Table Hopping with Morris Gut

Where to Dine After Visiting the Holiday Train Show at NYBG

The 31ST Holiday Train Show is on track through January 16, at the beautiful New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx near Fordham University. It’s an annual seasonal treat; a must for the young and the young at heart. For additional info, times, and advanced tickets: After taking in all that beauty, here are easy-to-reach dining suggestions…


MARIO’S IN NEARBY LITTLE ITALY: Arthur Ave. is just a stone’s throw from the Garden. Since 1919 five generations of the Migliucci family have worked the front and back-of-the-house making sure patrons are well served at this venerable ‘Little Italy’ institution. Amiable Regina Migliucci is at the helm. For starters enjoy the palate pleasing lagniappe of marinated carrots, hot peppers, and good crusty Arthur Ave. bread. Great appetizers include Hot Antipasto Platter for 2; and Spiedini alla Romana, skewered deep-fried mozzarella sandwiches. Move on to such entrees as: Stuffed Braciola Napolitana; Osso Buco the size of Mt. Vesuvious; or the traditional Chicken Parm. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Private party facilities. Free parking lot and valet service. Mario’s, 2342 Arthur Ave., Bronx. 718-584-1188


GLOBAL BURST OF FLAVORS AT MARIA, NEW ROCHELLE: Three-time winners of Michelin’s prestigious ‘Bib Gourmet’ Award, brothers Peter and Giovanni Cucullo have been causing a stir in New Rochelle, drawing patronage from all over the county to their flavorful riff on Italian/global cooking. Named after Mother. Love their happy hours from 3 to 7pm when they offer some favorite beverages and small plates that are loaded with flavor. Such eclectic dishes include: Glazed Pork Ribs, Truffled Green Beans, Grilled Sausage with sweet & spicy Peruvian peppers, Cauliflower Fritters, and Roasted Shishito Peppers. Nice dining room and bar filled with artifacts from home. Friendly staff, too. Good networking spot.  Closed Sundays. Maria, 11 Huguenot St., New Rochelle. 914-636-0006 


MODERN IRISH AMERICAN WITH PIZZAZZ AT JACK’S BAR, EASTCHESTER: Owner Shane Clifford and his friendly crew have delicious finger foods and generous specialties coming out of Chef Brendan Donohoe’s kitchen. Great Burgers; decadent Short Rib Mac N’ Cheese; Jack’s Meatballs; Seared Scallops; Chicken Curry; Shroom Pizza out of their woodfired oven; and Grilled Lamb Sliders. Their full Irish Breakfast at brunch is a winner. Open 7 days for lunch, dinner & Sunday brunch. Jack’s Bar, 219 Main St., Eastchester. 914-652-7650 


PELHAM PIZZERIA PREPARES GREAT PIE IN WESTCHESTER: One of the most popular pizza shops in the greater Westchester area has been marking a 40th Anniversary in bustling Pelham, with a classic Italian American menu and first-rate pizza specialties. Many of the classic Italian American red-sauce favorites are here: Veal, Chicken, Shrimp or Eggplant Parmigiana; Homemade Lasagna; Baked Manicotti; Shrimp Scampi; Veal Marsala; and hearty Grilled Chicken with Broccoli Rabe and Potatoes. Portions are very generous. Pelham Pizzeria & Ristorante, 113 Fifth Ave., Pelham. Table service. First-come, first-served. Casual dress. Phone: 914-738-3554. 


(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: