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What towns in the suburbs have the best restaurant scenes?

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I'm trying to find clusters of really good, varied food - upscale, downscale, Asian, European, American. The kind of choices that city folks think only they have. Any towns in Westchester, Nassau or Rockland qualify?

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  1. The first thing that comes to mind is Dobbs Ferry. While I haven't been to most, the buzz about the food at The Cookery, Harper's Bar, Mykonos, and Orissa sounds good. While food and service has received iffy reviews, the views and drinks at Half Moon are supposed to be pleasant. A few other places tucked away are also supposed to be diamonds in the rough.

    Bronxville has a nice selection. Heard nothing bbut good things about Sammy's Downtown Bistro. Fogarty's isn't amazing food, but a nice place for a drink. Underhill Crossing has a great brunch. Kraft Bisto is a nice pop in before a movie. The Haiku in Bronxville is supposed to be head and shoulders above the others. Lange's Deli is expensive and crowded, but a very good deli, with great iced coffee in the summer. Mixed reviews on Rosie's, but the locals love it. Elia's Taverna (which is nowhere near the center of town - actually closer to new rochelle is serving the best Greek in Westchester. Gino's is a great place for Pizza, which is becoming a hard thing to say in Westchester. Now I'm in a minority on this one, but steer clear of Blue Moon for Mexican. Chain restaurant style food, but great Margaritas.

    I live in Eastchester/Tuckahoe and while for the most part I'm not a fan of the Italian joints (ironic fora predominately Italian area) there are good places to eat. Piper's Kilt is probably the best burger in Westchester. Mickey Spillane's is a nice place for a pint and always has some sort of entertainment. Stephen's Green is a nice Irish Pub and I think their food is vastly underrated - they actually season their food, so it's not typical pub grub. The Quarry in Tuckahoe has great variety, everything from Chicken wings to Chicken Picatta to Chicken Scarpiello. It's quietly serving some of the better Italian food around. If you like thin Crust Pizza, hit up Roma's. Don't get takeout though and steer clear of the entrees. Pizza and salad and you're safe. There's also American Bistro for a little more upscale American fare and Jackie's Bistro is a highly touted French place.

    Places I think are going to get mentioned that you should skip are Scarsdale and Larchmont. Irvington has some scenic places, but other than Red Hat and the defunct One, I hear the food leaves a lot to be desired. Armonk has some nice places, but there is too much buck for the bang.

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    Half Moon
    1 High Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

    Mykonos
    23 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

    Piper's Kilt
    434 White Plains Rd, Eastchester, NY 10709

    Sammy's Downtown Bistro
    124 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, NY 10708

    Jackie's Bistro
    434 White Plains Rd, Eastchester, NY 10709

    Mickey Spillane's
    431 White Plains Rd, Eastchester, NY 10709

    Blue Moon
    7 Pondfield Rd Ste 27, Bronxville, NY 10708

    American Bistro
    296 Columbus Avenue, Tuckahoe, NY 10707

    Orissa Restaurant
    14 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

    2 Replies
    1. re: jhopp217

      Even though I live right by Dobbs I almost never eat there despite the wide variety of options. Other than the Cookery and Harper's the food is bleh. None of the ethnic joints are remotely authentic. I do understand they are catering to a wider audience than Chowhounds but I wish they improve some.

      However in Hastings, Juniper, Buffet de la Gare and Tony's are awesome. If only Harvest, Rainwater Grill and Maud's can become what they truly can be, Hastings will become a destination.

      -----
      Rainwater Grill
      19 Main St, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

      1. re: pabboy

        Haven't been to Maud's in probably 15 years. Used to have very good food, but at the time, was way overpriced. It had a Nice little regular bar crowd and a fun atmosphere on the weekends.

    2. I live in Mahopac I think we have it pretty good here, Holy Smoke, Ramiros, The Terrace Club, Fratelli's, Marco's Restaurant, Arturo's, four brothers makes great pizza, O'Barril, and more

      -----
      Fratelli's Restaurant
      376 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541

      The Terrace Club
      825 South Lake Blvd., Mahopac, NY 10541

      2 Replies
      1. re: ryanallday

        Isn't Augies where Fratelli's was?

        -----
        Fratelli's Restaurant
        376 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541

        1. re: wincountrygirl

          Name Fratellis 2 is still on rt6

          -----
          Fratelli's Restaurant
          376 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541

      2. Port Chester:

        Tarry Lodge
        Acuario
        Bartaco
        Copacabana
        Willett House
        Nessa
        Patrias
        Tandoori
        Misti
        Los Gemelos
        Chavin
        inca and Gaucho

        i'm sure I missed many others.

        -----
        Willett House
        20 Willett Ave, Port Chester, NY 10573

        Chavin Restaurant
        16 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573

        Acuario Restaurant
        163 N Main St Ste 209, Port Chester, NY 10573

        Patrias Restaurant
        35 N Main St, Port Chester, NY 10573

        Tarry Lodge
        18 Mill St, Port Chester, NY 10573

        6 Replies
        1. re: pabboy

          Slapping myself for not adding Port Chester. I'd even add Maryann's for above average Mexican. Haven't been there in two years, but last time I was there, they made great margaritas and had the best fresh salsa around. I also miss FISH

          1. re: jhopp217

            Mary Ann's is closed.

