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Westchester - any restaurants people DO like? Dinner for 4

Having a birthday dinner for 4 in Westchester on a Sunday night.
Have already tried Cookery, Red Hat and X20. Is that it? Is there anything else people like? Lots of negativity on Westchester on these boards and I couldn't agree more. Just wondering if there are any yet discovered. I live in hope...

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  1. We had a nice dinner at Peniche-- tapas in White Plains. We thought is was tun and good.

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    Peniche
    175 Main St, White Plains, NY 10601

    2 Replies
    1. re: debmom

      Agreed on Peniche, I went with 3 friends and everything we tried was good to very good and the bill was more than reasonable.
      I also love Haiku in Bronxville - The new Haikus have been getting some negative reviews here on chowhound, but the one in Bronxville is great. I'm actually going Thursday night with a group of friends if you want more info.

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      Peniche
      175 Main St, White Plains, NY 10601

      1. re: debmom

        Is it still open, or did it just take the sign down? I drove by the other day and thought it looked closed.

      2. If you don't want to pay exorbitant prices and get tiny bits of food, then yes, you are very limited.

        Re restaurants that I have tried, X20 and Restaurant X in Congers (not Westchester) are it for excellent.

        I have not been to Cookery or Red Hat, but those are supposed to be very good.

        I have these on my 'must try' list, and they are supposed to be very, very good: Iron Forge Inn in Warwick (obviously not in Westchester), Zuppa in Yonkers, Buffet De La Gare in Hastings on Hudson, Crave and Twist in POK and Valley in Garrison (again, not in Westchester). The others on my 'must try' list are not notable.

        Good luck. Westchester is a vast wasteland when it comes to excellent restaurants.

        8 Replies
        1. re: anonymouse1935

          I have chosen Buffet de la Gare for my birthday supper the last two years, and have been very happy!

          1. re: anonymouse1935

            I hope the others on my 'must try' list are as good as Crave. Service was impeccable, food was outstanding, and they know how to execute a drink.

            Scallops, shrimp and filet mignon were deemed excellent, cooked as requested. Foie gras was sublime. Even the bread was different. The only disappointment was the dessert, it lacked the OMG factor and was too small.

            Space is small, but not overly loud.

            Portions aren't enough to bring home, but not many places are today. Prices in the $50. a person range.

            1. re: anonymouse1935

              Had a wonderful evening at another on my list -- Zuppa in Yonkers. Not easy to get to, but a lovely space. Service was immediate and impeccable, and the drink was perfect.

              A 'tiny plate' (I actually tried a tiny plate!) of salumeria was enough for the table and the cheeses were delicious, as was a macerated fruit accompaniment. The meats were deemed very good as well.

              My appetizer of grilled calamari, served on skewers, was amazing - tender and unusual. The salad and burrata were also enjoyed.

              I chose the shortrib entree for the polenta (brought home the shortrib) and chose well. The pork chop and salmon were enjoyed, as was an Italian fish by one companion. The fish, whose name began with an 'O' and which I cannot remember, was not to another companion's liking, and was taken off the bill.

              Desserts were delightful -- a personal upside down cake with gelato (a birthday treat on the house), zeppole with three dipping sauces, and a very unique red velvet gelato.

              Total bill, with tip, was approx. $60. a person, and worth every penny. I HIGHly recommend Zuppa, which also has the brilliance to valet park the car.

              Now 'this' is what a restaurant should be.

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              Zuppa Restaurant
              55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

              1. re: anonymouse1935

                Thank you for the vivid recap - reminds me how badly I need to get back here!!

                1. re: wincountrygirl

                  Not Westchester. It's in POK, but given the dearth of outstanding restaurants in Westchester, it's worth the trip.

                  1. re: anonymouse1935

                    Does POK refer to Poughkeepsie? Not a real familiar abbreviation.

