The 31 Best Bars in Westchester County
Photography by Michael Polito
Compiling a list of the area’s best bars is no easy task. There’s the ambience to consider. The clientele to scrutinize. The bar bites to sample. And, of course, the cocktails. Be it pubs in White Plains, martinis in Ossining, music in Pleasantville, beer in Peekskill, or wine in New Rochelle, Westchester has what you’re looking for, at a watering hole with your name on it—from sedate after-work lounges to rollicking singles scenes to time-worn dives and stylish bistros. Here, our treasure trove of toast-worthy bars, where you can chat, nosh, sing, sulk, dance, play, flirt, and, of course, sip every last drop.
bartaco, Port Chester
1 Willett Ave, (914) 937-8226; bartaco.com
There’s a lively, beachy vibe to bartaco. The restaurant—with a U-shaped bar as its centerpiece—is bathed in nautical blue and white with rustic baskets for light fixtures that look like they were plucked from a thatched hut in the Caribbean. The mood is high-energy, the music loud (DJs Thursday through Sunday), and the drinks potent. There are more than 25 varieties of tequilas and classic margaritas, all made with fresh-pressed juices and no mixers, making it a tough choice between those or the just-as-decadent mojitos and caipirinhas. The bar itself, with not a TV in sight draws a cross-section of patrons from various demographics, including a large contingency of Beautiful People from Greenwich, Connecticut. Come warm weather, the place is simply divine, with doors that open from the dining room to the outdoor patio, where there’s a second bar and a large loung-y area meant for kicking back and ordering the house-made guacamole along with another round.
Birdsall House is known for its selection of craft beers.
Birdsall House, Peekskill
970 Main St
(914) 930-1880; birdsallhouse.net
It’s all about the beer at Birdsall House, where folks go to soak up the down-home atmosphere, savor a few brewskis, and discover a new favorite one. The casual beer joint—which won this magazine’s 2010 Best of Westchester Award for New Beer Bar—offers a convivial drinking experience in a traditional tavern setting featuring the bar’s original, 1940 wooden booths. And, though there’s been buzz of late about the turnover of the chef (Matt Hutchins was long praised for his beer-inspired cuisine), it’s the unassuming atmosphere, emphasis on local craft
selections, abundance of half-drafts, and exotic rarities that have us returning time and again. And, oh yeah, there’s also the picnic-tabled beer garden; the ambitious bourbon, whiskey, and scotch list; and the always-happening Happy Hour (4 to 7 pm, Monday to Friday), when all drafts and well drinks are $5. Those who don’t have to drive will also enjoy the $3 Late Night Pints from 10 pm to midnight every evening.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills
630 Bedford Rd, (914) 366-9600; bluehillfarm.com
Blue Hill’s bar is one of Westchester’s best-kept secrets. You can enjoy the same sophisticated ambience as in the restaurant; the same super-attentive service; the same artful, seasonal food; and the same thoughtful wine and local beer lists. Plus, you can’t beat the grandeur: a bucolic farmhouse complete with a roaring fireplace. Choose to sit at the bar, or, opt for the appealing sitting-room area by the fire, where you can choose from among the 25 wines-by-the-glass or warm up with the Blue Hill Winter Gin, which features aromatics of fresh juniper, pine, sumac, and Hawaiian ginger from the greenhouse. There’s no Happy Hour, but who cares when the atmosphere is so gloriously gracious and the bar bites are like nothing you’ve ever tasted before?
Set Back Inn, Tarrytown
The Set Back Inn may be one of the oldest bars in the county.
33 Main St, (914) 631-9740; setbackinn.com
There’s a humble, “take me as I am” vibe to the Set Back Inn, an institution on Main Street since 1959 that is so authentic, it feels ready for its close-up. And yes, the grande dame, reputed to be among the oldest bars in Westchester, has had a few Hollywood moments, including in Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts and Henry’s Crime with Keanu Reeves. But who really cares about the name-dropping? We love the Set Back because, despite its special pedigree, it could fit into any town in the country. There’s a pool table in the back, a dart board, a jukebox, and lots of dark wood, all of which give it a decidedly no-frills, blue-collar feel. Don’t expect any food, though you can bring in your own slice. And come with cash—no credit cards are accepted. Set Back stays open at the management’s discretion, meaning closing time can be 4 am or 11 pm. There’s live music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (no cover) and drink specials during the week.
