Ahhh Westchester. It sounds like such a magical place.
No but really. It’s very nice.
The whole area of Westchester is pretty foreign to me, with the exception of a few family friends who live in Yonkers. Also, Yonkers is just a funny word and as a child I would giggle when someone said it. Ok I’m kidding…I still giggle.
Anyway. Since I don’t have a car and it’s a bit of a hike from me (Williamsburg), my friends and I decided to make a day of it and hit two spots: Polpettina and The Wooden Spoon. Polpettina is in Larchmont (another place I laugh at…this is why) and the Wooden Spoon is in New Rochelle. Close to each other? Ehhh sort of. Did I know that? NOPE. Thank god for cabs. About a 15-20 min ride.
Onto the food. Polpettina means “little meatball”, so I’ll give you one guess as to what kind of food it is. Yes! It’s Italian! You’re so smart. They’re also great with social media, which is how we communicated for a long time before our relationship was taken to the next level in person.
You know how you make eggplant delicious? You fry it. Don’t get me wrong, I love grilled eggplant, but I also love fried eggplant drizzled with honey. And the best part is, I didn’t even know I loved it until I tried these. What a great combo. There are little flecks of sea salt on top as well, which hit your tongue so nicely next to the honey.
I’ll be honest, this was a tough decision; a lot of their pies sounded good, but for some reason I wanted meat. I say that like it’s weird or abnormal for me. They have two kinds of pizza: Neopolitan (wood-fired, thin-crust, well done) and Grandma (square pie with cheese/sauce). I love both, so choosing is really unfair, but we went with this Speck Neopolitan pie: ricotta, speck, hot honey, thyme, and sesame seeds. If you’re a traditional pizza person, you may not like the sound of it, but trust me, it was great. Putting honey on pizza is one of the greatest discoveries in cooking since the toaster oven. The sweet and salty bite is just perfect – you can smell the sweet notes the second it hits the table. Branch out and try it.
Truffled Carbonara Pasta
Here’s my deal with carbonara and all things truffle: it can be done well with just enough to be fragrant, or it can be overdone like a tourist trap joint in Little Italy. Fortunately, Polpettina’s version falls under the former – the pasta is perfectly al dente, the sauce is not too heavy or cheesy, and you don’t feel overwhelmed by any of the flavors. The key to truffle is balance, and they nailed it with this one. I could have eaten the whole bowl myself but I had to show SOME restraint. I’m a lady.
One of my favorite ingredients in a salad happens to be watermelon. If you didn’t get on board with the whole feta and watermelon movement a few years ago, I suggest you hop on now. This was off the menu, but I definitely think ON the menu is the right choice (hint hint guys): watermelon, red onion, tomatoes, pistachios, and jalapenos. And some of the most beautiful basil from Gotham Greens I have ever seen. It looks like a painting.
Polpettina also does an awesome brunch I hear, so I’ll have to come back and get lit on a Sunday. No brunch on Saturdays. Sad face. But happy face for being able to get out there at all. Definitely worth the Metro North trip guys – it’s nice to get away from the city for a bit. If you have a car, it’s even easier. SO DO IT. Also they make these cute shirts that represent my personality really well (Carbs & Cocktails) and you can buy them.
In between feedings, we visited Oakland Beach in Rye, which was so cute (though the water was not the best). It was sweltering hot and we literally got lightheaded from the sun/heat. Had to rehydrate with some Gatorade/water and sing a little Three Dog Night to Snapchat. Obviously. #knowsexactlywhyshesalone
We showered and gathered our brain cells to make a trip to New Rochelle for dinner at The Wooden Spoon.
I first discovered The Wooden Spoon at the Westchester Magazine Wine & Food Festival; they were one of the many vendors at the Burger & Beer Blast, and I tried their Balboa burger with double swiss and mushrooms on garlic bread. Simple and delicious, I decided I had to visit the actual spot and try half the menu.
If you haven’t had totchos yet, I think you need to be smarter with your life decisions. What are they? Think. Tater tots + nachos = Totchos. I’ll be honest, when these came to the table, I was a bit skeptical. The presentation isn’t anything to write home about (yet here I am, writing about it), but you know what? Taste > presentation. They were great. The whole table devoured them in less than five minutes.
Sweet Sriracha Wings
Ok. There is no way to say this lightly…these might be some of the best wings I’ve ever had. No joke. They were PERFECT. Fried and doused in some sweet sriracha and unicorn dust – literally no one spoke while eating these. We just marveled over them. Perfectly balanced with the sweet heat, and the wings are BIG. I love a meaty wing. Get that wimpy shit out of here. I debated taking an order to go, but I figured it’s an excuse to actually go back…get these. You won’t regret it.
Mac and Cheese
As I’ve mentioned many times, I love mac n cheese. You’d have to make a pretty bad mac for me to not eat it. That said, I always call out the ones that are extra tasty. This was the Wooden Spoon Style mac with fried chicken pieces (seriously), bacon and chipotle. Great spice and cheesy factor. Those are important. They even have a mac and cheese bar on the menu, where you can customize your own with your favorite toppings. Too much effort for me at that time, and I’m glad we left this one in Wooden Spoon’s hands.
The Firecracker (Special) Burger
This thing was monstrous. Also I’m not 100% on the name – it was the special burger of the night. My bud JT ordered it and I think he may have lapsed into a food coma after eating just half of it. It was a beef patty topped with a fried chicken patty, cheese, lettuce, and I want to say chipotle mayo. I forget. Either way it was delicious but a little over the top even for a fatso like me.
I kept it simple and went back to what I know. I love a good burger with mushrooms and swiss, so I revisited this guy aka the Balboa (while singing the Rocky theme in my head). This thing was also massive – that garlic bread is like Texas Toast. Not that I’m complaining. The burger was cooked just right and had a nice char on the outside, while the cheese cascaded over the patty, enveloping it in it’s greatness. I could have used a touch of acidity here to cut through the grease/cheese – maybe some vinegary hot sauce or even ketchup – but it was still a damn good burger.
Fried Chicken and Waffles
I know what you’re thinking. How are we all still alive? Unclear. But I DO know that these waffles were amazing. I know that the focus isn’t usually the waffle, but they had such a great taste! I asked what they were made of and they said straight up pancake batter and some butter. Maybe it was the butter?? Either way, perfect crisp edges, chewy yet light and fluffy on the inside, and a little bit sweet even without the syrup. DELISH. Get these.
So there you have it. I think I gained 5 lbs that day. And I regret nothing.
Westchester, I’ll be back. You’re cute and I like you. Me on the other hand…
147 Larchmont Ave
The Wooden Spoon (New Rochelle)
16 Division Street
Website: Wooden Spoon