HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >

Discussion

The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry

Italian that just opened this week by the same family that runs Zuppa's in Yonkers and related to Mima's in Irvington, NY. Downside was that it was crowded and we had to wait 35 minutes for our 8pm reservation. Upside was that we got an extra appetizer course for free due to the wait, and the food was as good as Mima's and Zuppa's (albeit less expensive). My 3 companions and I all liked our appetizers (clam pizzete, yummy!) and entrees (really moist striped bass with nice lentil sauce). The staff were much more professional than we expected at a new Westchester restaurant (where service is typically not at the Manhattan-level). In the chaos of the opening week, we were never given bread.

Overall, a really tasty restaurant walking distance from the Dobbs Ferry MetroNorth station, and a good addition to the Rivertowns dining scene.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. In Re.: Bread. I have found over the past year or so that unless one asks for bread, it is no longer just given out. Some, not all, menus even say that.
    However thanks for the report, sounds rather good.
    BTB-Is this where Austin's was located?
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/484318

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jon1856

      It is. I'm going there tonight. I'll report back . . .

      1. re: gordoma

        We ate there tonight. I had about 10 minutes before my wife arrived, so I was chatting with the staff. The chef and the manager both came from Zuppa. They are no longer affiliated with them. There is also no relation to Mima, other than the fact that they both cook Italian food very nicely. On to the report.

        Finally! A decent new place to eat in the rivertowns that doesn't try to rob you for the privilege. It has the feel of an upscale casual Italian bistro. The wine list has 30 bottles, everyone one of which are available by the glass. That is remarkable. It was a pretty diverse selection of mostly italian wines, with a focus on the sub-$50 price points. They serve an 8 oz pour (twice a 'legal' glass) and very reasonable given that it's just under 1/3 of an entire bottle of wine. I tried the Chianti and San Giovese as freebe tastes (pardon spellings), which were both nice, and then we went with Oregon Pinot Noir and a Sicilian red, Nora something or other. None was a blockbuster, but it was all fair for what they were charging and pouring.

        Now the food. My wife had the sopresetta to start, which was very good. Nicely presented. I had some sort of fresh ricotta on toasted bread drizzled with honey. it was excellent. Each of these apps were small, actually the sopresseta was fine for 2; but they were only around $6 each. For mains, I got the 'crispy' pork osso bucco with polenta and my wife got the cauliflower ravioli. The pork was very good, bordering on very very good and the raviolis were very very good tending toward excellent. They were perfectly done with a hand that showed how not to screw up delicate flavors.

        Even our 4 year old's pasta with marinara sauce was very good. Also a note on the table bread. It was great. I hate when restaurants give the standard crap (warmed or otherwise), this was high quality stuff.

        The manager was genuinely friendly, notwithstanding that he wore jeans and sneakers. The waiters looked a bit confused, but they've only been open like 10 days, so I cut them some slack on the service. Things slowed a bit too much when a surprising rush hit around 8pm (it was almost full on a tuesday!).

        We skipped dessert, but for $85 all in to cover 2 apps, 2 mains, 2 glasses of wine and a kids portion of well executed food in a comfortable surrounding, I was really pleased. These guys just jumped right into the top 10 on the quality to price ratio. This is a welcome addition to the Rivertowns and really all of southern westchester.

        1. re: gordoma

          I just went to The Cookery last night with my boyfriend. We thought the food was good nothing special. The table bread was a little stale and not served warm. The waiter took about 10 minutes to come over and take our order. It was 6:30PM and there were 2 other tables filled.

          We started off with the maccheroni e formaggi and the crostino of fresh ricotta drizzled with honey and fresh thyme. The maccheroni e formaggi was salty. Too much salt was added not taking into account that parmegiano reggiano is a salty cheese to begin with. The crostino was very good (the same bread that is served on the table is used),,,,fresh ricotta cheese is delicious. For our entrees we had the cauliflower ravioli (you get 6-7 large ravioli) and radiatore with lamb bolognese. Both entrees are the perfect size...leaves you full not stuffed.

          We shared the chocolate bread pudding which is served with a scoop of vanilla gelato. This was excellent. Our bill came out to $64 (w/o tip) for a glass of wine, 2 sodas, 2 appetizers, 2 entrees and the dessert.

          We will give the restaurant time to settle in a little more before we head back to give it a second try. Here's a link to an article about the restaurant along with a copy of the menu: http://lizjohnson.lohudblogs.com/2009...

    2. A group of 6 went today for a birthday lunch outing, and were very favorably impressed - personally, I thought the food and service was better than Mima's, which I think is a little pricey for what it is. The Cookery seems closer to what Mima's was supposed to be - a more casual, family friendly, lower priced alternative to Zuppa (which, by the way, does have wonderful food!). We decided to share a variety of small plates: the easter pie (more of a quiche, very good), maccherroni e formaggi (upscale mac and cheese that was a favorite of the birthday girl), organic lettuces with a quince dressing, fresh mozzarella and toasted rustic bread, ricotta crostini (delicious!), grilled scamorza cheese (a little gluey, probably the least successful item of the group), pork au plancha (meltingly tender), mussels and calamari salad, and the cauliflower ravioli (a huge hit). 6 cappuchinos and a chocolate bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream. Everyone was pleasantly full, not overstuffed - and the bill with tax came to $102, which we considered to be a bargain! Definitely a place we'll go back to. I've heard that it's been crowded in the evenings, but we were the only ones there for lunch. Hopefully others will discover it for lunch as well.