226 Beekman Ave
(914) 332-0078; bridgeviewtavern.com
Sleepy Hollow has been kind of sleepy when it comes to the bar scene, which is why we lift our glass to Bridgeview, not only for opening in this neck of the woods in 2009, but for doing so with a dose of low-key neighborhood charm and an impressive beer list. We don’t need trendy to be happy; nor do we need rowdy. We simply want the basics: drinks on tap (think Allagash, Green Flash, and Smuttynose); solid comfort food (such as chili, burgers, and brisket); and an egalitarian atmosphere where everyone co-exists in harmony. The tavern, which delivers on all counts, is tucked at the end of the town’s main street. Bonus points for its rotating selection of 18 beers, ales, and stouts as well as house-made sangria and seasonal drinks—like the fireside martini and warm spiced cider—sure to thaw you from the inside out. Check its Facebook page for numerous deals and “special” nights, including 50-Cent Wing Night on Mondays, $4 Pint Day on Tuesdays, and occasional live music.
Burke’s Restaurant and Bar, Yonkers
645 Bronx River Rd, (914) 237-5137; burkesbar.com
If you like a celebratory atmosphere, you’ll like Burke’s, a combination party central/neighborhood joint/Irish crony bar/restaurant with 11 flat-screen TVs and two widescreen projectors. Though there’s a large menu with good choices, the food tends to be an afterthought. Instead, this is where to come after work—or after 9 pm—for boisterous, vibrant entertainment, where booze is the main attraction. With all those TVs, sports tends to be the big draw, as are the promotions, including Happy Hour (every weekday from 3 to 6 pm); Sunday football specials ($15 beer towers, $7.50 pitchers, $3 drafts, and free halftime buffet for all Giants and Jets games); trivia night Wednesdays (starting at 9 pm); discounted teacher Happy Hour on Fridays (3 to 6 pm); and live bands on Saturdays (starting at 10 pm).
The Duck Inn Bar & Grill is a classic Irish pub.
Duck Inn Bar & Grill, Mamaroneck
128 W Boston Post Rd, (914) 835-8791
If there’s such a thing as an Everyman’s Bar, the Duck Inn is it. The draw of the place—known as a hangout among area cops and firemen—is that it’s a bar’s bar where the beer’s cold, the dartboard well-worn, and the brown tables on the sticky side. Newcomers are eyed a bit warily—but then warmly. After all, this is a classic Irish bar where everyone’s a friend. Ignore the rough-around-the-edges exterior: this neighborhood institution, with its wooden duck collection and shamrock décor, is meant to make you smile, forget your worries, and hang with your chums. (We love the sign near the bar that reads “Quack House.”) The food menu’s limited, though occasionally “Jack,” as the owner is known, will whip up some “Duck wings.”
Chat 19, Larchmont
19 Chatsworth Ave, (914) 833-8871; chat19.net
Sure, Chat 19 has good food, but the menu’s not the main draw here. So, why the crowds? Perhaps it’s the subdued lighting and Old Hollywood theme that has everyone from Bogie to Monroe peering down at you, practically encouraging you to enjoy the evening with a Chat pizza and a glass of Merlot. Or maybe it’s the sleek bar, dimly lit dining room. Despite all the suburban families at dinner, there’s always a group sidled up to the bar sipping martinis (such as the Lemon-Ginger Drop and Cappuccino Martini). Happy Hour specials (4 to 6:30 pm) and recession-busting deals—such as $3 drafts and half-price wings on Monday nights and all day on football Sundays—certainly draw folks in, as do the live music acts and DJs that keep the place hopping on weekends.
