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Where to Eat at the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens

The glittering 31ST Holiday Train Show ‘GLOW’ is on track thru January 16TH , 2023, at the beautiful New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx near Fordham University. It’s an annual seasonal treat; a must for the young and the young at heart. I look forward to visiting NYBG, walking thru the beautifully restored Enid Haupt Conservatory and seeing the seductive floral arrangements and dramatic plantings. For additional info, times, and advanced tickets: www.nybg.org After taking in all that beauty, we do get hungry. Here are easy-to-reach suggestions…


HOLIDAY DINING AT NYBG!

There are themed Dining Pavilions throughout the park and near the Enid Haupt Pavilion: the casual Pine Tree Café and farm-to-table Hudson Garden Grill. Open daily. Early dining is recommended since they keep Garden hours to 6 pm most days. For info: 646-627-7711, or 718-817-8700. www.nybg.org/visit/dining/

Hot Antipasto for Two


MARIO’S IN NEARBY LITTLE ITALY!

Arthur Ave. is just a stone’s throw from the Garden. Since 1919 five generations of the Migliucci family have worked the front and back-of-the-house making sure patrons are well served at this venerable ‘Little Italy’ institution. Amiable Regina Migliucci is at the helm. For starters enjoy the palate pleasing lagniappe of marinated carrots, hot peppers, and good crusty Arthur Ave. bread. Great appetizers include Hot Antipasto Platter for 2; and Spiedini alla Romana, skewered deep-fried mozzarella sandwiches. Move on to such entrees as: Penne Rustica with sausage; stuffed Braciola Napolitana; Osso Buco the size of Mt. Vesuvious; or the traditional Chicken Parm. Open Tuesday thru Sunday. Private party facilities. Free parking lot and valet service. Mario’s, 2342 Arthur Ave., Bronx. 718-584-1188 www.mariosrestarthurave.com

Rabbit Cacciatore


VIEWS OF L.I. SOUND AT MAMMA FRANCESCA!

When Nick DiCostanzo was growing up on the Island of Ischia on the Coast of Naples in Italy, his earliest memories where of the simple seaside meals he would enjoy with his family, farm-to-table and of course sea-to-table. As proprietor of Mamma Francesca for nearly 40 years, located on the banks of Long Island Sound with 6-story views of the ‘Queen City’s’ seafaring boat clubs, this culinary philosophy still holds true, albeit with a sprinkling of contemporary taste. There are private and semi-private party facilities for up to 100 guests and catering packages to suit your needs. Robust Italian/American specialties include freshly made Manicotti, Calamari Fritti, Ischia Salad, Chicken Parmigiana, Misto Frutti di Mare. Rabbit Cacciatore, too. Daily Happy Hours. Off-premise catering. New woodburning pizza oven. Free parking. Mamma Francesca, 414 Pelham Road, New Rochelle. 914-636-1229 www.mammafrancesca.com

Cold Seafood Platter for Two


QUICK DRIVE TO ARTIE’S, CITY ISLAND!

Owner Spiros Chagares and his staff offer patrons an inspired melding of traditional and contemporary dishes served with flair. Sit back in one of several dining areas and enjoy such changing specialties as: hearty Seafood Chowders; Smoked Salmon Roll-Ups; Wood Grilled Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops; hunks of tender Short Rib; a massive Zuppa Di Pesce; tender Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb; Chardonnay Poached Salmon with seafood; and fresh Lobster prepared in a variety of styles. Big combo platters. There’s a loaded Lobster Salad Roll at lunch. A selection of craft beers. Check out the bar/lounge most evenings for good networking. Private party facilities. Open 7 days. Free parking. Artie’s, 394 City Island Ave., Bronx. 718-885-9885 www.artiescityisland.com

Baby Lamb Chops


GLOBAL BURST OF FLAVORS AT MARIA, NEW ROCHELLE!

Three-time winners of Michelin’s prestigious ‘Bib Gourmet’ Award, brothers Peter and Giovanni Cucullo have been causing a stir in New Rochelle, drawing patronage from all over the county to their flavorful riff on Italian/global cooking. Named after Mother. Love their happy hours from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. when they offer some favorite beverages and small plates that are loaded with flavor. I am already hooked on such eclectic dishes as: Glazed Pork Ribs, Truffled Green Beans, Grilled Sausage with sweet & spicy Peruvian peppers, Mom’s Meatballs, Cauliflower Fritters, and Roasted Shishito Peppers. Nice dining room and bar filled with artifacts from home. Friendly staff, too. Good networking spot. The family also operates bustling Fratelli’s Pizza and Pops Café next door. Closed Sundays. Maria, 11 Huguenot St., New Rochelle. 914-636-0006 www.marianewrochelle.com

Sliders


MODERN IRISH AMERICAN WITH PIZZAZZ AT JACK’S BAR, EASTCHESTER!

Owner Shane Clifford and his friendly crew have delicious finger foods and generous specialties coming out of Chef Brendan Donohoe’s kitchen. Great Burgers; decadent Short Rib Mac N’ Cheese; Jack’s Meatballs; Seared Scallops; Chicken Curry; Shroom Pizza out of their woodfired oven; Berkshire Pork Chop; and Grilled Lamb Sliders. Their full Irish Breakfast at brunch is a winner. Open 7 days for lunch, dinner & Sunday brunch. Jack’s Bar, 219 Main St., Eastchester. 914-652-7650 www.jackseastchester.com


WINE INDULGENCES AT ERNIE’S WINE BAR, BRONXVILLE!

Out of this tiny kitchen come laudatory renditions of American/Global dishes bursting with flavor. Oenophiles, take note. The carefully selected wines served here, many from small-batch independent producers, can be heavenly. It is a wonderful place to unwind, take in some music on special nights, and indulge. The small bar is great for networking, too. Recent food tastings here have included Escargots Provençale style; Luisanna’s amazing meatballs; cheese & charcuterie platter; Duck Wontons or Duck Confit; a wonderful Fettuccine Carbonara; Mushroom & Pea Risotto. There is live entertainment. Check ahead for updates. Open Monday thru Saturday for happy hour and dinner. Ernie’s, 7 Pondfield Road, Bronxville. 914-652-7859 www.ernieswinebar.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. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: gutreactions@optonline.net)

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