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Worth a Drive in Westchester - your picks

I've been in Westchester for a year and with a new baby, I'm yet to make too many discoveries worth making a special trip to. I would love to hear about some more...

My picks

1) Blue Hill at Stone Barn
2) Kneaded Bread

Other than that I've had ok to good food several places, but these are the only two I would put on my exceptional list. What would you say is exceptional in Westchester for food - bakeries, restaurants, grocers, anything?

Thanks!

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  1. We just had lunch at X20 Peter Kelly's latest (fixed prix) in Yonkers...beautiful dining room with all glass...views of the Hudson to die for. The food was excellent and also beautifully plated. Valet Parking very reasonable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bmgjrg

      Not in Westchester but close enough in Rockland, have to add Restaurant X as another excellent Peter Kelly establishment. Haven't been to Xavier's yet.

    2. 1) Pagoda in Scarsdale... Very good Chinese that is not greasy at all. They label themselves as "Healthy Chinese"... whatever. It is good and reasonably priced. I have friends who drive almost 20 miles each way to get takeout from here. Parking is not an issue.

      2) City Limits Diner at the very end of Central Ave across from the County Center. The same owners as Oceana in Manhattan... they have some excellent sandwiches and delicious desserts made by their on site pastry chef. This is not your typical diner but a much more upscale one. Family-friendly but expect a wait during peak times; they have their own parking lot. The breakfast is also amazing---country sausages, delicious pancakes, homemade granola, freshly baked muffins.

      2 Replies
      1. re: iluvcookies

        GITNYC, a very apt observation.

        I'd say:

        X20 in Yonkers for brunch
        Sunset Grille in White Plains for their pomegranate martini
        Ditto on Kneaded Bread in Portchester for their donuts (Sunday only)
        Cerbone in Rye Ridge for their napoleon cakes

        Worth a special trip. Hmmm, still thinking.

        1. re: dolores

          kneaded bread has donuts saturdays too.

      2. la tulipe bakery in mt.kisco and iron horse grill in pleasantville are both excellent

        3 Replies
        1. re: rich51

          I agree on La Tulipe-- I make a drive there (totally out of my way) many weekends to gobble up their universally excellent treats. Also, I don't mind driving 25 minutes to Little Mexican Cafe, and I'll also make the trip to Candlelight just for their wings.

          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

            La tulipe's almond croissants are amazing- definitely worth a drive.... but when I look at the rest of their offerings they always seem a little too fancy for me. I'm looking for something to much on alone, and all of their things are so gorgeous I feel like if I buy a single-serving sweet I should still show it to all my friends before I eat it- they're really works of art.
            I like Lulu's in Scarsdale too- I'd go out of my way for those buttercream cupcakes any day... goodness

            1. re: Sourise

              Sourise, I've had their cakes, and I'm not at all impressed. More flash than substance.

              If you want amazing croissants, you need drive no farther than Portchester and the Kneaded Bakery. As good as La Renaissance in Larchmont, whose demise I still bemoan.

        2. Westchester Grocery - or Khan's Indian Kitchen - at 546 Commerce Street in Thornwood. Superb Indian/Pakistani food at a bargain-basement price. You could stuff yourself for under $10. Best cheap eats I've found in Westchester, bar none.

          2 Replies
            1. re: bosun

              I agree too. Cheap and authentic!

              Also, Aberdeen is good but for even more dim sum choices try the place in the best buy plaza on central avenue (I forget the name). The restaurant may not look as nice as Aberdeen but their dimsum selection is defnitely broader.

          1. Azteca, Mt Kisco for Mexican
            Acuario (both old and new locations), Port Chester for Peruvian
            Westchester Grocery, Thornwood for Indian
            Fujinoya, Hartsdale for Japanese
            Pagoda, Scarsdale for Northern Chinese dimsum
            Garlic & Pepper, Tuckahoe for Thai
            Aberdeen, White Plains for Cantonese dimsum
            Johnny's, Mt Vernon for pizza

            9 Replies
            1. re: pabboy

              Not Westchester, but just over the line on Greenwich Avenue I love Meli-Melo for crepes, soups and salads.

              1. re: pabboy

                I have to respectfully disagree about both Johnny's for pizza and Garlic and Pepper being worth a drive. We finally went to Johnny's last week and while the pizza was good, it was small and pricey and frankly not worth sitting there over 40 minutes for. I also don't think the Thai at Garlic and Pepper is that great.

                1. re: rolise

                  I agree on Johnny's. I went once and wouldn't go back. Racanelli's has good Neapolitan pizza and is comfortable.

