Here's a Sneak Preview of Scarsdale's Cooked & Co.
A Scarsdale favorite, reinvented.
Octopus a la plancha, or grilled on high- temperature metal plate, with onion cream and pickled potato.
Photos by Andre Baranowski
The previously cramped 22-seat Cooked & Co. often had lines out the door, especially for their breakfast items (hello, Nutella muffin!). There was even a fight between customers over a table once, for which the police had to be called. Such was the demand for their comfort-American food that when the adjacent dental office moved last summer, partners Herb Lindstrom and Melissa Iscaro jumped on the opportunity for a new and improved Cooked & Co. “We’ve modernized and upgraded with the new space,” explains Lindstrom, a Scarsdale resident. “This is not a complete re-brand but an expansion of the brand.”
The former space-inhibited setup is no more; the newly opened Cooked & Co. has twice the square footage, double the staff, and 72 seats. Head right upon entering, and it’s a full-fledged restaurant serving weekday lunch, dinner (Tues-Sat), and brunch on weekends, plus a bar with approximately 12 wines-by-the-glass, craft beers, and cocktails. On the left is a market and prepared-foods counter with favorites such as turkey meatballs, cauliflower mash, flatbreads, house-made pickles, and a rotating selection of veggie burgers (e.g., chickpea, lentil, mushroom-quinoa).
There are even two kitchens: one for production and one for á la carte items. “They each have an open doorway so a customer can see in and even have a conversation with a chef if they wanted to,” says Lindstrom. “I wanted the space to feel like it’s an extension of my home kitchen.”
Chef Mike Bianco of Yonkers stays on as executive chef and has fashioned a dinner menu that is 90 percent small shareables and snacks because “People enjoy trying more things when dining out,” he says. There are also a few family-style meals serving 2-4, including a whole- fish taco, a 16-hour confit pork belly, and a Campanelli Poultry Farm chicken done two ways (roasted and fried). The one standalone, non-sharing item is the burger, a custom blend of short rib, brisket, and flank steak.
Unlike most brunch menus, which include many non-breakfast items, Bianco’s brunch is filled solely with morning eats. “Unless you go to a diner,” Bianco says, “there’s not much opportunity dining out in restaurants for breakfast items.” There are four varieties each of pancakes, waffles, and French toast (we look forward to sampling the bananas Foster with rum, brown sugar, and caramel), plus slab bacon, hash with pastrami and goose-fat potatoes, avocado toast, shakshuka (a Tunisian dish of eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce), among other dishes.
The most challenging part of the expansion? “We are now two businesses in one,” says Lindstrom. “I may have to stand at the entrance directing people for the first few weeks. We have to retrain the customers on what we are.”
Cooked & Co.
128 Garth Rd., Scarsdale