I had to pleasure to recently dine at Madison Kitchen in Larchmont. The restaurant is owned by Nick Di Bona, a young, energetic and creative chef who was a winner on the Food Network’ s TV show “Chopped”. The restaurant menu can be best described as New American small plates with Italian influences. The menu changes seasonally. Dishes are carefully and imaginatively crafted using only fresh ingredients, many of which Mr. Di Bona sources himself from local farms and purveyors.
The emphasis of the restaurant is on small plates which allow the diner to choose from many wonderful selections and you can share them with family and friends. This allows for an intimate and friendly dining experience as members of your table can all partake in the interesting dishes available. The front of the restaurant is a small lounge where guests can mingle and enjoy from a selection of wines, craft beers and some interesting cocktails. We sampled two of the creative drinks including the colorful Sangria Sunset, and the fresh fruit infused Strawberry Bliss.
The dining room is small but comfortable space with a soft earth tone color scheme, wood tables and leather back chairs. The look is comfortable,modern and hip. A key spot in the dining room is the curved banquette of leather in the back of the restaurant and perfect for our party of four.
For starters we dove into the Beet and Goat Cheese salad served in a metal bowl with beets, goat cheese, macadamia nuts, baby greens in a passionfruit vinaigrette. Beet salads are showing up on more menus we have noticed and this was one of our favorites. We also sampled the fresh Kale salad a healthy blend of kale, black quinoa, butternut squash ,pomegranate seeds in a maple-apple cider vinaigrette.
We moved on to the Ricotta Crostini, though a small dish was full of flavor with house made focaccia and ricotta that melted in your mouth. The Polenta Fries, served like a stack of Jenga pieces were prepared with honey, parmesan and pistachio and was a sweet variation of polenta. Perhaps one of our favorite dishes at the table was the Eggplant Meatballs, a great veggie dish of roasted eggplant “meatballs” in a house made red sauce which was just fantastic and spoiled us for regular meatballs.
For cheese lovers we recommend the Truffle Gnocchi and Cheese featuring a mouth watering blend of gnocchi, parmesan cream sauce and crispy panko crumbs. So good!. The Chicken and Waffle Skewers seemed interesting so we decided to give it a try. The chicken served with hot sauce (Buffalo style) and the blue cheese Belgian waffle was an interesting take on the famous Western New York favorite. For you meat lovers, try pairing a craft beer with the Sir Madison Burger Sliders featuring 30 day aged beef, cheddar, bacon onion jam and MK sauce on a soft pretzel bun. Great to have on its own, or to share.
Seafood fans are not overlooked as we sampled the Grilled Octopus with salad, squid ink black hummus, and a lemon vinaigrette. The octopus was nicely grilled and the rest of the ingredients were a perfect compliment. The Pan Seared Salmon was another favorite, though small it packed flavor with house made honey mustard sauce. A nice presentation as well.
There are two pastas on the menu which are not on the small plates menu and are quite large by comparison and great for sharing. We sampled the Roasted Red Beet Pesto pasta with walnuts, lemon and parmesan. A filling dish for sure. I can honestly say I have never had Red Beet pasta before, and it was an interesting and creative dish that we all enjoyed.
With some room left, we would be remiss if we did not sample the ice cream. Chef Di Bona is becoming known for his home made ice cream and his desserts inspired by his own ice cream truck, Bona Bona. We sampled some amazing flavors including Cadbury egg (wow), pistachio, nutella and a chocolate sorbet. The mint was truly fresh and was a blend of fresh spearmint and peppermint. Their milkshakes are really fun and we had to sample the Over-The Rainbow Milk Shake which featured rainbow cookie ice cream, house made frosting and whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and rainbow cookies. This was very creative, unique and a perfect way to cap off a great dining experience.
Tapas: $7-$16 Desserts: $8 and up Table Pastas $22
7 Madison Avenue Larchmont New York tel. 914.732.3024 web http://www.mklarchmont.com
like I on the Valley on facebook http://www.facebook.com/ionthevalley
Instagram>>> follow us for cool photos I_ON_THE_VALLEY