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Jun 10, 2009 08:14 PM

Where to go if you only have a car for one day.

Like many in NYC, I don't own a car, but I have one next Saturday. So, my question is quite simple. Where should we go to dinner that we could otherwise not get to (i.e. a little gem that isn't accessible by public transport)?

Am really open to any cuisine or suggestion. Just want it to be somewhere I otherwise would have a hard time seeing.

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  1. I have not been recently, but my choice would be Berta's Chateau in Wanaque, NJ. It is something you will not find in Manhattan, a classic 1950's- 60's Italian/Continental menu with multiple courses, for a reasonable price. The restaurant has been in the same family since the 1920's. Though very traditional, the food is very well prepared, and you get a lot of it. Service is old-school, on the formal side, and the atmosphere is somewhat rustic. The big attraction for me is the extensive Italian wine list. The owner is a wine enthusiast who travels to Italy frequently to find the best of every region. You will not find a better selection of Italian wines anywhere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      David Drake, Rahway, NJ.
      Nicolas, Middletown, NJ
      X2O, Yonkers, NY

      Also: It's about a 75 minute drive from the GW Bridge, but it is an EXCEPTIONAL place and worth the time! It's "off the radar" and only has 9 tables, ("a little gem") but the food, service, and ambience are a truly wonderful restaurant experience. Beautiful area as well.
      Antelao, in Delaware Water Gap, Pa.

      1. re: menton1

        X20 in Yonkers has a METRO North station right across the street, so save your car day for other sites.

    2. Blue Hill at Stone Barns! You can visit the farm as well as have a great meal.

        1. re: phantomdoc

          Blue Hill is kind of what I'm not looking for (i.e. somewhere widly reported in the national press. Good food no doubt, but a price tag to match). It's kind of like me asking where to eat outside London and 'the fat duck' as a response.

          I'm looking for a hole in the wall, somewhere that serves decent chow (or better). I don't care if its a country farm or an original joint in a strip mall.

          1. re: Agedbeef

            You don't have to eat at the restaurant at Blue Hill. There is a cafe there that is more affordable, no reservations and you get to see the place too.

            1. re: Agedbeef

              It would be really helpful if you would state your price range so we would not waste our time and yours making suggestions that are not suitable for you, as apparently you are not "open to any suggestion".

          2. For arguably the best BBQ in the region, Big W's Roadside BBQ on Route 22 n Wingdale, Dutchess County.

            Staggering ribs, brisket, smoked chicken, wings. Google them for the menu and directions.

            Now, in fairness, there is a Metro-North stop in Harlem Valley Wingdale, but Big W's is maybe a mile or so south of the station, so you can decide whether you need your car. The nice thing about the car is you can take it home he leftovers (or, perhaps, another order) more easily.

            1. The Schoolhouse in Cannondale in Wilton, CT. The chef/owner took historic tiny old schoolhouse in village of Cannondale and turned it into an outstanding restaurant. The location is in a very cute historic but small village - just a few shops including this restaurant, some galleries and a British shoppe selling British groceries. Definitely need a car to get there as nearest metro station is about 20 minute car ride away.

              6 Replies
              1. re: SeoulQueen

                Thanks for all the replies so far! Price isn't really an issue. I think the whole point is that something doesn't have to be expensive or critically acclaimed to be good.

                1. re: Agedbeef

                  What about Bigelow's clams in Rockville Centre? A day at the beach, and grab some chow there, the place is totally intense, counter seating, or you could get to go and eat it at the beach, too. And then go to another spot on the island for dinner, or hit somewhere in Queens on your way back to the city.

                  1. re: janie

                    Definitely a good rec if you like fried seafood! I wouldn't suggest getting it to go, though, as it's...fried seafood. Still, you're close enough to take a ride to Jones Beach...

                    1. re: Curlz

                      yeah, you're right, we never make it out of the parking lot, if it's to go. We sit in the car and gobble it up---got used to doing this when we had the baby with us sleeping in the car...

                2. re: SeoulQueen

                  >>>The Schoolhouse in Cannondale in Wilton, CT. ...Definitely need a car to get there as nearest metro station is about 20 minute car ride away.<<<

                  Excepting, of course, the Cannondale Metro North Station, which is about 100 yards...


                  1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                    oh you're kidding! lol! ha ha! :) well I've only been there at night and even if I saw the train station I must have assumed it was part of the historic
                    "charm" factor! well it's good to know because next time i go, i'll take the train so both my DH and I can drink!