Menu Movers & Shakers

More Local Culinary Delights to Indulge in During the Holidays

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When visiting Jack’s Bar in Eastchester, the tender grilled octopus is always an excellent choice.

By Morris Gut

It is over the top at Mulino’s of Westchester in White Plains during the holidays, and it begins with the bright glittering lights at the entranceway.

The annual Christmas Holiday Fest at Mulino’s has been extended through January 2024, and it’s a sight to behold for the whole family. The fountain garden is beautiful as is the lavish dining room and bar and lounge.

General Manager Gimmy Cavagna and his staff are keeping the premises as spiffy as ever, which includes the life-size toy soldiers, bursting colorful floral displays and handsome multilevel seating. A special holiday menu is served. Don’t miss their Linguine Nere con Coda D’Aragosta Marechiaro (black linguine with baby lobster tails).

Open seven days.  There’s valet parking; reservations are advised.

Mulino’s of Westchester is located at 99 Court St. in White Plains. Info: 914-761-1818 or visit

A Decadent Pizza at Locali

I had been hearing buzz about a mouthwatering pizza served out of Locali, located at the restored train station depot in Mount Kisco. We made our way there on a Sunday afternoon and sat down at the bar.

Partners Joe Bueti and Chef Mogan Anthony are the creative force behind Locali restaurants in Mount Kisco and New Canaan, Conn. Our friendly waiter brought us menus and we went right at their fried calamari followed by a clam pizza. The calamari came with a delicious dipping sauce. The pizza was indeed an indulgence, covered with sauteed clams still in the shell.

With plenty of napkins on hand, we began shelling the clams and enjoying the pie. It was a decadent dining experience. The same team also operates Village Social in Mount Kisco and Rye and Pub Street and Fatt Root Noodle Bar & Cocktail in Pleasantville.

Locali Pizza Bar is located at 2 Kirby Plaza in Mount Kisco at the Metro-North station. Info: 914-242-0100 or visit

Chowder & Chips at Dive

Proprietor Kenny Neziraj operates a strong kitchen serving a laudable seafood-themed menu at Dive Oyster House. On a cold winter day there is nothing like a bowl of their fresh New England clam chowder. There’s also a soothing lobster bisque, both served with traditional chips.

A tray of pristine oysters is another good way to start your meal, or perhaps share a shellfish platter. A whole grilled branzino was a pleasing recent treat. There’s also a fine linguine with white clam sauce; two-pound lobsters; a seafood tower and delicious parmesan-crusted chicken. There are lobster rolls, too. Open seven days for lunch and dinner as well as Sunday brunch. There are weekday happy hours.

Dive Oyster House is located at 1201 Pleasantville Rd. in Briarcliff Manor. Info: 914-236-3911 or visit

Porchetta at La Bocca

Chef and proprietor Tony Spiritoso one day was putting the finishing touches on a savory and moist boneless stuffed pork roast, Italy’s famed porchetta, incredibly tempting as a main course or as part of a salad. A few slices and I was smitten.

A meal here usually begins with platters from Tony’s signature antipasti bar loaded daily with tempting cured imported meats, cheeses and appetizing house-made salads. Some consider La Bocca the most authentic Italian kitchen in the area. There are seasonal pastas, meats, fish and game.

The wine selection is among the best in Westchester. The dining room is filled with artistic columns and seasonal artifacts. There is a wine room for private events. Open seven days.

La Bocca is located at 8 Church St. in White Plains. Info: 914-948-3281 or visit

Chargrilled Octopus at Jack’s Bar

Owner Shane Clifford and his staff serve an enhanced Irish-American tavern menu. Generous specialties coming out of Chef Brendan Donohoe’s kitchen include a refreshing lobster Cobb salad; a wonderful chargrilled octopus; decadent short rib or lobster mac ‘n’ cheese; seared scallops; drunken egg noodles; Bren’s chicken curry; a notable burrata pizza out of their wood-fired oven; Berkshire pork chops; and panko-crusted avocado sliders.

Open daily. There’s also a weekend brunch. Municipal parking is free in the evenings.

Jack’s Bar is located at 219 Main St. in Eastchester. Info: 914-652-7650 or visit

Breakfast at Mt. Kisco Diner

I admit to enjoying a breakfast meal any time of the day.

Recently, I visited Harry Georgiou’s always-bustling Mt. Kisco Diner for a big three-egg omelet stuffed with vegetables and oozing cheddar cheese with home fries, a mound of avocado and white buttered toast. Very satisfying.

There are always myriad choices in their encyclopedic menu. The dining room is usually buzzing with patrons, and the friendly, efficient waitstaff and busboys are in constant motion. The gleaming display case shows off a tempting display of cakes and pies.

It seems that portions here are generous and a bit over the top. They go the extra mile in delicious fashion.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and weekend brunch. Cocktails are available at the bar. There’s on-site parking.

Mt. Kisco Diner is located at 252 E. Main St. in Mount Kisco. Info: 914-666-5676 or visit

A Sundae at Ice Cream Social

A rainbow of pastel colors greets visitors to Ice Cream Social in White Plains. Partners Erin O’Keefe and Pam Geiger are local moms who recognized the demand for a family-oriented environment to enjoy creative ice cream treats and sweets.

Early one evening we popped in for a salted caramel pretzel chocolate fudge sundae and it was delightful. The ice cream and fudge were so smooth and flavorful. There are a variety of tempting flavors and concoctions, from hot chocolate to custom cakes, available daily. Plus, there’s takeout. Ice Cream Social resources the Hudson Valley-based Jane’s Ice Cream. There are also vegan options. Open seven days. Seasonal outdoor seating.

Ice Cream Social is located at 451 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Info: 914-358-4323 or visit

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 30 years. He may be reached at 914-235-6591 or

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