Northern Exposure

Photographs by Wes Tarca
Above: Pappardelle with pulled smoked Long Island duck, trio of mushrooms and caramelized onions

Go North, young man,” must be the directive for top New York chefs and restaurateurs looking to branch out. Over the past decade, some noteworthy culinary talent has migrated to Westchester, and the trend continues at Tredici North in Purchase. Chef Giuseppe Fanelli, who worked at Rao’s and Felidia (Lidia Bastianich’s flagship) among other Manhattan restaurants before heading up the kitchen at Tre Dici in Chelsea, brings finesse and creativity to the table at this modern Italian eatery. When it opened last year, Tredici North joined the well-populated field of Italian restaurants in our area, but it distinguishes itself with some seriously cool design by Michael Macaluso and contemporary takes on classics—such as Ravioli Zucca, a burrata-filled pasta with butternut squash crema in brown butter with sage and finished with a whiskey sugar brûlée.

Homemade Kobe beef ravioli with carmelized onions and Fontina Val d’Aosta in caramelized butter

Word seems to be out about the quality experience here, as we could only get a very early reservation on a recent Saturday night and by the time we left, the bar and small waiting area by the door were packed and every table filled. Beyond the valet as you enter, paneled glass partitions lead to the dining room with a variety of tables, some surrounded by circular tufted-red-leather banquettes and others by ivory upholstered wing chairs; a wall of onyx acts as the focal point on one side of the room and the gold-lit bar with coppery bar stools on the other. Upstairs, there’s a small dining room (just five tables) decked out in black velvet damask wallpaper and red chandeliers. If you’re looking for a romantic or quieter spot, upstairs will work, but if you prefer the buzz of a see-and-be-seen atmosphere, be sure to request the main dining room.

“Inside-out” meatballs

Chef Giuseppe tweaks the menu to take advantage of what’s in season and black truffles figured prominently on the night we visited, turning up in the arrancini, mac and cheese and several entrées. Among the apps we tried, a shaved Brussels sprout salad nicely melded flavors and textures, picking up sweetness from pieces of roasted butternut squash and a drizzle of chestnut honey, crunchiness from sliced apple and rich, chewy bites from duck bacon. Playing to meatball fans, the chef’s “inside-out” meatballs are a real hit: a savory blend of panko-breaded meat stuffed with fresh mozzarella and ricotta.

Nutella lasagna
Veal T-bone Parmigiano

The lineup of homemade “macaroni” here is truly tempting, with creative options such as a Kobe beef ravioli (it won Best of Westchester) and gnocchi with a white veal ragu and chopped roasted chestnuts. A pappardelle is served with Long Island duck that’s smoked in-house, and the whole dish comes out fragrant with black truffle essence and a hint of vanilla. Wide ribbons of pasta are topped with the shredded duck, wild mushrooms and caramelized onions to a melt-in-your-mouth effect. The free-range chicken entrée resembles scarpiello but seems lighter than some versions, a crispy whole chicken leg garnished with potato chips and served on a bed of mixed mushrooms, sausage and cherry peppers, with the vinegary flavor of the peppers infusing the dish. Veal T-bone Parmigiano is a massive chop that’s not overly breaded and topped with a tasty marinara and ample melted mozzarella and served with a side of spaghetti—enough to feed two people. For those craving something lighter, there are seafood dishes like black sea bass over roasted cauliflower purée and pistachio and mustard seed-crusted organic salmon with pomegranates and blood-orange reduction.

 

After such a hearty meal, who could think of dessert? Yet our arms were easily twisted when the options of Nutella lasagna and banana chocolate chip gelato were mentioned. That dessert version of lasagna is composed of layers of chocolate wafers sandwiching hazelnut and chocolate whipped cream with toasted hazelnuts on top, and it’s best for sharing and eating right away while the wafers are still a bit crisp. Another sweet way to cap your meal is to stick around for live music on Thursday nights. When we left around 8:30, this hip and lively spot was just getting into the swing of it.


QUICK BITES

WINTER CHEERS
Try one of the seasonal cocktails: The Drunk’n Pumpk’n with pumpkin-infused vodka and amaretto; the Icicle with Icelandic vodka and blue curacao, ice wine and white grape juice; and a cherry-orange blend with brandy in Billy the Kid.

CHEF’S PICKS
Chef Giuseppe Fanelli’s favorite dishes on his current menu are the shaved Brussels sprout salad; Ravioli Zucca filled with homemade burrata, pumpkin and squash; and the Berkshire pork chop.

GROOVE ON
Tredici North hosts live music on select Thursdays, at least once a month. Check Facebook for dates and times.


TREDICI NORTH
578 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY
914-997-4113; tredicinorth.com

HOURS
Tue. & Wed. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Thur. & Fri. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Sat.  5–11 p.m.
Sun. 4–9 p.m.

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