Obrigado, Bellota

The growing trend among upscale establishments to offer small plates of flavorful fare prepared from high-end ingredients reaches a zenith at Bellota at 42, atop The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains.  Actually, Bellota outdoes Manhattan tapas meccas like Casa Mono and Boqueria.  Among the dishes we enjoyed at chef Anthony Goncalves’  restaurant were chunks of amanteigado – a zesty sheep’s  milk cheese from Portugal with an aroma and taste of olives and nuts; addictive, thin, blistered Padron peppers; plump shrimp sautéed in a hot  chili sauce; crunchy grilled octopus bathed in a heady garlic, herb and sherry sauce; a casserole of fragrant grilled eggplant imbedded in a rich, creamy polenta; grilled spicy cod, its heady taste tamed by accompanying fresh avocado; and decadent Portuguese French toast mated with a refreshing blueberry-lemon ice cream. Service is very accommodating, with our waitress arranging for our food to be brought a dish or two at a time with enough of an interval between “courses.” And be sure to ask for the “full” wine list with gems like a robust, dry red 2007 MUGA Reserva from the Rioja area of Spain. Expect dinner for two to cost about $60-$80 excluding wine, tax and tip. Call (914) 761-4242 for reservations and also visit www.42therestaurant.com –

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