            1. re: valerie

              Moved to center of town, same block as Copacabana.

              1. re: Westjanie

                Did not know that. I have no intention of going there but passed by last week on our way to Misti and just saw the old location empty.

          2. re: pabboy

            Of course! I forgot about Port Chester. Thanks.

            1. re: pabboy

              Add Aqui Es Santa Fe

            2. Mount Kisco for sure.

              Nassau, LI you asked about? Out of my area of knowledge, but I believe on LI the "towns" have less distinctive boundaries and overlap a lot, with few real "downtowns". So your question would be much more difficult to answer for there...

              1. I don't think anything in Westchester stacks up to New York. We have some things that are OK. We just got a couple of falafel places. "Open Table" in Eastchester is pretty good even it it is not up there with the best of the best in NY (there is another one called Ta'iim in Hastings but I have never been). We still have no vietnamese or real chinese. And from what I hear the Mexican is OK, but not up to LA standards (or even outer boroughs). Rockland has a Vietnamese place but I have never been there. I like my local Pizza Place in Fleetwood (Joe's). Otherwise, I think everything is just ok and too pricey. The Bayou is a case in point. It is a great fun place to have around the corner, but I can't recommend the food to lovers of Creole/Cajun food. I would like to try the Greek Place in Bronxville as I have heard nothing but good about it.

                29 Replies
                1. re: jcmods

                  Sure as a whole, no city in the world stacks up to NYC. You can get any food almost any time. Westchester does have a few places that does a few items well enough to go up against NYC. When it's on, dimsum at Aberdeen is better than Jing Fong, Golden Unicorn, Ping's or Dim Sum Go Go. Yes Flushing and Sunset has better places but they are a nice distance and toll away.

                  -----
                  Jing Fong
                  58 Route 59, Monsey, NY 10952

                  1. re: pabboy

                    Silly comparison. YOu can't walk out of a restaurant in the City and walk around an atmospheric, quiet downtown area. And there are some good eating choices in WEstchester, although with 10,000 restos in the city there's bound to be something better if only by a small margin...

                    Apples & oranges.

                    1. re: pabboy

                      London stacks up very favourably with NYC - things have changed! I was a Westchester resident for 30+ years and am finding this discussion very interesting as I now live in the UK. We had a very limited number of choices years ago but it sounds like things have somewhat improved. I'm happy to hear American Bistro is still going.. knew the owner when he was starting out.

                      -----
                      American Bistro
                      8 Church Rd, Big Indian, NY 12410

                      1. re: pabboy

                        It's just that when I compare Westchester with New Jersey, New Jersey seems to have some really great ethnic restaurants and street food type joints. Westchester is all Italian and Chinese Fusion with a few other things that aren't so good, or are too expensive to qualify as hole in the Wall.

                        1. re: jcmods

                          Sounds like you've only hangout in White Plains and Bronxville. Have you been to Peruvian, Columbian & Mexican joints in Port Chester?

                          1. re: jcmods

                            Port Chester, New Rochelle and parts of Yonkers have many different types of ethnic food. Not all places are great, but if you do a little research (drive by during lunch and see who is waiting in line) it's a pretty good indication.

                            1. re: jhopp217

                              You can add Mt. Kisco and, to a lesser extent?, Sleepy Hollow and Ossining.

                        2. re: jcmods

                          Fleetwood Joe's is solid! Not the same and nowhere near Lincoln Lounge, but solid food and pizza. You're are on the money with the Bayou. What is Open Table? I live in Eastchester and don't know if you wrote the wrong thing or I'm missing somehting

                          -----
                          Lincoln Lounge
                          209 Stevens Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

                          1. re: jhopp217

                            Unless it closed already, "open table" (yes very bad name for a kosher place as it is not evocative and easily confused with the website of the same name) is the last storefront on the north side of Mill Road. It seems everyone has a very hard time finding it because their sign is blocked by a tree. You are better off just parking in the Stop N Shop Parking lot and looking for it on foot. You can sit at the counter or get takeout. It was probably a tiny diner/lunchcounter type place before.

                            PS...Seems their Web site changed since the last time I posted and it does say "closed for renovations" WTF

                            http://www.opentablekosher.com/

                            Is Lincoln Lounge worth checking out? What else do they have? Have you tried any of the other Brazilian Places in Mt. Vernon? I was going to once, but could not get a takeout menu. All they have is a handwritten menu in Portuguese. I don't care if it is Portuguese because I can probably figure it out. But it is very very difficult to get menu's from these places. (And I want to know what is on the menu before I spend money....everything is so geared to teh Churrascuria that I want to know if they have feijoada or anything else on the menu). Needless to say, I have heard good things about Padminas and Lincoln BBQ (although I heard the latter is "too salty" which is a deal killer in my book).