      1. I LOVE THIS FOOD!!!
        They've barely been open for 3 weeks, so I'll cut them slack on the service; it's growing pains. The chef, host and servers are all friendly and knowledgeable, they're just figuring out their flow.
        The creamy polenta with homemade sausage, cauliflower ravioli, osso buco, shortribs, chicken, macaroni & cheese are all amazing. Salads are so flavorful; not heavy, but not too dainty & precious either. The Bolognese is fantastic, but you must know that it is lamb or you probably won't like it. I don't like soup, but everyone is raving about the escarole & bean soup.
        This is one of my favorite restaurants in Westchester. I'd love it if it was in Manhattan too. The prices are super affordable, though they might just be low to get us all hooked (I am!)
        The desserts are uniformly disappointing, but I think they usually are at most restaurants. I haven't been impressed with the wines either, but the beers are fantastic.
        These are gracious, knowledgeable and professional people running a really good restaurant. They'll work out the kinks - even if they don't, I will keep going. It's that good.

        1. We went last night for dinner and LOVED it! The table bread is thinly sliced crusty rustic bread served with delicious garlic and herb infused olive oil for dipping. For appetizers we had the crostino with ricotta and honey, which was really delicious, and the calamari, mussels and arugula salad, which was very good, but nothing special. For mains we had the radiatore with lamb bolognese, which was excellent, and a fabulous special of whole (yet fileted) branzino stuffed with leeks and served with a side of crispy, salty roasted new potatoes. We shared a ricotta cheesecake for dessert, which was ok, actually a warm ricotta pudding rather than a cake, and we had reasonably priced double espressos. We also had a good bottle of wine from their reasonably priced wine list. The hostess (who is the chef's girlfriend) could not have been more pleasant and inviting, the service was fine, and the atmosphere is nice--I considered it NYC Soho-ish. We are looking forward to returning!

          1. We went last night also. We really liked the menu and the vibe. But the noise level was cacophonous. We could not hear each other across the table - and this was with a few empty tables in the restaurant. The clam pizette appetizer was excellent. There were some glitches in the service - but overall we liked it enough to want to return.

            1. I want to like this place, but they have some real problems with noise and logistics. Went there last night with some friends and it was deafening. It's an acoustics issue, because the place nearly emptied at one point and it was still insanely loud.
              Any issues with the service have been fixed. We had a pleasant waiter, knowledgeable about the food and very attentive. Perhaps they've overdone it, because several manager types hovered, there appeared to be a 1:1 waiter/busboy to table ratio, and they were constantly knocking into each other and into seated diners. I got smacked in the back twice and people seemed to be dropping things and knocking over furniture with some frequency.
              Very reasonable prices and high quality ingredients, but please, please, will someone tell the chef to go easy on the salt and truffle oil.
              The ricotta crostini appetizer is a step from greatness. The delicate ricotta clashed with the earthiness of the truffle oil and they could have used a better honey -- maybe fennel instead of what tasted like clover. Gorgeous rocket salad with gorgonzola and kumquat reduction was perfect.
              Osso Bucco was bland but the pasta, particularly the cauliflower ravioli, was excellent.
              If they could bring the noise level down we definitely would go back, but as it is, it's a really unpleasant ambience.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TeddyTD

                We went again last night, and again, loved our dinner. My favorite is the ricotta crostini, I think the flavors blend wonderfully. We also had the clam pizette, which was great, the lamb bolognese (again) and the short ribs, which were very good, and leftovers of which re-emerged in this morning's frittata. We had no problems with the noise. I agree that they seem to have too many bussers and/or servers working--there were an awful lot of people walking around looking to take dishes away, however the service was fine for us. Looking forward to returning, there are many items on the appetizer menu which interest me!

              2. Finally went to The Cookery last weekend and I was extremely impressed. A wonderful menu with many simple, tasty options. So many things on the menu looked great that we had to make some difficult decisions. Everything we had (crostino w/ ricotta, cauliflower raviolo, braised short ribs, etc.) was delicious. The service was a little choppy, but nothing to ruin our meal. Only small complaint I had is the quality of the wine glasses. Not to sound like a snob, but I just don't enjoy drinking wine out of little "pizzaria" wine glasses. That's more a pet peeve of mine than a complaint though as this place is more casual, with prices to match.

                1. Ate at the Cookery on Saturday night and it was a disasterous experience! We arrived 7:30 and was told it would be a 40 minute wait. The 40 minutes turned into 1 hour 45 minutes and we did not get our main course until 10:10 (over two hours after we arrived). At one point the waiter told us the food was being plated and it was not until 15 minutes later did we receive the dishes. The resaturant was busy and very loud. The Front Man Michael O’Neill's excuse was that no one is geting up from the tables so he can't seat us (basically tough luck). No offer of complementary drinks or anything. By the time the dinner came it was so late that we lost interest in the food. They only take reservations for 5 or more and we had a party of 4. After dinner I saw Chef DiBariI and he listened to my complaining and he said that he hoped that we give him another try. I wish them luck but in the long run they will have to provide better customer service to get people to come back!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: dseife

                    We were at The Cookery last Saturday night also, but we knew they would be crowded because they told us they were all booked up when we called the day before. We got there at 5:30 (the first arrivals) and by 6 the place was pretty cowded. When we left at 7 they were turning people away.
                    Love the food and The Cookery is affordable. But the noise! Agree with other posters that the noise level is deafening. You couldn't even be heard talking across a table for two. Will continue to eat at the Cookery, but plan on arriving unfashionably early, not going on a Saturday night or trying lunch which may be quieter.
                    Not the place to go if you want to catch up with friends,but the food is wonderful .

                    1. re: adelaideoz

                      I went Wednesday night to The Cookery and it was the best meal I ate in Westchester in 20 years. Every dish was imaginative and well thought out. The chef sent out assorted dishes that combined savory and sweet, soft and crunchy. The best dishes were simplistic and honest, just like the best dishes in Italy. The dish I speak of most was a farmers market field green[don't recall the name] that he roasted and served with toasted breadcrumbs and garlic on top, no molecular gastronomy, just delicious. Other dishes I tried were pork cheeks, clam pizzette[only ok],grilled beef tongue, ravioli, a pasta special, chicken 'al mattone', strawberry soup with ricotta. The noise...well I understand they realize that this type of noise works for the LES but does not work for the Westchester diner. Personally I liked it, it felt alive with real energy. I wish them luck, Westchester needs a restaurant like the rest of the country enjoys.
                      Also, if you go to dinner in suburbia on the weekend to a popular new place, didn't you realize that other people MIGHT have the same idea? Yogi Berra said it right, 'nobody goes to that restaurant anymore because it's too crowded'!

