Lasagna with bechamel and sausage

It’s hard for a new Italian restaurant to stand out in New Rochelle, mainly because there are so many good choices here already.  Yet La Fattoria (the name means “the farmstead”) more than clears this high bar.  It stands out . . . and how.

Our party of four shared a long parade of dishes one-by-one family-style, indulgently extending a normal meal into a three-and-a-half-hour tasting extravaganza, and trying not to be too embarrassed as we outlasted other happy customers who came and went.  On our tour of the menu, there were absolutely no misses, and a lot of direct hits.

Land and sea

Leading the hit list: a lasagna made with bechamel, instead of the more familiar red sauce, at once intensely flavorful and smoothly delicate; an artfully arranged plate of antipasto, overflowing with cured meats, so abundant that we reluctantly had to put aside half to bring home, fearing insufficient appetite for the rest of our meal; a bowl of fresh-made pasta with mixed seafood in a perfect balance of land and sea.  Already overfull by the end, we groaned as four desserts arrived at our table . . . and then proceeded to finish every single one, especially relishing a panna cotta with some elusive and delicious flavor that none of us could identify and all of us loved.

We don’t have room for dessert . . . or do we?

La Fattoria is nothing much to look at from the outside.  A stand-alone structure in the midst of its own small parking area on East Main Street by Sun Haven that has previously housed other restaurants.  Inside, however, the owners have done a remarkable job of creating a warm, charming, wood-filled dining area, with a pizza oven adding a literal spark.

Have I made my point?  A great addition to New Rochelle’s already excellent dining scene.  Highly, highly recommended.