The brainchild of head chef Anthony Labriola, Caffe Regatta Oyster Bar & Grill dresses traditional ocean critters in Mediterranean duds and packs oysters and other seafood into the raw bar that made a splash in Westchester Magazine. Friendly waiters scurry past white-clothed tables and nautical decor—including miniature boats and real-life sea captains perched on the full-service bar—bearing brunch, lunch, and dinner platters piled with refreshments ranging from lemon-ricotta hotcakes to a half pound of Alaskan king-crab legs. Summertime lures patrons to the outdoor patio, and BYOB Tuesdays give the restaurant's wine list a chance to collect its pages and prepare for another week of staring into thirsty eyes.
Chosen by Zagat as one of the best steak houses in Westchester County, The Willett House quells discerning appetites with scrumptious steaks and seafood. On the prix fixe dinner menu, starters such as lobster bisque and gorgonzola salad prime bellies for entrees such as chicken francese and a 10-ounce filet mignon au poivre coated in a peppercorn cream sauce. After lulling anyone who eats it into a content, satiated slumber, the 2-pound lobster (an additional $5) infiltrates diners’ dreams and pinches them awake again. As they finish off the table’s shared bottle of wine, each patron can choose from a tray of fresh, house-made desserts and wash down the treat with a cup of coffee or tea. Surrounding the main dining room, a pressed-tin ceiling and exposed-brick walls augment the 90-square-foot mural depicting life in turn-of-the-century Port Chester, when the seaside town still led the world in exports of soda jerks’ red-striped hats.
Viru Restaurant demonstrates its authentic Peruvian roots with a wide variety of traditional dishes. Causa rellena de camarones satisfies bellies with shrimp, as long as those bellies like their shrimp hiding inside chilled mashed potatoes that are spiced up with lime and yellow chili ($12). The parihuela, a soupy sea of seafood cooked with white wine, spices, and panca chili, moisturizes parched stomachs with a torrential downpour of flavor ($24). Representing the eternal battle between land and sea, the bisteck a la chorrillana—a grilled New York steak with a sauce made of panca chili, onions, and tomatoes ($24)—wields haricots verts clubs against the pescado sudado, the fish of the day poached in seafood broth and herbs ($19). Placing a comforting cap on dinner, flan reminds diners of former days when sweet, creamy desserts grew everywhere all the time and only cost a nickel ($6). In addition to edibles, Viru Restaurant nourishes guests at the bar, which stocks its shelves with an impressive supply of domestic and imported beers, sangria, wines, and chicha, a drink made of fermented maize.
Portofino Ristorante wins over visitors with feasts of baked clams, slow-cooked pork loins, and tender sautéed chicken atop beds of pasta. Perched upon City Island's waterfront, the restaurant cultivates an atmosphere that, like a tractor christening, is simultaneously rustic and urbane. The patio gives diners a view of New York's skyline; the interior evokes the image of a banquet hall in an Italian countryside villa—maroon leather chairs, warm light descending from chandeliers, and walls decorated in a stucco-esque scumbling and murals of Mediterranean harbor scenes. Guests sup on shrimp stuffed with crab meat or sautéed broccoli raab in cozy candlelit booths, break bread in the Piccolo Room or banquet area, or toast goblets of wine at the tucked-away wraparound bar.
The Waterview serves up delicious, Neptune-approved nourishment, along with Italian-inspired dishes, from its spot overlooking Manhasset Bay. For lunch, start with the mussel-pesto marinara ($8.95) or a refreshing cold-calamari salad ($8.95) marinated in olive oil with garlic, white vinegar, and lemon. Scallops, caked in batter and decadently bathed in the deep fryer ($18.95), come sided with fries, whereas a combo of fried shrimp, filet of sole, and scallops ($22.95) satisfies diners sharing Nikola Tesla's obsession with the number three. Come dinner, class it up with selections from the raw bar, including oysters on the half shell ($9.95), shrimp cocktail ($11.95), and little neck clams on the half shell ($9.95). Seafood also makes a cameo in pasta selections such as the seafood ravioli ($18.95) or linguini with clams ($21.95). End on a pie note with The Waterview's dessert options, including lemon-meringue pie ($7.50) or a cannoli ($5.50).