                            -----
                            Lincoln Lounge
                            209 Stevens Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

                            1. re: jcmods

                              Actually Open Table Kosher has a Facebook page with pictures. It is too good to be gone. Please no...

                              http://www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Ta...

                              1. re: jcmods

                                OH, that place. Sadly it was gone before I could try it. Good food, absolutely awful marketing plan. Opening up in a town that is nearly 90% catholic isn't a good place for a Kosher place. Close to Wykagl, but not close enough. I heard the foos was great.

                                Don't go to Lincoln Lounge to be wowed. It's a dump. BUt it's a dump with the best pizza. Get their thin crust pie (have to get with sausage) and their thin crust garlic and tomato sicilian. A cold antipasta might be nice, but go for the pizza.

                                -----
                                Lincoln Lounge
                                209 Stevens Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

                                1. re: jhopp217

                                  Wow. I think we may have eaten there two months ago....not exactly sure. The being closed on Saturday thing was definitely what kept me from going more often. However, I thought I read other reviewers on Yelp etc. say the place was PACKED with families. Of course, most of these non-discerning types ordered burgers and thought it was terrible. But the falafel I had was good. They made no effort to be known I guess. I am not even sure how I found it other than googling "falafel westchester." But it's true, nobody could find it even with explicit instructions. I almost couldn't find it.

                                  As for Lincoln Lounge, I like Old School dumps. I may have to give it try.

                                  -----
                                  Lincoln Lounge
                                  209 Stevens Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

                                  1. re: jcmods

                                    Closing Friday night and being closed Saturday killed them. Obviously, they did no research on the town they were opening in. I did laundry right next door and stopped by a few times for a drink (I stupidly always seemed to have just eaten wjen I did laundry). The place was always packed with...parents and kids getting burgers!

                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                      If you are supposed to be Kosher, you can't open on Fri night or Saturday!

                                      1. re: menton1

                                        True, but if you want customers outside of Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens then you should be open on Saturday (lots of Catholics llike me like Falafel since they started to proliferate in the 80's... it is one of the only cheap street foods NY excels at). Lots of good Falafel places are open Saturday. It's just my luck that the only good ones that decide to open near me have the Saturday law. (Really, Sunday is not a good day for falafel for me because I usually cook on Sunday).

                                        1. re: jcmods

                                          JCMODS SAYS: "(... it is one of the only cheap street foods NY excels at)." :

                                          come on! get a grip!

                                          1. re: cubanat

                                            Other than dirt water dogs & pizza, what else is there that is cheap and ubiquitous (and kind of identified with NY)? What I mean is: if a visitor was coming from out of town, which snack would I say "You gotta have." I would go with Pizza and Falafel (because our dirtwater dogs smothered in greasy onions, while being a matter of local pride, do not seem likely to impress an outsider).

                                            1. re: jcmods

                                              any of the halal skewer vendors, roasted nuts, preztels, the chinese baby pacncake-cake carts, the chinese noodle carts, etc...I agrre that the onion sauce in the last 15 years sucks but as a ny-er I get mine with raw chopped onions, sauerkraut ketchup and mustard...to me at least that is quintessential NY...
                                              add the last 5 years of cart & truck boom and add in doughnuts, cupcakes belgian waffles, tacos, pupusas, empanadas, the lady in brooklyn that sells the corn cakes that I can't remeber right now what they are called...I could go on...

                                          2. re: jcmods

                                            How would you suggest that a Kosher restaurant open on Saturday? Convert to another religion?

                                            1. re: jcmods

                                              Elia Taverna in Bronxville (Chester Heights) serves falafel.

                                              1. re: chowdom

                                                Is it any good? I love greek food, but have had terrible falafels in Greek restaurants.

                                                1. re: jcmods

                                                  Taiim in Hastings has falafels. Not bad. Not gonna complain since anything better is at least 30 minutes away.

                                                  1. re: jcmods

                                                    Why would anyone go to a Greek restaurant and get a falafel? There menu has so many other things I'd rather have. And that's not knocking falafel.

                                              2. re: menton1

                                                mention1, 2nd Avenue Deli is open on Saturdays and so is Ben's Deli and they are both kosher.

                                                1. re: valerie

                                                  NOT kosher! "Kosher style". Big difference!

                                                  1. re: menton1

                                                    Really? 2nd Avenue Deli is kosher style?

                                                    http://www.2ndavedeli.com/about/koshe...

                                                    I think you are confusing kosher and glatt kosher.

                                                    1. re: valerie

                                                      I'm not, you are!

                                                2. re: menton1

                                                  Did you read my second sentence? I'm well aware of the kosher "laws." But when you open in a town of 90% Italian and Irish Catholics, you better expect to be out of business soon.

                                                  1. re: jhopp217

                                                    And there are lots of good falafels that are not closed on Saturday. Whether they are technicaly Kosher or not is irrelevant. The ones that ARE open Saturday must be either Israeli but not strictly religious or palestinian, lebanese etc. I am one of those people who thinks a falafel joint can succeed outside a Jewish/Muslim enclave....but it better be open on Friday and Saturday.