            2. Zeph's in Peekskill is terrific. Make sure you have a reservation.

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              Zephs' Restaurant
              638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

              2 Replies
              1. re: Elisa515

                We also like Crabtree Kittle House and Iron Horse Grill. For Italian, we were at Zuppa in Yonkers for New Year's Eve, they did an excellent job (wasn't expecting the quality on a holiday) the food was very good, so we've wanted to go back on a regular night ever since, just haven't made it.

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                Crabtree
                226 Jericho Tpke, Floral Park, NY 11001

                Iron Horse Grill
                20 Wheeler Ave, Pleasantville, NY 10570

                Zuppa Restaurant
                55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

                1. re: owlwoman

                  Negative nellies you all are huh? It depends upon what one considers excellent!! If you want latin eats then Port Chester has some excellent places right? Peniche & Cookery are solid on solid nights which are the usual case. Now that consistency might be the issue at many westchester places. I have had fantastic dishes at Whitby Castle that border on heavenly but also a lackluster club sandwich from the same kitchen! Other than the places you already mentoned I would try tarry lodge, 42, Sushi Nanase, FISH, Zeph's I have not tried yet but have heard good things. Let us know what happens and don't give up on westchester!! (do try harvest supper and the school house though both in ct!!)

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                  Nanase
                  522 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605

                  Peniche
                  175 Main St, White Plains, NY 10601

                  Zephs' Restaurant
                  638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

                  Whitby Castle
                  330 Boston Post Rd, Rye, NY

              2. The negativity seems to be limited to a small, vocal group of people on this board. Please don't lose hope in Westchester based on those opinions alone. I would highly recommend Tarry Lodge for a b-day dinner... that's where I had my b-day dinner this past year and it was excellent and a lot of fun. Zephs', as someone else mentioned, is also excellent food-wise, but it is very sedate and quiet compared to Tarry Lodge. TL is definitely more of a "scene."

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                Zephs' Restaurant
                638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

                1. And then there is the big daddy -- Stone Barns...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: roxlet

                    i would love stone barns if the chef from the cookery had it! barber's better at the city blue hill for some reason. the bar though has good cocktails.

                    1. re: cubanat

                      The Bedford Post Inn Farmhouse is far better than Stone Barns.

                  2. Thanks for all the advice. I've been to Cookery, Red Hat and X20 and agree these are great. I may try Bedford Post Barn or Fish. It's really a tough one... sigh....

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: brooklynbyotch

                      If you haven't been yet, Zuppa in Yonkers is excellent. Very cool room - almost like an old warehouse feel; exposed brick - great bar, and great food. Nice place to go for a fun time.

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                      Zuppa Restaurant
                      55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

                      1. re: wpfoodie

                        not a fan of zuppa, food is mediocre imho

                        1. re: wpfoodie

                          Zuppa is definitely one of the best spots in Westchester. Delicately prepared and nicely portioned food (i.e. not overwhelming as most of the cruddy Italian places in the area), proper Italian wine list, attentive service (of course I would recommend that nobody should ever eat out on a Friday or Saturday evening anywhere in Westchester).

                          The space is a beautiful old Gazette printing house.

                          Anyway - intrepid's review below is not fair.

                          -----
                          Zuppa Restaurant
                          55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

                          1. re: ChairmanMeeow

                            Sorry, I respectfully disagree. Went twice, hated it twice! Sauce tastes like it comes out of a can. Had an odd metalic taste. Yes, unfortunately, I'm one of those nasty super-tasters and I can reverse engineer a dish in about 4 bites. There's better!

                        2. re: brooklynbyotch

                          I am one who is very critical, but I should preface that with I only care about food. I could care less about decor, service, even atmoshpere. If the food is good I like the place. FISH is wonderful. I've been there about four times and only once did I have a complaint and it was about a sauce that was just a little too much. Luckily it was on the side, so I didn't have to eat it. Get there early and I they give you a bottle of wine (atleast they did the last time I was there). I have always enjoyed myself...but beware, it can get a little loud if you're bothered by that.

