This restaurant knows how to prepare flavorful gravies and ragus. And this is the perfect season to savor them. Chef/owner Dean Vivolo is marking winter at Trattoria Vivolo, his bustling Italian restaurant on Halstead Ave. in Harrison, with enticing new specialties.
The 70-seat Trattoria Vivolo is housed in a sparkling vintage diner with counter and booth seating in the front and airy greenhouse tables in the rear. The entire restaurant has been refurbished and is highlighted by fresh flowers, classic silver diner-walls, and burgundy and white tablecloths. Fine wines adorn the counter. Evenings the restaurant takes on a charming cherry light glow.
Let the friendly staff guide you. Changing seasonal dishes may include: Endive Salad, with gorgonzola cheese, pears and hazlenuts; a typical Pavese Soup, with beef broth, egg, bread, pecorino cheese, and parsley; Grilled Vegetable Soup; Mozzarella di Vivolo, fresh mozzarella stuffed with prosciutto, basil and roasted peppers; Risotto with sausage, zucchini, saffron and bacon; Orrechiette al Forno, with broccoli rabe, sausage, parmigiano, bread crumbs, baked in the oven; Galleto Arrosto, roasted cornish hen stuffed with herbs, lemon, garlic and pancetta; Swordfish Soffrito, pan-fried and topped with tomatoes, garlic, onions, oregano, mint and lemon; Pollo with shallots, balsamic and fontina cheese; and a special fresh dessert: Macedonia di Frutta, a Roman fruit salad with Frascati, mixed fruit, lemon and sugar. The wine list has also been updated to complement your meal. Traditional versions of baccala, quail, roast pig, rabbit, venison and tripe may also show up as daily specials.
According to Vivolo, the restaurant continues to serve specialties from the north and the south of Italy. Enticing ‘Antipasti’ on the regular menu include: Calamaretti Ripieni di Mantova, baby calamari stuffed with shrimp and vegetables; Crostino di Polenta, polenta topped with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola cheese, and tomato sauce; and Zuppa di Cozze, steamed mussels with white wine, shallots, garlic and lemon.
Tasty thin-crusted pizzas include: the classic Pizza Margherita, with fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil; and Pizza Capricciosa, with fresh tomato, mozzarella, arugula, and shaved parmigiano cheese.
Robust Pasta selections include: Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, with pancetta in a spicy tomato sauce with pecorino cheese; Penne Carbonara, with pancetta, pecorino cheese in a cream sauce; Lasagna al Forno, Bolognese style; and Ravioli di Spinaci, stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese with a light marinara sauce. The Linguine Vongole is a favorite.
Hearty ‘Pesce’ and ‘Carne’ specialties include: Branzino Arrosto, pan-seared sea bass with garlic, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil; Costoletta di Vitello alla Erbe, grilled veal chop topped with fresh herbs and sauteed mushrooms; Caciucco di Mare, mixed seafood simmered in a spicy tomato herb sauce over linguine; Costoletta di Maiale Ciambotta, pan-seared pork chops with vinegar peppers and potatoes; Gamberi alla Griglia con Rucola, grilled shrimp with arugula and basil sauce; and Pollo Paillard, grilled chicken paillard with roasted vegetables. Daily verbal specialties augment the regular menu. All entrees served with seasonal vegetables. At lunch the house also offers a variety of Panini sandwiches.
If the name Vivolo sounds familiar, Dean’s father Michael Vivolo is chef/owner of venerable La Riserva in Larchmont.
Trattoria Vivolo 301 Halstead Ave., Harrison opposite the northbound Harrison Metro North. 914-835-6199. www.trattoriavivolo.com
Morris Gut is a restaurant consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the dining scene in greater Westchester for over 25 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com