At The Whitlock, Community Is the Key Ingredient

"The interaction with customers is the number-one thing."


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Berkshire pork chop with vinegar-pepper relish.

Photos by Doug Schneider

“Two years ago, we wanted to open a breakfast-and-lunch spot in Dobbs Ferry. That was the dream. We could do breakfast and lunch, and maybe have some semblance of a life in addition to that. The best thing that ever happened was our partner talking us out of it. Once this location popped into our laps, we were like: We have to convince ourselves that we can do this because [being in Katonah] was a one-in-a-million opportunity," say The Whitlock owners Matt and Christina Safarowic.


Bone-marrow-broth French onion soup


"We wanted to keep it small. We wanted to have control over everything, to touch and manage everything on a daily basis. [The menu came from] years of going out to eat. Nine years of being together, working together, and also going out to eat and saying, ‘Oh shit, that’s pretty cool!’ A lot of the menu is comfort food, things that trigger memories, but with twists. How can we play on those American nostalgic items that we grew up on? Perfect example: Right now, we have lamb merguez sausage wrapped in puff pastry with tzatziki sauce. It’s like a pig in a blanket. 

"But, the interaction with customers is the number-one thing. I think that’s fundamentally why we do this, that connection with people. It’s watching them enjoy a meal and watching them enjoy food, watching them enjoy time with their friends and family, laughing and coming together over food. That is why we do this. We thank our lucky stars that we get to do what we love.”


 

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