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Moving up to Westchester


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I'm here to help! I make it a part-time hobby to try as many restaurants in Westchester as I can. I've tried almost every place worth speaking of in White Plains. I will tell you about my favorite sushi bar, period. I haven't found any place that can top it yet, anywhere. It is on Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Called Seasons Japanese Bistro. Best mexican is Coyote Flaco in New Rochelle. Post again if you want more rec's, I'll happily give you more.

-James Kessler

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I'm here to help!  I make it a part-time hobby to try as many restaurants in Westchester as I can.  I've tried almost every place worth speaking of in White Plains.  I will tell you about my favorite sushi bar, period.  I haven't found any place that can top it yet, anywhere.  It is on Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains.  Called Seasons Japanese Bistro.  Best mexican is Coyote Flaco in New Rochelle.  Post again if you want more rec's, I'll happily give you more.

I wouldn't put Coyote Flaco in New Rochelle's top 5 Mexican, let alone #1 in Westchester.

Have you tried Little Mexican Cafe on Main St., La Flor de Michoacan (ice pops, shakes), El Gran Rodeo (North Ave.), or El Tejanito (North Ave)?

Coyote Flaco is more of a drinks place - the food I've had has been pretty mediocre compared to some of the other places in town.

There's also a new Dominican luncheonette that's opened in the last couple of weeks on North Ave., which I've tried once - I had a couple of excellent sandwiches there.

"Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets; all improbable, glorious miracles that I have always believed in."

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I'm here to help!  I make it a part-time hobby to try as many restaurants in Westchester as I can.  I've tried almost every place worth speaking of in White Plains.  I will tell you about my favorite sushi bar, period.  I haven't found any place that can top it yet, anywhere.  It is on Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains.  Called Seasons Japanese Bistro.  Best mexican is Coyote Flaco in New Rochelle.  Post again if you want more rec's, I'll happily give you more.

I wouldn't put Coyote Flaco in New Rochelle's top 5 Mexican, let alone #1 in Westchester.

Have you tried Little Mexican Cafe on Main St., La Flor de Michoacan (ice pops, shakes), El Gran Rodeo (North Ave.), or El Tejanito (North Ave)?

Coyote Flaco is more of a drinks place - the food I've had has been pretty mediocre compared to some of the other places in town.

There's also a new Dominican luncheonette that's opened in the last couple of weeks on North Ave., which I've tried once - I had a couple of excellent sandwiches there.

Are all of these places you speak of located in New Rochelle? I don't think I've tried any of them. I don't know if I would claim Coyote Flaco as a "drinks place." The dining room is much bigger than the bar area, and all of the food I've had there has been VERY good. But, what do I know? I'm comparing it to about a dozen Mexican restaurants I've tried in both Westchester and Fairfield Counties. Out of the dozen I've tried, Coyote Flaco was head and shoulders better as far as food is concerned.

-James Kessler

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It's been a couple years since I've been, but I remember Santa Fe in Tarrytown (that's Westchester, right?) having very good although typical Mexican fare.

I should warn that the Zagat guide recomends VERY bad Mexican joints when it comes to Westchester, for some reason. I went up there to take my Mom out to dinner, and we arbitrarilly picked the Mexican with the highest food score, and it was terrible.

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So then it sounds like we should change the title of this thread. How about "Moving to Bronxville (Westchester), Tell me about the great local places..."?

I didn't do that because: 1. I wanted to make the topic broad enough that people would at least look at the thread, thinking (foolishly) that by reading my first post the purpose of the thread would be understood; and 2. There is no such thing as a great local place in Bronxville, something I didn't need to be told.

Here's the part I don't understand, perhaps someone can explain. You have a population that is generally quite affluent (if house prices are anything to go by) who are not so far from the city to be bumpkins when it comes to eating.

So I'm sending the word out to all you would-be restaurateurs. There's a lot of money in them thar hills and precious little competition.

"Bumpkins when it comes to eating"?

