The 50 Best Dishes in Westchester
Our definitive list of what to eat where
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Photography by Andre Baranowski
Westchester’s dining scene is replete with choices: so many fabulous restaurants, so many delicious dishes to try. In fact, you could spend your life eating in Westchester restaurants and still not taste every amazing dish served within our borders.
To spare you the time (not to mention, the calories and expense), we’ve narrowed it all down to the 50 best dishes in Westchester. Obviously, you won’t find every one of these dishes on every menu whenever you visit, but we feel that’s just part of the fun of the culinary chase. When you’re lucky and the stars align, these are the dishes that best reward your time, money, and calories. We only wish we could indulge ourselves—in rotation—365 days a year.
Heirloom Tomato/Rainbeau Ridge Goat Cheese Focaccia
Blue Hill Café ($7)
This open-faced sandwich is the perfect foil for a hot day hiking at Stone Barns: cool slabs of fragrant tomatoes resting over a tangy slash of Bedford Hills-made goat cheese. Plus, it’s a generous serving—you’ll eke out a midnight snack.
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills
(914) 366-9600; bluehillfarm.com
Birdsall House (three for $16, four for $21, five for $25)
Chef Matt Hutchins has a way with potted meats, from his sparkling rabbit terrines, buttery pork pâtés, and house-made pork and fennel sausages, to his lush chicken-liver pâtés. And it doesn’t end there. Look for supporters that are stars in their own right: lemony, whole-grain mustards; house-made pickles; sweet apple butter; pickled eggs; cherry preserves. In fact, you’ll find just about anything on these plates except tired capers and cornichons.
970 Main St, Peekskill
(914) 930-1880; birdsallhouse.net
Mushroom Minestra, Parmigiano Brodo
with Basil Pesto
Farmhouse at Bedford Post ($15)
We crave this deceptively homey soup, which pairs umami-rich mushrooms and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which are given palate zing with stinging nettle pesto. And, though nettles are a trendy ingredient, in Chef Jeremy McMillan’s hands, it’s more an homage—the dish evokes the Italian spring standard, pesto d’urtico.
954 Old Post Rd, Bedford
(914) 234-7800; bedfordpostinn.com
Beluga Lentil and Quinoa Salad
Barn at Bedford Post ($11)
Vegan (and super-healthy) never tasted so good. Tiny beluga lentils and bouncy spheres of quinoa tossed together, and dressed with mint pesto, peppery watercress, crisp onion, and creamy avocado. Flavorful, satisfying, and oh, so good for you.
954 Old Post Rd, Bedford
(914) 234-7800; bedfordpostinn.com
“Everything From Our Pig”
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
(part of a $108, five-course dinner or a $148 eight-courser)
Dan Barber’s ode to Fergus Henderson is a nose-to-tail Berkshire pig sampling that offers bites of loin, leg, snout, blood sausage, guanciale, and chin. The dish is alleviated, for vegetal contrast, with local peas, mushrooms, and Regina de Vecchio lettuce.
630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills (914) 366-9600; bluehillfarm.com
Grilled Hudson Valley Quail with Rosemary
X2O Xaviars on the Hudson ($30)
This is our idea of a barbecue, and it starts with thyme, rosemary, and balsamic-vinegar-marinated quail, which is grilled until crackling, with its thin skin smoky and its breast pink. The tiny bird is served alongside locally grown corn and bell-pepper “maque choux” and sharp, yet fruity, Conklin Farm cherry mostarda. Yum.
71 Water Grant St, Yonkers
(914) 965-1111; xaviars.com
Hudson Valley Rabbit Loin with Rainbeau Ridge Chèvre, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Bush Basil
When we think of the Castle on the Hudson, we think of the classic indulgences of the aristocracy: land, near-psychic service, and stunning architecture. Chef David Haviland’s menu also slips in baronial flavors of the hunt, as, in this dish, sweet rabbit paired with tangy, Bedford Hills-made Rainbeau Ridge goat cheese. Mmm, and just perfect eaten next to the stony Oak Room hearth.
400 Benedict Ave, Tarrytown (914) 631-3646; castleonthehudson.com
Tarry Lodge ($22)
This ever-changing wooden board of affetati (sliced meats) usually features Armandino’s salumi. (For those of you not up on your foodie dynasties, that’s Mario Batali’s dad, so inspired by his son’s conquests that he went into business himself.) You’ll find sublime La Quercia Prosciutto Americano from the wilds of Iowa; and Proscuitto San Daniele, from Friuli, the land of the Bastianichs. As a treat, sometimes Chef Andy Nusser, noted Iberophile (and chef of Casa Mono/Bar Jamon), slings some fabulous Spanish hams in the mix. Whatever products you find, we know that they’ll be fabulous and say something personal about the team behind Tarry Lodge.
18 Mill St, Port Chester
(914) 939-3111; tarrylodge.com
Chunks of silken, cool fluke, drizzled in emerald-green olive oil, graced by a fine dusting of pepper and the popping acid of pomegranate seeds. We love this dish, especially eaten outside on a warm summer evening.
25 S Regent St, Port Chester
(914) 939-2727; arrostorestaurant.com
Fried Chicken, Black-Eyed Peas, and Collards
Alvin & Friends ($20)
Magically crisp-crusted yet juicy of flesh, this very chicken-y fried chicken is a revelation from every bad, fast-food version you’ve had the misfortune to eat. This dish justifies the raging New York City trendiness of the ageless soul-food standard, and arrives with a pile of smoky and sour collards (studded with giant shreds of smoked turkey) and a sprightly salad of black-eyed peas to counter all that richness.
