20 New Fabulous Restaurants in Westchester
Where to see, be seen, and get your eat on in 2010
(page 3 of 4)
222 E Main St, Mount Kisco
This vast downtown space with pressed-tin ceilings and a glittering bar found a comfortable little niche in the dense dining Mecca of Mount Kisco. F.A.B. offers satisfying Gallic comfort food, all day and all night, ideal for breakfasts of omelets and croissants and late dinners of wine and coq au vin.
But F.A.B. is short for French American Bistro, so diners can expect a crowd-pleasing mix—which runs from burgers, fish, and pastas to the more traditional French standards. We don’t know where it falls on the Franco-Italian spectrum, but we love F.A.B.’s falling-off-the-bone lamb shank. It comes with creamy polenta, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a sweetly figgy gastrique. Call us suckers for Henry-the-Eighth sized haunches, but—deep in the dark of February—this leg feels as primally satisfying as an evening spent tucked up near a blazing fire.
Emma’s Ale House
68 Gedney Way, White Plains
This White Plains Irish/American pub (which took its space from Sunset Grille) manages the delicate balance between bar and sit-down tables; it offers enough party hubbub to welcome a little tippling, yet eaters won’t feel like they’re slumming in a poorly-lit, grungy bar.
Emma’s classic pub menu is also meant to please, offering burgers, sandwiches, stews and steaks—the perfect excuse for beer and cones of fries. Our favorite midnight snack (which is also available at lunch) is a melting lamb confit sandwich served with roasted tomatoes and basil mayo. Like the best sandwiches, it offers a complete meal in a single bite, conjuring Sunday roast legs of lamb served by your loving Irish nana.
128 Cortlandt St, Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow’s tidy, little Thai eatery has a pretty aggressive hand with the citrus, which is really welcome with all that palate-coating coconut milk. While we love a tart and mushroomy tom ka gai (so perfect in the dead of winter), we’re devoted to Tyrynda’s lamb massaman, which offers a dizzying dip into luxury. Imagine nearly creamy lamb shanks, slow-cooked in heady, fragrant massaman curry, punctuated by lush, ripe avocado chunks and the satisfying crunch of cashews.
Solmar specializes in soulful Brazilian dishes—especially seafood.
12 W Main St, Tarrytown
This tiny Brazilian/Portuguese restaurant offers only a few tables—but its teeny kitchen spins flavors as big and sunny as geographies that inspired it. Look for soulful Portuguese traditions—like caldo verde and codfish fritters—mixed with some of Brazil’s most famous dishes, including a reverent feijoada. This national dish of Brazil is a meat-y/bean-y/sausage-y porridge so intensely full of ju-ju that it’s singlehandedly responsible for Gisele Bündchen.
One of Solmar’s signature plates—penne with shrimp and scallops in a cachaça (fermented sugarcane liquor) sauce.
Beans and churrasco aside, the real story at Solmar is seafood, all of which exemplifies this joint’s Portuguese name (“sol” means “sun” and “mar” means “sea”). Look for sunny Mediterranean favorites like lemony grilled sardines and filets of trout—the last served with a tart caper sauce that would be equally home on the Côte d’Azur. (See full review, page 104)
Café of Love
38 E Main St, Mount Kisco
Look for lavish portions and one-third bottle pours, which make this convivial Mount Kisco hotspot so popular, that by 7 pm on Friday, its windows are completely fogged by the crowd. But the mob standing three-deep at the marble bar isn’t complaining too loudly—not with gratis bar snacks like warm blue potato chips and a long buffet of tasty freebies (like wheels of cheddar, bread, olives, and yummy dips). This spread offering does double duty by mollifying the wait and soaking up all that vino—plus it’s great to have something to munch on while chatting with your neighbor.
Of course, owner Leslie Lampert’s hospitality isn’t limited to managing a happy bar. Café of Love’s hearty, crowd-pleasing menu offers serious rewards for determined waits, including Westchester’s plushest comestible, black truffle salsify soup. It’s velvet heaven in a spoon, and deserving of your abstention from nibbles—though Lampert’s Parmesan-crusted chickpea fries are also a never-miss bite. And after rich and hearty mains (not to mention all that wine), the wise save a little room for homey, croissant bread puddings which feel Lampert’s hug in a warm, smooth bite.
The interior of Bistro Rollin.
142 5th Ave, Pelham
Classic bistro fare greets pilgrims to this Pelham newcomer, which is decorated by thickets of potted herbs and swathed in cozy, dark paneling. You’ll find all of your Gallic favorites here, including deep bowls of winey moules-frites—though burgers and steaks wait for those with less-than-Francophilic taste.
Mais bien sur. At a French bistro, e.g., Bistro Rollin, go for that classic dish, steak with peppercorns and—what else—frites.
Top dishes are Bistro Rollin’s well-balanced frisée salad, where a soft poached egg combines with vinaigrette for the perfect dressing—though its bacon lardons clearly help (and crisp, tiny croutons never hurt). Also great is a silken tuna tartare, where the satiny fish is punctuated by sparkling capers and sherry vinegar—and we found that great desserts can make up for BR’s iffy service (we loved teasingly bitter crème caramel).