Hello, guest blogger Danielle Plass here participating in Restaurant Week for the first time, writing about La Lanterna Ristorante & Caffe in Yonkers. (My thanks to Kelli Wells, a fabulous photographer who took the pictures for me.)
Located between 9A and the Saw Mill River Parkway, the restaurant is a bit difficult to find but once you do, it feels like you have arrived at a quaint country tavern. The space is small and cozy with brick walls and dark, wooden tables and a great view.
Our reservations were at 5:30 and we were seated right away; however, the restaurant began to fill up fast. The crowd seemed to consist mostly of locals and unfortunately, a large party was seated next to us so conversation became a bit difficult.
I enjoyed the little touches, the tin of bread with whipped garlic butter, water served in flipper bottles and Ball canning jars for our drinks.
For appetizers, we ordered the Calamari Fritti….
..and the Pancetta Balsamico (filet mignon tips wrapped in pancetta served in a reduced balsamic sauce with caramelized red onion) The sauce was very dark so the picture doesn’t do it justice but it was delicious, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside…very interesting flavors and surprisingly the balsamic sauce did not overwhelm the dish.
For our entrees, we had the Stuffed Rigatoni Giardino -Ricotta filled rigatoni with seasonal mushrooms, peas, prosciutto and red onion in a creamy vodka sauce…
..and the Seared Tilapia Marechiara with mussels, littleneck clams and sautéed string beans and saffron rice. I enjoyed this dish. The tilapia was served in a mild tomato sauce and was cooked just right…flaky and tender. The vegetables were bright, fresh and crisp.
For desert we ordered the Brownie Sunday (yes, that is how is was spelled).
and the NY Cheesecake…
The whipped cream was light and fresh and surprisingly, the cheese cake was made with cream cheese rather than with ricotta as I was expecting.