Some great Westchester dining opportunities are not readily apparent. They may be disguised by very ordinary exteriors or hidden inside other venues. Here are two places that have been open for some time but will probably be new to you.
The first is Trattoria Vivolo. I’ve been driving past this converted diner across from the street from the Harrison Train Station for years and finally Googled it. I learned that they specialize in regional Italian fare. Prompted by the good reviews online we tried it twice and I am happy to report that we had two excellent dinners.
When you first walk in you may feel like you are intruding on someone’s private party. Dean Vivolo, the owner and host since 2001, knows everyone and they all seem to know each other. However, within a short time he knew our names too and made us feel a part of the celebration.
Delicious bread from Arthur Avenue and bruschetta on a crispy flatbread made from very thin pizza dough arrived at the table immediately.
For appetizers we tried a thin crusted pizza, a tre colori salad and chopped baked clams with breadcrumbs and minced vegetables – all excellent. Traditional antipasti is also available including fried calamari and frutti di mare.
There are a full range of pasta dishes on the menu and among the ones we sampled are orrechiette with sausage, cherry peppers, bread crumbs, basil, garlic and oil (a house specialty) and a baked rigatoni with mozzarella, eggplant, pancetta and tomato sauce. Each was cooked as it should be and full of flavor.
Two other main courses we enjoyed were sardines cooked the traditional way with raisins and pine nuts and the Vitello Vivolo, veal scallopini with marsala wine, shallots, tomatoes, rosemary and artichokes.
A homemade cannoli (the freshest and best I’ve ever had) finished off the meal as well as a complimentary liqueur, another nice touch.
Check them out and let us know what you think!
301 Halstead Avenue, Harrison
Lunch M – F
Dinner 7 nights
Dylan’s Lounge at X20
We had eaten at X20 in Yonkers a number of times but it wasn’t until we were at a Bar Mitzvah there and couldn’t stop eating the incredible sushi at the cocktail hour, that we discovered Dylan’s Lounge. Dylan’s is a sushi restaurant located in the same area as the X20 bar, with a sushi bar, communal table and regular seating. A few things to know: no reservations are taken but if you get there by 7 you’re safe; a little later and you may have to wait at the bar. Or, sit at the sushi bar where seats always seems to be available. The other thing to note, besides all the great sushi, is that you can order anything from the X20 menu!
We have had some incredible meals by combining a few sushi appetizers (try the scallop tartar with black truffle and Hawaiian red salt) and a main course from the X20 menu like the wild king salmon with sweet chili glaze or the cowboy steak for two with a brown sugar and cayenne crust.
Dylan’s is a perfect option when you need a place to go last minute and don’t feel like sitting in the more formal X20 dining room.
Dylan's Lounge at X20
71 Water Grant Street,
Dinner Tuesday – Sunday, 5-10
Remember: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is March 18 – 31! 185 restaurants are participating with 3 course lunches for $20.95 and 3 course dinners for $29.95. For a complete list of participating restaurants go to HudsonVallyRestaurantWeek.com