Since 1958, this Zagat-rated restaurant has plated authentic Italian cuisine handcrafted from the freshest ingredients in Chef Salvatore Cucullo’s kitchen. Open for lunch and dinner, the 50-seat eatery’s specialties range from spicy seafood dishes made with generations-old family recipes to saucy pastas and comforting chicken and veal entrees. Wines culled from across the globe lend meals an international flair and boast subtle notes of jet lag, and Fratelli’s catering services help satisfy packs of peckish minglers.
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.
The menu at Frankie & Fanucci's Wood Oven Pizzeria is dominated by the offerings from the authentic 800-degree wood-burning oven, which chars the tasty toppings melting against thin crust dough and crispy panini rolls. The simple margherita pizza consists of fresh mozzarella from Brooklyn, imported italian plum tomatoes, and fresh basil (16", $16.95). Personal pizzas measuring 10 inches entice eaters with a smaller-sized saucer, a whole-wheat crust option, and more table room to build napkin skyscrapers reinforced with forks ($9.95-$12.95). The wood oven also blisters hot-pressed chicken provolone panini and its mix of provolone cheese, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and sweet roasted-garlic dressing ($8.95). Opposing cool textures of the pear and gorgonzola salad allot a small forest of mixed greens topped with roasted walnuts and pear dressing to prepizza palettes ($8.50). Pasta, available at the Mamaroneck location, teams with the scratch-made Grandma's Sunday Sauce to create flavor-saturated entrees such as cheese ravioli ($13.95). The Hartsdale Village location, mentioned in a New York Times article, imparts passionate discussions of sweets through the nutella pizzetta, where the delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread smoothes over pizza crust before being struck with a vanilla ice-cream meteor ($7.50).
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.
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.