By Claudia Lutzky
There is something about a summer day that makes you want to eat outside – under a beautiful blue sky feeling the warm rays of summer. A result of the long East Coast Winter I’ll wager. When the sun beckons us to dine al fresco, here are two fabulous outdoor patios to choose from. They will transport you to the dining vacation of your dreams without leaving Westchester.
In New Rochelle, the Croatian restaurant Dubrovnik has a hidden gem of a terrace/garden. The outdoor seating area shares the space with the handmade outdoor oven, and the chef cooks some of the specialties right there. Food entertainment at its best. In the other direction you can gaze upon a beautiful vegetable, flower and herb garden in the space just below you. The menu is varied. Lamb dishes cooked in the outdoor oven are ordered in advance. The Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables are juicy and have the special flavor only a wood burning outdoor oven can give. The house dessert is a “Palacinke” -- a paper thin pancake filled with apricot preserves and garnished with a mini chop of melon and pineapple: sweet, delicate and delectable all year round.
In Bronxville, at Scalino Osteria -- already well known for their fantastic Italian food -- the surprise is in the back of the restaurant. A beautiful and secluded patio awaits you. The variety of dishes and superb quality of the ingredients, inspire a summer daydream transporting you from main street to a warm country inn. The chef suggests you start with the Roasted Fresh Figs stuffed with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto di Parma and then for a main dish the Roasted Duck Breast with Caramelized Peaches and Vin Santo. It is the quintessential summer meal. The house made pasta is a wonderful choice. The Lobster and Fava Gnocchi with Pancetta could become an obsession – it was that good. Every bite was delicious, the service was impeccable and the beautiful outdoor space makes it the perfect dining experience. The chef at Scalino Osteria has graciously shared their house recipe for Stuffed Fried Olives.
65 Pondfield Road, Bronxville
721 Main Street, New Rochelle