                      1. re: a81

                        I agree, I like the liveliness. We ate there again last night. For appetizers we had perhaps the best mozzarella we've ever had, and the breseola (excellent). Then our favorite lamb ragu, and the pasta with white clams. For dessert we shared a fried dough stuffed with nutella and bananas with cinnamon ice cream. Love this restaurant!

                        1. re: Marge

                          Ate there on Tuesday night and had that same dessert. very good indeed. The pasta with clams: Phenominal. The radiatore bolognese was equally impressive. The salad with bing cherrys and arugula was to die for. The noise was awesome. crowded and lively is good...you can concentrate on the food and drink in front of you! next time I hope they have the pea shoot salad, they had sold out.

                  2. I dined there recently,and was happy to enjoy good greenmarket driven Italian food prepared by a talented chef in this neck of the woods.The menu is ambitious,the wine list well priced.My Guess is that they took over a relatively inexpensive space as was/is-not an ideal room;noisy,not much parking,and please lose the tv sets...but the chef is talented,and maybe it'll be a good stepping stone for him,hopefully remaining in lower Westchester which is starved for dining options like this.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: geendatz

                      #1...if your dining at the bar and the tv's are on the food network it's great. leave 'em be
                      #2 The chef has done enough stepping around (his resume is long). this joint is fantastic as it is!

                      1. re: cubanat

                        We ate in the bar but they had on college football, not the food network, which is fine with me and even better for my DH, I wasn't there to watch TV. The place is noisy so I wouldn't recommend it for a romantic night out but if you looking for very good inventive food in a relaxed setting, this is the place. We enjoyed everything from the grilled pizzette with mission figs/prosciutto and fontina and the escarole soup to the entrees of cauliflower ravioli and the hanger steak to the chocolate bread pudding for dessert. It's a wonderful unpretentious place with friendly attentive service.

                    2. I finally made it to the Cookery and I have to concur with all the raves. At this price point, it's pretty special for Westchester.

                      My complaints are very few. One has to do with the stony reception we faced when we entered. A large party was just clearing up so we were basically ignored for 5 minutes as we stood in the entryway waiting for a host. The guy who finally did seat us (who clearly saw us but continued talking to someone as we stood there) did not endear me to the restaurant AT ALL, so it was a pretty terrible first impression. But we forgave once our extremely lovely waiter took over.

                      We tried some of the dishes recommended by CHs on this thread, including the ricotta crostino with honey (amazing) and the cauliflower ravioli with cripsy breadcrumbs on top (loved the textures and flavors of this). We also tried the porchetta, an appetizer, very thinly sliced pork belly served with matchstick slices of red pear (more up my bf's alley than mine, but interesting), and the ziti with guanciale and lentils, which was hearty and rustic. A+ for the pasta dishes, and priced so reasonably (around $13 each), they are really such a great value.

                      The wine pour, as mentioned in one of the reviews I read, is really equivalent to 2 glasses of wine, so that was another plus. As the waiter recommended, the sauvignon blanc went well with the ravioli.

                      The valrhona chocolate bread pudding was the only dish I wasn't crazy about other than the porchetta, and that's because I really dislike molten chocolate cake and all its incarnations and think it's a real cop out dessert. Call it what you will, but this was molten chocolate cake-- fine, but boring. My fault for not properly translating the menu description. I wish we had gone for the fried dough with nutella. Oh well, next time!

                      A great spot to have in Westchester!! It was sooo crowded, which is nice to see! We liked the noise level. Lively, but not deafening.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        Went back last night-- it was jammed! We ate at the bar since we didn't feel like waiting 45 min for a table... it was fun, though we started getting jostled a little as the crowd swelled. I tried the lamb bolognese, which was incredible. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the pasta fritta. We loved the cinnamon ice cream but thought the banana stuffed inside the fried dough was a little overkill.

                      2. I went for the first time on Thursday night and it was packed. It was noisy, but not oppressive. I started with the goat cheese gnocchi and it was so good, told my BF, "you're not getting any of this." I had the crispy pork osso bucco and found it to be a little disappointing. My BF also said the pasta fritta wasn't anything to write home about. But when I asked if they could do a cheese plate for dessert, I was presented with an over-the-top selection of cheeses accompanied by a delicious grilled flat bread. Good selection, good prices. Will definitely try it again.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: byramgirl

                          Goat cheese gnocchi??!!! How did I miss that? Wow.

                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                            It was a special appetizer in a brown butter sauce. Very special.

                            1. re: byramgirl

                              I think I would have fainted! I love goat cheese. Goat cheese gnocchi? I'm drooling.

                        2. I went with 5 other women for a Tuesday evening restaurant week dinner. We all found our experience very lacking. The bread was stale and cold. I ordered the blood orange salad and it was all green with barely one section of an orange cut up into 3 little pieces. Fish dish was very small - it was to be served over brocolli rabe. The brocolli rabe portion was so small that 2 of the women failed to notice that it was even part of their meal. Service was slow and inattentive. Do not know if this is usual portions/service or just due to Restaurant Week offerings (though menu does not indicte a mere tastings). I eat out often and have gone to many restaurants in Westchester and NYC during restaurant week, and this is the first totally negative experience. Would certainly not go back.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: rgpgs

                            Restaurant week, despite the hype is NOT the time to try out a restaurant.

                            1. re: rgpgs

                              You most certainly had an off night, as this is one of the first negative reviews I have heard of this place. Do yourself a favor and retry when restaurant week is over.

