By Morris Gut
Since its founding by the Livanos family in 1994, City Limits Diner in White Plains has become a bustling mainstay along Central Avenue. We completed our COVID-19 vaccinations last week at the County Center, so we decided to celebrate over a mid-morning meal across the street.
After major redesign and renovation in 2012, the popularity of this restaurant only grew, and we had not visited in a while. At about 10:30 a.m. the place was calm. Tables were well-spaced throughout the multilevel dining rooms in keeping with COVID protocols. We were seated at a comfortable booth.
Scanning the menu was appetizing. Just about everything sounded good, including breakfast, which is served all day. It was hard to decide, but I went for a cod fish sandwich served on a roll with a special house aioli (ask for extra aioli), lettuce and tomato. My companion wanted huevos rancheros. Both were satisfying. We shared the large serving of French fries that came with my order. It turned out to be a fine spot to reflect on our vaccine experience.
The Livanos family has brought us so many fine dining experiences through the years, including the upscale Moderne Barn in Armonk. We will be doing more tastings in coming months.
City Limits is located at 200 Central Ave. in White Plains. Open seven days. Info: 914-686-9000 or visit www.citylimitsdiner.com.
New Place for Falafel
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food is the focus of Falafel Place, a new restaurant and takeout counter that just opened on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. The company, founded by Chef Ori Apple, has another unit on Yonkers’ Central Park Avenue, and a group of restaurants in Manhattan that serve under the name Hummus Place.
Falafel and hummus in its various forms are prepared fresh daily along with pita sandwiches, classic shakshuka and a variety of meze. The menu states it is vegan, kosher and gluten-free. There aren’t many outlets for these popular traditional staples in Westchester, so I hope it goes over well.
Falafel Place is located at 204 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Open seven days. Info: Visit www.falafelplaceny.com.
Brazilian Steakhouse to Open
There has been a lot of work going the past two years at the old landmark Bank of New York building on Main and Church streets in White Plains. Fogo de Chao, a major Brazilian Steakhouse chain with 40 restaurants across the U.S., Middle East, Brazil and Mexico, has been renovating this sprawling space for its flashy version of churrascaria BBQ.
If its restaurant on West 53rd Street in Manhattan is any indication, it will be a sparkling spot for drinks, giant Market Table salad bar and waves of fire-roasted meats served on skewers, churrasco style. If you’ve never experienced this type of dining concept, get ready and make sure you are hungry. It is similar to Texas de Brazil at Ridge Hill in Yonkers. The announced opening date is Mar. 23.
Along with the traditional meat offerings are a fresh daily seafood selection and a variety of fresh-made salads. There’s also a sprawling bar and lounge where it’s Happy Hour all day, seven days a week. The bar menu appears to be reasonably priced. There’s also a butcher shop on the premises for take-home.
Fogo de Chao will be located at 235 Main St. in White Plains. Info: Visit www.fogodechao.com.
New Menu, Music Coming to Tauk
Restaurateur Anna Mallozzi took over Tauk Kitchen + Bar last year, the Montauk-seafood themed restaurant in Armonk, and we are told there are big changes on the way, including a new name. Her son, Jonathan Irizarry, is a chef at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He plans to re-imagine the menu.
In the meantime, Mallozzi is jazzing up the bill-of-fare with a live keyboard on upcoming Saturday evenings Mar. 13 and 20. It could become a regular event.
The restaurant, at Armonk Square, is near DeCicco’s Market. You can still enjoy specialties such as bang bang shrimp, lobster cobb, fish and chips, Maine lobster roll, chicken francese and Fossil Farms’ Imperial rib-eye steak. We’ll keep you posted.
Tauk Kitchen + Bar is located at 402 Main St. in Armonk. Check ahead for hours of operation. Occasional live music. Free parking. Info: 914-730-1144. (A new website is in the works.)
‘Searching for Italy’ is Delicious
Peekskill-born actor Stanley Tucci stars in an appetizing new series on CNN entitled “Searching for Italy,” a delicious romp through the scenic and delicious Italian culinary countryside. Beautifully filmed and depicted, Tucci visits various cities and towns throughout the boot zeroing in on the incredible food scene in each region.
In one episode he visits Rome and learns how to prepare the proper “vera” carbonara sauce. In another he watches how artichokes are prepared the traditional way in the old Jewish Quarter. My palate is longing for more episodes.
Tucci, who attended John Jay High School and SUNY Purchase, has long been a food and wine aficionado, having once owned a restaurant called Finch Tavern in Croton Falls. He also hosted a series called “Vine Talk” on PBS. His latest cookbook, “The Tucci Table: Cooking with Family and Friends,” which he co-authored with his current wife Felicity Blunt, is available on Kindle.
Check out “Searching for Italy” at www.cnn.com/travel/article/stanley-tucci-searching-for-italy-restaurants/index.html.
Everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day!
The leprechauns are coming! St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, Mar. 17, will be celebrated with all its local color. Throughout the region, towns and villages are hanging shamrocks on storefronts and homes giving the Hudson Valley its sparkling moment in the Emerald Isle.
If you want to partake in the traditional foods, spirits and reveling sprinkled with a good dose of blarney, I will be offering dining venue suggestions in my next column. Be sure to check ahead for special hours. Larger groups are advised to make reservations in advance. Takeout and delivery are also good options. Erin go Bragh!
Remember to follow COVID-19 protocols and stay safe!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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