Despite the slightly trendy, slightly classic ambience, the jam-packed menu of red-sauce classics in the requisite categories (pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, pork, and beef—they even serve tripe and calves’ liver) give Sam’s away for what it is: an old-school joint dressed up in its Sunday best.
The classy vibe comes from hardwood flooring, white panel wainscoting, buttery yellow walls, and vintage black-and-white photos, well-matted and framed. The vintage theme carries over into the barroom to the left near the closed kitchen. You might see a gray-haired bartender in white dress shirt and tie wiping the glossy black-topped bar as he discusses the game on one of the three flat-screen TVs. Behind him, white subway tiles and wooden shelves hold wine glasses and liquor bottles. Above him dangle old-fashioned, simple glass lamps from the ornate metal ceiling painted white.
It may take a bit of waiting and awkwardness, but once seated, service is thoughtful and courteous. The string bean salad pops with pungent Gorgonzola, and the mussels marinara glistens with the slightly sweet tang of red gravy. Try the garlicky shrimp scampi or stuffed filet of sole, served two per plate and filled with crabmeat. Fresh mozzarella forms a tantalizing crust over the baked ziti and rigatoni, or you might prefer your cheese oozing from the middle of the chicken rollatine, stuffed with prosciutto. The kitchen cooks veal a dozen ways, but the sausage and peppers special can also satisfy the carnivorous urge. Oh, and did we mention the extensive list of Italian and American wines, the Italian beer on tap, and a delightful digestives menu, along with strong cappuccino?
128 Main St, Dobbs Ferry (914) 693-9724