Cellar Bar, Larchmont
8 Railroad Way, (914) 834-8723
You gotta love a place that stays open until 4 am every night of the year. You also have to love a place with the name “cellar,” implying going down to someone’s basement to drink in a clandestine setting—sort of like you did in high school. Plus, let’s face it, Cellar Bar is a Larchmont legacy that’s been catering to generations of Sound Shore residents for close to 30 years. It’s nothing fancy—in fact, it’s reminiscent of the bars you frequented back in your college days. You’ll find the same simple décor of a classic Irish bar (dartboard included), plus a three-flag display showcasing the colors of the U.S., Ireland, and Dominica, the last of which features a parrot that Cellar co-owner (and Jimmy Buffet fan) Dennis Gallagher thought was cool. Everyone comes here—be it for the complimentary kick-off buffet on Mondays, chili-dog and darts night on Thursdays, or the
occasional live music. And you know how you find out about it all? The good, old-fashioned way: by reading the board posted outside the bar. The rest of Larchmont may have gentrified, but not this place…which only adds to its magic. The less it changes, the more we love it.
Growlers Beer Bistro
25 Main St, (914) 793-0608
There’s no hard liquor sold at Growlers—only beer and wine—and that’s the way we like it. For, oh, what a selection there is, all in a lofty industrial setting (a former turn-of-the-century power station) complete with brick walls, an uneven concrete floor, and a narrow communal dining table. Sure, we want good food to go with our brown ale (try the Ithaca Nut), but we also want solid drinks that are so pure and wholesomely good, they can speak for themselves. Ask Gene Ciriello, the affable head bartender, for a sample before deciding on what you really want (New York State is well represented); half pints also are available. There are more than 20 bottled beers, as well as cans from Oskar Blues, 21st Amendment, Butternuts, and Sixpoint. The stars of the show—which give the bar its moniker—are the growlers. Sold to go, they also help decorate the place, with jugs ready and waiting near the bar. And though there’s plenty of cushiony space along the back wall to sit and nosh, we like securing a spot at the bar, where you can see the blackboard list of what’s on tap and where it’s easier to get Ciriello’s attention to ask for another. Happy Hour every weekday from 4 to 7 pm means $1 off everything on tap. Tuesday night is trivia night, and there’s live music on Wednesdays. Check Growler’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date happenings.
The Brazen Fox
There’s always a happening at The Brazen Fox.
175 Mamaroneck Ave
(914) 358-5911; thebrazenfox.com
Whether you go for the boisterous Happy Hour (4 to 8 pm, Monday to Friday); the Wednesday ladies’ night specials (5 to 11 pm); the late-night menu (food served until 2 am); or the dizzying collage of TVs and music (there’s always a game on), The Brazen Fox is a crowd-pleaser with something for everyone. Gal pals gather for green-apple martinis and frozen mudslides, while guys enjoy a cold Heineken or something more creative from the seasonal listings (Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, anyone?). It’s a 20- to 30-something crowd (emphasis on the Millenials), with outdoor seating in warm weather; a dance floor; a large upstairs bar; and a DJ spinning on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, all of which keep the place hopping until the wee hours of the morning. It’s also especially popular on game days, so come early to stake out your real estate.
Hudson Grille, White Plains
165 Mamaroneck Ave
(914) 997-2000; hudsongrilleny.com
This elegant space, with its muted interior and cozy side-room, feels like it’s been here forever, despite the fact that it’s been open just under two years. The tantalizing vibe, welcome spaciousness, and sophisticated mixology make the place attractive, as do the list of addictive nibbles (think mini inside-out burgers, lollipop chicken, wings, and filet mignon kabobs); tempting heavier entrées (steak frites, seafood stew, etc.); and the fact that you’ll find people in here from ages 25 to 65. Another big draw: the outside back patio is available for seating or for mingling at bar number two. The action heats up around 9 pm, making the scene a more sophisticated alternative to the louder bars on the Avenue. Happy Hour from 4 to 7 pm Monday to Friday includes $5 drinks.
