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Opening Set for Half Moon - Dobbs Ferry

I called Half Moon today to inquire if they have an opening date set yet. This is from the owners of Harvest on Hudson in the former Chart House location on the Hudson River.

I was told the opening date has been set for May 18, but they are not taking reservations yet. It was suggested that I call back on Friday (the 16th) to make a reservation.

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  1. It is open starting sunday, will be only open from 5pm on daily (so no lunch yet).

      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

        Well, I went tonight, and I was not thrilled. It was good, and the place itself is gorgeous, but I won't be running back.
        I hadn't been to the Chart House in years, but it has retained the airiness I remember. The view is of course phenomenal, and it's very bright and boisterous inside. After work crowd, families, large groups, couples, all represented. They were apparently totally booked, from what we overheard, until after 9.
        Our waitress was very sweet and had a handful of recommendations for us, and she seemed reasonably familiar with everything and was able to answer specific questions. The service in general was attentive but unobtrusive.
        The food was good. Not bad, not amazing.
        We started off with the duck tacos, which were one of our favorite things, although-- like several of the dishes-- they were not quite steaming hot. Not cold, just kind of warmish. But that aside, these 3 little tacos were well flavored and topped with guac and salsa fresca. We also ordered the zucchini chips, which we loved, lightly battered and fried thin slices of zucchini.
        For my entree, I got the Montauk tile fish a la plancha, which was simply prepared and grilled. It was not exciting, but I enjoyed it. It did need a healthy squeeze of lemon. My bf got the seared tuna, served with corn empanadas. It was ok. My sister got the chicken paillard, which was enormous, but pretty plain. Admittedly, she is a terribly picky eater, so her boring choice was her own fault (she won't eat meat or fish). The fries, like the tacos, were not hot enough. These entrees were each hovering around $20. If they were around $30, I would have been more disappointed. We also got a side of mashed potatoes ($7), and each bite of the mashed potatoes cost about $1. Sigh.
        We passed on dessert when we saw the prices. The waitress recommended the ice cream sandwich to share, but when we saw that it was $16, we decided to quit while we were ahead and go get ice cream elsewhere.
        When we were done, we retired to the outdoor patio area, which is very cute. They have some outdoor tables.
        Overall, Half Moon is no competition whatsoever for X2O; they're not in the same league. However, I'm sure it will give Sunset Cove and Striped Bass (which I'm not at all crazy about) a run for their money. I felt the prices for the entrees were not outrageous, but the food was not outrageous either. The place itself is a really lovely place for a meal, so I might return if I were in the mood for casual waterfront dining.

        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

          Thanks, ice cream, for providing us with our first report on Half Moon. Your description sounds a lot like what I was expecting (aside from the lukewarm food). It's been billed as a casual American restaurant with an eclectic side, and that's pretty much what your account sounds like. I checked out their menu, and am decidedly more interested in the apps, small plates and sides than I am in the entrees.
          With regard to posing a challenge to X2O, that was never going to happen. The way I see it, Half Moon is pretty much aiming to be a fun eatery where all types of people can go and enjoy a beautiful view and eat unfancy food at reasonable prices. It's not meant to compete with Harvest (pricier and mostly Italian) or X2O, which is quite upscale, both in food and decor. I do hope that it nudges some of the other waterfront restaurants, such as the unfailingly mediocre Sunset Cove, to be better.

          1. re: vvvindaloo

            Glad to share. If I were to go back, I would stick to the appetizers and small plates, like you said. A few apps and some drinks on the patio would make for a very nice evening there. It was definitely not stuffy like I remember Chart House being. Everyone was very nice and the atmosphere was convivial.

      2. The new "it" spot. Decor, views none better on the water. Food - Mmmmm! Amazing! Plancha dishes not to be missed, prime rib - tacos - an explosion of flavor and spice nicely combined, presentation of food unique, appealing. Casual/trendy. Relaxing. Bar - no bar stools, but flat screen tvs with different events on each. Wait staff - young, newbies?!? trying to learn the business, more training - friendly polite unsure and not confident or knowledgeable about menu/wines available. Make reservations or you will miss out!

        1. Went last night with friends. Even with a reservation, we waited an hour to be seated, which was mainly due to the incompetence of the hostesses. They seemed to be more interested in practicing their pouts and bearing cleavage than caring about customers. But once we stopped being pissed off, we totally enjoyed the dining experience. The view, wait staff service and food were great. The "angry" calamari salad was delicious. My husband (who likes to complain) enjoyed the chicken paillard and spicy Caesar salad, and our friends were happy with their salmon and prime rib. Will definitely go back -- probably on a week night when it's (hopefully) not so hectic.

          1. (Big deep sigh)
            There is no shortage of places to go around here that are beautiful and nice, where I can spend $7 on some potatoes and $20-30 on an entree, regardless of quality.

            I was told that this would be a family-friendly place, which to me means 1) it has items on the menu that kids like and 2) it's affordable. I don't expect everything to be cheap, but I do need a nice place to go with the kids that won't wipe me out.

            This makes me reluctant to even try the place, unless I can make it there for lunch with a friend sometime. Too bad.

            2 Replies
            1. re: newroof

              Don't forget the $16 ice cream sandwich!

              I'd go back for appetizers and drinks. The view would make that worth it. For a full meal, I'll just spring the extra money for X2O.

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Be fair.. We had the Ice Cream Sandwich. It's big enough, and intended for 3 or 4 to share.. and it was delicious

            2. Half moon or half as*ed was our question about the service in the inarguably well placed and probably even well-intentioned venue on the Hudson. After a 20 min. wait at the bar past our appointed 7:30, we re-approached the hostess who was more than delighted to seat us as our table had been, "ready for 15 minutes." No one had come to let us know or suggested that we check back. Once seated, service was way too fast, so definitely pace your evening by ordering your appies or tapas well before placing your entree order. Duck tacos, tuna nachos, grilled shrimp and potato croquettes were all great. Mixed grill planchas (entrees) was where the disappointment set in -- tough to discern the veal from the pork. Lamb chop was the only decent thing on the plate. For dessert, chocolate bread pudding and aforementioned $16 shareable ice cream sandwich were delicious and very well received. Coffee service was highly confused, with decafs mixed with regulars instilling 0 confidence in a jitter-free night and annoyances like having to ask for sugar. All in all, spotty, nothing to hurry back to.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmtoconnor

                That matches my experience. I've noticed there are certain restaurants with the mentality of rushing you in and rushing you out. The service is unsmiling. This is the kind of thing I've seen at One If By Land, Two If By Sea in Manhattan, but not all the most notable restaurants behave this way - Union Sq Cafe for example is extremely well regarded yet warm, welcoming, and not about turning the tables. Even Peter Luger is - well - nurturing (literally and figuratively). I go out to eat good food and enjoy visiting with my friends - so I'm sick of places where I'm not made to feel welcome.