La Bocca in White Plains catching it's stride...
Stopped in to the new La Bocca Ristorante on Church Street, White Plains last night and the place was buzzing...owner Tony Spiritoso was all over the room talking with customers...the dining rooms have more color now then they did a couple of weeks ago, nice furniture, artwork and decorations have been added...did a tasting from the Antipasti Table, the giant Mortadella, some cheeses, olives, peppers and cured meats...quite tasty with the crusty Italian bread...followed with a bowl of Fusilli Calabresi, with a lovely ragu sauce, flavorful as well...moved on to the hit of the night: their special of the evening of tender Pork Osso Buco with Broccoli Rabe on the side (marrow spoon included), beautifully plated and presented by chef Cristian Petitta...a very satisfying meal! The staff was very accommodating. This spot started off on shaky ground but seems to be catching it's stride...
I must report on my latest close encounter at La Bocca, the bustling new Italian spot in White Plains...A Friday night tasting included: fresh Baccala Salad (an ode to Carnevale); decadent Gnocchi Cremosi, with pears and a gorgonzola cream sauce; and Pollo alla Diavola, organic cornish hen marinated with rosemary, garlic and olive oil served with roasted diced sweet potato...a winning meal loaded with flavor! For dessert the kitchen surprised us with house made lemon sorbet with cream served in a flute glass...wow!
Talking about Carnevale, the annual Italian harvest festival or mardi gras, owner Spiritoso (who is originally from Calabria) told us he will be serving a traditional multi-course Carnevale feast here this Thursday evening, Feb. 21st...the tag is $65. per person. I would call ahead if interested (914-948-3281).
Had a wonderful meal there last night.
Started with cabbage (very tasty) / bread followed by the antipasti tray (fantastic layout) and calamari (very fresh). We had the Red Snapper Special / Chicken w/Fig Sauce / Gnocchi Pasta. Everything was so fresh. Dining room is fine but the bar seems to overwhelm it. Service is friendly and informative. With all the new restaurants in White Plains La Bocca doesn't seem to get the press it deserves. Shame - quality stuff here!
Tony Spiritoso was known to have made some of the best Chicken Scarpariello in the county. I guess a visit to La Bocca will confirm for me if he has continued on with his favored tradition or if he has disgraced his reputation. Pollo Scarpariello just so happens to be on his lunch menu. Goody, goody, and it's on-the-bone, as it should be.
Link ---> http://www.laboccaristorante.com/
I ate here Monday night and i was very pleased with it!
I still am not used to the fact that we have like "hip" restaurants in White Plains! The inside is really nice and has a really comfortable feel to it.
Now for the food, we first got some bread and this awesome caponata... really flavorful with eggplant, peppers, and raisins!!! It was delicious.
The antipasti was probably the best part! Delicious meats and cheeses arranged on a huge plate! We thought we wouldn't be able to finish it but we definitely got through it fine because it was irresistable! Aside from the huge plate, the owner (im assuming Tony Spiritoso) brought out some Gorgonzola with truffle... omg to die for!
The arugula, onion, and tomato salad was way too close to what i had every day in Italy over the summer... it was delicious!
The Octopus with celery and lemon was... eh... kinda bland.
As for the main courses, i had a special... black spaghetti with lobster (2 lobster tails!) with fradiavolo sauce.... the sauce was spicy and fresh with chunky tomatoes... a little cheese wouldve been nice because it was lacking a salty flavor...
My moms pork chops were SUPER tender and it was prepared in a really unique way (at least ive never had it)... it was in this jalapeno vinegary sauce, with sauteed vegetables... but it also tasted sweet at the same time. It was really good but it was the kind of thing where you can get sick of the flavor really quick...
My stepdad had the red snapper?? It was some kinda fish.... but it was cooked PERFECTLY! Im really picky about the way fish is cooked and this one was moist and delicious.
For dessert we got a delicious Italian Cheesecake...
So all in all, its a nice little Italian place with a great staff (really attentive and the owner is so friendly and talkative!!)... I definitely would like to try some of the other dishes!
With all the new high price restaurants that opened in white plains in the last year, it is good to see that la bocca is not over the top with it's pricing, the food is always fresh and it's a fun place to go for a drink either before or after dinner. The crowd is not young and everyone is friendly.
I experienced La Bocca Saturday night. The service was horrible! We were seated quickly at a dirty table (stained cloth (used napkins, no forks). My girlfriend said "be nice" so I stayed quiet. Next we waited 20 minutes and then had to 'flag down" our waiter to take our drink order. He was rude and we waited another 15 to get them, never did we receive a wine list and WE asked him for the specials and he was annoyed to give them. Like we were bothering him. The food came about 30 minutes later..cold. FYI it was not busy at all. We had to ask for grated cheese and forks (because of the used table) and when we finally found him for the check he basically threw it on the table at us. I am the nicest patron in the world. I worked in the business for years. I understand certain situations. There was NO reason that we were treated so badly. I will never recommend this place or return.
La Bocca Ristorante
8 Church St, White Plains, NY 10601