Salmon with chicory
Photos By Michael Polito
At Hopscotch, you can enjoy fine cuisine without the fuss some white-tablecloth restaurants demand. Its New American-style food is often found at high-end restaurants in New York City but not often achieved in Westchester; yet Hopscotch sits quietly among restaurants of a more standard repertoire along the main street in Croton-on-Hudson.
Without a sign, you'll need to search a bit to find Hopscotch, but it's worth it for the expertly selected wines, fresh bread, and seasonal bites like buttery rich foie gras in the winter or brined cheese in the spring. Sit outside on the patio when weather permits, and enjoy playful dishes created by Chef de Cuisine Kenyon Hart, who previously worked as the sous chef at Edi & The Wolf in Manhattan. Don’t fret if the weather turns and you’re stuck inside: The view in there is just as nice as the one on the patio (watching Chef Hart prepare each dish with strict attention to detail in the open kitchen is mesmerizing).
Those artfully crafted dishes are exactly what you’ll want to show city friends who don’t believe true fine dining exists in Westchester; one bite of a seasonal meal like a spring chicken dish with stinging nettles will prove any naysayers wrong. It’s a restaurant that shows elevated dining doesn’t have to be accompanied by snooty attitude or city living.
Chef Kenyon Hart at work crafting an artfully designed plate
Knowledgeable and friendly waiters guide you through a condensed, but thoughtful, seasonal menu and wine list without judgment or impatience. They’ll also heat up the place if you’re cold or throw in an extra dessert if they see you struggling to make a decision. Wonderful little touches like that make the dining experience a pleasure.
Although the minimalist décor’s intended statement may not register to most guests, all will appreciate the boldly creative dishes that come out of the open kitchen. Delicate and inventive dishes, like barley risotto with duck confit and pomegranate seeds, change seasonally, which gives you the perfect excuse to indulge again and again.
WHAT TO ORDER: octopus, charcuterie and cheese plate, Burrata, barley risotto, seared scallops, duck breast, short rib, goat cheesecake, chocolate mousse
Note: Hopscotch’s menu changes frequently, so some dishes may not be offered on a given evening.
8 Old Post Rd South, Croton-on-Hudson
(914) 271-1100; www.hopscotchwestchester.com