Amore! The coupling of food and wine with the sensual is the aphrodisiac of literature and verse through the ages. Pucker up! Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, Feb. 14th. Restaurants are gearing up to serve some of their most titillating specialties. Here are a few delectable dishes and dining venues for you and your loved one, and don’t forget to reserve early…
Celebrate with Truffles at Le Sirene!
The Fratelli Bruno: Cosimo and Gerardo, have combined their considerable talents in opening Le Sirene Ristorante on Palmer Ave. in Larchmont. They 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 Executive Chef Alberto Pepe. Let the warmth 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. Have them prepare one with truffles on top. Le Sirene is located at 1957 Palmer Ave., Larchmont. Phone: 914-834-8300 www.lesireneristorante.com
Share a Pastry at Nutmeg Café!
Nutmeg Café opened on Main Street in Tuckahoe offering a variety artisanal baked goods, craft foods and beverages for eat-in and take-out. Proprietor and creative force behind Nutmeg is Cindy Bothwell. You may recognize Cindy from her years working Farmers Markets around the county in Bronxville, Irvington, Chappaqua and Scarsdale, selling her signature goods under the ‘What’s For Dessert?’ brand. The Café is warm and inviting. There is seating for up to 25, soft background music, exposed brick walls and display cases filled to the brim with the tempting daily larder. Bothwell calls her way of cooking and baking: “American home-style rustic” and insists on keeping up with the seasons. Delightful beverages include such exclusive artisanal makers as Joe’s Coffee out of Brooklyn. Fresh made soups and salads are available and posted daily on the blackboard. Enjoy delectable cheddar scallion scones; caramelized onion & gruyere crostada; and cauliflower, leek & Asiago quiche. Open daily; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nutmeg Café, 64 Main Street, Tuckahoe. 914-779-1328 www.thenutmegcafe.com
Robust Italian at Trattoria Vivolo!
Chef-owner Dean Vivolo of Trattoria Vivolo serves his robust regional Italian cuisine out of a vintage diner across from Harrison’s Metro-North station. Sit at the counter, tuck into a booth, or take a table in the rear greenhouse and enjoy the surprising contemporary and traditional flavors emanating from his kitchen: tasty thin-crusted pizza; Crostino di Polenta, topped with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola and tomato sauce; Linguine with Clam Sauce; Lasagna Bolognese al Forno; and by special request, warm fresh Zabaglione with fresh fruit for dessert. Good wine list. Sparkling lights evenings. Open 7 days. Trattoria Vivolo, 301 Halstead Ave., Harrison. 914-835-6199 www.trattoriavivolo.com
French Love at La Panetiere!
Pull up to La Panetiere in Rye and enter the beautifully appointed dining rooms, proprietor Jacques Loupiac’s long-running bastion of French cuisine will create an unforgettable experience. The professional staff led by Cheryl Just and Stephane, the genial maître d’ and Chef Dean Lupiac will fill you with passion. Each course is artfully plated. The Dover Sole and Grand Marnier Souffle are wonderful. Fine wines, too. It’s the best way to visit Paris without leaving Westchester. La Panetiere is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Monday evening thru Sunday. Private party facilities. Catering. Bar/lounge. Take out. Major credit cards. Ample parking. Reservations advised. La Panetiere, 530 Milton Road, Rye. 914-967-8140 www.lapanetiere.com
(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. 914-235-6591 firstname.lastname@example.org)