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Jun 3, 2004 05:15 AM

Valentino's in Yonkers is the best, any contenders????

  • l

Valentino's on Bronx River Road is truly the the finest Italian restaurant I've been to anywhere in the county. Still, it would be nice to find a comparable spot somewhere around here. People speak of Gregory's, Dom & Vinnie's (now in White Plains I believe after years in Yonkers), as well as Sam's in Dobbs Ferry. I haven't been to any of them. Are they emulative of the big V?

As for the nearby ones I've been to, they're good, but not Valentino's good: Spiga, Rustico, Mulino's (though much "fancier"), Enzo's, Chef Antonio, Eclisse/Laguna, Mario Vera (Arthur Avenue has lost the sparkle that Valentino's has so well preserved), and Piero's.

My favorite foods at Valentino's are veal milanese, the house fettucine (an extraordinary version of carbonara), french fries, cold antipasto, and shrimp cocktail. No other restaurant has prepared these dishes so masterfully. Especially the shrimp cocktail--the sauce is from fresh tomatoes and fresh horseradish and tastes unbelievable.

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  1. I agree!!!!!! This is one superb restaurant. Definitive chincken parm!

    1. I agree!!!!!! This is one superb restaurant. Definitive chincken parm!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Budinado

        Well I prefer the veal parm/milanese but if chicken's your thing, then it's hard to imagine a better place for it. The marsala works well too!

      2. I haven't been there in almost 20 years. It was always good, but never great. I will have to check it out. The best thing was the free wine and chatting with other folks while you waited for a table (no reservations back then) and watching all the Family that used to hang out there. Is it still long and narrow and super jam packed with tables? Free everlasting bottle of sambuca at meal end? Really good mussels marinara? And inexpensive?

        5 Replies
        1. re: The Rogue

          20 years! You should give it another chance. It is still cramped, which is why people I know avoid the peak hours on weekends. I don't know about the wine and sambuca, my drinks of choice are soda or water with food and beer/whiskey after work. I'm guessing not, they probably gave out the free stuff in their early years before establishing a reputation. My friends like the mussels marinara, I'm into the veal entrees and seafood appetizers. His prices are quite reasonable if you ask me, 12 bucks for a huge plate of fettucine with pancetta and mushrooms or 16-17 for veal milanese or parmigiana that will feed two or can be taken home.

          1. re: Lou Henter

            Sounds like the prices have doubled since the 80's. All anyone drank was the house wine, and it was served you whether you asked or not. Both when you were given a number and at your table, poured endlessly. At meal end you were also served espresso with out ordering and the sambuca put on the table. But they weren't new and trying to get a rep back then. They werhad been around quite awhile back then, already a bit shabby around the edges and the obligatory signed black and white framed photos on the walls, and 99% of the customers were Italian gents with their lieutenants or their ladies, (always wives, never the mistresses) with their bodyguard/drivers waiting outside.

            1. re: The Rogue

              Yeah, it sounds like the restaurant has changed. I first went there in the fall of '88 back when it was cash only (like Domenick's, chef Valentino's previous place of business) and had a more prominent "friend of the friends" feel. Now you see a larger percentage of regular folks there and they take credit cards. In 20 years it isn't surprising that the prices have risen, but they still beat those of Westchester's other reputable Italian joints, as does Valentino's quality, in my opinion.

              1. re: Lou Henter

                Had a very nice dinner at Valentino's in Yonkers last night. Celebrated a relative's birthday and I hadn't thought to indicate thusly ahead of time.

                However, when ordering dessert, I urged him to order dessert as it was his birthday. Well...and this is a first for me in any restaurant in Westchester...apparently the server was ACTually paying attention, since next thing we knew the lights were dimmed and all the staff sang HB to my relative and presented him with a candle in his dessert.

                I was very impressed. The food was very good and this place is a standout in my opinion. Oh, and the parking is free.

                1. re: dolores

                  We love valentinos!! Food is very good. We also like Luie and Johnnies on central ave. Huge portions!!. I haven't been there since moving to CT. Bu my wife and I used to go all the time.

        2. Yeah, that place is the shiznit as the young kids say. Or they used to say.

          I moved out west and I will tell you that I've yet to find an Italian place in Colorado that even comes close. I almost always order the linguine with shrimp and it's one of those dishes that's great fresh, but even better the day after since the sauce integrates after a night in the fridge.