Can what is essentially a pizza/pasta place earn four stars? As this pretense-free Eastchester spot (a larger Larchmont location opened in December 2013) proved in 2011, the answer is a resounding yes. Polpettina is more than what it appears at first blush: There’s a sly epicurean intelligence behind the endeavor, especially when it comes to the specials board (we’ll take the roasted octopus with Yuzu vinaigrette, blood oranges, and shaved fennel).
In addition to pasta and two styles of pizza, Polpettina offers a trio of tender meatballs: beef, chicken, and (the newer) falafel, six varieties of fries (e.g., bacon and egg, truffle parm), plus a generous serving of those aforementioned wonderful specials. Chef-owner Michael Abruzzese recommends the Neapolitan pizza and the succulent roasted chicken. The most popular dishes beyond the pizza are the eggplant chips drizzled with honey, fried calamari with cherry peppers and puttanesca aioli, and candy bar budino (pudding).
The food comes out when it’s ready — to naked tables in humble surroundings (a bit less humble in the newer location), featuring reclaimed wood and steel. To avoid a wait, make a reservation — via the restaurant’s website or the Resy application — for the Larchmont space only.
Excerpt from the october 2011 review: “Wisely, Polpettina offers the element of surprise. You might choose Polpettina for its meatballs, pizza, and fries, but, once there, encounter sea urchin, honeyed eggplant, figs, and boquerones. How much smarter is it for a pizzeria to surprise with gourmet values than to declare them? We know that we’re not alone in wanting to check Polpettina’s specials board regularly.”