With an inventive Italian American menu, an open space full of rustic and industrial touches, and a pizza oven turning out imaginative wood-fired pizzas (and other food), Novecento Wood Burning Kitchen & Bar recently opened in Shrub Oak.
The partners in the venture, Chef Vincent Gaudio and Barbara Delgaltini, have worked together at a number of other Westchester Italian restaurants. When it came time to open their own place, Delgaltini says, “Our vision was to open a place with a Lower Manhattan vibe.”
There are two distinct spaces at Novecento — a room with the pizza oven and small bar is more traditional, while the larger space is airy and ample. There’s a 20-seat bar with a great selection of craft beers on tap and creative cocktails, a glassed-in wine room, and a combination of banquette seating and well-spaced tables. A white brick wall, reclaimed barn wood and doors at the entrance, and industrial open lighting complete the look.
The food doesn’t need any lighting to make it shine. Gaudio’s desire to mix ingredients and flavors make the dishes pop. “We decided we didn’t only want to serve Italian food,” notes Delgaltini. The appetizers range from burrata and polpette (a trio of meatballs) to fish tacos and a bar pretzel served with a duo of dipping sauces. We had delicious charred Brussel Sprouts with pancetta, red onion, chickpeas, and a fig-balsamic reduction.
Pizzas from the wood-burning oven run the gamut from the traditional Margherita with San Marzano tomato sauce to the sensational Adrianna Bella with sweet sausage, fig jam, mozzarella and burrata cheeses, and toasted pumpkin seeds. (Who would’ve thought that pumpkin seeds would work on pizza?)
“We had to educate customers about wood-burning pizza,” Gaudio says. The pies cook very quickly and there is a char to them so people used to think they were burnt, he says. One bite of the delectable thin crust will turn you into a wood-burning pizza fan.
For dinner we tried the amazing deconstructed lasagna, which is served with a dollop of fire-roasted ricotta, and the tender, braised short rib with addictive three cheese mashed potatoes and spinach.
Other menu choices include classic Italian dishes such as chicken scarpariello and rigatoni alla vodka, as well as an unexpected vegan cauliflower steak. Tempting homemade desserts include a scrumptious Italian cheesecake, gluten-free caramel crunch lava cake, and chocolate-peanut-butter mousse.
Lunch is served, as well, and Gaudio and Delgaltini plan to add brunch. “We want this to be a place where people feel comfortable coming in and having a pizza and beer at the bar or enjoying one of our entrees with a bottle of wine,” says Delgaltini.
Novecento Wood Burning Kitchen & Bar
1410 E Main St
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