Found in Yonkers: Red Sauce and Scungilli

15 Aug

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When Mike from Yonkers informed our group that he would not be available to choose our next food destination due to a “family emergency,” I sent out a electronic telegram to all our member for a quick substitute.

“I got a place,” Gerry responded almost immediately.

The place Gerry got for us was located in Yonkers, ironically, minus Mike from Yonkers. On a dilapidated stretch of Broadway prevalent with Dollar stores and Mexican delis, Gerry discovered Silvio’s, an ancient old school red sauce Italian joint that none of the Westchester contingent, meaning Eugene, had ever been to.

The dining room, adjacent to the restaurant’s pizzeria, was empty except for our small group and because it was so quiet, the canned Italian red sauce music; Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Vale, and others was even more obtrusive.

As soon as we were settled, our waitress, a buoyant Latina, brought us nicely toasted, hard crusted Italian bread with packets of butter that Eugene quickly opened to spread on the warm bread leaving a litter of butter packets surrounding his place setting.

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Bread and “old school” butter

The menu also had that old, 1950’s feel including the prices which seemed to be amended only slightly since Silvio’s first came to Yonkers. It wasn’t until we got our bill at the end of our meal that we discovered that those prices somehow found their way into the 21st Century—so much so that once again Gerry had brought us to a place where we were substantially over our allotted $20 budget.

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Maybe it was the Tito’s vodka Gerry ordered that tipped our scale—or the large slice of cheesecake (made the Italian way with sweetened ricotta cheese) that did it. Most probably, it was our gluttony that pushed us over the limit. We couldn’t help but order two appetizers, including a large order of clams oreganata with chopped clams and mussels in white wine and garlic. What made the final tally harder to take was that both appetizers were very disappointing; the mussels minuscule and the clams, when you could find them, buried deep under a heavy layer of moist breadcrumbs tough and seemingly fresh out of a can.

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Clams oreganata

The pastas appeared inexpensive on the menu but, of course, we couldn’t stick to the traditional menu, instead we ordered a rigatoni Calabrese from the “special” menu, a heavily sauced pasta with tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, and sausage. There was nothing traditional about the combination of scungilli and calamari with linguini  unless you considered canned scungilli traditional.

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Rigatoni Calabrese

You would think two pastas might be enough for us but it wasn’t even close and, honestly, there was much more sauce than pasta on both platters and the sauce just wasn’t curbing our sizable appetites. We rounded out our meal with a beef braciole; one single braciole smothered in red sauce, a platter of veal Francese that included four small, pounded scallopini’s, one for each of us, in a lemony wine butter sauce and sides of broccoli and spinach. The morsels of veal, light and tender, was probably the best of what we had at Silvio’s and easily devoured.

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Veal Francese and linguini with calamari and scungilli

When the waitress returned to ask if we wanted dessert and before we could order what Gerry already knew would be the cheesecake, Eugene asked where Silvio was.

“You just missed him,” our waitress said with a smile.

I wondered if there really was a Silvio or was he, like the Sinatra music and the old school menu, a fictional creation to fit into the Italian red sauce fantasy we never tired of, yet so often were disappointed by.

Silvio

Searching for Silvio

Silvio’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

352 S. Broadway

Yonkers

4 Responses to “Found in Yonkers: Red Sauce and Scungilli”

  1. James Lax August 15, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    ANYONE try the Pizza ??? LAX

  2. Neckbones August 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    Why try the pizza when there is Sal’s?

  3. Anthony August 18, 2017 at 10:50 am #

    Is your member, Zio, still in your group ?

  4. Neckbones August 18, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    Of course he is!

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