I’ve been so eager for Antipasti to open in White Plains that I found myself there on the first night of service.
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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.
<em>1 N. Broadway, White Plains. 914-949-3500. <a href=”http://www.antipastiny.com/” target=”_blank”>www.antipastiny.com</a>.</em>