fresh tomato & basil with white wine.

Carnivores will enjoy such hefty cuts as: 16 oz. Black Angus Shell Steak served with mushrooms; Broiled Veal Chop, served with mushrooms; Grilled Double Cut Pork Chop, served with vinegar peppers and sliced potatoes; Grilled Sausage, with peppers, mushrooms, onions, sliced potatoes; and 24 oz. bone-in Grilled Rib Eye Steak served with mashed potatoes.


Daily specials augment the regular menu. All entrees include fresh house salad. All meat, fish, pasta include vegetables.

Tesoro D’Italia Ristorante is located at 160 Marble Ave., Pleasantville, near the Thornwood border, just off Saw Mill Parkway, exit 27., or the Taconic State Parkway. The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Main courses at lunch: $14.95 to $31.95. At dinner: $14.95 to $34.95. Full take-out.  Bar/lounge with TVs. Private and semi-private party facilities. Banquet Room for all types of catered events. Major credit cards. Proper casual dress. Reservations accepted; suggested for larger groups. Ample free parking. Phone: 914-579-2126. www.tesoroditaliany.com 

(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food & dining scene in the Bronx and Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: gutreactions@optonline.net)

Shooting on Street Caught on Camera

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Prince Royce, ‘Orange’ actress get signs on Bx. Walk of Fame


By Dan Gesslein

ENTERTAINMENT- The Bronx courthouse looked like the outside of a concert hall as scores of screaming girls welcomed the arrival of singer Prince Royce who was among a small group to be inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame.





As the culmination of Bronx Week, celebs from the borough came home to be honored with a sign named after them along the Grand Concourse. 


Before the ceremony Royce took selfies with fans.

In addition to Royce, also honored were Hip-Hop pioneer Funkmaster Flex, ‘Orange is the New Black’ star Selenis Leyva and medical inventor Dr. Manny Villafaña. 

During the course of the ceremony each celeb posed with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. as they unveiled a street named after each celebrity.

“Every year, we are proud to welcome back the sons and daughters of The Bronx to celebrate their accomplishments and induct them to the Bronx Walk of Fame,” Diaz said. “This year we have four amazing honorees, and I am thrilled to join the people of The Bronx in congratulating them on this tremendous honor.”





“This is the time of year when the entire borough comes together to exhibit pride and show the rest of the world what a great place The Bronx truly is. We give our honorees a big hometown welcome as we celebrate their accomplishments!”says Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council.


Following the ceremony, the BP and organizers drove up to the other end of the Grand Concourse for the Bronx Week Parade.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Frankie Valli is Still a Stand Up ‘Jersey Boy’


By Ray Negron

ENTERTAINMENT- I want to wish a very happy birthday to my dear friend, Mr. Frankie Valli. Frankie is 83 years old and he is still performing better than ever. 





Frankie has always been a person that has been great to me and my friends. He is truly my generation's Sinatra. Frankie has always shown his kindness to people not associated with the arts, yet people around the arts always feel like a big deal when Frankie is around.  

I won't forget being at a function where there were many big stars there, including Frankie. All of a sudden Paul McCartney walked into the room and the minute he spotted Mr. Valli, he went up to him, put his arm around him, wished him well and started to sing "Sherry." If that doesn't tell you, how big Frankie really is, then nothing does.

Frankie has always been a hero to me and a lot of my friends. To say that I have probably been to 200 of his shows in my lifetime is an understatement. There are (at least) two things that will always be special to me about Frankie. First, when he was on Broadway and his show was sold out, I bought tickets from a scalper. When Frankie found out, he got upset with me, because he said, "no matter what, you never pay at my show." And, last year, when I couldn't attend his show, but my son Ricky went, Frankie spent most of his time babysitting Ricky, despite many of Frankie's friends being there to see him.

That's just who Frankie Valli is -- one of the really good guys that I have known in my life of sports and entertainment.  You’re Just good to be true!