                              1. re: wpfoodie

                                We had dinner here while staying in Westchester last fall. We are happy to report that we had dinner here again a few nights ago and the food was just as spectacular as we had remembered it. The gnocchi is just as wonderful as our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant in the West Village.

                                -----
                                Westchester Restaurant
                                628 North Ave, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                              2. re: rgpgs

                                Gah! Go again! This place, when I can actually get in, is one of my favorites. The pork ossobucco is one of the best things I have ever eaten.

                                1. re: Lolasartre

                                  I agree, it shoud be given another try. All the food I have had there has been wonderful

                              3. I know they don't take reservations, and we are going in June with another couple. I can't wait to try it, but I hate waiting for tables. I don't mind eating early - anyone know when it starts to get packed? Thanks!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: wincountrygirl

                                  I can't really answer the question about when you wouldn't have to wait. I'm sure if you call the restaurant, they could tell you. However, if you can get another person or couple to join you, they do take reservations for 5 or more.

                                  1. re: wincountrygirl

                                    In our experience, you have to get there before 6:30 if you don't want to wait.

                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                        We got there about 6 a weekend or two ago and still had to wait over 45 minutes. The hostess is a real sweetie and does everything she can to estimate times accurately (and she was indeed accurate). Once you can grab a seat at the bar and a (huge-- like 2, seriously) glass of wine, the time passes rather quickly. :) If you don't want to wait at all, plan on being there when they start serving dinner-- 5:30 on Saturday I think.

                                      2. Small, loud ,very busy and built up but definitely worth it. Not only do they have a great twist on their menu ,they actual care about having a twist to their beers and wine selection.

                                        1. I didn't like this place at all. Service was awful, bread was hard and food was bland.
                                          Unfortunate to say the least.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: MissWestchester

                                            They don't take reservations and are a schlep and the food isn't outstanding?

                                            Thanks, I'll be crossing this one off my list then.

                                            1. re: anonymouse1935

                                              Not so fast, anoymouse1935. Most of the reviews are good -- I think it's worth a try and will definitely put it on my list for when I am in that neck of the woods. Some of the dishes sound really good, and I think that there were only two pans of the place in this whole post. No reservations is a drag, but a lunch, maybe?

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                I would not avoid a restaurant because of one bad post, I agree!! It is a schlep for me too, and the no reservations is a drag,but I'm thinking of adding a couple of more people to our outing - then we can reserve. I got a great rec on this place from a chef who always gives me great recommendations. I will try it myself.

                                                1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                  Didn't realize it was just one bad post. You're right, if I get a big enough group of people, it's worth a try.

                                                  1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                    I had one outstanding experience, and one mediocre experience. It's so popular, that it can turn into a hassle to get in, but the food is so good, and so reasonably priced, that I find myself wanting to go back.

                                                    1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                      You'd be doing yourself a grave disservice if you didn't give this place a chance. I only ate there once, about a year ago, but haven't stopped raving about it since. Hoping to get back there soon - will let you know if has stayed consistent.

                                                      1. re: wpfoodie

                                                        Actually DON'T go back to this place ever!!!! Then I won't have to wait to get a seat! We go during off peak times just to avoid the crowds. This is the best place in the county for simply great food. service can be so-so but who cares when the food is that good? and the noise complaints...again don''t go so I can take your table!! Duck tongue app is incredible btw.

                                                        1. re: wpfoodie

                                                          wpfoodie, did the chef at The Cookery just leave Zuppa, within the last month?

                                                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                            I think it's been about a year or maybe a bit less since he left zuppa, no?

                                                            1. re: cubanat

                                                              Not sure. I was just trying to verify if the same chef who created my meal at end of April is still there. Since he is, I highly recommend Zuppa to anyone who can get there.

                                                              X20 is still my hands-down favorite, all things considered, but Zuppa is very, very good.

                                                              1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                                I agree with cubanat please cross it off your list, as the food is as good and interesting as anything else you will get elsewhere in this price range in the county.
                                                                The chef was the chef at Zuppa but left to open this restaurant and has been here since its inception.
                                                                Zuppa is also very good as is X2O but this is a much more informal setting.
                                                                Bland food, what did you order? I've been there many times and have had much on the menu, not everything was perfect but bland would not be an adjective that I would use on the things I've tried. Even the great Di Maggio went 0 for 4 on some nights so who knows...

                                                                -----
                                                                X2O
                                                                71 Water Grant Street, Yonkers, NY 10701

                                                                Zuppa Restaurant
                                                                55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

                                                                1. re: a81

                                                                  I guess you are talking to MissWestchester?

                                                                  I am looking forward to The Cookery.

                                              2. I've heard from more than one person that the noise level in the Cookery borders on unbearable. Dining is also about conversation with table-mates. It's virtually impossible here, they say.

                                                Any other comments on noise here? If it's that loud, it's definitely to be crossed off the list.

                                                Why don't restaurants take noise level into account when designing their restaurant? It's a strong factor in a good dining experience!!

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: menton1

                                                  We've dined at the Cookery many times (most recently last week, the duck liver terrine appetizer special was really fabulous, but I digress) and never had a problem conversing. We always get there before 6 PM though, to avoid the crowds.

                                                  1. re: Marge

                                                    I've heard the food is excellent. I am interested if anyone has info about the noise level at peak hours.

                                                    Before 6PM?? Lol. that's not dinner, that's a late lunch! No wonder it isn't loud then!

                                                    1. re: menton1

                                                      If you have an issue with noise/loud places then this isn't the place for you. you may love the food but you will be annoyed by the accoustics and if you do go after 6pm then you will have to wait anyway in a loud small crowded area!

                                                    2. re: Marge

                                                      Marge, have you been there recently on the early side? We're thinking of going tomorrow night for my mom's bday. I see from the website that they start serving dinner at 5:30 on Fridays, so would you recommend getting there at 5:30 on the nose or even earlier?