                          1. re: jhopp217

                            I second this! Food should be 99.5% of it! Service the rest. well said Jhopps

                            1. re: jhopp217

                              I second the recommendation for F.I.S.H. It's one of our favorites. We've generally had the best luck with food in Port Chester and tend to eat there a lot. A few other places that haven't been mentioned:

                              Nessa (Port Chester)
                              Sonora (Port Chester)
                              Spadaro (New Ro) - this one gets mixed reviews and we've only been once about 1.5 years ago but it was great when we went.

                              Btw, sort of off topic but depending where you live in Westchester, we also love Roberto's and Zero Otto Nove on Arthur Ave. That's only about 20 minutes from lower Westchester.

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                              Spadaro
                              211 Main St, New Rochelle, NY 10801

                              1. re: mla19

                                Agree on Nessa and Sonora. Just went to Sonora for the first time last night. Good vibe (though a little loud) and tasty food, particularly the lobster quesadillas and the guacamole. Sangria was good too.

                                1. re: mla19

                                  Spadaro is wonderful, I've enjoyed my meal and the service every time I've been there.

                                  1. re: mla19

                                    There are times I've gone to Sonora and love it and other times I hated it. Their problem is they are not consistent. Their service can be great and other times it is terrible, and it has nothing to do with how busy they are. F.I.S.H is consistently good on all counts.

                              2. Le Jardin de Roi in Chappaqua. (Bill & Hill eat there occasionally)

                                Half Moon in Dobbs (especially outdoors)

                                Lexington Square in Mt Kisco

                                Underhill's in Bronxville

                                Westchester has its share of decent places.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: menton1

                                  LEX Square? YUCK! Two dishes were sent out with RAW softshell crabs and,,, sent out twice. How do I know? They were greenish-blue. Waitress told us that they were cooked properly. What a DOPE! Lex SUX!

                                2. Love X20!
                                  Try Tavern at The Garrison in Cold Spring. I suppose that's really Putnam Cnty, but it is fantastic.
                                  Also, The Flying Pig in Mt. Kisco is really good.

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                                  Flying Pig
                                  251 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco, NY 10549

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: silver_swan

                                    post road ale house, new rochelle..best darn crab cakes ever....

                                  2. I CAN'T DECIDE BETWEEN ZUPPA AND XO.

                                    CAN WE HAVE THEM SQUARE OFF HERE?

                                    6 Replies
                                      1. re: 75 percent cacao

                                        Zuppa is very, very good. Service is outstanding, drinks are excellent and food (with a few exceptions at my table) is very good.

                                        X20 has all of the above and the view.

                                        So if you haven't been to either, start with X20. Then go to Zuppa another day. You won't be disappointed.

                                        1. re: 75 percent cacao

                                          X20 is clearly the more refined restaurant, and on almost all accounts the superior of the two. Zuppa, on the other hand, is still a great restaurant in its own right, and may actually be better suited for a group looking to be loud and fun. Hope that helps!!

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                                          Zuppa Restaurant
                                          55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

                                          1. re: wpfoodie

                                            guess i had a bad night there, had a horrible meal, never went back

                                            1. re: intrepid

                                              X20 can be a touch inconsistent to the extent that they try things that don't work. That's ok. I love the fact that I've seen Peter Kelly in there almost every time I've visited. It's a great restaurant experience at the same price that most others give a merely ok (or worse) experience. Zuppa, in my opinion was nothing special. that makes sense as the chef that everyone loved now owns the cookery in dobbs.

                                              Not that people should need an excuse, but Costco is selling gift cards to X2O (or any of Kelly's restaurants) for 20% off aka $80 for $100 worth of gift cards. That makes x20 a comparative bargain.

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

                                              Zuppa Restaurant
                                              55 Main St, Yonkers, NY 10701

                                              1. re: gordoma

                                                great tip gordoma! i may join costco now. any location in particular?

