It looks like a diner, and that is what it used to be. But what was once the Blue Dolphin hash house has become a fine Italian ristorante. In other words, this is not the place to come for a grilled cheese sandwich or eggs over easy with hash browns on the side. But if you are looking for fine homemade pasta, fresh seafood, sophisticated salads, and masterful cappuccino in handsome Italian crockery mugs, bring your appetite to Katonah.
Come early, or be prepared to wait, because the dining room is tiny with only a handful of tables that always seem to be occupied. During busy mealtimes in this convivial little place, customers wait by the door eagerly watching diners finishing their coffee and tiramisu, hoping that a table will vacate soon.
Once you are seated, you get a basket of bread: slices from a regular Italian loaf and a few slabs of garlic bread that is bright green with buttered mashed parsley. Appetizers include a misto salad with gorgonzola cheese, for which dressing is served in tall serve-yourself crocks; proscuitto and pears; and hot or cold antipasti. Among the many pastas, we like the big homemade ravioli (available filled with cheese or veal) and Blue Dolphin ziti with flavorful black olives, sliced zucchini, and LOTS of garlic. Entrees include grilled swordfish, liver Veneziano, filet of sole, and breaded veal.
While we weren’t all that impressed by the cream puffs for dessert, we saw a neighborhing table get zuppa inglese that looked fantastic, and we love Blue Dolphin’s espresso, especially in macciatto form, streaked with a little milk.