49 Lawton St, New Rochelle (914) 654-6548; alvinandfriendsrestaurant.com
Shaved Zucchini, Shaved Melon, House-Cured Duck Ham, Manchego, and Hazelnuts
Chances are you’ve had that sad country-club standard, prosciutto-wrapped melon—but, here, Chef Alex Sze turns that tradition on its ear. Look for house-cured duck ham—salty, fatty, and red—layered with leaves of zucchini and sweet, high-summer melon. It’s topped with mild manchego and given some crunch by hazelnuts, and all dressed in hazelnut verjus vinaigrette.
575 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson
(914) 478-2542; juniperhastings.com
The county’s first (and, at the moment, only) Ethiopian eatery serves a killer signature dish, a heady stew of chicken legs darkly murmuring of berbere, a spice mix of chilis, cloves, ginger, allspice, rue berries, and ajwain black peppercorns. It’s served on a wide disc of spongy injera bread, sans silverwear—but with the textural counterpoint of a whole boiled egg.
37 S Moger St, Mount Kisco
(914) 864-1343; lalibelamountkisco.com
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota
Bellota at 42 ($25)
Oh, you had us at jamón de Bellota, the fetishized Pata Negra pig, which is allowed a free-range life in idyllic Spanish oak forests and finished on the oily meat of acorns. This ham’s barely solid fat melts on contact with your tongue, and is so evocative of terroir that (if you close your eyes), you will find yourself standing in the shadowy mists of La Dehesa, bordering Spain and Portugal.
One Renaissance Sq, White Plains (914) 761-4242; 42therestaurant.com
Cordero Ron y Caña
Succulent baby lamb chops glazed in rum and sugarcane, served alongside a rich, starchy mash of slightly sweet malanga root. This dish’s richness and sugar is cut by a pungent, herbal huacatay sauce—and, if that weren’t great enough to sell you, Cienega (the restaurant) is beautiful.
170 Main St, New Rochelle (914) 632-4000; cienegarestaurant.com
La Panetière ($8)
It’s a shame that “vanilla” has come to mean unadventurous, because, in the hands of a master, the tropical pod can be transcendent. Take Pastry Chef Salvador Mallma’s luxurious vanilla ice cream, which is elegantly infused with the complex spice and tastes like being in Tahiti with Gauguin.
530 Milton Rd, Rye
(914) 967-8140; lapanetiererye.com
Rack of Lamb with Bayonne Ham-Wrapped Truffle Frites
La Crémaillère ($42)
These tender, tiny lamb chops rest in a glossy, nut-brown pool of wine reduction, and if La Crémaillère weren’t so fancy, we’d use our bread to soak up every drop. The truffled potatoes wrapped in crisp, seared Bayonne ham are just a sort of truffly/porky icing on the cake.
46 Bedford Rd, Bedford
(914) 234-9647; cremaillere.com
Seared Foie Gras Appetizer
We love the barbecue sear on this bursting foie gras torchon, which jets luscious, molten goose fat with each precious bite. Plus, its pineapple-mango chutney adds just the right acidic zing to all that super-lush richness.
721 Titicus Rd, North Salem
(914) 669-5450; voxnorthsalem.com
Bigeye Tuna Wrapped with House-Cured Pancetta, Daisy Hill Succotash, and I & Me Heirloom Tomato Vinaigrette
Crabtree’s Kittle House ($34)
Wrapped in delicate, bacony, house-cured pancetta, this barely seared tuna roulade tastes like a seaside vacation in a bite. It’s made even more perfect with Bedford-grown corn in the succotash and Westchester tomatoes rounding out the spread. (For best results, enjoy it in the garden on a summer night with a few dips into the Kittle House’s legendary wine cellar.)
11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua (914) 666-8044; kittlehouse.com
China White ($32)
Studded with whole chilis and haunted by elusive orange flavor, these carefully “velveted” slices of beef are like spicy meat candy. As its owners, the cb5 Restaurant Group, are fond of saying of China White, it’s “Pure. Uncut. Addictive.” Say no more.
578 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase
(914) 437-9700; chinawhiteusa.com
Meiller’s Farm Porchetta with Heirloom Tomato Confit, Summer Chives, and Crispy Yukon Gold Potatoes Restaurant North ($26)
This chic restaurant’s breezy décor hides a secret weapon: the soulful, rib-sticking cuisine of Chef Eric Gabrynowicz. Here, he offers a summer spin on the trendy Italian spice-infused roasted whole pig, but counters its sweet, porky richness with heirloom tomatoes and summer chives. You’ll be scraping your plate on this one.
386 Main St, Armonk
(914) 273-8686; restaurantnorth.com
Crispy Pork Shank
The Cookery ($24)
Rumor has it that Chef David DiBari puts pork in everything he cooks; he loves the pig so much that it’s the center of his most famous dish. This crisp-skinned, Flintstonian leg perfectly demonstrates DiBari’s style: it’s simultaneously brawny, but countered with the finesse of dairy-rich polenta. Bravissimo.
39 Chestnut St, Dobbs Ferry
(914) 305-2336; thecookeryrestaurant.com
[Killer County Classics]
Dim Sum Aberdeen ($2.95)
The highlight of the
high-speed pig-out that is Aberdeen’s dim sum lunch is the tiny bamboo steamers holding these golden, bony treats. Suck the thin, peppery skin from fine-jointed toes, all the while licking the gooey, five-spice-haunted collagen from your lips. It’s weird, but, we promise, it’s also delicious.
3 Barker Ave (at the Residence Inn by Marriott), White Plains (914) 288-0188