Thursday, December 27, 2012


Westchester Square News: WHERE TO CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE!: CULINARY ROAD  By Morris Gut BRONX, NEW YORK, December 27- Ready or not, here it comes! 2013 is upon us, so whether you’ve been na...


By Morris Gut
BRONX, NEW YORK, December 27- Ready or not, here it comes! 2013 is upon us, so whether you’ve been naughty or nice its time to make plans with friends and family. If you are planning to go out, here are some dining suggestions for every palate, each offering a good dose of New Year’s cheer…
It is over-the-top during the holidays and it begins with the bright lights and smell of chestnuts roasting at the entranceway. Take home a bag of them. The annual Christmas Holiday Fest at Mulino’s, White Plains, lasts right thru the season and it’s a sight to behold! The fountain garden is beautiful as is the lavish dining room and bar/ lounge. General Manager Gimmy Cavagna and his staff are keeping the premises spiffy as ever: gesticulating Christmas decorations galore, holiday carolers, life size toy soldiers, the bursting colorful floral displays, the sparkling grappa and glassware collection, the handsome multilevel seating area. The Cold Seafood Platter is a wonder and fine to share as is their decadent version of Linguine Carbonara; plump tender Rack of Lamb served on the long bone; delicate Dover Sole finished off in the dining room; and perhaps for dessert have the wait staff whip up warm Zabaglione with fresh ripe berries tableside. And, oh that smooth Italian cheesecake. Open 7 days thru the Holiday Fest. Bring the whole family. The place sparkles! Valet parking. Reservations advised. Mulino’s of Westchester, 99 Court Street, White Plains 914-761-1818
Lou and Rose Promuto have re-opened The Marina Grille Waterfront Restaurant & Bar located at Wright Island Marina in New Rochelle surrounded by boat clubs and L.I. Sound. It had formerly been The Sea Breeze. The Promutos also own Valentino’s Cucina Italiana and Sunset Grille both in Norwalk, CT. Chef is seasoned Sergio Dechiara, a graduate of the New York Restaurant School, who is not bound by culinary borders. His menu offers such comforting dishes as: New England Clam Chowder; Artichoke Crab Dip; Coconut Shrimp; a massive Paella Valenciana, served with mixed seafood with chorizo-chicken rice; Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with broccoli, mashed potatoes and brown gravy; Porterhouse for two; and an occasional tender hunk of Short Rib on the bone with all its delicious juices. Complete Dinners served Monday thru Thursday: $18.95. Daily happy hours in the bar/lounge. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday thru Sunday. Ample free parking. The Marina Grille, 290 Drake Ave., New Rochelle. 914-365-1860.
Proprietor Michael Vivolo and his wife Margaret of La Riserva, 2382 Boston Post Road, Larchmont (914-834-5584), have been serving ‘the Italian classics’ here for 34 years and the refreshing atmosphere and friendly ambiance keep it a treat. Be seated in the lovely refurbished dining room, now part vintage photo gallery, and let veteran manager Ellie Cucino suggest such specialties as: flavorful Polenta al Gorgonzola with shrimp; Angel Hair Abissi Marini, thin egg noodles in a light cream sauce with shrimp and mushrooms; Veal Chop alla Griglia, with mushrooms and roasted potatoes; or the Branzino Mediterraneo. Michael’s son Dean operates Trattoria Vivolo in Harrison. Private party facilities. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Free parking.
Chef Anna Catalano of Agostino’s, 336 Pelham Road, New Rochelle (914-235-6019), prepares everything in her regional Italian kitchen from scratch: her sauces, the pastas, right down to the fresh cannoli shells and desserts. Be seated and let Anna, her husband Antonio and brother Gasperino Di Fabio serve you such home style favorites as: Portobello e Polenta alla Griglia con Gorgonzola; Spaghetti alla Chitarra alla Pescarese con Frutti di Mare,  seafood in a light marinara sauce; homemade Ravioli di Aragosta in Salsa Rosa, with lobster in a light cream sauce with touch of tomato; classic Zuppa di Pesce all Mamma Lucia, with clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops, octopus and fish of the day with linguini; Pollo alla Scarpariello prepared here on the bone sautéed with garlic in a white wine sauce; or Involtini di Anna alla Fantasia, stuffed with provolone and shitake mushrooms. And, oh those wonderful cannolis! Fresh pasta for take home by advanced order. Cozy bar/cocktails. Open 7 days a week. Free parking. Valet evenings.
Owner Dominic Cesarini of The Quarry, 106 Main Street, Tuckahoe (914-337-0311), has settled into new larger quarters in downtown Tuckahoe, a handsomely renovated bi-level 70-seat dining room and bustling bar/lounge that is always engaged in spirited networking. There are artsy exposed pipes and vents on the ceiling. A lovely area rug and acoustics temper the noise level. Handsome brown wood and clay tone walls, warm lighting fixtures and modern sturdy dark brown butcher block type chairs and tables highlight the floor with large picture windows with seating spilling out onto Main. The staff here is most friendly, efficient and eager to please. Cesarini, a ‘local grill man’ himself whose family owned and operated several cafes and grills in the Bronx-Tuckahoe-Eastchester area, has kicked it up a notch with a good mix of reasonably priced American tavern comfort fare with a good dose of broccoli rabe to go around. Good salads, burgers, Prime Rib and Short Ribs on weekends. Open 7 days.
Here’s a big guy who likes to cook big! Chef/proprietor Paul Caputo of Chianti, 174 Marbledale Road, Tuckahoe (914-346-8844), opened a bustling ode to Italian-American cuisine served in generous style. He previously operated Gina Marie’s Bella Vita in Mt. Vernon and the former Bella Vita in Mahopac. Over the years he has worked for a storied cast of kitchens from Rigoletto’s and Amici’s on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx to the original Valentino’s in Yonkers to the former Gregory’s in White Plains. Over on one wall in the dining room is inscribed: “chi mangia bene, viva bene” (if you eat well, you live well), and that’s the overriding philosophy here. Chef Caputo has a history of serving big portions of fresh made-to-order food; ‘family style’ some call it. Check out such specialties as: Spiedini ala Romana; his amazing Garlic Bread Paoliccimo with chopped broccoli rabe; Zuppa Di Pesce over Capellini; Steak Compagniola; or giant Veal Chop De Benedictis. Don’t worry; there are always plenty of doggie bags on hand for take home. Complete lunch and dinners available daily. On and off-premise catering.
(Morris Gut, restaurant consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor, has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in the Bronx and Westchester area for over 25 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591.
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Westchester Square News: Cops Recharge Battery Theft Caper

