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Westchester Restaurant Recs

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My older sister took driver's ed back in high school and somehow managed to coax the DMV into giving her a license. How, I don't know. She was never comfortable driving and hasn't been behind the wheel more than once or twice in the many years since. She essentially is a brand new driver.

That being said, she would like me to reteach her how to drive. We both live in Manhattan, but don't think that it would be prudent to conduct these lessons anywhere in our vicinity, at least not to start. It just so happens that her birthday is next week as well. I am looking for suggestions somewhere in Westchester or Northern New Jersey where I can take her one day after work next week and she can drive around, ideally in an area with not too much traffic and perhaps a large parking lot nearby.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with chowhound, or food at all. Here's the twist, I'd like the ultimate destination of our outing to be a nice birthday dinner for her. She doesn't eat seafood and isn't big on large cuts of meat, so any steakhouses and/or fish joints are out of the question. It doesn't need to be anything formal, although that wouldn't be a bad thing, and ideally it isn't terribly expensive or more than about 45 mins drive from the city.

I know this is a very specific request, but otherwise I have no idea where to start looking. I greatly appreciate any direction you can point me...

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  1. This is an interesting question! I learned how to drive in the parking lot at the Greenburgh or Anthony F Veteran Town Park (technically located in Ardsley). Once the summer's over, the parking lot is pretty empty. From there I moved on to the very quiet streets of Poets' Corner in Hartsdale (just north of Ridge Road Park). It wouldn't take you very long from Manhattan, and you would be centrally located to many restaurants. I've never been, but some Chowhounders are fans of Lia's (Italian) in Hartsdale village. If you do a search here for Ardsley, Hartsdale, Scarsdale, and White Plains, you would find many options convenient to the driving spots I'm talking about. Just one idea-- I'm sure there are many...

    Oh, just to clarify, I'm talking about Westchester and not New Jersey.

    1. It's funny because I always say that active parking lots are probably one of the most dangerous places to drive, it's like a free for all. That being said I assume you want an inactive parking lot. Malls or store parking lots would be busy on the weekends so I'm thinking about WCC-Westchester Community College, they have many parking areas and it shouldn't be to busy on the weekend. OK I just realized you didn't really say the weekend, you just said after work but I think later in the day it should also be alright. Now for the dinner part, how about B-4 Bistro in Valhalla, not far from WCC. I went here once for lunch and really enjoyed it. Here is the website so you can check out the menu.....http://b4bistro.com/ If you need directions to the school or the restaurant let me know.