WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- La Bocca Ristorante's storefront on Church Street in downtown White Plains blends in with its surroundings, but its logo is definitely an attention grabber.
A round disc carved to look like a man with a gaping mouth, the logo of La Bocca Ristorante is the La Bocca Della Verita, or the Mouth of Truth, an ancient Roman artifact said to bite down on whomever puts their hand in its mouth and tells a lie.
Chef Tony Spiritoso (also the owner of Spiritoso's in Yonkers) opened La Bocca in 2006 with the idea to serve authentic Italian food made from fresh local ingredients.
Alessandro Crocco, Spiritoso's son-in-law and general manager of La Bocca, said the menu strays away from Italian-American dishes, and serves closer to what one would find during a trip to Italy.
"We are a family owned business," he said. "Everyone in our family is from Southern Italy, so we serve a few specialty dishes from that region, along with dishes from around the country."
Not only are the cooking styles and dishes from Italy, but many of the ingredients are too. The branzino (European Sea Bass) and burrata cheese are among the many ingredients shipped to the restaurant from Italy, along with its pastas.
As for the produce, it is bought from farmers markets, local ones in White Plains and Westchester County when possible, for farm-to-table freshness.
The Saltimbocca Alla Romana brings together thinly pounded veal scallopine, along with parma ham and sage in a white wine brown sauce, over a bed of broccoli rabe ($16, $26).
The Gnocchi Cremosi is served with pears in a cream and gorgonzola sauce ($17).
La Bocca also carries an extensive wine list, curated by Crocco who is a Silver Pin Certified Sommelier. He studied in Italy before meeting his wife, Spiritoso's daughter, and moving to the U.S. in 2010.
La Bocca offers daily lunch and dinner specials, happy hours, wine pairing service, wine tasting events, on and off site catering along with takeout.
La Bocca Ristorante is located at 8 Church St. It is open on Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m. All major credit cards accepted, street parking or City Center Garage parking only.
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