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Aug 23, 2007 12:11 PM

Can Westchester Restaurants Make It If....


...We Are Their Judges.

I am rather new to this board, certainly a foodie, my palate in development, and enjoy a variety of dining experiences. The postings I have read to date have run from interesting and informative to controversial and arrogant. Some on this board seem to feel that every restaurant needs to do it as well as the very best in Manhattan or Europe. I thought it was time to talk about what we really expect and want from restaurants and whether our tastes really represent Westchester.

There is fine dining and there is casual dining. When I went to Trotters (now closed) I expected, and always got, cutting edge, thoughtfully presented dishes. But I also enjoy a taco from Tequila Sunrise, a burger from Chat 19 and a dish of pasta from Louie and Johnnies. Do you share the sentiments of some on this site that think that every taco has to be authentic as they make it in Mexico, every burger utilizing prime ground meat and every casual Italian needing to hold up to the standards of Batali? If so, can the restaurants make it here?

  1. Trotters is CLOSED?????

    Good grief. See what I mean?

    aspiringchef, I have long maintained that really good restaurants don't have a chance in Westchester. No, I don't mean the 'let's see is my napkin cut on the bias at a 33-1/3rd degree angle' restaurants, I mean a restaurant like Trotters. Here it was, in the HEART of downtown White Plains and it has closed. Closed!

    I agree with you. I am as happy with a pizza from Francesco's or Frank's in Portchester as I am with Northern Italian from Pinocchio as I am with a burger from Blazer as I am with a burrito from The Little Mexican Cafe.

    But no, now that you've disheartened me further -- just why DID Chef Denzil leave Zen Tango? Why IS MacMenamin's getting bad press? -- with news that Trotters has closed, I am even more convinced that the diners in Westchester don't know what they want.

    More's the pity for the restauranteurs who have to figure it out to make a living.

    Closed. Trotters is closed. Sheesh.

    1. Dolores, I just realized that I might strike fear in many and I apologize. Trotters is closed BUT, it is being redesigned as a tapas bar by the same owners and only closed BECAUSE they are taking over the space at the top of the Ritz Carlton only a few doors down. The name, I heard, will be different. Same ownership and obviously, chef.

      2 Replies
      1. re: aspiringchef

        Thanks, aspiringchef. But I guess the original Trotters and its menu is gone.

        Now since you've mentioned it, is there another place local to White Plains that is a tapas bar? I read about it here and now can't remember the name.

        1. re: aspiringchef

          I have heard it said that one way for a restaurant to make it in Westchester is to own the real estate (for example, Peter Pratt's).

          There's stories like this all the time: remember Wrapsody on Mamaroneck Ave. in WP? They took something simple like a wrap and took it to the next level. Loved the moo shu wrap, the shrimp pealla (sp?) wrap, and the community table. They spent a fortune doing up that place before they opened. They were a moderate success but the minute the landlord raised the rent, when all of the new downtown stuff got approved, that was the kiss of death.

          If Trotters is opening as a tapas bar atop the RC, you know it ain't going to be cheap. Let's just hope that they validate parking...

        2. DimSum

          The tapas bar is going where Trotters currently is. The new restaurant is going on top of the Ritz.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Go the Candlelight in Scarsdale. Go to the Bayou in Mt. Vernon. I'll bet you Batali would love the burger from the Candlelight and I doubt the owners would even recognize him.

              Who thinks that restaurants need to be in line with those from Manhattan or Europe? Whatever you do in the business, do the best that you can. Simply care about your business and your patrons.

              A great example is your buddy from Primavera. Sitting in your dining room, treating it like an office, without even saying hello to your patrons is absurd, especially when you barely have any business. This is the hospitality business. You can blame it on a slow season, but the Candlelight has a waiting list every single day. And, can you believe it, no foie gras burgers.

              By the way, who's got the Prime meat burger. I wanna check it out.