                                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                        We were there a few weeks ago on a Friday night at 6, and there were several empty tables--you should be fine getting there by 6 on a Friday night (although tomorrow is the start of a holiday weekend...). Enjoy, and happy bday to your mom!

                                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                          We went last Saturday nite just after 6 and had no trouble getting in. You should be fine getting there anytime between 5 and 6. Enjoy your dinner and Happy Birthday to your MOM!

                                                      2. re: menton1

                                                        If sound is an issue, you will miss out on places like the Cookery, Peter Luger, and most "bustling with business because the food is that good" places.

                                                        -----
                                                        Peter Luger
                                                        255 Northern Blvd, Great Neck, NY 11021

                                                      3. I would love some non-judgmental information about the noise level at dinner, when the place is busy. I've heard from a couple of folks that conversation is nearly impossible. I would like some opinions if that is true.

                                                        P.S. They accept reservations except on Fri and Sat.

                                                        22 Replies
                                                        1. re: menton1

                                                          I think it's true. If you're just two people, it's OK, But there were 5 of us and it was impossible to have one conversation.

                                                          1. re: menton1

                                                            What exactly did you mean by non-judgemental info? Noise tolerances, as with any personal tolerance, is subjective.

                                                            1. re: JanRan

                                                              Exactly! How about this: "The Cookery is a loud place. If you do not like loud places then it is not for you."---which-as is stated previously will mean less of a wait at the door for those that don't mind the noise since the food is that good!

                                                              1. re: cubanat

                                                                See JanRan's cogent answer above. I'll decide if it's for me or not. I wanted to know if it was possible to carry on a conversation, which you still didn't answer. Sure, I suppose some folks don't mind just sitting and looking at each other during dinner. Hand signals? Pass notes?

                                                                N.B. Except for Friday and Saturday, there is no waiting. They take reservations.

                                                                1. re: menton1

                                                                  In my experience going with 1-3 other people on weekend nights, I would definitely not say it's impossible to carry on a conversation here... maybe it would be if you're with a larger group and trying to carry on a whole-table conversation. However, I would call the noise atmosphere "lively" and "energetic."

                                                                  Personally speaking, I think it's a welcome change from the many more sedate places in Westchester. Honestly, I like places that are energetic (to a point) like the Cookery and I wish we had more places similar throughout the county.

                                                            2. re: menton1

                                                              While it is loud, I've never had a problem having a conversation at a table for two. And the food is fantastic, and considering the area, pretty much a bargain.

                                                              1. re: byramgirl

                                                                Thanks. I'm going to give it a go and report back. The shame is, that this restaurant is only open a year. For a very small extra investment, sound-absorbing materials could have been used very effectively on the floors, walls, ceilings, and with the furniture and make a HUGE difference. Too bad restaurant architects don't consider this much of the time. Especially in this country, Americans are LOUD! In Europe, a packed restaurant is much quieter, people speak in a very subdued tone!

                                                                A place can be lively but not have a din that is disruptive. I'll get back to you.

                                                                1. re: menton1

                                                                  Great to hear! (No pun intended since we are playing word games) I for one can't wait to hear (again...) what a wonderful time you had in a crowded room full of noisy Americans! When you love the food but hate the noise/space don't tell me I told you so!! I already know :)

                                                                  1. re: menton1

                                                                    When I first ate there, shortly after it opened last year, we mentioned the noise level to the waitress. She said that they get a lot of complaints about the noise and that the owners were planning to do something about it, which I assumed meant soundproofing.

                                                                    1. re: JanRan

                                                                      If you carpeted the entire resto, covered the windows with drapes and put accoustical tiles over the cieling it may quiet things down slightly BUT this place is perfect as it is!! It wouldn't be the cookery if you did all that. go to le grenouille if you want sedate dining at it's best. The Cookery is essentially an Italian-geared gastro-pub! It's simple & creative foods served up in a lively enviroment! done.

                                                                      1. re: cubanat

                                                                        So you think that perhaps the restaurant owners and designers WANTED the place to be super-noisy! That's interesting. I didn't realize that some folks actually ENJOYED a lot of noise in a serious food restaurant, but ... go figure!

                                                                        I personally also like "lively", I like eating at serious restaurants that are full or almost full, but I don't like a din that makes it hard to converse. Standing at the bar during football season can take care of that.

                                                                        1. re: menton1

                                                                          Cubanat is right on. The owners wanted it to emulate the lively atmosphere that has been in Brooklyn for the last 10+ years. The restaurant has amazing food, as good as it gets in Westchester for the price. If you are willing to eat in a restaurant like that and sacrifice tablecloths, curtains, some noise than you should, if not like it's been said before there will be more room for me to get a table.

                                                                          1. re: a81

                                                                            But on a typical night - you can talk all you want while you wait 2 hours for a table. I only go there if I'm hungry at 4:30 in the afternoon.

                                                                            1. re: demifast

                                                                              I do the same thing on sundays at 4:45pm. best move on a lazy day and still we often wait with about 5 to 10 others outside until they open.

                                                                            2. re: a81

                                                                              I ate there with 2 other people during the week. While the food was very good and the service was gracious, the restaurant was incredibly loud. However, the manager did come over, unsolicited, and asked us if we wanted to change tables, away from a large party, when a table became available. We did move which made it a bit better, though still loud.

                                                                              1. re: benjamin30

                                                                                How DARE you be bothered by noise, the food is so good!

                                                                                I don't know why people persist in waiting, this restaurant takes reservations Sun-Thurs!!!

                                                                                1. re: menton1

                                                                                  Good to know about the weeknight reservations. I really want to try this place.

                                                                              2. re: a81

                                                                                Austin's , the restaurant in the same place before cookery, was also very loud. I think it's just the acoustics of the space. Personally, I hate a very quiet restaurant.

                                                                                1. re: touchdown

                                                                                  I don't like "quiet" restaurants, either, but I do like to be able to converse with my dining companions without screaming and straining my ears. And that's what has to be done at the Cookery.