I am a Manhattanite with a weekend home in Putnam County who has lived in Westchester and often shop and dine there.

First-the comparison to New York City is simply unrealiustic--there are thousands of restaurants and food shops --understandable given the population density. I will say that most of these restaurants and shops are varying degrees of "bad" to barely decent. However that still leaves hundreds of good to excellent establishments. It is amazing how many crappy Chinese restaurants and pizza places there are in Manhattan alone!

Westchester has far less people/density and fewer restaurants and food shops overall etc.

I would argue that there is a higher percentage of good to excellent places in Westchester than is found in New York City.

Also at the very top level of quality-new York City-can't be beaten.

I would also venture that people in the suburbs dine out less often and often dine in New York City (lunch, dinner and theatre etc) quite a bit.

Having said all this-a number of posters have noted some pretty good places--Westchester is a big county--yet only the surface has been scratched.

As you get out and about in your new county you will discover many fine places.

In fact a lot of delis and groceries sell bagels and bread etc from New York (Arthur Avenue Bakery products are widely distributed for eg).

There are also some very fine restaurants--I would argue that Buffet de la Guerre and Jackies Bistro in Eastchester and La Jardin du Roi in Chappaqua are better than most such establishments in Manhattan. (yes NY has a few that are better-at the very top).

Crabtree's Kittle House and Iron Horse grill have excellent new American food and Crabtree has a wine list that competes with the top liists in Manhattan.

In Mt Kisco there is a very fine authentic Spanish restaurant La Camelia-- great Tapas on Sundays.

Harvest on Hudson has good food (middle of the pack compared to Manhattan) but a view of the Hudson River that is stunning.

And there are plenty of very good pizza places (Sals in Mamaroneck).

Italian food?

loads of places all compare favorably to establishments in New York.

The Hayday Chain of gourmet stores (now owned by Balduccis) is very good (one in Scarsdale)

Eastchester fish market is very good (the restaurant is fine also).

There are farmers markets all over the place!!! (westchester actually has something Manhattan does not: FARMS!!!!!!!!

And let's not forget: Blue Hill at Stone Barns --a lot of people would argue it is better than the Blue Hill in Manhattan.

or Panatiere in Rye. (If you rue the demise of restaurants in Ny like Caravelle this is the p[lace for you).

Oh by the way--there is a dearth of really good Chinese restaurtantsd however on on Central Ave in Yonkers : Hunan Village is very very good.

and don't forget: you can hop in your car or suv and be in Fairfield County or just across the TAP in NJ and Rockland (there are plenty of culinary advertures there--Wayne Nish of March (in my opinion one of the top five restaurants in Manhattan) has become exec chef of Hudson House in Nyack!

as ads for Peter kelley's restaurtants (Xavier's and frellance cafe in NY soon to open a place in Yonkers) state--"the Highest Zagat Rated restaurant for food in New York is not in Manhattan."

(ok we can debate that forever) but hey the point is some very fine restaurateurs have discovered Westchesterites are not food bumpkins a long time ago!

Good luck in you new home--you should have a lot of fun exploring the wilds of the the suburbs!!!

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It's been a couple years since I've been, but I remember Santa Fe in Tarrytown (that's Westchester, right?)[...]

Right.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Hi again!

for Deli try Epstein's on central Ave Hartsdale.

also Syon Kosher meat on Cenral Ave (same area) they have good takeout-Brisket, matzoh ball soup etc.

in Mt Kisco there is "The Smokehouse" -i heard they supply Zabar's with smnoked fish etc. (they are near Lexington Square restaurant which is good too)

also Mrs Greens Grocers--there is one on Rt 22 in Eastchester area they have Bubbe's pickels and lots of other good stuff.

and I forgot

you can get good Chiunese (especially dumplings at "Aberdeen" restaurant in White Plains.

one thing manhattan does not have is a Legal Seafoods! there is opne in White plains stick to the simple stuff-their New England Chowder and Oysters are as good as it gets. They have takeout too.

also City Limits Diner in White Plains is interesting.

and a good book to get is

"Hudson Valley Bounty" by Jan Greenberg

It lists all sorts of food sources in the area--farmer's markets too.

