Let’s get something settled at the start. Contrary to persistent myth, James Fenimore Cooper did not write “The Last of the Mohicans” at the DeLancey House in Mamaroneck.
But the novelist did sleep there. In fact, he was married there.
Cooper’s tortured prose may well be the bane of American lit majors. Nevertheless, he is a seminal figure in the history of American letters — and his memory and the DeLancey House itself are important pieces of Mamaroneck’s colorful past.
Proprietor/self-taught Chef Walter Ricci of La Piccola Casa is originally from Peru and had an Italian grandfather. He has worked many popular Italian kitchens in greater Westchester including the former Umberto’s in Rye and Giorgio’s in Port Chester which he ran for 10 years. Several years ago he moved La Piccola Casa from the old Le Shack location along Rt. 1 in Mamaroneck to refurbished quarters in the landmark DeLancey House .
Ricci has premiered new value conscious winter meals at lunch and dinner. A 3-course Fixed Price Dinner is now being served. Included is choice of soup of the day or fresh house salad; choice of such main courses as Broiled Salmon Meuniere, Cappellini Piccola Casa, Veal Parmigiana, or Chicken Francese all served with side vegetable. Coffee and house dessert round out the meal. The special winter dinner is served Monday-Wednesday. Cost is $21.95 before tax & gratuity. There is a daily $12.95 luncheon special as well.
Chef Ricci’s new regular menu features many of his well known dishes. There is no rocking-the-boat here, just concentration on the finest ingredients which Walter personally shops for daily. Great starters include: Clams Oreganata; lovely fresh Seafood Salad with shrimp and calamari marinated with lemon, onions, olive oil served with roasted peppers; classic Caesar Salad; Arugula & Endive Salad; and Fried Calamari with dipping sauce.
Hearty pastas prepared with his sumptuous house made sauces include: Angel Hair La Piccola Casa, light Bolognese with cream, tomatoes, prosciutto, beef and peas; Linguini Pescatore, chocked full of mussels, clams, fish, shrimp and calamari in tomato sauce; Ravioli Filetto di Pomodori filled with spinach, veal and cheese, with fresh tomato-basil sauce; Farfalla with Meat Sauce; Veal Tortellini in a light Bolognese sauce; and Angel Hair with Red or White Clam Sauce. The La Piccola Casa pink sauce is so popular it is available for take home.
Beautifully prepared main courses include: Snapper Possilipo, sautéed with white wine, onions, garlic, marinara sauce garnished with shrimp and clams; Veal Chop Milanese, pounded thin breaded and pan-fried with olive oil topped with fresh chopped tomatoes and arugula salad; Pollo Scarpariello, chunks of chicken, white and dark meat, sautéed with garlic, onions, mushrooms and white wine; Shrimp or Chicken Francese style; and Veal Marsala, scallopini of veal sautéed with marsala wine and porcini mushrooms. There’s a hefty Broiled Veal Chop and Sirloin Steak Pizzaiola on the menu, too. If it is available as a special, the Osso Buco and Rack of Lamb are winners.
La Piccola Casa is friendly and cozy with a delightful view of Orienta Harbor from the bar/lounge room. The cozy bar is a good spot for networking.
La Piccola Casa – 410 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. 914-777-3766. www.lapiccolacasa.com
Morris Gut is a restaurant consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. email@example.com
1- La Piccola Casa, Mamaroneck
2- Proprietor Walter Ricci with some of his specialties