                                                                                  1. re: menton1

                                                                                    So you've tried it? What did you think of the food?

                                                                                    1. re: Marge

                                                                                      It was fairly good, but too noisy to enjoy it. Part of a dining experience to us is conversation.

                                                                                      It's amazing, in Italy, you can go to a PACKED restaurant and it is not very noisy. Even more so in France!

                                                                                      1. re: menton1

                                                                                        Sorry to hear that! We'll continue to go for "late lunch" by 6 PM before the huge crowds!

                                                                  2. I had to post to tell the special pasta we had tonight-- duck confit rigatoni with escarole. Unbelievable! The butternut squash ricotta cheesecake is a perfect fall dessert. We got there just after 6 and it was practically empty, but when we left around 7:30 it was packed.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                      Finally got there last week - albeit for lunch. Everything was delicious. We did the prix fixe and had two salads for appetizers - both very good. They were similar in both having almonds and baby arugula but I particularly loved the smoked figs in mine and the slight sweetness to the dressing on her kumquat My friend had the black pepper rigatoni - indulgently delicious.I had the chicken 'al matone' with porcini fregola and it was simply beyond expectations. The chicken was moist, juicy and extremely flavorful and while I hesitate to order chicken dishes because they are usually so ordinary I'd have this again in a heartbeat. Still thinking about it in fact.

                                                                      Can't wait to go for dinner. I can see how crowds and noise can make the place less enjoyable but from my lunch experience it's worth the risk.

                                                                      Oh - and very nice wine selection and love that almost all are offered by the glass too.

                                                                      1. re: laylag

                                                                        I took a party of eight to the Cookery on the Sunday evening of last Thanksgiving weekend: the only time I visited. I did not post because there was virtually no one there that night, and from what I can glean (and the wait staff inferred), the quiet was very atypical.

                                                                        The food we had that night was uniformly sensational: I still think about the terrific white lasagna I had, the crostino with truffle honey and the short ribs I sampled. In truth, a lot of our party had specials, but everybody's main dish was really good. I would love to go back again, but don't know if I could duplicate the calm we encountered that night.

                                                                        I know some posters associate loud, noisy restaurants with excitement. Perhaps for some, but I agree with the poster Menton 1 who point outs you can go to restaurants in Europe and get energy without having to scream at your dining companions. I can think of any number of great tapas bars I've visited in Spain -- including a number packed almost entirely by exuberant locals out for good food and drink -- where you could still conduct an audible conversation with your dining partners. In contrast, some otherwise decent Westchester establishments (such as Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco) do not necessarily win friends or repeat customers when diners are hoarse from shouting by the time they leave.

                                                                        I think I'm as much of a food enthusiast as most 'hounds, and for me, food generally comes first, way before decor or service. Yet, great as it is, I'm not planning to go to the Cookery to eat alone: I go to most restaurants, even places with minimal decor, with friends and/ or family. If I thought i could have a meal in relative quiet even approaching what I experienced in my only visit, I'd be back at the Cookery tonight. Yet the accounts of other 'hounds has made me hesitate to return. If anybody can help me figure out how to identify the next quiet night at the Cookery, I'm all ears.

                                                                        1. re: NickM

                                                                          Halloween. All the moms and dads are out trick or treating with the kids...and a lot of other folks tend to stay home that night to greet the trick or treaters. Last year Halloween was on a Saturday night, and we had dinner at a restaurant that is normally very crowded...doesn't take reservations...and it was very quiet.

                                                                    2. I tried the Cookery's Sunday brunch for the first time yesterday, and I have to sing its praises. Though you can order off the regular lunch menu, they also have a $24 fixed price menu-- 3 courses plus unlimited mimosas/bellinis. It's a great value. We got there at just about 12 and it was almost empty and pretty quiet, but by the time we left at 2, it was packed and noisy. The food was uniformly excellent, from the fig salad and mozzarella appetizers, to the frittata and lamb bolognese (which I keep coming back to), and the sticky pumpkin cake. I love showing off this gem of a place to other people.

                                                                      1. Restaurant.com - just bought a $25 certificate for $2.00! - secret word is TREAT - expires soon - but not sure when! I have been wanting to try this - so I thought this would be a good shot - be sure to read the fine print - can only use it during the week.

                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                        1. re: smilingal

                                                                          It's good on Sundays also here-- one thing is that they add 18% tip first, add tax, and then deduct the $25. A little annoying, but still a decent savings.

                                                                          1. re: menton1

                                                                            oh - thanks for pointing out the Sunday usage - I was going to use it to dine with my daughter during the week - but perhaps we all will try it on a Sunday instead! And the tip and tax...well, that seems to be the way all coupons are deducted - after the fact. Certainly, if it's good service, I'd be doing that without it imposed.

                                                                            1. re: smilingal

                                                                              FINALLY! Going this evening! YAY!!! celebrating daughter's birthday --- another year later!

                                                                          2. re: smilingal

                                                                            thanks for the tip on the $25 certificate secret word. I've gotten $25 certificates on restaurant.com and they are always $10. Secret word worked great -- I ended up with 4 certificates for other restaurants too -- at $2 each!! Such a deal. See you at the Cookery on Sunday!

                                                                            1. re: cloverose

                                                                              oh - so glad I could help - I get notifications of those "secret" words often - you can always google restaurant.com 80% coupon code to find them. We won't be going on Sunday - are you? Where else did you buy for? Oftentimes I find there aren't so many great places - but I knew that I had been reading about the Cookery on here recently and that it was on my list to try.

                                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                                Question......... I'm assuming you can only use 1 gift certif per visit? Also what is the expiration date on these?

                                                                                  1. re: menton1

                                                                                    Wow.... I think I may have to get a few of those.

