American Largess is best shown at an Italian steakhouse like Macelleria in Armonk, NY
It’s easy enough to conclude that the truest expression of American restaurant generosity – one that I would tell a foreign visitor not to miss – is the Italian steakhouse. The reasons should be obvious: the menus, which differ little by region, are sure to include the dishes most representative of the American culinary canon, from crabcakes and a neighborhood salad with bone-in ribeyes and cheesecake, accompanied by local menus. rich wines in United States. traffic jams. Add in the Italian part of the quotient, there will also be fried calamari, some pasta, a form of chicken alla parmigiana and tiramisu for dessert.
Steak-and-chop houses date back to the 19e century, and a few, like Keens in New York and the Buckhorn Exchange in Denver, did not deviate much from the pre-Civil War model. The Italian steakhouse began during Prohibition in New York City, when places like the Palm and Christ Cella added Italian specialties to the menu. This model has since become the model for almost every steakhouse in the United States, as surely as Paris has served as a model for the French bistro.
That said, the influence of established places like Peter Lüger in Brooklyn and Wolfgang’s in Manhattan is evident, and many of the new owners have already worked for these restaurants. I’m always thrilled when the genre is tapped into by new immigrants, many of whom started out as waiters and became owners of a large gregarious Italian steakhouse like Macelleria, which has branches in Armonk and Pelham, NY, and Greenwich, CT.
Key to all of them is a commitment to premium ingredients, large portions, personalized service, solid wine lists and the expectation that you will bring food home. Owner Anthony Lala and Chef Joe Fusco wouldn’t want it any other way.
Macelleria Armonk, in the beautiful Lakes Region of Westchester County, is a large place, with 200 seats, but so divided to seem more intimate, with widely spaced tables, wooden floors, and a stone fireplace now in operation. as the cold sets in. The small details are the finest: The tables are spacious, the linen of good quality, the stemmed glasses, the Laguiole knives. All portions are large and sharing or taking food home is a high probability. The wine list is extensive and, by the glass, there is a very generous portion.
You could definitely share a bountiful seafood salad ($ 24) with shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, octopus squid, and arugula in a lemon vinaigrette. But anyone who orders the generous Crab Meat Cocktail ($ 26) made with Colossal Giant Chunk Crab – which I priced at seafood stores at $ 58 a pound – will greedily want to keep it all to themselves. The Maryland Crab Cake ($ 24) is also a good size, although the crab itself is closer to the base piece, not the jumbo. It is accompanied by a mustard sauce with herbs.
The Italian steakhouse has to get its pasta as good as its steaks and chops, and Macelleria most certainly does well with dishes like spaghetti. alla carbonara ($ 24), which starts with good pasta mixed with Italian bacon, onion, egg yolks, and Parmesan cheese. Likewise, cavatelli ($ 24) have a real bite when mixed with broccoli rabe, sausage garlic and oil, while the heaviest I tried was the short rib pappardelle ($ 28). Each would make a main course or a starter for two.
There are no surprises among the entrees, as all are made with integrity and the same premium ingredients as everything else, including a gigantic serving of branzino ($ 42) with seasonal vegetables, lemon, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil, and a thin Chicken Martini ($ 34) of tender chicken breast, Parmesan crust, lemon, white wine and seasonal vegetables. There are several cuts of meat, including a bone-in New York strip for $ 49, rib eye for $ 56, lamb chops for $ 48, porterhouse for two for $ 120, and a tomahawk for two for $ 156. $.
Do not deprive yourself of desserts when they are as good as those of Macelleria, all made to be shared, like the chocolate semi-freddo and the crème brûlée.
You are likely to find your favorite wine on Macelleria’s menu, which is well chosen and well priced.
So if you have friends who come from out of town especially from overseas, a trip to Macelleria in Armonk should be eye-opening and they will find that bringing food home is a consequence. of American generosity.
111 Bedford Road
Armonk, New York
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.