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It's been a couple years since I've been, but I remember Santa Fe in Tarrytown (that's Westchester, right?) having very good although typical Mexican fare.

I should warn that the Zagat guide recomends VERY bad Mexican joints when it comes to Westchester, for some reason. I went up there to take my Mom out to dinner, and we arbitrarilly picked the Mexican with the highest food score, and it was terrible.

Yes, I have eaten at Santa Fe in Tarrytown. I didn't think that came close to the level of Coyote Flaco. Hey, maybe it's just me.

-James Kessler

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Wow, now a bunch of my old haunts are comming back to me...

Swadee House of Thai

Thornwood

Very good Thai home cooking. Still the best Massaman curry I've had to date. The waitresses are cute too.

Horsefeathers

Terrytown

Really good burgers with a tangy mystery sauce (horseradish based). Also superb nachos with the same sauce, and a really gooey french onion soup. Good satisfying bar foods and a 40s pub theme.

Plus they have Trivial Pursuit cards on every table, which is like the best idea ever.

The Flying Pig

Mt Kisco

Located IN the train station--which is weird--its basically a prepared meal dealer with some intersting and often well executed selections. Worth trying is the pulled pork, which is far better than it ought to be.

Strega

Pleasantville

Contemporary American cuisine, with an unfortunate atmosphere thats a cross between snooty upscale and neighborhood joint. They do take out though, or you can eat in peace at the bar. Some surprising offerings, dailly catches, and good homemade pasta are some of the nice surprises.

Schechuan Empire

Pleasantville

Good American chinese food with a decently imitated "real" restaurant experience. I remember the crispy orange beef being really excelent. Lots of screaming kids and parties of 12, but hey, its the burbs. Take it to go.

Marios

Chappaqua

Damn good NY style pizza. Large house slices that never disapoint. I think they still carry RC Cola too! They might have bought 700 cases in 1985...

La Mandas

White Plains

Yes, its become common knowledge by now that I am a total whore for La Mandas. I will stand behind my claim that they have THE best pizza in NY (or anywhere else I've been for that matter), the wonder that is pizza bread, a perfect house salad, county-famous chicken scarapiello and a really unique "burnt" galliano cheesecake. Easilly one of my favorite restaurants ever.

The Fish Cellar

Mt Kisco

Decent seafood fare. Everything is fresh, nothing is too exciting. If you want fish, you got it, and in that sense its good I guess.

Personally I think that The Kittle House and The Iron Horse Grill are waaaay over-rated (and priced) so I'll go ahead and second their recomendations only half-heartedly.

The Eastchester Seafood Gourmet (I think thats their oficial name?) can be good but can also be very inconsistant. The service is useless and the desserts are horrible. I mean some of the worst $7 desserts you will find anywhere.

Hope some of those suit you.

Edited by Sethro (log)
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May I add ...

Grappolo Locando (sp?) -- Chappaqua. Former sous from Kittle House is the chef and we have high hopes for them. It's a pretty place with good food and really good service.

Takayama (also in Chappaqua). Love the sushi.

We went to Jackson & Wheeler (Pleasantville) a few weeks after Greg Gilbert moved over there. It was better than before, I'm sure it will improve even more, but the dining room decor needs some attention. Haven't been to Kittle House since Gilbert left, though.

Conte's -- Mt. Kisco. The best thing about this place is the corkage ($5/bottle, $10 maximum). We were there a week ago and had horrible service. Just horrible, and when (after a 30 minute wait and two requests) we finally stood up and told the server we wanted our check, the owner yelled at us. Can you imagine? The food just isn't that great.

Luna -- Mt. Kisco. We always see people we know there, including some couples who live in Larchmont. !!

Lexington Square Cafe -- Mt. Kisco. Pretty place, Vanessa Williams likes it, but the service stinks (except one night when we ate in the bar).

