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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.

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  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.