Looking for Love in All the Right Places
An insider's guide to our local meet market.
Sure Internet dating sites are in vogue, but tried-and-true methods of finding a date—venturing into a place where other singles are—can still work (just Ask a few bartenders). Here are some of the more happening places, interesting venues, and reliable sources
by John Bruno Turiano
6 for the Sophisticated Single
Blue (99 Church St., White Plains, 914-220-0000). Munch on homemade potato chips and sip a trendy drink in a cool glass (watermelon martini is a fave) while scoping the scene at this venue representative of the newer, hipper White Plains. Wine and food pairing evenings and a strictly jazz and blues CD collection keeps the rowdier rock-and rap crowds away.
Frankie and Johnnie’s Steakhouse
(77 Purchase St., Rye, 914-925-3900; www.frankieandjohnnies.com). At the dignified mahogany bar find a chatty, yuppie-type crowd drinking selections from a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list; couples can pair off to the library-snug lounge with fireplace and deep seated couches for extracurricular, I mean, more intimate discussions.
Mulino’s of Westchester (99 Court St., White Plains, 914-761-1818; www.mulinos.us). Formal and classy, you’ll find the power brokers and heavy-hitters of Westchester at the bar listening to the tickled ivories of a baby grand. There’s no dance area and the bar closes by midnight, but lots of power suits and the women that love ’em—if that’s your thing.
121 Restaurant & Bar (corner of Dingle Ridge Rd. and Rte. 121, North Salem, 914-669-0121; www.121restaurant.com). The white-collar professionals that drive from Bedford and Brewster to stand three deep at the bar belie the fact this 1800s structure was a bare-knuckled, rough-and-ready roadhouse in a previous incarnation. Granted it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s just about the only game in town (and a few surrounding towns). And it’s a pretty nice scene, all leather and suede upholstery, Burberry scarves, and Beamers lining Route 121 in both directions.
17 Main (17 Main St., Mount Kisco, 914-244-1974; www.17Main.com). The bar may be small but the single looking for fellow jazz enthusiasts will find them here. Or, if you’re a groupie looking for the recording artists themselves, they’re here as well, a different one most nights.
Trotters (175 Main St., White Plains, 914-421-5012; www.trottersny.com). As White Plains upgrades with Trump condos and dancing water fountains, so does Trotters, which added two waterfalls so the hip interior is now that much more so. Every Friday, Trotters, equal parts top-rated Mediterranean restaurant and sleek late-night lounge, features the martini happy hour, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm (three signature martinis, $5 each). And females, don’t forget the requisite shiny pants (black or brown leather will do fine).
4 Baby Boomer Crowd Destinations
Harrys of Hartsdale (230 East Hartsdale Ave., Hartsdale, 914-472-8777; www.harrysofhartsdale. com). With an oyster bar offering 22 varieties of mollusks (aphrodisiacs one and all) and martinis with names like The White Spider and Sugarcane, the scene at this upscale bi-level steakhouse will have you in prowl mode in no time. If you have one too many martinis, just hop on the Metro-North stop across the street. And April 27 is wild game night, so it may be your chance for some really good one-liners.
Harvest on Hudson (1 River St., Hastings-on-Hudson, 914-478-2800; www.harvest2000.com). A Tuscan farmhouse, sunflower gardens, meandering paths, and a 30-foot high stone fireplace—if you can’t meet anyone in this setting, you may want to consider changing your brand of breath mint. And if you hit it off with someone at the bar, take a stroll past the vegetables gardens to the river for a gorgeous view of the sunset.
Heathcote Tavern (2 Weaver St., Scarsdale, 914-722-4508). Scarsdale and Hartsdale singles cluster on high-backed stools at the beautiful wood paneled bar in this homey Dickensesque-decorated mansion with lofty ceilings and three private rooms. The potent potables are sizeable, so careful on all those steps leading to the upstairs bar. And if you’re lost for a conversation starter, try the rumors of a ghost that supposedly has settled here.
Lexington Square Café (510 Lexington Ave., Mt. Kisco 914-244-3663; www.lexingtonsquare cafe.com). White collars and trendy folks in black can be found sniffing Syrah and sipping Sauvignon Blanc at this metro chic spot. Cherry wood wine racks and a sweeping staircase should put you in a romantic mood (or perhaps you need a few Syrahs for that).
3 Gen-X Hot Spots
Central Square Café (870 Central Ave., Scarsdale, 914-472-7828; www.centralsquare cafe.com). Nannies, au pairs, and other area working folk dominate the cocktail bar in this venue, which features a heavily draped, plush lounge with numerous sofas comfy as beds (now don’t get any funny ideas!). The cappuccino bar adjacent to the lounge makes this a perfect spot for both teetotalers and javaheads.