Westchester Square News: Cops Recharge Battery Theft Caper: Look into Edenwald Man for Highway Battery Thefts Throughout Region By David Greene BRONX, NEW YORK, December 26- Cops in se...

Cops Recharge Battery Theft Caper

Look into Edenwald Man for Highway Battery Thefts Throughout Region
By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, December 26- Cops in several neighboring jurisdictions are looking at a suspect captured in Westchester regarding the theft of $60,000 worth of heavy-duty car batteries-- used to light road signs along local parkways.
Westchester County police recently announced the arrest of Angel Velez, 26, of Baychester Avenue, who was charged with multiple counts of grand larceny, possession of stolen property and criminal mischief, after Velez allegedly unhooked hundreds of batteries, leaving needed roadway warning signs-- dark.
Velez was arrested on December 4, and held to answer charges regarding thefts of more than 300 batteries in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon and Greenburgh, N.Y.
The New York State Police and the NYPD are currently investigating Velez for similar thefts in Rockland and Orange Counties, as well as in the Bronx.
The thefts have taken place along the Hutchinson River Parkway, Saw Mill Parkway, Bronx River Parkway. the Cross County Parkway and the New York State Thruway over the last six-months.
Even a secured New York State Department of Transportation Yard was the site of at least one theft.
Investigators from the Westchester County Police Department's General Investigations Unit who cracked the case, believe Velez pocketed some $20,000, selling the stolen batteries at recycling centers.
The investigation began after several complaints from the Westchester Department of Public Works and the Westchester Department of Transportation, who reported the initial thefts. 
Westchester Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth was quoted by, stating, "These battery thefts knocked many Variable Message Signs out of service, preventing messages from being displayed and posing a threat to the safety of the motoring public."
This reporter could not find anyone in the Edenwald Houses that even knew Velez. 
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Model Train Show at NYC Transit Museum

DNA Solves 20-Year-Old Murder Cold Case

BRONX, NEW YORK, December19- District Attorney Robert T. Johnson announced that a murder charge has been filed against a 60-year-old defendant in connection with the brutal stabbing of a woman in Riverdale 19 years ago on October 20, 1993.
Lucius Crawford, of Beekman Avenue, Mount Vernon, New York, was indicted by the grand jury on one count of murder in the second degree. The indictment alleges that Crawford acted “with intent” in causing the death of 38-year-old Nella West by “blunt force trauma and sharp injuries to the head, face, and abdomen.” The deceased was stabbed multiple times and had sustained multiple fractures to her skull and numerous blunt force injuries and lacerations to her face.
Crawford, who was arrested last month in Mount Vernon, was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Richard Lee Price in Part T-16. The judge ordered that Crawford be held without bail.
The homicide remained unsolved until March of this year when the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner developed a full DNA profile of a suspect as a result of advances in DNA technology that was not available when the homicide occurred. Investigators were able to develop a profile from forensic evidence retrieved from vaginal swabs taken from the deceased.
(No sex crime could be charged in this case because the Statute of Limitations for sexual offenses has expired.) The profile was uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and was found to be a match to Crawford, who was paroled in 2008 after serving ten years on a conviction in Westchester County.
The investigation was re-opened by the NYPD 50th Precinct Detective Squad and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office as a result of a grant to test DNA forensic evidence in “cold cases”.  Court records indicate that upon his apprehension the defendant admitted to causing West’s death.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rachel Singer, Director of DNA Prosecutions.

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