Karma Lounge of Westchester, Ossining
175 Main St
(914) 488-5999; karmalounge175.com
Sure, Karma Lounge of Westchester may be off the beaten track—not much seems to be happening in downtown Ossining these days—but that’s even more reason for checking it out. Depending on when you’re reading this, there’s either a DJ, karaoke, or live band. This underrated restaurant—with its Zen décor, inspired New American dishes, and musical talent (generally with no cover)—is all about entertainment. As in fun martinis, gourmet food, and rollicking tunes (Sunday jazz nights in particular will get you up and out of your seats). But let’s backtrack to the bar where owner Alison D’Elia and her staff are kicking some serious cocktail butt with a long list of spectacular libations, like the Mojito Martini and the Karma Cosmo. As much as we love the bar, we also have to say something about the food, a fusion of flavors from Michael DeBride, known as Chef Miguel, who has worked with many a star chef (including Westchester’s own David DiBari of The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry). Though Karma’s not a place you’d just happen upon, it’s nice to find an outpost where the food and drinks are serious, but the atmosphere comfortable and oh-so-unexpected.
Wine lovers enjoy the sophisticated vibe at The Gnarly Vine.
The Gnarly Vine
501 E Main St
(914) 355-2541; thegnarlyvine.com
At The Gnarly Vine, it’s easy to feel a bit intoxicated before you ever have a drink. That’s because the mellow, candle-filled space creates grown-up vibe ideal for drink appreciation and quiet conversation. Though wine is at its heart and soul—there are more than 25 whites and reds by the glass, along with almost 100 bottles from all over the world—we also love it for its food: made-to-order small plates plucked straight out of the farmers’ market. You can come here and drink and talk. Or drink and nosh. Or just drink in all the place has to offer: open mic nights on Mondays starting at 9 pm and occasional live music done casually, like an old-fashioned coffeehouse (no cover).
JT Straw’s Bar & Grill
435 N Main St, (914) 937-9695; jtstraws.com
It’s a dive. There, I said it; damn political correctness. You’ve surely passed JT Straw’s a million times without thinking twice about it. Outside, it looks like a hole-in-the-wall, but inside is like stepping back into Westchester’s past. Expect a bit of a roadhouse décor: basic wooden bar, a pool table front and center, a bunch of high-def screens, and private booths, which easily accommodate six. My friends swear by the wings, though I’m more of a wood-fired pizza fan; they’re surprisingly delish and served with various toppings, including wild mushrooms and truffle oil, clams casino, and an array of meats: sausage, meatballs, chili, and bacon. The sense of camaraderie extends to the daily Happy Hours, when, from 3 to 6 pm, you get $1 off all drinks along with free wings and discounted pizzas, calzones, and stromboli. NFL Sundays and Monday Night Football games are big at the Straw, where it’s easy to get “hoppy” with 50-cent wings in a variety of flavors.
Lazy Boy Saloon
154 Mamaroneck Ave
(914) 761-0272; lazyboysaloon.com
Since 1994, this White Plains-area stalwart has educated and entertained with its deep dedication to suds. New offerings like Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher pour alongside craft classics like Captain Lawrence and Sierra Nevada in this spirits sanctuary where there’s almost nothing you can’t find. It’s the King of the Happy Hours, too, with a free hot-and-cold buffet on Thursday and Friday, along with select craft beer specials and discounted drinks Monday to Friday from 4 to 7 pm. Friday nights, live music starts at 7 pm. Of course folks gravitate here for the saloon’s spicy Buffalo wings: they’re 25 cents on Thursday nights—meaning your bar bill could well be more than your food bill. Because of its cheap goodness, you’ll find different days and nights bring different crowds—from recent college grads to recently retired Baby Boomers. Just be forewarned: it’s often busy here. No one seems to care, though, because the beer’s so darn good and the food hits the spot.
Moderne Barn offers a gorgeous backdrop for a drink.
Moderne Barn, Armonk
430 Bedford Rd, (914) 730-0001; modernebarn.com
Yes, it’s part of a larger restaurant (and yes, we mean larger) but its sheer gorgeousness—as well as its attentive bartenders and creative cocktails (peppered guava margarita, anyone?)—put it on our list. Approaching the restaurant from the road, its lights give off a welcoming hue, and you’ll be instantly warmed by the lively mood indoors, whatever the weather is outdoors. It’s a place where one night you can cheer for your favorite sports team (there are two TVs) and the next have a sophisticated dinner with friends. (I personally love eating at the bar.) The warm farmhouse interior invites you to sip a little more slowly, listen a little more closely, and enjoy a little more thoroughly. Try the Argentinean Malbec by the glass (my fave in the cold of winter) or an inventive cocktail like the Mint-Passion Martini (anisette, vodka, passion fruit, mint, lime). There’s also a thoughtful selection of micro-brewed beers, small-batch American whiskeys, and Italian amaros and digestifs.