MacMenamins Grill & ChefWorks
(115 Cedar St., New Rochelle, 914-632-4900; www.macmenaminsgrill.com). Past beautifully equipped cooking-class kitchens and up one level is a rectangular sandstone bar full of tall drinks and 18 wines by the glass. There’s a late-night menu (until 2 am) all week so a drink may turn into an appetizer, entrée, and dessert kind of thing.
Mighty Joe Young’s (610 W. Hartsdale Ave., White Plains 914-428-6868; www.mightyjoe youngs.com). Looking for someone who is into the vegetarian or vegan thing? Don’t come here; something about the various taxidermy displays (rhino head, lions, and various hoofed specimens) that make up much of the décor that may not attract profound animal lovers. But most singles will enjoy the energetic weekend bar scene (complete with tiki torches and straw thatch covered bar) that can reach a predator-prey frenzy. During the week, an after-work business crowd presides.
5 Casual Favorites
The Bayou (580 Gramatan Ave., Mt. Vernon, 914-668-2634; www.bayourestaurantny.com). It’s Mardi Gras every night at this raucous, live music party central (and the Cajun/Creole fare ain’t bad either). Don’t be turned away by the Animal House décor (bras hanging from the bar)—just channel your inner frat boy. After only a couple of drafts you’ll be screaming, “Otis! My man!”
Coughlan’s American Bistro (15 S. Broadway, White Plains, 914-285-0900; www.coughlansatnight.com). The circular bar tends to get crowded relatively late (after 10 pm) when the rear dance floor gyrates with bodies grooving to hip-hop and top 40. April 10 is an anniversary party hosted by K104/K107 so prepare to move to very loud music!
High Street Roadhouse (12 High St., Rye, 914-967-4855; www.highstreetroadhouse.com). It’s a basement! The rockabilly funk band is super loud! There are a couple of bikers in the corner! In tony Rye? Yup. Buy that cute woman in the tight jeans with the Bud Light an order of alligator nuggets and she’s yours.
Rye Grill & Bar (1 Station Plz., Rye, 914-967-0332). The young professional, shirt-and-a-tie crowd step off the Metro-North and into this bustling station-friendly eatery with a bar crowd that usually outnumbers those in the dining area (especially so during the Buick Classic when golfers rule the roost). A word of caution: try not to scratch any of the gleaming BMWs and Land Rovers in the parking lot on your way out the lot.
Vintage Restaurant & Bar (171 Main St., White Plains, 914-328-5803; www.vintagebar.net). From tribute bands (Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, The Doors), a house DJ on Thursdays and Saturday nights, to speed dating events and corporate happy hours with karaoke, there literally is always something happening at this happening spot on White Plains’s main thoroughfare.
Bolobar Lounge (241 Main St., Mount Kisco, 914-241-8775; www.bolobar.com). City transplants enjoy the “living room” ambience of this Victorian house with top-shelf only liquors, three candlelit parlors (and a bar), and lots of dark corners. If you’re still not relaxed enough to talk to the cute guy drinking the mojito at the bar, try a pomegranate martini. That should get you in motion.
The City at the Ramada Inn (1 Ramada Plz., New Rochelle, 914-576-4141). A martini bar that gets intense on Friday and Saturday nights when either a live band or DJ reels in a mostly 30-and-over crowd. And the sleek new Zen Tango restaurant is right next door should you strike out and want to comfort yourself with the chef’s signature duck spring rolls.
Hush (182 East Post Rd., White Plains, 914-428-2044). The classic Manhattan nightclub experience (complete with beefy guys at the door asking if you’re on The List) can be found at this lounge, whose owners seem to have taken their cue from the likes of the ’70s Studio 54 and China Club scenes. Saturday is set aside for mature singles and Wednesday is jazz night.
Rockin’ Robin’s Bar & Night Club (942 McLean Ave., Yonkers, 914-237-0202). Features the largest dance floor in the county.
Katonah Bar and Grill (128 Bedford Rd., Katonah, 914-232-0946). College and post college crowd flock to this neighborhood bar/restaurant. Expect rowdy on weekends.
Lazy Boy Saloon & Alehouse (154 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, 914-761-0272). This seemingly always crowded bar attracts the 21 to 34 age group and those that gotta have a pumpkin or raspberry flavored beer (they have 400-plus types).
