Eastchester & Larchmont
A beautiful spread at Polpettina
From antipasto to affogato, Polpettina does trendy Italian right: a locally sourced, seasonal menu; a Brooklyn-esque aesthetic; and warm service. French Culinary Institute-trained Kyle Inserra, Joseph Lodi, and Culinary Institute of America-trained Michael Abruzese opened the Larchmont restaurant in December 2013, doubling the size of their first successful Polpettina, which opened in 2011 in Eastchester.
The newer 55-seat restaurant is awash in exposed brick, Edison light bulbs, drinks served in Mason jars, and tables hand-milled with repurposed wood in Pennsylvania. Amid this industrial vintage look (the requisite subway tiles are in the bathrooms), the open kitchen produces inventive, Italian-inspired dishes. The Larchmont location has a full bar with seasonal craft beer, a small wine list, and Prohibition-era cocktails, such as the Moscow Mule with Brooklyn Republic vodka, lime, and ginger beer.
Although we’ve heard good things about the octopus with salumi, fregola, herb salad, and yuzu, we’d suggest a heaping board of crispy eggplant chips drizzled with wildflower honey and sea salt—the sweet-salty pairing is addictive. True to form, the farmhouse salad uses organic baby lettuce and artisanal, organic Point Reyes blue cheese. As the restaurant’s name means “little meatball,” it’s mandatory to conduct a full-scale tasting of all three versions: The favorite is the Thai-fusion chicken with sesame soy jus, scallions, cilantro, shoestring carrots, and spicy aoli; runner-up is the pork meatball slathered with a pungent broccoli-rabe pesto, chilies, and roasted garlic jus; and finally, the classic beef comforted with tomato basil, fluffy ricotta, pecorino, and parsley. The truffled carbonara pasta is a tempting order, though check out the specials chalkboard for the likes of short rigatoni with strings of butternut squash, brown-butter sauce, still-crispy kale, and toasted hazelnuts. The most tender, juicy roast chicken you could ask for is served with butternut-squash purée, diced local apple, thick bacon, Brussels sprouts, chili honey, and spiced pepitas.
The eggplant chips with wildflower honey and sea salt are a must-order; for dessert, the Candy Bar Budino is an upmarket take on a Snickers bar
Two sweet endings to order are the affogato made with 100-percent organic, locally roasted Blue Bottle espresso, your choice of Il Laboratorio vanilla, chocolate, or sea-salt caramel gelato and crushed amaretti; and the Candy Bar Budino, a jar of peanut-butter pudding, salted-peanut caramel, and milk-chocolate ganache.
147 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont (914) 341-1460
102 Fisher Ave, Eastchester (914) 961-0061