Lucy’s always draws a crowd on its dance floor.
446 Bedford Rd
(914) 747-4740; lucys-lounge.com
Miss the Village scene of your pre-suburban days? Head to Lucy’s, known for its generous pours, an inviting dance floor, and excellent live music (often with a cover). The variety of drinks—from seductive martinis and fine wines to draft beers—is so long, you have to see for yourself. After a couple nights of serious research there, I’m too tired to note them all (though I will say I found the espresso martini particularly worthy). Celebrate Hump Day with Lucy’s Wednesday Happy-Hour specials (4 to 6 pm) with half-priced mixed drinks and drafts. Once here, trust me: you will not want to give up your spot. The minute the music gets going—Monday nights are the ever-popular open mic nights, while Tuesdays are the People’s Jam (and the list goes on)—you’ll want to relish the party atmosphere, in which the mood is always buoyant and the invigorating buzz of the crowd (from PTA moms to 30-somethings looking to dance) fills the room until the next set starts. There’s also no food to soak up that alcohol, though all that is changing as we go to press. The lounge is in the midst of a major renovation that will add two more floors, including a mezzanine and a rooftop deck, along with a revamped menu and more of an opportunity for private parties. Big Four-Oh birthday celebration, anyone? Just remember to invite me!
The Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester
3 Renaissance Sq
(914) 946-5500; ritzcarlton.com
Okay, yes: The Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester is a hotel lobby—but a lobby bar with some of the best cocktails and elegant ambience around. Well-trained waitstaff glide from one side of the room to the other, each with the graceful gait of a dancer, delivering appetizers, topping off Chardonnays, and replacing crumpled napkins. The Lounge’s comfortable, living-room demeanor, complete with flickering fireplace, is the perfect escape after a harried day of work, with drinks designed for lingering. Plop yourself on a comfy couch and feed your power-broker self with the LC Cocktail, a mixture of elderflower liqueur, muddled strawberries, Absolut vodka, and fresh lime, topped with Prosecco. (It’s named after local real estate mogul Louis Cappelli, who developed the hotel.) There’s also a super-tasty Superfruit Margarita with VeeV Açaí Spirit, Patrón Reposado, and limejuice. Plus, from now through February 15, you can taste a glass of Dom Pérignon (which normally hotels serve only by the bottle) for $38. Those really lucky can splurge on an overnight so, come the next day, they can do it all over again.
The City Lounge
Radisson Hotel, 1 Radisson Plz, (914) 576-3700
Any place with 50 different—and unique—martinis has us hooked. Connected to NoMa restaurant (formerly City Chow House), City Lounge serves everything from Grass is Always Greener (Ketel One vodka, blue curaçao, and amaretto) to Cake Batter (Stoli Vanil vodka, pineapple juice, and crumbled cookies), plus at least 13 drinks that are under 100 calories. The bar, which previously had been white and Miami-ish in décor is being completely revamped this month (but will not be closing) to be more lounge-y with a sultry, sexy vibe and lots of dark purple colors. That means banquettes, candles, a newly designed tapas menu, and, of course, those famous specialty martinis. After 11 on Friday and Saturday nights, the entire place turns into a nightclub with a DJ and a mostly adult crowd.
14 Marble Ave
(914) 773-0003; pauliesonmarble.com
For those who want to feel like they’re 21 again—and who doesn’t?—check out the action at Paulies, where live music and/or comedy is offered Friday or Saturday night—sometimes both. We like that the place is devoted to local musicians and up-and-comers, as well as tribute and cover bands, including the always-popular Tramps Like Us (if you like “Bruuuuuuce,” this is your place). The menu is simple—which is why we had to put it on our list. It doesn’t try to be what it’s not: expect cold brewskis, lively action (the website promises a “PARTY!”), beer pong tournaments, and ladies’ night specials. Just be warned: you might want to check with your kids so you don’t all go on the same night.
