Hudson valley day trip or....
My husband and I are thinking about taking a day off on Friday, December 13th to celebrate my birthday. We have two young kids at home with a babysitter so we will have from 9 to 5 to do whatever we want. I am thinking about going to Rockefeller mansion tour. Is this as good as the ones in Newport? Also, most importantly, where should we eat for breakfast and lunch? We like everything and price is not an object.
I like Lyndhurst Castle better re: bang for your buck. Kykuit is impressive, but not as impressive IMHO. Lyndhurst should be nicely decked out for the holidays by then, too.
I don't know about breakfast, but think X20 in Yonkers would make a nice spot for lunch (Hudson River front, good food, etc.).
These folks seem to have been dedicated breakfasters, so perhaps spend some time looking at their site (I am going to, for sure!)
Have an enjoyable day off.
If you go to Lyndhurst, for lunch check out Mina in Irvington or Cedar Street Grill (make sure you have the brussels sprouts!) for lunch.
For breakfast, how about heading up the Saw Mill to Pleasantville and having breakfast at Jean-Jacques? Might also want to buy some delicious baked goods to take home--great almond croissants, macarons, pastries, tartes, cakes, quiches.
I don't think Kykuit is open the month of December. I feel the Kykuit tour was worth it for the Carriage house alone which IMO is one of the most beautiful spaces in the County and often rented out for corporate functions. I did the tour in the spring and would recommend doing the same to take advantage of the gardens as well. I would suggest checking the Historic Hudson Valley website for house tour and event dates.
There is no shortage of good food in Tarrytown and surrounding areas, did you have anything specific in mind? Sorry, I see you mentioned that you like everything, my pick would be Mint Premium Foods in Tarrytown.
Yes, I checked their website and it doesn't look like they are open in December. That's too bad!!
There are some great restaurants recommended here. I will save this list for later when the mansions are open.
Anybody know if there are other cute things to do? i live in Northern NJ so anything that doesn't require a long drive.
Otherwise, we are going to do some breakfast and lunch in Manhattan and go to Morgan's library for an exhibition.
How about going to Beacon and seeing Dia Beacon and some of the other sights? That way, you can take the lovely Palisade's Parkway (plus no traffic problems) and go over the scenic Bear Mountain Bridge.
There are some lovely places to eat in Cold Spring, but I'll defer to people more familiar with the area to mention specific spots. There should also be places in Beacon that would be worth checking out.
Boscobel in Garrison is lovely, too, but I haven't toured the house, just the grounds, and it will probably be too cold to explore the grounds. The views are gorgeous, though. Nancy C, I had no idea that Lyndhurst was any more than the craft fair, shame on me for living in the area so long and not knowing that! They're closed till the end of the month, but I am definitely going to have to go there to visit.
Monica, you have some really good options, depending on what you are in the mood for and what area you will be in. If you will be in the Westchester area...
If you are looking for upscale... River market in Tarrytown (no river views, sadly) and Kittle House in Chappaqua are owned by the same people and the food is very good at both. Check out the websites to see which suits your taste more. River market is more modern and trendy, whereas Kittle House is more cozy and historic. Kittle House does offer weekday breakfasts, which I have never had (though I have had their excellent Sunday brunch, and they do that very well). I can see having a really nice, probably quiet breakfast there on a weekday. The Tap Room is cozier than the main dining areas, but also darker. River market serves lunch and would be convenient to Kykuit if you decide to go there.
Also upscale: North in Armonk. The chef there has won multiple awards. The food is excellent and the restaurant is well loved by numerous Westchester CHs.
Beautiful views: As Nancy recommended, X2O's views are impressive. I haven't been there in several years so I can't comment on the food. Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry is a gorgeous space with dramatic views, but the food can be a bit hit or miss. They make really great cocktails.
Quirky neighborhood spots: A bit further north in Peekskill are two gems, Birdsall House and Peekskill brewery. If you did decide to go up to Garrison, both would be very convenient for lunch. Birdsall House is a very interesting, historic building with a sort of rogue farm to table/Southern influenced menu. Practically everything is made in house and the beer list is insane. Service can be awful or excellent. Peekskill Brewery is upscale American bar fare, a little less kooky than BH, and brews some very drinkable beers including a few sours (which I like). If you go upstairs, there are several table with river views (also views of the historic site of Abraham Lincoln's visit, if I remember correctly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peekskil...).
Whatever you decide, enjoy, and please post back! Oh, and happy birthday! I'm a December baby too and I try to fit in as many birthday meals as possible. :)