                  1. re: rolise

                    I understand what you are saying but what are my alternatives? If I want Thai and don't feel driving to Queens then Garlic & Pepper is worth the drive...especially if you order items tell them to make it "authentic".

                    With regards to Johnny's, it doesn't hold a candle to Grimaldi's or Lombardi's, but it's not an hour drive away either. So it's definitely worth a drive for me.

                    1. re: pabboy

                      pabboy, have you tried Gianna's and Totonno's in Yonkers for pizza?

                      1. re: dolores

                        Yes... I found both to be just OK.

                        1. re: pabboy

                          pabboy, i have to agree with you. we have also found that Garlic and Pepper serves delicious Thai food, without the shlepp to Sripraphai in Queens. Swadee, in Thornwood, is also good.

                          I haven't been to Johnny's lately, but it was consistently tasty every time we tried it. Forget Totonno's in Yonkers. Anyone who has been to the original in Coney Island will taste the vast difference in quality. Sabbatino's, accross from the movie theater in Hawthorne, makes an ok for westchester coal burning brick oven pie.

                  2. re: pabboy

                    On this list, I've only been to Aberdeen which I thought was good, but not excellent. I've had much better dim sum at quite a few other places (although not in the NYC metro area).

                    1. re: GITNYC

                      This is off topic but where have you had better dim sum? I can only name 2 places... Ocean Jewel in Flushing and the restaurant on 60st and 8th ave in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Definitely no place in Manhattan Chinatown. I would like to try other good dim sum!!!

                  3. Pipers Kilt for burgers
                    Candlelight for wings
                    Scarsdale Bagels - my favorite bagels
                    Lange's Deli
                    Eileen's Country Kitchen - Irish breakfast, fish and chips (it's on Mclean Ave in Yonkers, a street which is worth taking a trip to if you ever need good scones, or imported Irish sausage, etc.)
                    Topps Bakery, Bronxville - Tasty jelly doughnuts
                    Stew Leonard's - go on the weekends for tons of samples!
                    Arthur Avenue has many shops, restaurants and bakeries. Even though it's not in Westchester it's right off of the Bronx River Parkway.

                    1. I live in Scarsdale but I'll drive to the following.

                      La Panatiere, Rye, serves exceptionally good French food at high, but appropriate, prices.

                      Le Jardin du Roi, Chappaqua, and Patisserie Salzburg, Rye, make the best French toast in Westchester (well, in the way that I like, that is). Unfortunately, PS only serves brunch on Sunday and only makes a few dishes each week, so I don't know how often French toast makes the list.

                      1. I forgot one other place - the bagel shop in the Quaker Ridge shopping center in New Rochelle has really good bagels.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: GITNYC

                          Very good bagels. Best in the area, imo. Outside of Bagelworks in Manhattan, whose bagels are manna from heaven.

                          1. re: GITNYC

                            I think the Quaker Ridge bagels are very good but prefer those from Bagel Power in the Golden Horseshoe shopping center in Scarsdale.

                            I haven't tried the other place in Scarsdale that has been referenced on our bagel thread from last year...or year before... can't remember the name either. That said, I can't compare Power to that one. I don't recall it as being called Scarsdale Bagels referenced in Bosun's post but now I'll have to check it out and resolve to try them this year.

                            1. re: laylag

                              Scarsdale Bagels is/was on Garth Road, near Chopstix.

                              1. re: bosun

                                We always reffered to that as Garth Rd. Bagels, whether or not it was actually named that. Perhaps there in lies the confusion?
                                I agree with Quaker Ridge bagels being the best in Westchester.

                                1. re: momof3

                                  Yup, we called it that when I was growing up, but it's official name is "Scarsdale Bagels".

                          2. Thanks for mentioning the Little Mexican Cafe
                            http://www.littlemexicancafe.com/
                            Looks like it could be interesting.

                            1. Many mentioned here are worth the trip. If I had to pick only one "worth the drive" it would be Nanase. There is so much sushi all over the county that you would think that at least one other restaurant would come close. They charge about 30% more than you would pay at any other sushi restaurant. It is just plain wrong that that the quality elsewhere does not compare. Azuma runs a distant second and that is saying a lot because there is no Bronze medalist in this race.

                              3 Replies
                                1. re: Shawn

                                  Do you know about the supposed killer sushi place in New Haven called Miyas? Wonder if that's similar to this Nanase you are talking about?

                                  1. re: MasterofLightChick

                                    Miya's is fun but its nowhere near the same league as Nanase. It's more of a fusion type place and not traditional at all.

