Piccola Trattoria Is Better Than Ever in Dobbs Ferry

Piccola Trattoria is an inviting Italian eatery in Dobbs Ferry with delicious comfort food and Italian favorites on the menu.

Dentistry was the original career plan for Sergio Pennacchio in 1984, when he left his native Argentina at age 19 to visit his father for what was supposed to be a month-long stay. But while busing tables at his father’s Paolo’s Café in Yonkers, he caught the industry itch.

“I loved New York, the creation part, the customers, the kitchen, bar, dining room, and all the different backgrounds and cultures of the staff,” says Pennacchio. “I think I was born to be in the business.”

He went on to stay in New York to work in Manhattan at various restaurants and positions. At 23, he opened his first restaurant, Pasta e Pesce in Yonkers, which he owned from 1993 to 2006; he then had a catering company from 2006 to 2013.

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Piccola Trattoria, his homey and tiny — 38 seats! — Italian restaurant debuted in 2013 at 41 Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry and quickly became a neighborhood favorite. But Pennacchio had to shutter it in November 2021 when he learned the building that he (and his family before him) had occupied since 1996 would be razed for apartments.

Broiled branzino
Broiled branzino. Courtesy of Piccola Trattoria.

Fortunately, the space a few doors down from 41 Cedar Street, that once held The Bit, became available, and in October 2023, Piccola reopened (the new location is 3,800 sq ft compared to the previous 950).

“The community is phenomenal here — family-oriented, safe, good school system,” says the Irvington resident. “From Hastings to Tarrytown, there are phenomenal restaurants that bring a lot of people in.”

Pennacchio’s signature dishes — house-made cannelloni filled with pork Bolognese and spinach; broiled branzino, and a Napoleon with cannoli cream — are among the lures.

“The restaurant owners and chefs all know each other here — it’s a supportive environment.”

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23 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry; 914.674.8427; piccolany.com

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