Muscoot Inn (105 Somerstown Rd., Katonah, 914-232-2800). The slanted floors in this biker bar give a legit excuse to fall on the object of your affection.
Paulies (14 Marble Ave., Pleasantville, 914-773-0003). Pool, pitchers of beer, and a 21- to 25-year-old crowd bopping to ’80s and ’90s rock and pop.
Rory Dolan’s (890 McLean Ave., Yonkers, 914-776-2946; www.rorydolans.com). Billed as “the liveliest Irish Pub in New York,” Rory Dolan’s has some of the quickest bartenders in the county. There’s dancing to disco, DJ Top 40, and even traditional Irish music.
The Thirsty Turtle (201 East Post Rd., White Plains, 914-993-0505; www.thethirstyturtle.net). Rock out to live bands on Thursdays and Saturdays. Oh yes, women tend to dance on the bar here—a lot.
Take a Walk on the Mild Side
Kitchen Table Love
Chef Central (45 Central Park Ave., Hartsdale, 914-328-1376; www.chefcentral.com). Join fellow foodies—and possibly a few like-minded singles—at the full kitchen with bar seating at this culinary superstore. A group of singles can get together and close the kitchen for a private event (cost varies), or individuals can sign onto the mailing list online or in-store for a variety of classes ($25-$30), including:
Party Hors D’oeuvres (April 20)
Home Dining Makeover (April 29)
Chef Joe Tocci gives basic recipes so you can offer more than takeout when you’re hosting a hot Saturday night dinner date.
Make Your Own Wine (105 Fairview Park Dr., Elmsford; 914-741-5425; www.myowine.com; email@example.com). What says romance better than a bottle of red wine and two long-stemmed glasses? Rich Mattina, owner of Westchester’s only school of winemaking, is offering single nights next month. And if you don’t meet anyone, you can always drown your lonely heart in some really good wine. Coming soon:
H May 6: Singles Wine Appreciation Night—A 90-minute wine lecture followed by a CIA catered dinner.
H May 20: Singles Wine Bottling Event—Bottle your own custom labeled wine followed by a Culinary Institute of America-catered dinner.
Bookworms and Poets
The Northern Westchester Center for the Arts-sponsored poetry readings at The Flying Pig Farm Market Café (2 Depot Plaza, Mount Kisco, 914-666-7445; www.pigcafe.com). A true romantic soul knows and appreciates the poetry of words, and at this venue you may meet an amateur Whitman or Dickinson to call your very own (suggested donation $5). What’s on the schedule:
H April 4: Favorite Poem Project—Readings by community poets, writer, actors and politicians.
H April 11: Poet D. Nurkse, Joel Aure, plus open mike.
H April 25: Poet Martha Rhodes, Theresa Christiano, plus open mike.
Spoken Interludes (914-422-1869; www.spoken interludes.com). You’ve heard of dinner and a movie, right? Well, Spoken Interludes is a dinner and a book (well, a reading to be exact), by bestselling and notable writers. It’s held at MacMenamins Grill & ChefWorks (115 Cedar St., New Rochelle, 914-632-4900; www.macmenaminsgrill.com).
Coming up (April 12): Diana Abu-Jaber reading from her novel, The Language of Baklava; Molly Jong-Fast reading from her book, The Sex Doctor in the Basement; mystery writer Anne Perry reads from her new book, Long Spoon Lane; and Rupert Holmes, creator of the Broadway hit The Mystery of Edwin Drood reads from his new book Swing.
www.AnimalAttraction.com. Tired of the dog-eat-dog world of singles bars and prefer the four-footed world of canines and other pets? This dating service sets up parties and events where singles gather with their pets.
Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School by Rachel Greenwald. Want to build a portfolio of potential husbands? A Harvard MBA shares her technique of using marketing tactics to find a husband after age 35. The 15-step program, based on ideas she learned at Harvard Business School, instructs women on how to package their assets, develop a personal brand, leverage niche marketing, use direct mail and telemarketing, establish a husband-hunting budget, and hold quarterly performance reviews to assess the results. Phew!
Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Online Dating by Greg Holden. Considering millions of
people visit online dating sites each month, you may do well to brush up on the skinny of meeting someone in cyberspace.
Single Moms and Dads
Parents Without Partners Inc. (Westchester Chapter, Pelham, 914-636-5100/914-235-3021; www.pwpchapter21.com). Founded in 1957, Parents Without Partners, an international non-profit membership support organization for single parents and their children, offers discussion and support groups, house parties, movies, sporting activities, dinner, theater, dances, picnics, weekend outings, museums, and kids’ play dates. There is a yearly dues fee plus nominal charges for events.