                                        2. 1. Bedford Post Inn- beautiful decor and ambience, food is among the best in westchester by far, service is spotty. But one of a small handful of restaurants with NYC quality food.
                                          2. Blue Hill at Stone Barns- I (respectfully) disagree with a prior post that Dan Barber's cooking is better in NYC. Ask for the farmer's tasting menu- they have obliged even when it's not offered on the menu that night. You will NOT be disappointed.
                                          3. Tarry Lodge (Port Chester)- yeah, I know- Mario Batali is a sell-out, he's taking over the world, branding everything around him, blah blah blah. But if you want a great wine list and a really good pizza or pasta, this is your place. The bar is a more relaxed after work dinner option.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: ajaxshazam

                                            Bedord Post is ok food wise. The decor is boring and conservative which I like but it's nothing that is stylistically great. It's basically an ok resto that considering the prices they are charging should be better.
                                            Blue Hill--agree to disagree. I know tons of people that think it's god's gift to dining. I think again that considering what they are working with it just falls flat for me
                                            Tarry lodge I love. Great pizzas and better pastas.

                                            1. re: cubanat

                                              I agree on Blue Hill. Overhyped.

                                              Bedford Post was very good, but is too expensive.

                                              Is Tarry Lodge really still just about the pizza and pasta? After all this time, Batali hasn't figured out how to make an entree that's as good as the pizza? I find that sad.

                                              1. re: anonymouse1935

                                                sad? try getting into babbo. for tarry lodge the entrees are ok and often may be great but they are not what you go there for. the pizzas and pastas are exceptional. i think they raised the prices on some of the pizzas and kept the entrees somewhat steady even...$18 for the guanciale and fried egg pie is a bit much even with a smattering of black truffle.

                                                1. re: cubanat

                                                  FWIW I find Tarry Lodge almost always over salted.. to the point that I suspect someone in the kitchen is just a serious salt addict and doesn't taste it anymore.
                                                  But I agree the pastas are the thing and outshine the mains (as at most Batali restaurants).
                                                  I liked Zuppa much more, until the chef left for Cookery, which we LOVE.
                                                  Zuppa has been disappointing ever since.

                                                  X2O is also pricey but well worth it, and beautiful as well.

                                                  If you want to go north a bit, then Aroma Osteria in Wappinger's Falls is exceptionally good.

                                                  I also like Sonora in Port Chester (kind of nuevo Latino).

                                                  finally, Don Emilio in Chappaqua has become our favourite Mexican in Westchester; by a LOT.

                                                  -----
                                                  Aroma Osteria
                                                  114 Old Post Rd, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590

                                          2. Le Jardin de Roi in Chappaqua. (Bill & Hill eat there occasionally)

                                            Half Moon in Dobbs (especially outdoors)

                                            Lexington Square in Mt Kisco

                                            Underhill's in Bronxville

                                            Westchester has its share of decent places.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: menton1

                                              You posted this exact post in April--Bill and Hil occasionally dining there aside, I find Le Jardin de Roi ridiculously overpriced--the garden is pretty, but come on, $24 for moules frites? Nary a bottle of decent wine for under $40? Similar food in a similar setting can be had for a fraction of the price at Le Bouchon in Cold Spring...

                                              1. re: Marge

                                                Tried Le Jardin de Roi for the first time Thursday night. Eh. Beet salad was good, but it would have been better with a little less ginger and a little more goat cheese. Steak was decent, but the "cookie cutter" veggies were just that, "cookie cutter," and the potato gratin was over-run with bitter-tasting garlic. I guess it's more of a simple lunch, or simple menu item place.

                                                1. re: byramgirl

                                                  Had an awesome meal at sweetgrass grill this past week. laid back vibe, great local-centric menu lots of fried eggs and bacon studded menu items. super place--wish I tried it sooner!

                                            2. There's a very nice restaurant in Eastchester called Toscana Ristorante. I was there a few weeks ago with my family and the food is excellent. They also have an outdoor patio. This is the website for anyone interested in checking it out. www.toscana-ristorante.com

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Olivia V.

