Dinner Is Served: County Caterers
Hiring a caterer ensures the perfect holiday meal with none of the hassles. Here are 14 guaranteed to please your guests—and you.
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Thai-born Nisa Lee’s coconut shrimp
Dilemma: you want a tasty, home-cooked, healthy meal for the holidays but don’t have time to cook it. Solution: hire a caterer. Westchester’s bounty of local experts offer the perfect antidote to the stress that occurs when your gathering gets too big, or your schedule gets too busy. Even better—our epicurean county offers some of the best and most diverse holiday caterers around, everything from kosher, seasonal cuisine, to pan-Asian, French-Californian, and provisions from the good ol’ Hudson Valley.
Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion (81 Highland Ave, Tarrytown 914-631-3030). This granddaddy of caterers, known for its lavish and elegant affairs, is also big on catering in-home parties and corporate events. It’s an “if you can dream it, they can create it” kind of place that works closely with clients to hone and craft to their specifications. They’re big on staying ahead of the trend, so you’ll find interesting options, such as a gnudi done three ways (naked ravioli gratinned in Parmigiano brown-butter sauce), an artisan cheese bar, or a platter of retro sweets. Prices vary but start at $130 per plate.
Avril Kaye Caterers Inc. (160 Summerfield St, Scarsdale 914-472-7712). Hanukkah celebrations are a specialty at this boutique kosher caterer which prides itself on presenting seasonable and sustainable food with a modern twist. In other words, along with customary potato pancakes, you’ll also find parsnip-and-celery-root fritters with pear compote, and lentils, spinach, and sundried tomato pancakes with harissa aioli. Owners Michael and Avril Kaye, a married couple from South Africa who’ve lived in Rye Brook for more than 20 years, customize menus to serve a client’s needs. The food is so good and artistically presented, many have been known to ask, “Are you sure this is kosher?” Expect to spend $14 and up per plate.
Dinner in Hand (914-380-5084). What started as a home meal-delivery service conceived by foodie/owner Candida Canfield has grown into a full-service caterer led by Executive Chef Amy Bach, who has experience cooking for some of the premier caterers in the country, including Abigail Kirsch. Selections offer something for everyone: foodies, vegetarians, gourmands, and those on special diets. The New Rochelle-based company also offers individual portions of filet mignon and other traditional Christmas holiday entrées that it delivers on Christmas Eve. Dinners are about $15 per platter.
Events by Xaviars (71 Water Grant St, Yonkers 914-965-1111). You’ll get a first-rate, beautifully constructed dining experience when you order a holiday meal from Events by Xaviars. The same professionalism and perfectionism that Chef Peter X. Kelly, an Iron Chef winner, brings to his restaurants, most notably X20 Xaviars on the Hudson in Yonkers and Xaviars in Piermont, can be found in his award-winning cuisine. It helps that Kelly is also a vintner, which means his superstar staff is happy to help with wine selections as well. He’s all about getting you to slow down and enjoy the process. His favorite expression: “Though eating is one of life’s unavoidable necessities, dining has always been one of its greatest pleasures.” Prices start at $80 per plate.
Erica’s Kitchen (914-906-6892). Eating local is the mantra of this former pharmaceutical trainer-turned-chef. Erica Miller Wallace travels throughout the Hudson Valley in search of the best ingredients for dishes such as French lentil-and-vegetable salad, whole-roasted John Boy’s chickens with aromatic infusions, and raw collard-green “tacos.” Most of her clients—including this magazine’s food writer Julia Sexton—rave about the food’s intense flavors. “There’s a huge difference in taste between the ingredients I use as opposed to the usual supermarket smorgasbord, and I love that more and more people are getting that,” says Miller Wallace. While her mainstay is a home-delivery service (offered in compostable containers), she also does catering for up to 100. In addition, she’s plugged in with a local party planner. Expect to pay about $22 per plate.
Myong’s Pacific Northwest salmon with lentil pancake and sweet and spicy sauces
Myong Private Label Gourmet (360 N Bedford Rd, Mount Kisco 914-241-6333). How can you not love a Korean woman named Myong who claims to make the best potato latkes? This converted Jew, married to an American and mom to two bar mitzvahed kids, is a master of international cuisine: European, Middle Eastern, Korean, and Asian fusion. She is as adept at making Asian coleslaw and bok choy (staple items) as she is brisket and chopped liver. She’s also big on offering gluten-free items—turkey burgers, various chicken salads, butternut squash lasagna, lentil pancakes, to name a few. Catering take-out platters typically run from $8 to $15 per person; parties can run from $28 to $46.