The Year in Food 2017
The Year in Food 2017: It was a year of bistro madness but our year-end food review (of our 2017) reviews serves up an eclectic menu of scenes and cuisines for haute to hep. Plus some new openings and a coming soon!
Aesop’s Fable, Chappaqua: This traditional American Farm to Table restaurant from Tonin and Sose Veshta offers an eclectic mix of entrees, raw bar plus small plate and wood oven pizza. Executive Chef Matthew Cook honed his skills at the acclaimed farmer-friendly Fat Radish on Orchard Street in New York City. Here he has brought the Radish’s fetish for locally sourced ingredients to Aesop’s Fable. But what really sets Aesop’s Fable apart is their weekend brunch menu with a long list of sweet and savory waffles from the Smores double chocolate waffle with homemade marshmallow and graham crumble to the Chicken and Waffles – double brined in whiskey and buttermilk. Read more.
The Whitlock, Katonah: We had our first Lobster Mac & Cheese in Katonah’s Willie Nick’s when they were the only upscale bistro around. Always a favorite of ours, we were sad to see them close but The Whitlock, who recently took over their space, is a worthy substitute that hits high notes beyond Willie Nicks and most area bistro cuisine for that matter. This farm to table from Christina and Matt Safarowic of Bedford Hills, impressed us with their moist and crispy sous vide chicken (then pan fried in jus) with coarse grits, wild spinach and local honey and their creamy ricotta and pesto Gnocchi. They say their Berkshire Pork Chops is even better than their chicken so we’re going back for that and the Korean Pork Belly. Read more.
Pubstreet, Pleasantville: As much as we liked The Iron Horse Grill, the new Pubstreet from Joe Bueti and Chef Mogan Anthony (Village Social) is a more accessible use of the historic space of the landmark Pleasantville Train Station. The moderately priced menu of fish tacos, lobster rolls, vintage burgers and Asian rice bowls makes this a casual go-to for any night of the week. There’s a fun vibe on Friday nights with all the commuters rushing to the bar or to grab a table at the sleek-chic dining room with the full length white wainscoted walls, subdued lighting and windows on the town. Perfect après (or pre) Jacob Burns. Read more.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week: HVRW has come and gone but our Worth the Trip picks are still worth the trip even if you have to pay full price. From Irvington to Port Chester, Yonkers to Hyde Park, Poughkeepsie and Beacon these seven eateries feature good food, elegant dining, fabulous industrial renovations, river vies, waterfall views and even a nearby walking bridge where you can catch panoramic views of the Hudson while your working up an appetite or trying to burn off some calories after your meal. Read more.
Red Hat on the River, Irvington: We’ve been looking for the best riverfront dining to add to our Bucket List for some time. X20 has great river views and world-class food from master chef Peter Kelly but no outdoor tables. Harvest on Hudson has a great riverfront patio with more than ample outdoor seating but the food is meh! After dining there we decided to put Red Hat on the River on our Bucket List for any season for dining indoor or out, for it’s unique setting, open river views throughout and well served modern French Bistro cuisine. Loved it! Read more.
Get Your Grits on at the Clock Tower Grill, Brewster: If you’re on the lookout for a sophisticated bowl of shrimp and grits or BBQ Bison Ribs with mole sauce than try the Clock Tower Grill in Brewster. In the tradition of Bedford 234 and North Salem’s 121 Restaurant, The Clock Tower Grill’s menu demonstrates their commitment to local, sustainable or organic ingredients. And the food is every bit as good. When The New York Times was still reviewing Westchester restaurants, the Clock Tower Grill received their second highest (Very Good) rating. It may be a bit of trek from the ABC towns but it’s a lot less cramped and frenetic than their counterparts in Bedford and North Salem. Read more.
Backwoods BBQ at Northern Smoke, Carmel: BBQ lovers and foodies with an itch to get out of town will want to know about Northern Smoke for southern style barbecue with a northeastern twist. This casual but charming “hole in the wall” is one of the best-kept secrets on the Rt. 202 corridor running from Somers to North Salem. Don’t text your friends up north because half of North Salem and two-thirds of Somers don’t know about it either. But on Thursday and Friday nights it’s packed with Croton Falls commuters who stop by for dine-in or take-out ribs, smoked brisket and pulled pork after a long day in the city. Read more.