                                                                                1. re: smilingal

                                                                                  Smilingal, in answer to your question, I got certificates to 2 restaurants where I've been many times, so I know they'll get used: Little Mexican Cafe in New Ro and Piccolo Mullino in Mam'k. I also got one for a place I wasn't familiar with but which looked good: Roasted Pepper in Mam'k. All of the restaurants I chose allow you to use your certificate with a $35 minimum purchase instead of a $50 min. and it looks like you can use the certificates for drinks as well as food (I'm hoping.) Thanks again for the great tip! I guess I won't be at the Cookery this Sunday -- Halloween. Trick or treaters are too cute to miss. But soon.........

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Little Mexican Cafe
                                                                                  581 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                                                                                  1. re: cloverose

                                                                                    yes - unless they specify otherwiise you can drink as much of that bill as you want! My daughter lives in New Ro so if you are recommending those other two places I will buy them as well.

                                                                                    1. re: cloverose

                                                                                      zagats seems to have nice things to say about Little Mexican Cafe - but couldn't find anything about Piccolo Mulliino. Going to buy the certificates now - hope they are still available!

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Little Mexican Cafe
                                                                                      581 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                                        Piccolo Mullino is a small place on Mamaroneck Ave in Mam'k. Food is good standard Italian, at good prices. I notice you have to pay cash if you use a certificate. I like Little Mexican Cafe -- great margueritas/mojitos and the food is good. As my BF said, don't go crazy with the certificates!

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Little Mexican Cafe
                                                                                        581 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                                                                                        1. re: cloverose

                                                                                          i know - but they used to expire - and now they don't - so why not ! I know - the "on sale" mentality! I put a call into dtr - perhaps little mexican cafe will have two new people tonight - in search of great margueritas!

                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                            Ahh, don't forget, you can't use coupons on Friday nite. But I know what you mean, you're going to eat out anyhow so why not save a few bucks. Enjoy!!

                                                                                            1. re: cloverose

                                                                                              no - you need to pay attention to each restaurant's restrictions - the one for Little Mexican Cafe is for Dinner ONLY - meaning not for lunch - must be for 2 or more - but no restrictions for days of use! Maybe tell BF to buy more!

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Little Mexican Cafe
                                                                                              581 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                                                                              2. Another awesome meal at the Cookery-- we sat at the bar and tried two new pasta dishes-- gnocchi with ricotta and rigatoni with ramps and mozzarella. Both were excellent (along with spring garlic soup and salads to start). We got there at 5:45 and it was already completely full. I love the intimacy of sitting at the bar. The energy & buzz (aka noise) of this place is really unique for Westchester and I hope it's here for a good long while!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                                  We had another fabulous meal at the Cookery last weekend...the gnocchi were great, light and fluffy with an oniony tomato sauce. Another new "try" for us was the polenta with egg and prosciutto appetzier--buttery, salty, creamy, mmm... The old standbys (flatbread with cheese and radatiore with lamb rag)u were as wonderful as ever. As far as excessive noise, Mr. Marge and I had no trouble hearing eachother frequently exclaim how delicious something was!

                                                                                2. Well, perhaps energy and buzz (noise)will be around for a long time - but I hope someday Westchester will see some new restaurants that combine great food and a noise level that allows a diner to hear the conversation of the people at their own table. And a restaurant that provides some space between those tables. And properly trained wait staff.

                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: demifast

                                                                                    An essential element of dining out is conversation with the others in your party. This is virtually impossible at the Cookery. The food is good, but that's only one element of the experience. I guess it doesn't bother some, but unless the place does some serious soundproofing it won't be seeing the likes of me again...

                                                                                    1. re: menton1

                                                                                      Menton1, have you been to Mima in Irvington? I went last night (posted on the long Italian thread) and found the food comparable to the Cookery (kind of rustic creative Italian), but the noise level was much better. We sat in the back room, which was not as cozy as the front room, but conversation was much easier than the Cookery. You might be interested in checking it out.

                                                                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                                        Thanks. Just about most good restaurants are quieter than the Cookery, given the Cookery's "upscale" genre. Perhaps the Mall Food Court is similar but they don't claim to be fine dining.

                                                                                        And although it doesn't seem so, I'm sure many folks agree with me. Probably lurkers rather than posters, but I tried the Cookery twice, and it's just not a fun experience. Fine dining out is MORE than just the food.

                                                                                        1. re: menton1

                                                                                          get over it already! the cookery is what it is. where does it claim to be fine dining? it serves food in the atmosphere that it has. no table cloths. no waiters in jackets and ties. no pompous attitudes. just great food in a lively atmosphere. haven't we all been thru this conversation before by the way?

                                                                                          1. re: menton1

                                                                                            The Cookery doesn't claim to be upscale. You could go there and have a bowl of basic pasta for $12. I wouldn't go there for a quiet romantic dinner, but as a person on the young side for Westchester, I think it fills a niche that has been ignored around here until now. Great food doesn't have to mean stuffy and formal.

                                                                                            1. re: menton1

                                                                                              What about your two visits to The Cookery gave you the impression that it's an "upscale genre", or even "fine dining"? It's in fact a very casual, very reasonably priced restaurant that imo serves fabulous, fresh, interesting food. I wouldn't recommend it for a night of solving the world's problems over dinner, but for a CASUAL meal with people you enjoy sharing good food with, I think it's a very "fun experience".

                                                                                              1. re: Marge

                                                                                                You guys get so wound up defending the place (Can't you accept another opinion?) that you make it sound like a pizza parlor.

                                                                                                Enjoy it, but I won't be back there. Noise level not acceptable. And it gets louder geometrically, because one has to shout to be heard by your table mates!

                                                                                                1. re: menton1

                                                                                                  Not "wound up" at all, and can certainly accept another OPINION, just feel obliged to correct misinformation which is not helpful to anyone--The Cookery is not upscale fine dining, nor is it a pizza parlor. The facts are that the food is great, and when crowded as it usually is, it is very noisy. For those who are bothered by loud restaurants, the noise level would probably not make for a pleasant dining experience. I, and many others, are not bothered by that.

