Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >
Sep 26, 2012 06:31 PM

New in Mamaroneck

It seems that restaurants are opening in Mamaroneck with no fanfare and are leading a stealth existence.

First I noticed that something has moved into the old Barnacle space. I wouldn't have noticed it if there hadn't been a giant fork and knife by the door. The sign, bearing the name Bar Harbor, was on the ground. The sign was eventually hung, but it seems the place is open. Lights are on, doors are open, and cars are parked outside. I never saw any announcements for an opening. There is no website, and no online reviews.

The next is Fiamma Trattoria on Halstead Ave. Obviously it's Italian, but I can't tell what kind. Again, stealth existence. No references to the place online.

Does anyone know anything about these places? Are they any good? Do they not advertise because word of mouth is just that good and I'm just not cool enough to have heard? If I were to just walk into one some night, what should I expect?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can't speak to Bar Harbor - don't imagine it will be anything better than any of the previous incarnations but I'm hoping to be surprised. Fiamma however is very good. I wouldn't say the chef, a young guy who previously owned a restaurant in the Bronx, is targeting any specific region. He goes to the markets in the morning and sees what he likes. The menu changes daily and has a variety of northern, southern or sicilian dishes. It's become a regular go to spot for many in the neighborhood as the prices are extremely reasonable considering the quality. Not every item is fantastic but most of them are good to very good to excellent. I'd highly recommend you give it a try. Also of note for parents, there is no children's menu per say but Doug (the chef) offers a hefty portion of spaghetti and meatballs for kids at a ridiculously low price - around $5 or $6.

    Be mindful, the place is tiny - about 10 tables - and can get very crowded. Don't know if anything has changed but you can reserve. Very casual and homey atmosphere.

    9 Replies
    1. re: laylag

      Laylag, where is Fiamma and what have you eaten there? Sounds interesting, thanks

      1. re: debmom

        It's on Halstead in Mamaroneck right on the corner of Melbourne. My googling indicates that a restaurant called Mi Cabanita used to be there. I drive by it everyday and just thought I hadn't noticed it before rather than thinking it was new. For what it's worth, I just read a glowing review on Yelp too, so maybe it's time to stop by.

        I live right by the old Barnacle/new Bar Harbor, but have yet to stop by there. I have high hopes for a good neighborhood joint, but I have a feeling I'll be let down.

        Any word on the place going into the old Applebee's spot? They have some minuscule signage up, but it looks rather depressing still.

        1. re: debmom

          It's been over a month or so since we've been and the menu changes regularly. We had bruschetta and a roasted pepper and mozzarella app - both were very good. Bread is very good too btw. We had a veal chop special that was okay but we didn't love and a truffle pasta that I couldn't stop eating. For dessert we had a terrific fresh and crisp cannoli and an excellent little Nutella 'calzone'. The next visit we brought our 12yo and she had the huge plate of kids meatballs and spaghetti - it was really good and I kept going in for second and third tastes. I had linguini con vongole - pasta was fresh although I prefer a more toothsome dried linguini n this dish. The whole small clams/manila? cockles? not sure, were very fresh and the sauce was light and not oily albeit a touch over salted. My husband went old school and had chicken parm and it was fantastic. Chicken was moist, breading crispy and not too heavy. Just the right amount of sauce and fresh mozzarella.

          As cbn says, it's on Halstead on the corner of Melrose where there used to be an awful bar called Mi Cabanita.

          If you go, please post and report back.

          1. re: laylag

            Just had dinner here. I also had the linguine with clams sauce, yes it was salty but really very good. Would try it again. My friend had the eggplant Parm., enough for 2 days and that was also very good. Looking forward to returning...I think the owner has a lot of guts to open a restaurant in the nasty old bar. Good luck to him.

        2. re: laylag

          Had dinner at Bar Harbor and it was very good. I had the fish and chips, delich but not enough, my friend had the chicken breast and it was also delish. Servers need to be trained in what service is all about, and I don't understand how a restaurant can open for business Without Coffee. Said Coffee would be there in a week or two. I think they want to be more a bar serving food than a restaurant offering drinks. I will give them time to get coffee before returning, but willing to give it another try. Food was really good.

          1. re: chefannie1266

            We went to Bar Harbor last night after reading this post. My boyfriend said "Well, we don't need to go back there" when we got home. I'm always a little more forgiving than he is. I thought the chowder was good--really creamy, almost in a way that made me wonder what was in it. I got the fish and chips. Fine, but the chips were much better than the fish. He had the chicken sandwich, which I guess wasn't too enjoyable. The service was comical--and really they weren't rude, just inexperienced, so I know that's not my boyfriend's reasoning for not going back. We had a nice girl who had clearly never waited tables before. She took one drink order then just left when no one immediately said their preference rather than asking the rest of us what we would like. There was no one there on a Sunday night at 7 and we felt very rushed--entrees came out before our apps were finished. They were quick to get us the check and sign the bill. It was just kind of awkward. I will say that they have done a great job on the interior of that place. It's kind of nautical and clean, a far cry from what the Barnacle used to be. I could see myself grabbing a drink (probably not wine again though...and I'm not a beer drinker either, but it did seem like they had quite a few fun varieties on tap) on the back terrace in the summer, but that's about all. Or maybe a bowl of chowder too.

            1. re: cbn456

              So sorry you didn't enjoy the fish. Maybe it was who was cooking. Yes, as I said the staff needed training. I don't mean to be rude but the staff borded being stupid. All have been to restaurnats and they themselves wouldn't except the service that they give. Did they have coffee yet. I also said that I thought that it was a bar serving food and not a restaurant offering drinks. So sorry you had a bad experience. Our food was good.

              1. re: chefannie1266

                I'm glad we tried it, so no need to apologize (it's literally across the street from my house, so I'd been meaning to pop in for a while). We had a fun dinner regardless. I would agree with your assessment that the staff behavior borders on stupidity. I did see coffee pots, so I would assume they had coffee, but I didn't ask specifically. I also agree about the bar with food rather than restaurant with drinks summary.

                1. re: chefannie1266

                  I went here on Saturday with my husband and our nieces. The kids loved their food. My husband got a burger which he devoured. I had the chicken sandwich-- pretty good, but probably fattening. Oh well!
                  All in all the food was very good. We had two girls serving our table and they did indeed seem very young . I know you said that they "wouldn't except (sic) the service that they give" but they were nice to my family and didn't seem that dumb. I'll be back, but probably on a slower night.

          2. We ate at Fiamma this weekend, and we will be going back. Home-made mozzarella was fantastic, as was the stuffed pepper and the veal saltimbocca. Reasonable wine list. Unfortunately we arrived late for dinner (well, late for Westchester standards which was 8:30) and they were all out of the home-made pasta (they offered to make those dishes but with dry pasta, but what's the point!).... so we will have to go back earlier next time to try the pastas. One complaint -- the restaurant was really cold. It was a cold night but still they need to turn up the heat.

            Service and food were great, I hope they last.

            1 Reply
            1. re: decayny

              Why are half of the restaurants on Mamaroneck Ave. (the section by Miller's toy store) "pan-East Asian?" Ah, if only I could go to the next iteration of Abis.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I finally tried Bar Harbor. Food was decent, but overpriced. Service was awful. It was friendly, but totally inept. Our server had no problem getting us more wine (although she did not bring a wine list with our menus, nor did the wine list contain the brands or the prices of the wines offered) but I had to ask for water twice. She abandoned my table before we could ask her for dessert or the check. Owner stopped and chatted at every table but ours. We had very long waits for food. My husband swore we would never go back there again and said this place deserves to to the way of the Barnacle.