La Cremaillere Tops our Bucket List: If you think La Crémaillère is a restaurant for blue-haired ladies from Greenwich, you don’t know Greenwich. Or La Crémaillère. La Crème attracts an eclectic mix of date-nighters, power diners and families celebrating a special occasion. And after a good week in the stock market, the front room, filled with local hedgies, can take on a party atmosphere with lots of cross-table chatter. A perennial Top Ten Restaurant in Westchester/Hudson Valley, La Crémaillère was named one of America’s Most Beloved Restaurants by Town & Country, and was voted one of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America by OpenTable diners in 2017. Read more.
Big Night of Foodie Fun in Chappaqua: We finally make it to one of Chef Mark Kramer’s semi-annual pop-up five course Farm Table Tuscan Dinners at Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods in Chappaqua this year. And we had too much fun (and good food and wine) not to share. This (very) social evening is without peer and the food was as good as you can get at any fine dining restaurant. Last April we reported in on the Tuscan Fennel Sausage Meatballs with creamy mascarpone polenta and the Timpano (same dish as in Stanley Tucci’s movie Big Night) as well as our conversations with Jen and Eddie of Mt. Kisco and Bonnie and Jerry of Chappaqua because you need to know about that too. Read more.
Spring Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Best Menus: HVRW Spring 2018 is right around the corner so it’s worth a look back at last year’s stars. We put together our picks of the six best sounding, most mouth watering menus published online last year. We picked three from local restaurants and three more from our worth the trip selections. There’s French, Latin and plenty of New American. If only you could pick the best dish from each we’d go with the Peking Duck Quesadilla, the Peruvian Salmon Ceviche and the warm chocolate cake with bourbon walnuts. Read more.
Baldanza at The Bedford Post Inn: Campagna is out and Baldanza is in, as management changes hands at the restaurant at Richard Gere’s Bedford Post Inn again. Billed as the signature fine dining restaurant of the Baldanza Group that owns the Baldanza Market and Café in New Canaan that earned a Very Good review from the New York Times in 2014. A celebrity hang-out where Faye Dunaway had a designated table, The Baldanza Market and Café is a local farm to table serving take-out and dine-in. Chef Angela Baldanza, a Pound Ridge native with roots from Genoa to Calabria, became a bit of a celebrity herself after winning the Cooks vs. Cons competition on The Food Network. (PS – she was a cook!) Baldanza Bedford serves seasonal dishes featuring local organic ingredients, a large wood fire grill and homemade pastas. They offer a pre-fixe menu along with a la carte dining. Baldanza will also be operating The Barn at Bedford Post, a more casual restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner. We will be reviewing very soon. (954 Old Post Rd., Bedford, 914.234.7800; www.befordpostinn.com)
Kisco River Eatery: Bedford native, Bobby Epstein opened Kisco River Eatery this fall in the former Rose Room space in Mt. Kisco. Epstein, who spent 16 years at his fine dining seafood restaurant in the tropical island of Bimini in the Bahamas. He returned to Bedford 6 years ago and opened Social on 6 in Mahopac and later purchase the Muscoot Tavern in Katonah. While KRE calls itself a New American, the menu that offers everything from burgers to a raw bar relies heavily on traditional Italian favorites with some updates like it’s Short Rib Ravioli, BBQ ribs, paella and a NY Strip Steak for just $29. KRE is open seven days for lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch. (222 E. Main St. Mt. Kisco; 914,218,3877; www.kiscoriver.com
Locali at the Mt. Kisco Train Station: Joe Bueti, owner of Village Social in Mt. Kisco and Rye and the new Pub Street in Pleasantville is hoping to open, Locali, a new Italian to the currently vacant Mount Kisco Train Station. Locali would replace the former Via Vanti! at that location. Bueti currently owns a Locali in New Canaan. Locali will feature Italian entrees and wood fired pizza and will offer an online order service so commuters can order from their phones while they are on the train. We will review Locali when it opens.
Check out our What To Eat: Restaurant Guide for the top restaurants in Northern Westchester