Mom deserves her special day. If you are planning to dine out on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th, 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!
The 808 Bistro, 808
Scarsdale Ave., Scarsdale 914-722-0808
Approaching their 10th year, this eclectic Italian and American eatery on Scarsdale Ave. in Scarsdale, glows nightly in a rainbow of alternating colors. Glistening ceramic and metal tiles highlight the 50-seat dining room and ceiling. There are modern artworks and lighting, silver metal chairs softened by stressed leather seats offer comfort, as does the friendly staff. It’s a Manhattan vibe and it’s all kept properly casual. Chef/owner Sal Cucullo Jr. is a C.I.A. graduate who practically grew up in restaurants, working kitchens owned by his Italian family as well venues of every stripe. He knows how to cook Italian, but for as long as I have known him his creativity has never been bound by culinary borders. He can knock out a delicious version of Grandma’s Gnocchi in a basil-pomodoro sauce one moment, and in another prepare a decadent Baked Macaroni and Cheese with chunks of lobster and shrimp, infused with truffle oil, that will propel you to foodie heaven. www.the808bistro.com
Le Sirene, 1957 Palmer Ave., Larchmont 914-834-8300
Recent tastings of deliciously light Lasagna, Ai Tre Formaggi Pizza, house made stuffed Stromboli, and comforting Soft Polenta with sweet bay scallops, made my palate swoon. Fratelli Bruno are veteran restaurateurs who also own such venerable dining rooms as San Pietro, Caravaggio and Sistina in Manhattan. They know how to cook with finesse the authentic Italian way: “Let natural food flavors express themselves,” is their culinary philosophy. Owner Cosimo Bruno is general manager and host, but also shares kitchen duties with talented Executive Chef Alberto Pepe. Let their signature flavors guide you into the pastel dining room. The bar/lounge is a good spot for cocktails and a snack. The Brunos know their wines. Cosimo is a Certified Sommelier. The ‘pizzaoli’ is at his wood fired pizza oven at the end of the bar ready to prepare over a dozen of his tasty individually styled pies. www.lesireneristorante.com
8 South Division Street,
New Rochelle 914-740-7240
A vibrant Chyrisse Crisp and her team have brought Westchester an exciting Caribbean restaurant loaded with colorful, comforting dishes from the islands. There is a long sparkling bar/lounge area leading into the dining room, part glass enclosed, part banquet seating. Start with an order of Lamb Meatballs, or Cod Fish Cakes. It is a lovely modern setting for such specialties as: ‘Pass The Dutchie’, traditional foods served in Dutch pots: Dutch Pot Fried Chicken; Jerk Pork & Jerk Chicken; Stewed Oxtail; Ackee with choice of fish; even Curry Goat on weekends. Whole fish include: Red Snapper, Salmon and Bronzini. If you’re in a vegetarian mode try the Tofu Chop Suey. Open Tuesday thru Sunday.
Mughal Palace, 16 Broadway, Valhalla 914-997-6090
Offer Mom a taste of exotic India. Owner Mohammed Alam of Mughal Palace will be serving Mother’s Day brunch and dinner. The all you can eat Indian brunch will be served from 11:30 am to 3 pm, more than a dozen selections from salad, main courses to desserts with all the trimmings. Cost is $15.95 per person. Dinner will be a la carte and begin at 5 pm. Look for such specialties as: Lasuni Gobi, cauliflower florets tossed with bell peppers, onion, garlic and green herbs; Chicken Barbacue Kabab, marinated boneless chicken cooked in the tandoor oven; Lamb Bhuna, pieces of lamb cooked in a medium spiced sauce of bell peppers, tomatoes and fresh Indian herbs; and Mango Chicken, boneless chunks of chicken cooked with fresh mango, ginger, garlic and dry spices. A glass of lassi with help wash it all down, and don’t forget the delicious house made Indian breads to scoop up the sauces. Open 7 days. The same team now operate Ambadi Kebab & Grill, 141 E. Post Road, White Plains. www.mughalpalace.com
(Morris Gut is a restaurant consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for over 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)