Ray Negron is a community consultant with the New York Yankees, an accomplished writer and producer. He can be heard on ESPN Deportes 1050 AM Saturday-Sunday 12-2pm and also read on Newsmax and NYsportsday.com






Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Star Trek Discovery Trailer

Click on the new trailer for the latest Star Trek Discovery trailer.







Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Netflix Films Throughout Bronx

A Series of Unfortunate Events Films in Morris Park


By David Greene

ENTERTAINMENT– Looks like the Bronx is fast becoming a favorite place for Netflix to film.





Last week a large film crew from Netflix spent several days filming at the popular Williamsbridge Tavern, located at 1556 Williamsbridge Road in Morris Park.


The crew was filming the new Netflix series “A Series of Unfortunate Events” starring Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton and 13-year-old Malina Weissman, who plays Violet.


Two weeks ago the Bronx Voice chronicled how the Bronx was being transformed into Jersey for another Netflix show.

“Seven Seconds” is a crime drama in which an African-American teen is critically injured by a cop. The show is being developed by Veena Sud who developed the hit “The Killing.”


The Bronx Voice also observed two prop vehicles including a TV news van and a police squad car with Jersey city markings.


Before that Bronx Voice discovered that the hit CBS crime drama “Blue Bloods was filming at the same courthouse two weeks prior.



Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother’s Day Dining Out Guide

Where to Take Mom on Mother’s Day


By Morris Gut

DINING OUT– Mom deserves her special day. If you are planning to dine out on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th, here are a few suggestions in greater Westchester that cover a wide variety of tastes.




Special Hint: Mother’s Day is a big restaurant day, so be sure to reserve a table early. If possible, you can even take Mom out before or after actual Mother’s Day to keep it less stressful. Enjoy!

Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road,
New Rochelle
914-636-1229

There will be a lovely Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet, all-you-can-eat with complimentary champagne, Bellinis and sangria, served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $28 per person; $12 children.

When Nick DiCostanzo was growing up on the Island of Ischia on the Coast of Naples in 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 for over 30 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. There is also a talented new kitchen staff preparing robust specialties: fresh Ischia Salad; individual sized pizza; Giant Meatballs; good retro versions of Chicken, Veal or Shrimp Parmigiana; Mamma’s Chicken Breast Europeo, stuffed with prosciutto, mozzarella, mushrooms and spinach in a Marsala wine sauce; 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. Daily Happy Hours. Party facilities & off-premise catering. Free parking. www.mammafrancesca.com

Artie’s Steak & Seafood, 394 City Island Ave., Bronx 718-885-9885


Special menu on Mother’s Day. Owner Spiro Chagares and his staff offer patrons an inspired melding of traditional and contemporary dishes served with flair. 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. There’s a loaded Lobster Salad Roll at lunch and their Mediterranean style Pizzas are good to share, too. Check out the redesigned bar/lounge most evenings for good networking. Private party facilities. Off premise catering. Open 7 days. Free parking. www.artiescityisland.com


Dubrovnik, 721 Main Street, New Rochelle
914-637-3777


An a la carte Mother’s Day menu will be served along with traditional specialties. Jerry Tomic, a native of Croatia, always dreamed of bringing a true taste of the Adriatic to Westchester. Talented Chef Antonio Selendic mans the kitchen and he will transport you to the beautiful Dalmatian Coast in flavorful style. Jerry Tomic and managing partner Nada Bernic insist in sourcing all the finest ingredients in the seasonal marketplace. Most everything is house made from the bread to desserts. Try the Warm Octopus Salad; Steamed Mussels; Bay Scallops on the Shell; Fresh Cod Filet with grapes, olives, pearl onions; Mama Tereza’s lobster, shrimp, scallops, fish, clams and mussels steamed in a seasonal broth over pasta; Grilled Rack of Lamb; or whole roasted fish prepared out on the BBQ. “Fresh food, simply prepared is the Croatian way”, says Tomic. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Outdoor deck. Reservations suggested. Private party facilities. Valet parking. www.durbrovnikny.com


