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Copper House …. An Italian Inspired American Eatery

CopperHouseThe Culinary Institute of America was the starting point for many renowned chefs. That is where the start began for three students, who met there, became friends and soon introduced our county to their style of restaurant management by becoming partners and opening Copper House, providing locally crafted comforts in Westchester. The team of Alex Avellino, Joe Engongoro and Joey D’Angelo redesigned the space that was formerly Trevi Ristorante in West Harrison. The free standing cream colored brick building with brown awnings has its own adjoining parking lot. Enter through the atrium with several cocktail tables and shelves filled with country style memorabilia. Step up to the bar area and there is a warm glow on your right. It is the wood burning pizza oven with the kitchen beyond.

Dining area accommodates about 85 guests and is divided into two sections. In warm weather the patio offers seating for about 40. I was seated in the dining room, and my eyes were focused on the country style décor. Dried flower displays, vintage pots and pans, utensils, antique clocks, barn doors, old signs and rustic artifacts line the walls. Lacquered wood table tops add to the country style.

Alex Avellino, the Director of Hospitality and host said, “We chose West Harrison since it is an ideal location and easy to get to from so many communities in Westchester and Connecticut. We are a casual modern restaurant with good food, good quality and good value. Our restaurant has a vibrant feel. We welcome families as well as adult diners. Accessible describes Copper House. We have families with young children dining early and couples enjoying a late evening out. Our menu is New American with touches of Italian. Some of our most popular dishes are Copper short ribs, our pizzas and chicken scarpariello. It is hard to make everyone happy but we try our best to see that our guests realize that we are working for them. Our menu changes to accommodate the seasons and market availability. We take great pride in our challenging job.”

Joe Engongoro is the executive chef and works well with his kitchen staff. “It is important to have an open mind and hear people out without having a knee jerk reaction to criticism. If I could invite a group of guests to dine at Copper House, I might include Jean George Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, Eric Ripert and Massimo Bottura, some truly admired chefs. If I were dining at Copper House I might start with wood fired octopus, followed by Copper House short ribs over polenta and complete my meal with wood fired oven apple crisp “

To complete the trio of restauranteurs is Joey D’Angelo, the owner and chef at Hartsdale’s successful Copper Kettle, where he cooks his innovative dishes.

The extensive menu offers about 15 starters and small plates. It will take several visits to sample the many CopperPastaenticing choices. The cauliflower fritter was so good. It rested on a thin slice of prosciutto. It was battered and sautéed and drizzled with lemon aioli for a delicious result. Eggplant meatballs were another tasty beginning. Here, the eggplant was roasted and pureed {no meat involved} formed into meatballs, battered and sautéed. A perfect choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, alike. I especially loved the grilled jumbo shrimp paired with a beautifully flavored caponata and arugula. Among the small plates waiting to be sampled are octopus tacos, goat cheese with beet and pistachio pesto, and whipped ricotta dip with homemade bread.

If you wish to enjoy a salad, the choices are inventive. Add chicken, shrimp or salmon to make your salad a complete meal. Appealing is the Tuscan kale salad with toasted kale, butternut squash, pecans and ricotta salata and the quinoa and farro with avocado, cucumber, scallions and cherry tomatoes . Chopped salad and classic Caesar salads are offered, as well.

CopperPizzaThe wood fired pizza oven offers many choices. There is ‘shrooms with mixed mushrooms and truffled pecorino, the goat with black currants, honey, goat cheese and pistachios, homemade fennel sausage, as well as classic Margherita . Gluten free pizza crusted pies are available upon request.

We moved on to the pasta choices. To me, a classic Bolognese sauce is always a welcome treat. At Copper House paccheri pasta, those larger than rigatoni pastas were the perfect noodle to be enveloped by the pork and beef ragu. The long cooking of the sauce assured the rich flavor of this dish. Another popular pasta here is the spaghetti carbonara. Here, the al dente strands of pasta arrive tossed with pancetta, black pepper and pecorino cheese, just awaiting for the egg that sits atop the dish to be mixed with the spaghetti. The result is a creamy rich bowlful. I look forward to trying the garganelli with fennel sausage, peas, tomato and cream, and the ricotta gnocchi with crushed tomato, arugula and mozzarella. Gluten free pastas are available upon request.

The main courses include dishes for every taste. We loved the Copper short rib. The meat was so tender, CopperShortRibsthat a fork was the only utensil needed. It rested on a mound of soft polenta. The natural juices from the meat permeated the polenta in this lovely dish. I look forward to sampling the wood fired pork chop with vinegar peppers, seafood paella, lamb shank with toasted quinoa, mint and raisins, chicken pot pie and parmigiana crusted sole with arugula pesto.

For me, a meal must end with something sweet. The wood fired oven apple crisp was prepared with a variety of apples, both sweet and tart, and it arrived in a cast iron skillet topped with vanilla whipped cream. A miniature butterscotch baby was in a mini mason jar filled with butterscotch custard, salted caramel and whipped cream. They were a sweet ending to a very pleasant meal at Copper House.

Copper House offers on and off premises catering, as well. On Tuesday through Friday from 4-7 enjoy Copper Hour for drinks and comfort bites. Thursday evening is Ladies Night.

At Copper House, you can savor the creative, beautifully prepared dishes, and a capable professional staff in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Add their own private parking lot, and you have the ingredients for a very pleasant dining experience.

Copper House
11 Taylor Square
West Harrison
914 949 5810

Copper House …. An Italian Inspired American Eatery
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