First Taste: Serafina in White Plains

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The prime location at the corner of the block with the Ritz-Carlton has been taken up by a fitting hot spot. Earlier this year, Serafina, the nouveau Italian with locations in Manhattan, East Hampton and Brazil, moved in on the corner of Main and Court streets.

photos by Matthew Brown/TJN

The restaurant is light and airy, and balances nicely between formal and casual: it has white tablecloth, but also playful, colorful murals of sunshine, wine and food. The Italian menu courts the same balance, with comfort-food pastas like mama used to make (rigatoni alla bolognese) and haute dishes like a thin-crust pizza with robiola and fontina cheeses and a healthy serving of black truffles.

(Yes. It is incredibly rich and as delicious as it sounds.)

I met one of the owners, Vittorio Assaf, for a tasting of a few menu items around the time the restaurant opened back in May. (Yes, I’ve been that remiss in blogging. My apologies!) So after the jump, a look at several dishes at Serafina.

But first, here’s a look at a few more of JN photographer Matthew Brown’s photos of the restaurant and a couple of dishes:

Bresaola and Arugula:

Branzino Al Forno:

Pasta Penne Al Pomodoro:

OK, now we’ll move on to my photo, which are not nearly as beautiful!

We shared and sampled a lot of the menu, so bear with me here.

Burrata cheese:

Goat cheese with warm, organic spinach, honey and roasted pine nuts:

Fresh sliced artichokes with aged Parmesan, lemon and extra virgin olive oil:

Breasaola with baby arugula and mushrooms in extra virgin olive oil and lemon:

Lobster carpaccio with arugula, corn and hearts of palm:

Farfalle al Limoncello: baby shrimp with lemon zest, lemon juice and cream:

A tasting trio called ‘The Trio of Sophia.”

Gnocchi with Pesto; Ravioli with Butter and Sage; and La Paglia & Fieno, a fettucine with a light tomato sauce, basil, Parmigiano and cream.

Gnocchi di mamma (with fresh tomato sauce):

Branzino baked with lemon and and rosemary, served with potatoes and broccoli:

Tiramisu:

A lovely pastry cream topped with raspberries in a hard shell:

Just about everything was spot-on. All the salads were lovely – light, well balanced and dressed with just the right amount of seasoning. The pastas? All al dente, and very satisfying with flavorful sauces. I must admit, when I saw the farfalle with the shrimp and tomatoes, I thought I was heading back a couple of decades to the 80s (it just looks so Bennigan’s, doesn’t it?) but the taste won me over: delightfully crisp shrimp and a sharp lemon flavored tempered with rich cream. It ended up being my favorite. The fish, too, was light and lovely, and the desserts were a very pleasant surprise: light and sweet and refreshing.

There’s great people watching out the windows and from the patio on the side of the restaurant. And though the atmosphere seems a little fancy, there are high chairs and a kids’ menu, too – so it’s family-friendly. And I dare you to order the pizza and not fall in love. It’s $29, but it’s worth every cent.

Details: 199 Main St., 914-288-9300, www.serafinarestaurant.com. Open for lunch and dinner daily.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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