When one thinks of good old classic Italian dining, what would come to mind? Of course we would expect fine dining, and cuisine that one would find appealing to the taste pallet. What about the atmosphere of this fine Italian eatery? Great hospitality? Great dining setup and the nostalgia of Italy?
|Classic Gin Martini|
Those who are familiar with Westchester County, they know that there are quite a few Italian dining options. I have sampled a great number of these to say the least. I happened to be in the Katonah area with my wife one evening when she and I came upon a small place called Peppino’s, just a stone’s throw away from the Katonah train station. The building sat comfortably beside the tracks, leaving question whether it was the old station at one point.
As my wife Arlene and I approached the quaint little place, I was hesitant about going because, let’s face it, Westchester has tons of Italian eateries. I mean it’s all pretty much the same thing, right? Every menu has chicken piccata, chicken Marsala, and some fancy pasta dish. The deciding factor to eat at Peppino’s was the enormous wait at another restaurant.
We returned to Peppino’s and were greeted just as we entered. We were informed of a 20 minute wait if we wanted to be seated in the dining room, but the bar area had a vacant table. This evening was no special occasion, so dining by the bar would suffice.
|Garlic bread that came with dinner|
I don’t really consider myself a big drinker, but something about this place tempted me for a martini. As soon as I received my menu, I flipped it open to find a list of their specialty drinks on the front page. Before I could even looked at the food, I ordered their Classic Gin Martini. Our waitress, who was extremely kind, informed me that I had made an excellent choice. In just a few minutes, I had my drink, and took my first sip. I have had martini’s here and there, but just from the taste of this martini I knew this place was a sure thing. I was sold and I didn’t even try the food. Arlene had ordered a glass of pino grigio. She and I were both starving so an appetizer was in order. We received an additional specials menu and there was a choice of a giant meatball. She really wanted to go with that, so I had to give in.
Best meatball ever! I can’t stress that enough. Arlene commented on how big this meatball was. It said giant, but we were not expecting this. The giant meatball was cut into four pieces, and in the center was a heaping of homemade ricotta cheese with sprinkles of mozzarella.
After our meatball, we were given an additional salad. I am not sure if this came with our meal, or if because the place was extra busy and we were seated in the bar area, but none the less this was a phenomenal salad and when I say fresh, I put the emphasis on FRESH!
|Peppinos Signature Martini|
Finally, our entrees came out and it was time to see if this place was for real. I ordered the Chicken Peppino assuming this was the establishment’s signature dish. This was chicken with mushrooms and onions, in a white wine sauce with bits of tomatoes. Speaking of signature, I finished my Classic Gin Martini, but craved another. I went with the Peppino’s Signature Martini. Let me just lay out the ingredients for you and see if it stimulates your taste buds. It was Grey Goose Vodka, homemade limoncello, Sam Pellegrino Limon, and a sugar rim and lemon garnish. When I tasted this, I knew just by that, that I would be coming back. This place won my heart over with their martinis alone.
|Side dish of spaghetti|
Arlene and I both agreed that my chicken was a dish made for the Gods. It was hands down the best chicken dish I had ever eaten. The chicken was cooked to perfection, lightly coated in flour, and filled with all sorts of good flavor and juices. We finished our night with a molten chocolate cake for desert, and left with a happy stomach.
|Arlene’s dish. Orecchiette with broccoli rabe, crushed red pepper, crumbled sausage, garlic and oil|
I have to say that the hospitality in this place was off the charts incredible. If the food had been horrible, I would return just from the hospitality alone. Our waitress, an older women, was extremely kind. She complemented my wife and I on our young looks, and was just very nice. Every time she returned to the table, we were greeted with a smile and she would ask if we were OK and if we needed anything. So overall, the atmosphere was excellent, the establishment itself was beautiful, and the food was probably the best I have had in a long time. I will be returning for sure.
116 Katonah Ave.
Katonah, NY 10536
(914) 232 3212