Cafe Antico -- Also in Mt. Kisco -- the patio is nice, but we eat there less often now that the menu is so Italian.

Cafe Mezze -- from the fine folks who brought us Oceana and City Limits. We LOVE this place.

Mighty Joe Young's -- I was pleasantly surprised with this place. We took the boys and some of their friends there before a movie one night, and expected it to be pizza and theme-ish. They loved it, and so did we.

I really have got to get beyond Chappaqua a little bit, ya think? :biggrin:

::edited to remove unkind comment about Mt. Kisco Seafood -- because (a) it's terrific, and (b) it's not a restaurant!

Edited by FabulousFoodBabe (log)
"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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And the hits keep on.....

Wow-westchester does get "dissed" by those smug Manhattanites! lol

The more I return to this thread the more I am amazed.

as I noted earlier there is probably a higher ratio of good to excellent

establishments compared to NY. And the "city" does outdo Westchester at the top levels.

I forgot about Luna--we go there often.

I had a lousy meal once at Antico and am reluctant to give them a second try.

Wasn't there a french bistro in Chappaqua? Is it still there?

Also up North (above 287) there are lots of places:

wonderful Italian in Cross River-Bacio.

Restaurant 121 in North Salem is very good.

also just across the border in wild and wooly Putnam is a really superb Italian: RRaci's.

It's pretty this time of year--come on up before the leaves turn!

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Le Jardin du Roi is still in Chappaqua (I don't like it, but it's a "ladies who lunch" favorite). Bistro Maxime's closed, but I heard it was because the owner just decided to stop. We loved it there.

I'm really hoping more fine dining comes up our way.

Baked Salmon at the Mt. Kisco Smokehouse is amazing, by the way. Plus the guys who work there are such sweethearts!

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Bistro maxime! --had a number of good meals there-sorry to hear it has closed.

Jardin du Roi--I actually like the place--we had two pretty good early dinners there--the ladies must have left after their lunches.

One thing about Manhattan--there are few inexpensive french bistros left.

Also -I forgot to mention Vox in North Salem (was Auberge maxime but has changed its style/menu under the same ownership).

The old "Maximes" in Granite Springs closed and will be "Granite Springs Inn" --a good friend of mine is part owner and is managing it. (James Brown).

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I want to recommend Jackie's Bistro in Eastchester. They do basic good French bistro fare, very traditional. The restaurant has a nice homy feeling. I don't know how long they have been there (on route 22) but at least since we moved into Eastchester 6 years ago.

Also, go to Royal Palace on 100B for the crowds - they do a huge catering/party business with the local Indian community. On weekends, there are always weddings/graduation parties/whatever with tons of people in beautiful colorful clothes, and pounding Indo-pop going. It is lots of fun even when experienced vicariously.

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I agree with you re: Jackies Bistro.

The food is very good family run place:

Mom and Daughters run the front Dad cooks!

One bizarre thing--Mom and Dad are from the Loire region

yet there are almost no Loire wines on their list.

They told me they could not sell them to their clientel!

also

You can get really great Indian in a magnificent setting at Jaipore in Brewster onb RT6. (I know--that's Putnam but it is just over the border),

The owners also run Chola here in Manhattan and have just taken over an Indian restaurant in Elmsford.

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I notice someone mentioned Mt Kisco smoke house. That place brings back such memories for me. They used to do all their smoking in a facility right under the big hill in Mt Kisco. I can't remember the name of the hill, but it is the big one. We lived on top of the hill looking right down on the smokehouse. The wonderful smell used to waft up all the time. Once, our cat disappeared for a week, and I went to all the businesses down at the bottom of the hill to search for my cat. When I got to the smokehouse, I discovered that they had a whole contingent of local cats that they were feeding scraps to! My cat eventually reappeared, but I now always wonder how many meals she had down at the smokehouse.

They have moved since, to the other side of town, and no longer do wholesale. I heard that a lot of people in the fancy houses on top of the hill had complained about them. Not me!

