Di Nardo’s of Pound Ridge is a long time fixture on Main Street of nearly 30 years. This restaurant features a combination of classic Italian cuisine and casual dining.
After arriving 15 minutes late with our friends Lynn and Lelio Patrizio, due to heavy Merritt Parkway traffic, we found out that our table had been given away, even after calling. The dining room was busy, but as it turned out we, thankfully, only had to wait about 10 minutes. We were ushered to a table tucked in to the corner, and my husband Larry remarked, that it looked almost like a spot in a library. We were happy to have a cozy little spot after a long week at work.
After a bit of a wait, we finally got our water and menus. On the table there was a card suggesting their wine of month, a Tuscan wine from Maremma, Perolla, 2007. As described, it was an excellent choice, very easy to drink and full of fruity notes. We quickly perused the HVRW menu and found many choices that were interesting. We decided each of us would get the four different appetizers to start so that we could try everything.
I picked the spinach soup with tiny gnocchi. The soup was rich and flavorful. The gnocchi were tender and soft, and I was left wishing there was a bit more in the bowl.
Lynn chose the cabbage and Abate pears with lemon vinaigrette over a bright magenta Rafano beet puree, and topped with a lovely piece of speck. We all thought that dish was a home run; the beet puree was full of flavor and the lemon vinaigrette on the cabbage just right. The guys went for a buffalo mozzarella with roasted peppers, tomato and procuitto, and a baked bell pepper filled with sausage and veal, topped with taleggio cheese.
All-in-all we thought the dishes were good, but could have been taken up a notch with the infusion of some fresh herbs.
For dinner we chose four of the five offerings. I chose the pasta (as I always do!), an agnolotti stuffed with broccoli rabe in a tasty clam tomato sauce. The pasta was velvety and the sauce had a nice salty-clam kick.
Lynn picked the shrimp stuffed with a crab meat mixed with vegetables and resting in a lemon-wine sauce. We both thought the crab meat was pretty basic in flavor; however, the shrimp was cooked to perfection, and we both thought the lemon-wine sauce was delicious.
While the picture did not come out very well, I would like to note that we all loved the veal. The Filetto di Vitello alla Casalinga: filets topped with provolone and parmesan and a sprinkling of prosciutto bites that rested in a delicious onion-shiitake mushroom sauce that was smooth and flavorful.
The portions offered on the HVRW menu were on the smaller side, which left room for dessert. There were only three choices on the dessert list, so we got one of each and an extra of the ricotta cheesecake. A good call, as the cheesecake was moist, delicious and citrusy. The tiramisu was lovely and creamy with a healthy soaking of vermouth, which we all though was a little on the heavy side.
By 10:30 the dining room had pretty much emptied out and we were there with just one other table. We all thought there could have been a little more attention paid to the remaining tables by the wait staff. That said, the atmosphere was charming and the food wonderful. If you’re interested in a lighter, casual meal you can check out the front dining room where they had a full menu of antipastis, pasta and pizza. (www.dinardos.net)