Tesoro D’Italia, 160 Marble Ave., Pleasantville 914-579-2126


A veteran restaurant team has pooled their years in the hospitality business and opened Tesoro D’Italia Ristorante, a casual family-friendly Italian eatery on Marble Ave. in Pleasantville. The sprawling space had previously operated as Trattoria 160. Heading the day-to-day operation is Peter Lucaj who had been general manager of Ciao Ristorante in Eastchester for 16 years. Chef de Cuisine is seasoned Dan Pennacchio whose family from father Paolo and siblings on down have been in the restaurant trade for many years. The restaurant is divided into a main dining room for 100 guests, a semi-private fireplace room for up to 40 guests, and a lovely glass enclosed wine room seating up to 25. A spacious banquet room can accommodate 130 for all types of parties and private events. There is an inviting color-tiled bar/lounge area for networking and spirited conversation, and casual dining too. A dramatic wine wall highlights the dining room along with smoked glass dividers and white tablecloths. Grey and white hues help polish the space. Check out such delightful specialties as: Eggplant Rollatini; Rotelli Melanzana, Chicken Payard, and Broiled Veal Chop. Open 7 days. Ample free parking. www.tesoroditaliany.com
Ciao, 5-7 John Albanese Place, Eastchester
914-779-4646

Zef and the amiable crew at this big bustling multi-level trattoria are marking their 28th Anniversary with a major renovation of the restaurant, a dramatic new seasonal outdoor deck, and generous platters of Italian/American cuisine served with gusto. Be seated and have Peter, the genial general manager suggest such open kitchen specialties as: Hot Antipasto for two, three or more, loaded with delectable fruits of the sea; fresh Arugula Salad with goat cheese, marinated Portobello mushrooms, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar; house made Pappardelle with fresh tomato, basil and chunks of fresh mozzarella; Salmon ala Ciao, with white wine, lemon, capers and asparagus; or Veal Salvaggio, decadently good with cognac, garlic, sage, shitake and porcini mushrooms. From the grill come such hefty cuts as: Broiled Veal Chop, Black Angus Shell Steak, Sausages Frioli served with peppers (hot or sweet), mushrooms, onions and sliced potatoes; and Pork Chops with vinegar peppers. Good pizzas, too. Cozy, friendly bar with Carole Ann at the helm. Party facilities. Open 7 days a week. Special Mother’s Day menu. Major credit cards. Free and valet parking. www.ciaoeastchester.com


Alex’s Bar & Grille, 577 North Broadway, N. White Plains
914-358-1444


There will be Mother’s Day specialties. Proprietor Alex Ahmetaj, a veteran of the restaurant-hospitality field, updated the menu at his 120-seat restaurant and bar/lounge offering big cuts of aged steaks and chops along with generously served Northern Italian/Continental fare. The staff brings years of experience and a European flair to White Plains. Customers enter the multi-section dining room thru the inviting bar/lounge with its black industrial ceiling, banquets and soft lighting. The handsome dining room is split into cozy sections with white tablecloths, colorful deVelleneuve impressionist paintings and warming sconces. Mediterranean clay colored banquets and chairs compliment wooden walls and plush beige curtained windows. There is a seasonal outdoor deck facing North Broadway at the corner of Fisher Ave. Check out such specialties as: Pan Fried Calamari with hot cherry peppers, Linguini alla Vongole, a delicious fresh Branzino prepared tableside, classic Veal Parmigiana, grilled Filet Mignon, NY Sirloin Steak, or the Pork Chops. Save room for the house made Tiramisu or Cheesecake. Daily happy hours in the bar/lounge 4 to 7 pm.

www.alexsbarandgrille.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 the Bronx and Westchester for over 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: gutreactions@optonline.net)