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  • 4 weeks later...

to reiterate what has already been said, you'll just have to accept the fact that there is no fine dining in bronxville. there is, however, loads of charm in some of the mom and pops in town.

slave to the grind is a very friendly neighborhood place (except on weekend nights when kids are there drunk and screaming).

the wine shop across the street from the train station has a really sweet friendly owner who'll talk you through picking out a nice bottle for your meal.

the korean deli on palmer (brother?) has nice groumet brands- i even prefer to shop there to food emporium at times.

not sure how the food is at scarborough fair but i do know that the pastry chef has done time with jean-georges.

i can skip calvins chinese food for months at a time but when i do decide to give in to my cravings, the owner instantly recognizes my voice on the phone and asks how my family is doing.

thats the appeal of this town. its small and quaint and cute but still close enough to the city to get good food when you want.

when i'm home i stick to city limits in white plains and kang suh on central ave. theres also a branch of blue moon near the train station towards tuckahoe. strange how a mexican joint over in chelsea finds its second home in bronxville of all places. the food isnt the best but i'm a fan of margaritas, which you cant get anywhere else in town.

hope this helps.

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I grew up in Scarsdale, my parents still live there, and whenever I go to visit we eat at Central Seafood in Hartsdale, it's in the same shopping plaza as Trader Joe's and Marshalls and Best Buy - closer to Best Buy. It's a Chinese restaurant, you'd never know from the name, but this place is awesome. It's owned by one of it's chefs and they're SO nice and friendly. They do have your average Chinese-American menu items like General Tsos, lo mein and stuff like that, but if you ask for Michael, and just let him know what you're in the mood for, he'll talk to the chef and he'll cook it up for you. This definitely isn't the type of place that has buckets of sticky thick sweet sauce in the back. This place specializes in seafood, so you can order nearly anything you want - sea cucumber, jellyfish, clams, scallops, lobster, whole fish. I believe they also have a dim sum service during the day and on weekends.

Central Seafood

285 N Central Ave, Hartsdale, NY 10530

(914) 683-1611

And on a totally different subject - anybody else here eat at Malabar Hill, over in Elmsford? My mom used to be addicted to that place, but apparently the old owners sold the place and moved back to India (i think) so there's new management, and I've been told it hasn't been good for a while.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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  • 4 months later...

Curious. Could you all tell me what type of restuarant to open next in Riverdale (lower westchester)? So far, The Riverdale Garden ~ seasonal cuisine...has done well by us. We are signing a lease right down the street from here soon. The concept, so far, is high end Spanish Cuisine; ceviche, tapas, paella and some dishes cooked a la plancha. Any thoughts welcome.

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  • 2 years later...

Anything new or improved appear in the last three years in or around Bronxville? (i.e. between Mt. Vernon and Scarsdale) Looks like I will be making periodic trips up there for the next four years (starting this week) and it would be nice to have a few go-to places close by to bring a college kid with big city tastes, for lunches and dinners.

Edited by Crackers (log)
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Hi Crackers.

You can find a lot of things on my work blog (Small Bites, link in my signature below).

White Plains is a hot spot right now. BLT Steak just opened; Peniche is a great tapas place; 42 at the top of the Ritz Carlton is a fancy, special occasion place; Antipasti is by NYC chef Rick Laakkonen.

In New Rochelle there are a ton of great Mexcian places. That Little Mexican Cafe comes to mind. (There's a restaurant search at lohud.com/dining)

There's also a place I'm wanting to try in New Rochelle called Spadaro. (211 Main Street, New Rochelle. 235-4595.) It's not in our restaurant listings yet because I haven't been yet. No menu. No freezer. It's whatever they make that day. Chef Antonio Spadaro is from Rome. Cross your fingers.

In Bronxville, Underhills Crossing is popular, but I haven't been in years.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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I lived in Cold Spring while at the CIA - anyone know that maket in Yorktown Heights - Great place to get stuff - just wanted help remembering - also Harvest on the Hudson at Hastings - nice place the chef was excellent and great open air place great view.

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