By Tucker Poux
Red Zebra is a brand new restaurant located in Sleepy Hollow. This is no ordinary Italian bistro, as Red Zebra is owned by Neil Benson, a member of the Briarcliff community. Benson’s sons Alex and Oliver currently attend Briarcliff High School. What Mr. Benson and co-owner David Starkey have created is a fantastic Italian restaurant with delicious homemade pasta dishes, delightful desserts, and a warm and friendly atmosphere. One of the main questions Neil is asked concerning his restaurant is why the name? The Red Zebra is named after a type of tomato with the same designation. Much like the food at Red Zebra, the tomato is ripe with flavor and bursting with color.
During the holidays, I visited Red Zebra with my family. We started off with a couple of “noshes,” including the castelvetrano olives, fried calamari, and mozzarella poppers. The olives were my favorite: deep fried and stuffed with cheese. The mozzarella poppers and the calamari were also great, each served with a dish of homemade marinara sauce. If you’re going for a salad, I’d recommend the shaved brussel sprouts salad.
For the main course, I had the whole branzino, served with tomatoes and wilted greens. The fish was delicious and the tomatoes added a whole new avor to the dish. I’d recommend the branzino if you’re a fan of fish because it is delicious. The Red Zebra also makes its very own homemade pastas, with my favorite being the fettucine with bolognese. I also recommend the pasta specials, which are always delicious, especially the chocolate trufle pasta dish.
To finish off the meal, we had two desserts, the crema frita and the zeppoles. Crema frita is a lemon custard that is simply delicious. The zeppoles, or fried dough, were also delightful. I would recommend the crema frita over the zeppoles though if you don’t have room for both.
The atmosphere at Red Zebra is very friendly and welcoming, as the waiters are all extremely attentive. Mr. Benson also goes around to the tables and greets you personally, always looking for a conversation. However, make sure that you have a reservation, as it seems the Red Zebra is here to stay.