Great Martinis at Westchester Restaurants and Bars
In the mood for a twist on the classic? Westchester is filled to the brim with options that shake and stir up the original.
Long before James Bond made the “shaken, not stirred” martini his drink of choice, mixologists the world over have been perfecting—and reinventing—it. Sure, it’s nice to have a stiff one straight up with a twist every now and then, but, when you’ve had “one of those days” (or weeks) at the office, there’s nothing like a creatively concocted, filled-to-the-brim martini to get your juices flowing again. Here’s a rundown on where to go when you’re in the mood for a new take on an old favorite.
NoMa Social, New Rochelle
With 35 martini choices—including 10 with less than 150 calories—it’s hard to pick just one, especially when the menu entices you with frivolous names like Panties Off (Stoli Razberi, triple sec, cranberry juice, lemon-lime soda, melon liqueur, fresh raspberries); No Gym Tomorrow (Absolut Citron, club soda, pomegranate juice, açai juice, lime juice, and fresh blueberries); and Confirmed Bachelor (Tanqueray gin, triple sec, fresh-squeezed lemon juice). In the mood for something that tastes like the air on the Amalfi Coast? Order the Mediterranean (Bombay Sapphire gin, rosemary-infused simple syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, dried cranberries, a sprig of rosemary, and a lemon wheel), with its herb-infused citrus flavor. If you don’t like it, no worries: There are 34 more to choose from. Even better—there are daily martini specials, as well as Ladies’ Nights with half-price martinis on Thursdays.
Straight Up: $13; 1 Radisson Plz (914) 576-4141; nomasocial.com
Brio Tuscan Grille, Yonkers
Not into Cosmos but prefer something sweet? Made with Absolut Raspberri vodka, Malibu rum, and fresh lime juice and topped with Barbera d’Asti, this martini tastes like summer, putting you back into beach mode. Worth noting: Martinis are $5 on Wednesdays after 3 pm. There’s also a $3.95 Tuscan Tasters bar menu weekdays from 3 to 7 pm and from 9 pm to closing, giving you plenty to nibble on as you sip and enjoy.
Straight Up: $9; 160 Market St, Ridge Hill (914) 709-1000
Butterfield 8, White Plains
The mellow flavor of cucumber coupled with a kiss of lime makes this martini an ideal way to wind down after a long week. It’s an ultra-refreshing, light concoction made with muddled cucumbers, Hendrick’s Gin, simple syrup, and fresh-squeezed lime. Prefer something a tad sweeter? Sink into one of the bar’s cozy spots for the Sapphire Lemon (Bombay Sapphire gin, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and fresh-squeezed lemon), which tastes like a melted Italian ice—and be thankful the workday is over.
Straight Up: $12; 147 Mamaroneck Ave (914) 358-4881
Chat 19 American Grill, Larchmont
For those days when you haven’t seen the sun rise or set, the Cappuccino Martini gives you a java jolt and then some. Made with Baileys, Smirnoff Vanilla vodka, espresso vodka, Kahlúa, and espresso, it’s a high-voltage burst of flavor sure to wake you up so you can do it all again tomorrow. For those who prefer tea over coffee, there’s also a Green Tea“ini” with Skyy citrus vodka, green tea, fresh mint, and orange-and-honey marmalade, served shaken on the rocks.
Straight Up: $14; 19 Chatsworth Ave (914) 833-8871; chat19.net
Lost in Translation
Harper’s Bar & Restaurant, Dobbs Ferry
There are many elegantly named cocktails on the drink list here, each of which has an Old World feeling to go with its lush description. This version, created by the owner, contains organic vodka, house-made orange-and-cardamom syrup, along with a dash of Champagne and a freshly sliced orange-rind garnish— giving it a sweet, citrus-flavored bite. Add to that the unique herbal notes from the cardamom and a slight effervescence from the Champagne, and you have a drink worth sipping the night away.
Straight Up: $12; 92 Main St (914) 693-2306; harpersonmain.com
Pour, Mount Kisco
Anthony Colasacco, the owner of Pour, is happy to tell you he’s “old school.” In other words, he’s into the classics. So much so that his martinis (and other cocktails) are served in vintage barware—some pieces dating as far back as the ’20s. This is where to go for something a tad traditional. The Martinez is a predecessor to the martini, and includes Old Tom gin, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, a teaspoon of maraschino liqueur, and two dashes of orange bitters—all garnished with a lemon twist. So lore goes—and “lore,” as you know, only gets better with yet another round—this underappreciated gin-and-sweet-vermouth concoction helped pave the way for the ubiquitous martini, or, as Colasacco likes to say, “It’s another good excuse to combine gin and maraschino liqueur.”
Straight Up: $12; 241 Main St (914) 864-0606; pourmtkisco.com
Thyme Restaurant, Yorktown Heights
What sounds better than Nutella and liqueur? This decadent drink—basically a dessert and a cocktail mixed into one—is a local creation featuring three ounces of Godiva white chocolate liqueur, one ounce of crème de cacao, one ounce of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, and one ounce of heavy cream. To make it even sweeter, it’s served in a frosted martini glass with Nutella and shaved chocolate around the rim. For those who want to support our fine county, the restaurant also serves The Bee’s Knees, boasting Port Chester-made Comb 9 gin, which is distilled from honey. The Bee’s Knees has its own unique flavor, thanks to the two ounces of fresh lemon juice and house-made honey simple syrup that accompany it. The pièce de résistance: half-price martinis every Thursday night along with live music, with no cover charge!
Straight Up: $14; 3605 Crompond Rd (914) 788-8700; thymerestaurant.net
Mix Cocktail Bar & Kitchen, Crowne Plaza WHITE PLAINS, White Plains
If you can’t pronounce it, don’t worry—just ask for the drink that actress Kirsten Dunst likes. She was the first customer to enjoy one (albeit in lower Manhattan), and it’s been famous ever since—at least for mixologist Jake Sher, who originally designed it for his better half. This simple, yet balanced cocktail is a no-frills martini made with Tito’s Handmade vodka, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, liqueur d’orange, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and two thin slices of fresh ginger. It’s refreshing on the palate, cooling you when it’s warm out, and warming you when it’s cold.
Straight Up: $11; 66 Hale Ave (914) 682-0050
Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant, Ossining
Pomegranate has become the new “in”gredient, thanks to its powerful antioxidants and its sweet-tart flavor. Created with Absolut Citron vodka, limoncello, grapefruit juice, and pomegranate juice, the Pomegranate Martini is one surefire way to bring tired co-workers back to life. Fruits are a big part of this restaurant’s bar menu. Also available: a Bellini Martini with peach vodka, peach purée, and Champagne, and a Grapetini with Cîroc grape distilled vodka, Champagne, white grape juice, and a grape garnish.
Straight Up: $10; 6 Rockledge Ave (914) 762-0051