It was almost a year ago, late last summer. The anticipation had been building for months as work neared completion at the site along Mamaroneck Ave. in Harrison/ White Plains that had been the original home of The Sports Page. As soon as the signage went up the food buzz in greater Westchester grew even louder. Lombardo’s, a 75-seat contemporized family style Italian-American pizza restaurant and market had opened alongside Corx Wine Shop and the surrounding parking area began to fill almost immediately.
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The Lombardo family of Long Island led by Mario Lombardo Sr. and Mario Jr. along with partner James Romanelli , had done a playful redesign of the sprawling space with industrial barn-like ceilings, exposed vents and metal beams, architectural lighting, windows looking out on Mamaroneck Ave., comfortable grey leather booths and banquettes, a long white marble topped bar, and a battery of glistening pizza ovens and display cases. There is a neatly edited market with seating offering a variety of Italian goods for take out, too.
Patrons are warmly greeted by the Lombardos and their staff. The atmosphere comes together in airy fashion as first time diners come in to check the new space out and take their seats. The reasonably priced menu offers a variety of Italian-American specialties. Fresh made appetizers, soups and salads include: a stacked platter of Zucchini Fritti served with marinara or fra diavolo sauce; Farmer’s Market Salad with mesclun greens, dried cranberries, honey roasted pecans, red onions and black olives drizzled with house Italian dressing; and Zuppa di Cozze, fresh cultivated mussels steamed in your choice of white wine garlic and herb broth, or served in a fresh garlic and crushed plum tomato brodino.
Big bowls of pasta include: Linguine di Mare, with shrimp, mussels, and baby clams sautéed in your choice of garlic and oil, marinara or fra diavolo sauce; Fusilli Pesto Rosso, corkscrew pasta topped with fresh grilled chicken, sautéed in San Marzano tomato sauce then blended with house made pesto Di Basilico; and good old-fashioned Spaghetti with homemade Meatballs.
Generously plated entrees include: classic Italian-American platters of Meatball, Eggplant, Sausage, Chicken Cutlet, or Veal Cutlet Parmigiana; Grilled Chicken Toscana, chicken breast with broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella cheese, drizzled with extra virgin; and fresh Filet of Sole Oreganata topped with seasoned bread crumbs in a classic garlic and white wine scampi sauce. All entrees come with choice of pasta or small house salad. There are a variety of calzones, rolls, and heroes as well. Blackboard specialties augment the regular menu.
Mario Lombardo Sr. started out in the pizza business some 30 years ago at Gino’s in Elmont, L.I. He now owns 7 pizza shops there. And, of course, his signature pizzas are a mainstay at Lombardo’s, White Plains, too. There are many varieties to choose from sold by the slice or whole pie.
Special Hint: The highly popular Happy Hours at the bar from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm Monday thru Friday offer half price cocktails and a menu of half price appetizers and pizzettas. It is a great deal!
Lombardo’s is a friendly casual place where a customer can have a slice of pizza or a whole meal at the table. There’s something for the whole family. Portions are large but don’t worry, there are always plenty of doggie bags on hand.
Lombardo’s Restaurant 1203 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains. 914-615-9090 www.lombardospizza.com
The restaurant is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; to 10 pm weekdays and Sunday; to 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Price range: appetizers from $4 to $12. Pastas: $9.50 to $17.50. Entrees: $15.50 to $20. Heroes and Panini from $6.50. Specialty pizzas: $9.50 to $23.Home and office delivery. Major credit cards. Casual dress. Ample parking. First come, first served policy.
Morris Gut is a restaurant consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for over 25 years. email@example.com