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Antipasti Wine & Antipasto Bar


Antipasti is a cavernous space with warm tones – – camel, burnt sienna, browns. As you enter the front door and pass the coat check, you’ll notice an immense bar area.  Stools are square and very firm with no back support, although visually great. The bartender would be amazed at the number of steps taken in an evening to be sure! There was only one woman working the bar although she seemed to manage the service despite the crowd. At the end of the bar is a large temperature-controlled couvenet which is well stocked with over 500 bottles of vino from around the world. The Vino Lounge, as they call it, supposedly offers 50 wines by the glass per their marketing yet the menu only shows 16 including sparkling and champagne – – when questioned, it was acknowledged and we were told, “We haven’t figured it out yet.” The wines they do have by the glass tend to be priced in the $9 – $12 range and are of little interest.  The purchase of a bottle can cost you more than you might expect as there are very few mid-priced selections.

To the left and behind glass you’ll notice various salumi hanging and wheels of cheese. The wine cellar is impressively tucked into a wall just off to the side of the bar and is replete with selections from around the globe.

Up a few steps and into the dining room we go with very large backed banquettes which face a plethora of tables.  The same attention to detail and design was not given to the dining room. Tables are bare with no cloth or even kraft paper thus leaving no protection between your utensils and the bare tabletop.  Hopefully each table is individually wiped down with a fresh and well-cleaned cloth. If you look across the dining room, you will notice many tables – – they didn’t waste an inch of room here to maximize seating capacity.  The chairs, however are pretty (again with the square leather, but with a back of course). Look up?  Hmmmm – –  the ceiling looks like something out of a doctor’s office, which is a definite eyesore. It consists of an office drop ceiling with inserted high-hat lighting.  The kicker is there are many chandeliers which do not match the contemporary decor whatsoever and look like they were found in nonna’s basement. The dining room, when full is extremly noisy. There is nothing to absorb the sound. Not sure what they were thinking.

The menu offers a structure of antipasti (cold and hot) then standard Italian fare for main-course dishes. The regular dishes can be had anywhere. The roasted beet salad is delicious and lightly dressed. Stuffed peppers are spicy little numbers with a crumb filling.  The heat of the pepper overwhelms the filling, however. Stay away from the rice balls.  The outside presents well, but the inside is gummy and flavorless.

Cheeses do not disappoint. Antipasti serves many interesting cheese selections from many places, not just Italy. The star on the menu is the burrata.  Burrata is a cheese that has an approximate shelf life of 48 hours.  It is wrapped in leaves.  When the leaves are green and fresh looking, the indication is that the cheese is still fresh.  Burrata, which originates from the Puglia region of Italy, consists of a “purse” made of buffalo milk mozzarella in which shreds of fresh mozzarella are placed and topped with a fresh helping of panna (heavy cream). Fantastic!  This can serve about four nicely and runs $24. Other cheeses are the blues which do not disappoint.  Then of course, you can have your dry aged hard cheeses such as parmigiano reggiano. Each cheese arrives with a little flag identifying it by name and place of origin.  You get the picture.

Next, order a mixture of interesting cured meats. The speck and bresaola are delicious as is the more fatty lardo. The salumeria plates would benefit from the “flag” identifiers given the cheese plates.

Service at Antipasti is quite attentive.  The only criticism on service at one seating was they continually would swap out utensils and forget to replace them when delivering the next course. Smiles abound from the likes of Eduardo who can converse with you in English, his native Spanish, and to my delight we shared conversation in Italian.

In addition to the meats, cheeses, and other standard Italian restaurant fare, there is a raw bar complete with fresh oysters, shrimp and crab legs.

My recommendation: Stay in the front bar area and sit at the bar or a two-top with stools, enjoy the beautiful front of house space and simply dine your way through interesting meats and cheeses and complement your meal with a glass of wine.

Reservations are  highly recommended (call or reserve via Open Table) You will need to take advantage of their valet parking which is free and offered daily from 5:30 on.

Antipasti Wine & Antipasto Bar

1 North Broadway

White Plains, NY 10601

914-949-3500

www.antipastiny.com

2 Comments

  1. Susan D wrote:

    An immense bar area; 500 bottles of wine; a spicy little number with a crumb filling … good lord … “hello reservations”?
    Sounds like heaven and we’ll be there very soon. Comments to follow after a couple of visits.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  2. Wine Lover wrote:

    Thats a great post, thanks for posting it. I’ve saved your website and will look forward to reading more!

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

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