For more than 40 years, chefs at the family-owned Villa Nova E. have been sticking to time-tested recipes and techniques to craft authentic Italian cuisine. They tuck cheese filling into homemade ravioli, douse veal and shiitake mushrooms in cognac sauce, and top sea-scallop scampi with an herb-and-white-wine sauce. Along with a gluten-free menu, chefs create a trio of catering menus built around buffets, brunch, and Sweet 16 parties, where each dish is cooked atop the engine of the guest of honor's new car. In-house meals unfold inside Villa Nova E.'s spacious dining room, or parties of up to 140 guests commence in two upstairs rooms.
A restaurant is only as good as its head chef. Luckily, Tombolino has Pietro Siciliano. Recognized in 2010 by Bon Appétit as top chef in Westchester, Siciliano prepares scratch-made pastas and other Italian-style delicacies daily using imported ingredients and kitchen mastery learned during his training at the Culinary Institute in Italy. A selection of more than 500 wines pair well with Siciliano’s creations, which include house specialties such as almond-crusted chilean sea bass and veal milanese.
The cuisine curators at Good to Go present a menu of hearty Italian and American cuisine amid a romantic, warmly lit space with walls bedecked by soft pink and yellow hues. Loosen up clenched craws for an appetizer of ricotta-and-mozzarella-stuffed fried rigatoni ($8.50) while lubricating the gullet with a Black Oak chardonnay ($7.95). The chicken ’n’ spinach flatbread ($9.95) demonstrates that cuisine can be enjoyed in three or two dimensions, and the spaghetti bolognese stitches together a quilt of cream and meat sauce with tasty noodles ($12.95).
Drivers leaving Famous Pizza Express wait for their cars to fill with aromatic steam that hints at the contents of warm boxes. The vapors suggest pastas, calzones, and pizzas crowned with toppings including breaded chicken, meatballs, broccoli, and fresh garlic. Massive trays of chicken parmigiana and gnocchi are ideal for feeding partygoers or convincing an IRS auditor that you really do have 11 dependent Italian grandmothers.
A staple of the Bronx for more than 40 years, F&J Pine Restaurant boasts a pantheon of menu options, from seafood succulents to traditional Italian fare. Begin an edible excursion with a plate of clams Casino, where mollusks gamble away their pearly life savings while mingling with vinegar peppers and bacon ($12.50). Those looking to dive straight into an entree can anchor incisors in the farfalle rustica, a flavorsome concoction of grilled chicken, roasted peppers, and broccoli in basil-infused olive oil ($14.50 for a regular portion). Much like eating an R. L. Stine novel, omnivores can choose their own delicious adventure with the Milanese pine-style cutlet, where a pan fried slice of chicken, veal, or eggplant, gets into precarious situations with a swath of roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella in a warm balsamic vinaigrette ($11.50–$15.50).