The best meal of the weekend just got better with mouthwatering brunch offerings at L’inizio in Ardsley and Bronxville’s tredici SOCIAL.
By Michelle Gillan Larkin and John Bruno Turiano
At L’inizio, where Heather and Scott Fratangelo dish out locally sourced, inventive, and elevated Italian-inspired fare, Sunday brunch service (11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is just a natural progression of their fine and thoughtfully curated culinary craft. And, it’s a welcome addition to Ardsley’s downtown dining scene.
The duo’s regular offerings are the foundation of the brunch menu, with a handful of well-placed breakfast-type items that make it a full-on legit brunch, instead of just an early lunch. (Pro tip: $25 gets you a selection from the “large plates” section and makes brunch bottomless with sangria, seasonal mimosas, and spicy bloodies.)
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Along with dinnertime standards like crispy cauliflower with lemon aioli and sweet lime vinaigrette, the divine Gouda burger, and bucatini with shrimp, brunchers can expect cannoli-stuffed French toast with chocolate sauce, a perfect egg and cheddar brioche sammie, and steak and eggs — a classic that’s prepared with quintessential Fratangelo flair (think: chimichurri, arugula salad, and parmigiana).
In addition, and new to the kitchen lineup, is octopus with chorizo, potato hash, and chipotle aioli, which comes topped with a soft-boiled egg (which spells brekkie all the way).
Also, somehow hitting the right note for first-meal-of-the-day status, the prosciutto-lemon arancini is a welcome and belly-warming amuse bouche.
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Interestingly, Heather’s knockout bombolini, which is normally reserved for a dinner-ending dessert, has found a home among the starters for brunch. And, somehow, it works, because if you’re mature and sophisticated enough to take yourself out to brunch, then surely you can bend the rules and enjoy dessert before your meal.
The small village of Bronxville, just 1 square mile and with 6,300+ residents, is apparently a sidewalk stroll kind of place. A nice cross-section of humanity made for excellent people-watching trying tredici SOCIAL’s updated brunch menu (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in the 30-seat, open-air tented dining space adjacent to the sidewalk.
“We had stopped brunch due to COVID,” says Michael Colucci, general manager of the Modern Italian/American eatery, “but with the warm weather here and the number of those vaccinated rising daily, it was time to bring it back.”
The menu, designed by chef/owner Giuseppe Fanelli, who also owns tredici NORTH in Purchase, has brunch favs either done elevated (eggs Benedict over Maryland crab cakes, avocado toast with chilled Maine lobster, penne vodka with a shot – or two – of Grey Goose) or via fun, even quirky takes (buttermilk pancakes with house-made cannoli cream, chicken and waffles with Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch fried chicken, a towering Fat Bastard burger which Colucci suggests tackling by “smashing it down and using a knife and fork”).
The drink menu is equally as appealing, the highlight being six Bloody Marys from the traditional to the Bloody Bulldog made with English Bulldog gin, fresh-squeezed lemon, minced garlic, horseradish, aged balsamic, Worcestershire, celery salt, black pepper, and Tabasco with a bacon rim.
698 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley; 914.693.5400
104 Kraft Ave, Bronxville; 914.793.1313