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Polpettina Has Epic Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls and We’re All About Them

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Photos by Samantha Garbarini

Since Polpettina opened in a tiny space in Eastchester in 2011 (and then expanded and added a second location in Larchmont), the menu has changed very little. And while we’re not complaining — eggplant chips, bechamel-laden Bolognese, and meatballs forever — Chef/founder Mike Abruzese is adding some fresh, unexpected takes to the existing Italian menu, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Check out what’s happening below.

What the must-order eggplant chips were to the old menu (don’t worry, they’re still there), we’re predicting The Garlic “Not” will be to Polpettina 2.0.

Four plush, just-crusty-enough, pull-apart rolls are stuffed with garlic-herb butter, hit with a double dose of stretchy caciocavallo cheese, and nestled into a pan for sharing.

For this new-school riff on fra diavolo, mussels are steamed with saffron, white wine, and San Marzano tomatoes, and finished with garlic-chili crisp and fermented soybean.

New salads and sides bring plenty of vegetable-forward options to the menu, including this Farmhouse Salad, with bitter chicories, pickled red onion, grapefruit, tomato confit, oil-cured black olives, blue cheese, and a swoosh of buttermilk-dill dressing in the bottom of the bowl.

Another new salad, raw shaved candy cane beet and Fable Farms microgreens are a doubly peppery combo, tossed with pistachios and orange-ginger vinaigrette.

Going for more cream and less crunchy vegetables? The baked fusilloni (that’s giant fusilli, FYI) is an ultra-rich mix of porcini mushrooms, funky taleggio cheese, black truffle, and crispy breadcrumbs.

Asian flavors perk up many of the new menu items, but nowhere are they more revelatory than in the cacio e pepe. Done with thick, chewy pici (a hand-rolled Tuscan pasta typically served with meaty ragù), miso and togarashi add funky, fermented flavor that turns the classic pasta dish into an intense umami bomb.

Miso also shows up in the boneless short rib, which is glazed with black-garlic-miso BBQ sauce, and served with cauliflower purée, frizzled onions, and house-made giardinera.

Of the new vegetables on the menu, we’re partial to the charred cauliflower with bright, chili-spiked mint salsa verde, golden raisins, and za’atar.

Also new are these baby artichokes oreganata, braised with yuzu, white wine, garlic and parsley, and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Yes, we know Hawaiian pizza is a hard sell. But, the new Gabba Luau manages to execute the love-it-or-hate-it pie with surprising finesse, creating a not-too-sweet, nuanced mix of miso-pineapple bechamel, charred red onion, spicy capicola, semi-dried pineapple, togarashi, and Manchego.

Polpettina
102 Fisher Ave, Eastchester; 914.961.0061
147 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont; 914.341.1460

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