                              1. Hi GITNYC,
                                You are me! I also moved here a year ago, and I have a 9 month old, so I am still exploring. I have to recommend Haiku in Bronxville, it's my favorite for Asian and interesting (americanized) sushi rolls. As a bonus they are very child friendly and always dote on my daughter. Another great place is Sushi Mike's (Dobb's Ferry) it's worth the trip for their miso soup alone...by far the best I've ever had, though they have a few stairs to walk up at the front door, making it not very "stroller friendly".

                                The Asian market on Central Ave (Golden Village, they also have prepared foods and bubble tea,) in Scarsdale is really good, as is Kam Sen in White Plains.

                                I like A' Mangiare for Italian take-out, their soups and entrees are really good, but they don't have the thin crust pizza I love and miss. I think there are a few locations in Westchester.

                                If you like Korean, Kang Suh on Central Ave is arguably the best in Westchester.
                                Patang (also on Central ave) is pretty good for Indian...

                                Finally Quimbaya in Ossining has great empanadas and Smoothies/Batidas. I could eat bowls of the salsa they serve with the empanadas!

                                I would have to say we're in a rut though outside of the Asian/Italian theme. I haven't found any good Mexican/Spanish, which I think can be best found in the Port Chester area. I'm also looking for a good Polish/Hungarian/Ukranian place and can't find anything in this area.
                                Also I would like to try one of the many Brazillian places in the area, just haven't gotten around to it, so if anyone has rec's on that end, please send them!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: SweetPea914

                                  SweetPea - Having lived in the E. Village for many years I was looking for and craving some Polish/Ukrainian. I posted last year seeking recs. Zero responses.

                                  For the Mexican and other Latin cuisines - Port Chester and New Rochelle are your towns. NR is almost exclusively Mexican and PC has a more diverse group that includes Salvadoran, Peruvian, Colombian and Brazilian. Adamclyde has done several thorough reports on the various Latin restaurants in those neighborhoods. A search will give you plenty of places to try.

                                  Specifically speaking to Brazilian - the place on Main Street in PC called Pantanal changed hands not long ago and is now Copacabana. Haven't been yet so can't attest to it's quality but I do believe they do rodizio along with traditional dishes - fezioda etc.

                                  1. re: laylag

                                    Thanks Laylag, for the Brazillian/S. American recs, I have read Adamclyde's posts, and he definitely knows what he's talking about. I used to live in the LifeSaver building in PC, but the area and restaurants have changed a lot from 8 or so years ago!

                                    In re: to the polish/Ukranian search...I recently purchased some frozen peirogi from a Taste of Europe menioned on this board located in Norwalk, I haven't tried them yet, so can't vouch for how good they are, but I did try the borscht which was weird (it had chicken and beans in it??!), I wouldn't recommend it, or their stuffed cabbage.
                                    My Mother swears by the stuffed cabbage at a place on Main St. In Norwalk, not far from the Lime, across the street and down the road from where CVS used to be. Other than that, I can't seem to find anything in Westchester so we make the occasional trek to the East Village or I call Grandma and we have a pierogi party :-)
                                    They're so much easier to make when you have a few pairs of hands!

                                    I'll keep you in mind if I find anything good!

                                    1. re: SweetPea914

                                      there's a ukranian deli in Stamford on Hope Street. I can't vouch at all for it as I've never been (and even if I had, I confess I wouldn't really know how to judge it), but it's there. Warwaw deli in Stamford is another. But I think we've probably all talked about this in another thread. If so, I apologize in advance.

                                      1. re: SweetPea914

                                        SweetPea, the next time you're in Norwalk, try out The Pirate restaurant next to Fat Cat Pizza. I went recently to satiate my Polish craving. It was good just not exactly what I grew up with, so I was prejudiced.

                                        I pretty sure I know that place your mom is talking about - it's on the same side as Valencia and the Lime - light green building and it's an Eastern European grocery store - haven't been in yet though.

                                  2. Something I forgot that's worth mentioning: Main Street Cafe in Tuckahoe. My friends and I have been going there for some time for breakfast/brunch. They have a simple menu, but it never disappoints. Something I always liked was there option of seasonal sliced fruits that they top pancakes and oatmeal with. I also love their sweet potato fries!
                                    Wonderful little local spot.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: bosun

                                      Bosun - did the main street cafe close? The last two times I was at my bank down the street the place was closed and both times were during lunch hours.

                                      1. re: jhopp217

                                        They keep funny hours. Maybe breakfast on the weekdays and breakfast/lunch on the weekends. The owner is a funny dude. I highly doubt that they are closed, if anything he could be on vacation.

                                        Another place I wanted to mention, is Hutchinson Farms on Post Road (rt.22). Best Frozen Yogurt in Westchester.
                                        833 Post Rd
                                        Scarsdale, NY 10583
                                        (914) 723-7603