                                                                                                  1. re: Marge

                                                                                                    Cookery can certainly get somewhat loud, in a fun kind of way.
                                                                                                    I doubt anyone under the age of 50 would define it as needing to "shout to be heard by your table mates"... but many of us well over 50 find it more fun than a detriment as well.
                                                                                                    And the food is terrific.
                                                                                                    If you want a quiet, sleepy, white table cloth experience, you probably already knew this wasn't it.

                                                                                                2. re: Marge

                                                                                                  Agreed! My husband and I are in our early-to-mid 30s and are thankful to have a few spots like The Cookery, Nessa and Tarry Lodge where we can get a little vibrancy and excitement along with our good food. To me, the ambiance at these places is quite a bit similar to what you'd find in the best NYC restaurants (save for true fine dining establishments).

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Tarry Lodge
                                                                                                  18 Mill St, Port Chester, NY 10573

                                                                                        2. We had a terrific dinner at The Cookery last night!! We hardly waited long at all and the food and service were wonderful!! We ordered a ton of stuff to share among 4 people and we were stuffed by the end of the meal. Highlights included the cauliflower ravioli, polpette, bone marrow and toast, sweet corn rigatoni, buttery salted potatoes, grilled market steak, the stickabutta pie and the tortino!
                                                                                          Our server, Bjorn, was fun and had terrific recommendations for us. I will definitely return soon!

                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: MRS

                                                                                            Mrs. did you find any of the dishes overly salted? My sister stopped in for lunch last week ordered the lentil soup, arugula salad, meatballs and buttery potatoes.
                                                                                            She ended up only eating the potatoes, she sent back the soup because it was too salty ( the chef apparently agreed with her) she said the salad was overly salty as well and the meatballs were cold with oil pooling on top of the sauce.
                                                                                            I had no such issues when I last had lunch there, but it was a while ago. She did say however that the service was great.

                                                                                            1. re: chowdom

                                                                                              Chowdom, I didn't find that in our dishes and I am generally very salt sensitive. We really enjoyed our evening there and will be back next weekend with friends. Can't wait!!

                                                                                              1. re: MRS

                                                                                                Thx MRS, my sister can be a PIA thats why I asked.

                                                                                              2. re: chowdom

                                                                                                I LOVE THIS PLACE but it is not perfect; lunch is definitely less well-supervised than dinner. The Lamb Bolognese, which I was practically addicted to, has become less consistent.
                                                                                                I say, hold them to high standards - if something isn't right, tell them.

                                                                                                My other favorite restaurant in Westchester is Tarry Lodge, and that the tiny Cookery holds its own against a culinary powerhouse like that says a lot.

                                                                                                Bjorn is a wonderful waiter and ambassador for the place. He's also their Events Coordinator. He is funny and generous with information and recommendations. The staff is knowledgeable about their food, and if you have concerns (like salt), don't be shy about telling them. They want you to have a great food experience.
                                                                                                The cauliflower ravioli is soothing, the osso bucco heavenly, the sweet corn rigatoni delicious. My friends had the bone marrow, and admitted that they would never have ordered it anywhere else because they trust Chef Dave, and are absolute converts. They just love it. Salads are delicate and flavorful. Anything made with pork is revelatory.
                                                                                                This is seriously sophisticated food in a warm and casual atmosphere. Yes, it's noisy, yes it's busy at peak times, but always worth it.

                                                                                                I've recently been patronizing The Cookery's Dough Nation pizza truck at local farm markets, and am super-impressed; the crust is soft and tasty (if slightly undercooked sometimes) with creative and inventive toppings, like Brussels Sprouts, interesting cheeses, and beautiful pork. One pizza is plenty for two people; or have half for lunch and reheat the other half at dinner - you will enjoy it just as much the second time.

                                                                                                1. re: newroof

                                                                                                  I'm with you.
                                                                                                  I always enjoy Cookery a lot.
                                                                                                  And to me the food is WAY better than Tarry Lodge

                                                                                                    1. re: chowdom

                                                                                                      Best restaurant in Westchester, IMHO

                                                                                                    2. re: weedy

                                                                                                      Still wanting to go there - but have you tried Italian Kitchen?

                                                                                                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                                                          Have been to Italian Kitchen. Excellent food. Must stay I still prefer Cookery though. Ambiance leaves quite a bit to be desired too.

                                                                                                2. My husband just saw on his facebook that the Cookery is closed until further notice! Any DF locals have specific news on what happened?

                                                                                                  Edit: Just found this article. An explosion.
                                                                                                  http://rivertowns.patch.com/articles/...

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                                                    "Officials are blaming a leaky butane can for a small explosion that left scorch marks and burned up some papers at The Cookery, a restaurant at 39 Chestnut St. in Dobbs Ferry, on Tuesday."

                                                                                                    a butane CAN (rather than 'canister' or "tank") makes it sound like the small hairspray sized cans I use with a blowtorch attachment.
                                                                                                    kind of thing you'd use for brulée and searing.
                                                                                                    Makes me want to rethink where I store them!

                                                                                                    hope they reopen soon.

                                                                                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                                                        They're repairing The Cookery now and will be reopening soon. Like, in the next few days. I plan to get there asap and find out firsthand about butane safety.

                                                                                                  2. Newflash: brunch at the Cookery on Saturdays and Sundays is a ridiculously good deal. 3 courses plus a cocktail for $26. The noise isn't deafening like it is at dinnertime and the food is excellent.

                                                                                                    Highlights: Easter pie, housemade mozz, buttery potatoes for appetizers... Huge portion of their always delicious lamb bolognese, rich pork confit over cheesy polenta for entrees... The maple panna cotta would have been the favorite dessert were it not for the sticky tortina with a huge scoop of Jane's ice cream.

                                                                                                    We lingered for over two hours, which was really nice. Service was very good and they were tolerant of our late arrivals. It was such a rainy dreary day last Saturday, this was the perfect place to hunker down and enjoy the company of friends and some great food!