Dine Indoors or Out at the New Contemporary Upbeat Wood & Fire Pizza...Restaurant…Catering…Bar

WoodFire1When long time restaurants close their doors here in Scarsdale, we are sad but are hopeful that the new ones that replace them will bring us much joy, as well. Such is the case when Mezza Luna closed their doors and Wood & Fire renovated the space on Brook Street and has provided us with an upbeat casual new Italian restaurant where the menu offers a large variety of classic and innovative pizza, pasta entrees and much more.

I had the pleasure of chatting with owner Michael Ferrara who started working in restaurants as a young high school student. He fell in love with this area of work, and worked his way up from bus boy to server and to manager in Westchester, Florida and New York City. He now owns several restaurants including Wood & Fire in Pleasantville and the newly opened Wood & Fire in Scarsdale. With partners Franco and Bobby Carenza and with Chef Pasquale Abbatiello, a culinary school graduate who studied in Italy, you can be assured of a finely tuned operation. “With so many Italian restaurants in the area, we are special because our food and service separate us from the rest. Our food is not typical because we add our modern twist to each dish. We are a hands on operation, and we stay on top of everything, with an owner on the premises at all times. Our wood burning oven uses only natural fuel and no gas. Top quality flour and San Marzano tomatoes assure outstanding pizzas. My favorite part of the business is enjoying the varied customer base that we serve both young and older. “

As summer approaches, and the warm weather is here, guests are delighted to enjoy the lovely outdoor patio as well as the indoor facility. Avail yourself of the private parking lot or street parking and walk up a few steps into the cheerful Wood & Fire. A friendly bar is in front and as you enter the dining area, take note of the outstanding Italian imported wood burning pizza oven. Informal and comfortable aptly describe the dining area with its wood topped tables and red metal chairs. On the dark wood walls is the logo Wood & Fire Restaurant, Catering, Bar, Neapolitan Style Pizza. Contemporary lighting on the wood slat ceiling and a stone floor complete the setting. This room leads to the lovely outdoor patio. The restaurant seats about 130 guests. During a recent weekday lunch, it was evident that this new dining option is gaining popularity quickly. Many tables were filled with very happy guests enjoying excellent service. At a table for 12, all dishes appeared to arrive promptly, quite a feat. Diners varied from business groups to families and all seemed to be having a good time.

WoodFire4There are 15 varieties of pizza listed on the menu with an additional choice of many toppings such as olives, meatballs, sausage and spinach. The pies are 12 inches and the combinations of ingredients are unique. The wood burning oven helps to make these pies exceptional we loved the charred vegetable pie, a colorful choice. Here eggplant, zucchini, roasted peppers, San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella gave a garden of flavor to the pie. Also worthy of a try is the prosciutto and arugula pie. Here, whole leaves of baby arugula and thinly sliced prosciutto rested on the wonderful crust. Fresh mozzarella, a touch of San Marzano tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of finely shredded parmigiana reggiano completed this fine pie. Other appealing possibilities are Wood & Fire Pie with burrata, marinated tomatoes basil and fresh garlic and The Prince Street with a Sicilian crust, crispy pepperoni, San Marzano tomato sauce, mozzarella and shaved parmigiana. Even the presentation was unique. A contemporary variation of the metal pizza stand, arrived as a wood block with the restaurant logo with the tray of pizza on top.

For starters, many lovely salads are offered. Beet and Brussels, calamari and lobster, steak and avocado salad and a Scarsdale salad with greens, fruits and nuts all sounded and looked appealing . Judging from an adjoining table each salad was quite hearty in size and beautifully presented.

We chose to start our tasting with selections from the piattini section of the menu. Wood fired mussels were outstanding. The large PEI mussels were swimming in a white wine herb and cream infused sauce. A squeeze of lemon juice and the result was ideal. The delicate sauce was a perfect accompaniment for the very fresh mussels, which added flavor without overpowering the dish. Sicilian rice balls , a classic, were well prepared. The rice, beef ragu, mozzarella and pea filling surrounded by a crunchy crust and accompanied by a dish of San Marzano tomato sauce for dipping was so good. It was difficult eating just one. Future meals will definitely start with charred octopus, fritto misto, prosciutto bread or burrata and eggplant caprese.

The many pasta selections include popular favorites as well as innovative combinations. We decided upon a classic of pappardelle Bolognese. At Wood & Fire, a slow roasted Angus beef ragu enveloped the delicate ribbons of pappardelle. Fresh basil, parmigiana and mascarpone enriched this delicious classic. I look forward to sampling spaghetti, pesto and shrimp with pine nuts, string beans, shrimp and toasted breadcrumbs, gnocchi Toscana with Italian sausage ragu, and linguini nero with mussels, shrimp, calamari and salmon in a spicy sauce. Wood & Fire classic lasagna, meatballs and spaghetti and ravioli al forno with vodka sauce are calling my name, as well.

WoodFire3Large plates at dinner span choices of eggplant parm, chicken saltimbocca, chicken scarpariello, and chicken parm for 2. Veal in several forms, steak, short rib, branzino and salmon are offered, as well. We enjoyed jumbo lemon shrimp. This large platter contained truly jumbo shrimp, tail off, breaded and prepared francese style, surrounded by a lemon white wine sauce. Roasted baby carrots and slices of grilled zucchini enhanced this plate for a light and excellent entrée.

If you have saved room for dessert, choose from Italian cheesecake, tiramisu, zeppole, Nutella pizza or cannoli, to name just a few of the choices. Enjoyed Wood & Fire’s rendition of crème brulee. Traditional crème brulee is always a nice way to end a meal. Infuse it with espresso and this smooth creamy pudding with its crackling crunchy topping is a perfect conclusion to your meal.

Original cocktails, sangria, wine and beer are plentiful at the front bar as well as the patio bar. There are also many cocktails with intriguing names.

Friendly, upbeat and happy describe Wood & Fire in Scarsdale. Tempt your taste buds there soon.

Wood & Fire
118 Brook Street
914 722 4854