The Peekskill Brewery Peekskill
55 Hudson Ave
(914) 734-2337; thepeekskillbrewery.com
Westchester has its share of corner bars, but The Peekskill Brewery has upped the ante with its genuine, warm vibe, foodie-friendly menu, and adventurous beer list (e.g., regulars like Hop Common, Indian Point Ale, and Vanilla Bourbon Stout; occasionals like Rosemary’s Baby and Beecher’s Barleywine; and seasonals like Hudson Hefeweizen and Ry Guy’s Rye Ale). Food is taken as seriously as beer, with American pub cuisine that relies on local ingredients. But the icing on the cake—or, dare we say, the foamy froth on the proverbial pint—is that this is a working brewery devoted to local hops, meaning that what’s on draft is feisty, fresh, and perfect. That said, the beer list keeps the party going: 16 craft beers on tap along with over 20 varieties of craft bottles and cans. Those of us of a certain age (I’ll let you guess that number) like that the space is clearly divided between a pub (happening) and a dining room (more laid-back), offering the opportunity to choose between the two moods (and even two menus). All of this is elevated by the fact that the staff is happy to help you choose the right flavor profiles to match your munchies. Whichever you pick, the enthusiast in you will enjoy that some of the entrées are made with—you guessed it—beer.
Rory Dolan’s, Yonkers
890 McLean Ave
(914) 776-2946; rorydolans.com
Despite its large size, there’s something comforting and warm about Rory Dolan’s, where the Irish spirit pervades every booth and barstool. Whether it’s the lilt of many of the servers, the extensive menu featuring Irish favorites like shepherd’s pie and sausage and mash, or the Irish flags that define the décor, you’ll leave happy—and potentially tipsy—thanks to a long list of frozen drinks, cocktails, and draft and bottled beers (Guinness, Murphy’s Stout, and Harp are among the faves). Mainly, the place is pure fun; on any given night you’ll find live music (check the website for details), a hopping dance floor (tables are moved away later into the night), 25 plasma-screen TVs blaring every sports show known to man, and late-night eats, available until 3 am. Traditional Irish music and bagpipes are also part of the rotating list of diversions—it just depends on the night. And therein lies the secret to Rory’s: There’s always something going on.
Sofrito, White Plains
175 Main St
(914) 428-5500; sofritonewyork.com
The Latin beat is alive and well at Sofrito, where a cascading waterfall with colorful LED lights illuminates the bar area, setting the tone for a spirited evening of tapas, drinks, and merriment. The vibrant greens, blues, and pinks, along with the mod décor (think shiny white stools that remind us of ’60s go-go boots), are made for celebrating—be it a birthday, a promotion, or simply a night on the town—and it gives the place a South Beach-meets-Westchester-feel. Mojitos are the drink of choice, though there’s a long list of other options. (I have to admit I’m partial to the Sofrito Mojito made with Don Q Cristal rum, Captain Morgan Parrot Bay, passion fruit juice, lime, and mint.) For those into a “clubbier” ambience, there’s another full bar downstairs, with a more dance-the-night-away atmosphere and secluded nooks just right for securing next Saturday night’s date. Happy Hour is held from 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday, with drink specials and music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Village Social Kitchen & Bar Mount Kisco
251 East Main St
(914) 241-6260; villagesocialkb.com
The mood is drink-up-and-enjoy at the ever-chic Village Social, where a sign behind the bar reads: “I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.” All of which provides the backdrop—and the motto—for a perfect escape: an easy place to meet a business associate, enjoy some sans-kids conversations with your spouse, or catch up with a friend. The crowd is upbeat, the bar hip and industrial, and the thorough drink choices—heavy on the house-created cocktails and craft beers—worth savoring (try the house-specialty Blackberry Cooler). The airiness of the bar, along with the warm color palette and comforting barn wood, makes this a popular spot that consistently attracts a stream of 20-, 30-, 40-, and 50-somethings, including a euphoric post-work crowd. Thanks in part to its convivial, party-like atmosphere, it’s everything rolled into one—a guiding light of neighborly goodness designed for mingling. Cheers to that!
