I’ve been so eager for Antipasti to open in White Plains that I found myself there on the first night of service.
Antipasti, in case you missed our fall restaurant preview, has taken over the spot where Paparazzi used to be in White Plains, and has chef Rick Laakkonen Ã¢â‚¬â€ formerly at Ilo in Manhattan, among other spots Ã¢â‚¬â€ at the helm.
It’s not fair to criticize; it was their first night. But here are a few first impressions:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The food is fabulous. I was a little surprised when the antipasi bar wasn’t open. After all that’s the restaurant’s whole schtick: amazing cheeses, beautiful imported salamis, etc. etc. None was available. And because I went to the restaurant with that kind of meal in mind, it was awfully hard to choose from the menu. Not a lot of “regular” dishes are shareable. But everything we tasted (photos above) was flavorful, well-balanced and left me wanting more. I was wowed.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The restaurant is huge. And fancy. White tablecloths, tables far apart, the whole she-bang. This is the kind of place where you could drop in for a drink or a small plate in the lounge, or have a full-blown celebration in the dining room. The pizza oven adds warmth, too.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The bar is too high. (Or the seats are too low.) Check out the photos above and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not very comfortable, which is too bad.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The service was downright awful. Not their fault, I don’t think. It was the first night. But wow. It took an hour and a half for a bowl of pasta to get to us. To their credit, they brought us two bowls to make up for it. But doubtful we would have rung up such a high bill on wine if we weren’t waiting so long. But then again …
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Speaking of wine, it was delicious. We had a (number of) nice barberas by the quartino.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ They’ve got “soft opening” printed at the top of the menu, which usually indicates prices are lower than they will be once the restaruant opens “officially.” It’s a way of protecting the restaurant against reviews before it’s ready. But I didn’t notice any discount on the menu or on the check. So either they’re going to be raising the prices or it’s not really a soft opening. (If they raise the prices, it’ll be expensive indeed. There were a couple of entrees over $40 as it was…)
I’m really excited about this place, and am looking foward to many good meals (and much better service) in the days to come.
1 N. Broadway, White Plains. 914-949-3500. www.antipastiny.com.