                                                Agree, Toscana is always good. Great menu and attentive service from Domenico -- either an owner or the maitre'd (or both). Inventive, interesting food and reasonably priced. Try the homemade fruit tart for dessert.

                                                Also, have never had a bad meal at Rosie's Bistro in Bronxville..

                                              2. Yes there is hope. Thyme is a new place in Yorktown Heights, on 202 near the Taconic, open just four weeks. I had dinner with three friends two weeks ago. Duck breast, Arctic Char, Veal Chop and Pork Chop were the entrees around. Everyone agreed they were "perfect". Good service with typical minor start up issues. Ambiance is intimate and sophisticated, designed by Jeffrey Beer from NYC. I asked. Manhattan high end at Westchester prices. I'm going back next Friday to check out lunch.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: brokerx7

                                                  Hi broker, a few issues....First and foremost--Westchester prices, for me, aren't a good thing! Please elaborate....
                                                  Also--this is your first post on chowhound--what other restaurants do you like??

                                                  1. re: Marge

                                                    I live across the river in Orange and stopped commuting to Manhattan years ago so I am not all that current on the stuff in Westchester or NYC. If I find a place I like I tell people. Thyme is the first place in Orange or Westchester that makes my cut. Well there is Il Cene Colo in Newburgh for Tuscan style Italian food. Two place that I like in Manhattan and have been to recently are Bond Street and Japonais. Most of the high priced spread are just that, expensive with good food. Why go? Just to say that you have been?

                                                    My personal list of great places in NYC are mostly gone now, Larres and Leopard for example. Of the NY steak houses, I like Ben Benson but haven't been back in years. Manducati's in Long Island City is a great place and still alive and well.

                                                    I like dining in a place that has character, good food and you leave having had an enjoyable evening.

                                                    1. re: brokerx7

                                                      I disagree about Il Cena'colo. Way way overpriced ($20 for a plate of pasta in tomato sauce) and a reminder of Italian-American restaurants back in the 1970s, IMHO. For half the price, a much better experience is to be had at Cosimo's.

                                                      P.S. Not sure what "Tuscan style" means. Nothing on this menu to be found anywhere in Tuscany, to be sure. Signature Tuscan dishes: Ribollita, (bread soup) Artichokes tigami, or Bacelli with Pecorino, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, just to name some.

                                                      1. re: menton1

                                                        @menton1 Cosimo's ? You are kidding right? Noisy, weak service and so so food. Which location? As to the price of the pasta, it could be that pricey but why get pasta in a restaurant?

                                                        Signature Tuscan dishes not on the menu? This is Orange County, why be surprised. The place has to meet the traffic if it wants to stay in business.

                                                        1. re: brokerx7

                                                          Well, I just think that Il Cena'colo is way overpriced, and a throwback to the 70s. Cosimo's is hip, priced right, and the food is fresher and better prepared. Don't get fooled that the price and snobbery of IC makes for a better meal.

                                                          I am talking about the Cosimo's in Newburgh, on Rte 300.

                                                          You used the words "Tuscan style", I was asking why you used that term, since nothing on that menu resembles anything you would see at a restaurant in Tuscany.

                                                          1. re: menton1

                                                            Have you ever wondered why there are so many different restaurants out their? So many ideas about "a good place". Enjoy Cosimo's if that's your thing. I'm not impressed but hey, that's just me. Your choice of "hip" really says it all. That usually means "the place all the sheep in my herd are going."

                                                            1. re: brokerx7

                                                              Well, my "herd" likes restaurants that don't attract folks that have a need to overpay for average food, that are fooled by supposed- authentic "Italian food from Italy" claims, and that think that dining at overpriced places has snob appeal.

                                                              1. re: menton1

                                                                @menton1 Not bad, a stung out ad hominum and a negative against a restaurant all in the same paragraph. Quite the wizard you are. I stand by my statements and do not find it necessary to tear down another place or person to stand taller. But, that's just me.