Both the chef and the owner of Risotto used to work at Amalfi in Briarcliff — so if you like the soups, salads and homemade pastas there, you’re sure to be happy at this new incarnation of the former Crocitto’s La Casa Nostra in Thornwood. Owner Jack Palevic renovated the entire building, including stuccoing a brick facade and using brick tiling as an accent on the bottom of the light cappuccino-colored walls.
Jack Palevic (standing) the owner of Risotto-Jack’s Italian Restaurant and Bar in Thornwood, with manager Stephanie Noll and chef Juan Culcay. (Seth Harrison/TJN )
During the day, manager Stephanie Noll leaves the cherry-oak stained tables bare, except for a piece of white paper, and at night, she dresses them up with white tablecloths. Chef Juan Culcay’s signature dish is, of course, risotto, and you’ll find seasonal variations such as artichoke-and-pea in the spring, or pumpkin in the fall.
Filet of Sole Antica (Seth/TJN)
Shrimp risotto. (Seth/TJN)
But the restaurant is also known for its lamb shank, short ribs and game meats, and lasagna and ravioli are also popular. In the summer, you can dine outdoors on the 24-seat patio.