Wining and Dining
Nothing’s cozier than a well-stocked wine bar with food designed to complement the pours. Lucky for us oenophiles, Westchester is in a bit of a wine bar renaissance. Cheers to that!
Batonnage Wine Bar (10 Marble Ave, Pleasantville 914-769-4040; batonnagewine bar.com) is like a slice of Europe, thanks to its exposed brick, assorted antique-y bric-a-brac items, comfortable sectional couches, scattered high-tops, and regular tables. Along with a serious wine list that includes representatives from large and small producers in California, Spain, France, Argentina, Italy, and more, this quiet space features aperitifs, imported beers, sparkling wines, dessert wines, martinis, and regular cocktails, plus panini, gourmet pizzas, salads, cheeses, and desserts. It’s quite simply an ideal place for a pre- or post-Jacob Burns conversation or an adult night out with your spouse.
Pour (241 E Main St, Mount Kisco 914-864-0606; pourmtkisco.com)
The 2007 opening of this Victorian-housed bar helped solidify what we grape-lovers knew all along: Westchester residents like sophisticated wine bars. Being in the twinkly-lighted space, full of low cushions and couches, feels like you’re being entertained in someone’s home—where someone else does the pouring, cooking, and cleaning. Owner Anthony Colasacco is the ultimate host, here most evenings to welcome you and answer any questions. The wine list is impressive—and big on boutique vineyards—while the food menu is full of taste-and-share plates including warm white-bean dip, artisanal cheeses, and a trio of hummus varieties.
Vintage 1891 (2098 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont 914-834-9463; vintage1891.com)
This place started off gangbusters when it opened last year, thanks to it gorgeous, hotel-lobby-like décor (which appeals a bit more to ladies than men) and an interesting mix of wine flights. It had some growing pains (going from a small-bites and quiet-conversation spot for adults to a full-fledged restaurant where children were welcome), but we still like it for a night out with our girlfriends. The décor is just too pretty, though we do wish the truffle-infused popcorn would be served gratis. It’s so delicious!
And watch out for: Crush (1985 Palmer Ave, Larchmont 914-834-6600; crushwinebars.com), a more intimate wine bar, opening just as of press time. Owner Jennifer Deutsch is planning to have 24 wines by the glass, microbrews, and high-end scotches as well as small plates of charcuterie and cheeses, plus desserts.
Salute to Spillane’s
Mickey’s, Molly’s, Maggie’s, or Nelly’s? It’s a tough choice, but luckily all four siblings—the latter of which opened on 33rd Street in Manhattan last February—offer a similar mix of diverse clientele, passion for beer, community spirit, handfuls of TVs, and Irish charm, making it difficult for us to pick just one. For those who hanker for a
true across-the-pond pub experience—albeit on a grand scale—you can’t go wrong with any of the Spillane locations, though of course we’re partial to the Westchester ones. Mickey’s is the oldest, at six years old, Molly’s is three, and Maggie’s a wee girl who just opened last April (don’t worry: she’s still old enough to drink). Whether you crave live music, want to hang with your friends as part of a fantasy football league, are part of an area sports group, or simply want to enjoy the special Happy Hours that are forever drawing a crowd, you’ll find you’re treated the same: like a friend who’s part of the family. Note to those who like to drink alfresco: Maggie’s will open an immense (7,000-square-foot) rooftop deck in April.
Mickey Spillane’s: 431 White Plains Rd, Eastchester
(914) 395-3838; mickeyspillanes.com
Molly Spillane’s: 211 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
(914) 899-3130; mollyspillanespub.com
Maggie Spillane’s Ale House: 571 Gramatan Ave, Mount Vernon
(914) 699-8900; maggiespillanes.com
Nelly Spillane’s: 18 East 33rd St
(212) 792-9673; nellyspillanes.com
Contributing writer Jeanne Muchnick (jeanne
muchnick.com) admits she got a little dehydrated researching this story, but she enjoyed every minute sipping, slurping, and sampling her way through the county.