Boogie Down Bites

If you’re from New York, or if you’re into Old School Hip Hop, you know that Boogie Down means the Bronx. I happen to live in the Bronx, and I absolutely love it here, it’s the place where Salsa and Hip Hop were born. Brooklyn had a huge turnaround, Queens is following suit, and the Bronx is slowly starting to get a facelift. I hear whispers of an upscale food court in Hunts Point, built by Robert De Niro and Chef Massimo Bottura. It’s so exciting. Before the Bronx blows up and becomes the new Hot Spot, here are a few restaurants in the Boogie Down I think you should give a shot.

X20 Xaviars on the Hudson

OK, so this restaurant is actually in Yonkers. Yonkers borders onto the Bronx, so most of us consider this to be part of the Boogie Down, but it’s technically Westchester County. As the name suggests, it’s right on the Hudson River, and it has an absolutely stunning view. We came when it was still light out, and left after sundown, it was breathtaking.

The cuisine here is fine dining American fare. I have been to my fair share of these types of restaurants, and X20 surpasses quite a few of them. The food and service were outstanding. I started out with Ricotta and Tellagio Cheese Ravioli with a brown butter herb sauce and shaved parmesan, while my daughter had the Spring Ramp Risotto with black truffles and a parmigiana cookie, which were a couple of perfect bites. Both appetizers were amazing and a sign of even more amazing things to come. For the entree Sasha chose the Hudson Valley Pasture raised Pork Chop with a Chorizo glaze, accompanied by Smashed Potatoes with sour cream, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and Bacon Lardons. The star of the night was my dinner pick, a Pan Roasted Montauk Skate with Robuchon Potatoes, sugar snap peas, Guanciale, and a balsamic brown butter. This dish blew my mind, its was just so good! To round off this perfect evening, we shared a Creme Brûlée with a hard caramel cover that was beautiful and delicious. This place is (almost) surprisingly good! Truly a gem…..

Patricia’s of Morris Park

I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance of this Italian eatery. I ate here numerous times, and I leave happy every single time. While it might not have Manhattan’s flair, it undoubtedly makes up for it in flavor. It can compete with some of the best in the city, hands down.

On my latest visit (again with my fellow foodie Sasha) I finally gave the Seared Scallops a shot. They were served with crispy prosciutto and lentils, and the balsamic reduction gave it a perfect touch. I really enjoyed it. Sasha had the Mozzarella Di Bufala, with which one can never go wrong in my opinion. We were definitely in the mood for pasta that night! Sasha chose Orrichette, a classic with Broccoli Rabe, Italian Sausage, garlic and oil. I tried something new, so I went for the Fioretti, which consisted of a stuffed purse shaped pasta with mushrooms, peas and Prosciutto. Un-be-lievable. It was just delightful. I have to figure out the recipe somehow. While this restaurant is a bit of a trek from Manhattan, I think it’s worth the trip!

F & J Pine

F & J Pine, a.k.a. The Pine, is a neighborhood restaurant that is housed in the building of the old, and now obviously closed, Frankie and Johnny’s restaurant. The Pine had big shoes to fill after taking over, and they’ve done a great job. It has become one the most popular restaurants in the Bronx, and not too long ago I took my twins there for their birthday dinner. The place is very spacious with large wooden accents and furniture, large round tables with crisp white table cloths. It’s family oriented with lots of people from the neighborhood, a perfect glimpse into today’s Bronx with a mixture of nationalities, all enjoying some traditional Italian food.

Or appetizers were Fried Calamari, Nonna’s Polpetine (a 1 lb. meatball with whipped ricotta and garlic bread), and a combo of Mozzarella sticks and Toasted Ravioli. For our main dishes we had Gnocchi Pesto with grilled chicken and sundried tomatoes for the Birthday Girl, while the Birthday Boy had Stuffed Chicken Parmigiana. I had some good, old fashioned Veal Saltimbocca with spinach and a poached egg. Everything here is good, solid food. A great Sunday dinner with your family, a fun spot for a few bites with your friends.

I’m so grateful to celebrate another birthday with my twins. After my son’s bout with cancer a few years ago (he’s been in full remission for over 5 years), it’s so good to see them both happy and healthy!

Until next time!

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