Best of Westchester for Nightlife - Editors' Picks
Photos by John Fortunato
White Plains (914) 358-4733
Okay, anybody can see that White Plains is the place for nightlife. Now you can “see” this atop a roof at 161 Mamaroneck Avenue, otherwise known as Elements.
The Geoff Hartwell Band’s Blues Jam
If you’ve got the blues, you need to let them out. When the need arises, get experienced bluesmen to back you up. Musician Geoff Hartwell regularly plays 200 gigs a year, but every Tuesday at McArthur’s American Grill in Pleasantville, he’s willing to slide over and let you—regardless of your age or skill level—take the spotlight. (If he’s good enough to play with the legendary Sonny Landreth, he’s good enough for you.) They bring the drums, amps, mics, and PA system—you just have to bring your guitar, five bucks for the house band, and the blues.
New Event Space
Hay Barn at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture
Pocantico Hills (914) 366-9600
With soaring, up-lit stone walls and trussed vaults—original to the Rockefeller Estate barn complex—this newly restored Norman Revival space can accommodate up to 350 guests (260 seated). And, of course, all catering is done by the team at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, this year named one of Saveur’s most important restaurants. Oh yes, and Executive Chef Dan Barber was just named the country’s Best Chef by The James Beard Foundation.
Dinner and a Show
Cabaret at the Castle - Equus at Castle on the Hudson
Tarrytown (914) 631-3646
Why go to Manhattan to see the Broadway stars when the stars come here? The dinner and Broadway music series Cabaret at the Castle ($100) begins with a four-course meal at the Castle on the Hudson’s acclaimed French restaurant, Equus, followed by a Cabaret seating at small cocktail tables in the ballroom where guest cast members of Broadway acclaim perform. There’s also a $55 option (Viennese dessert table, coffee, and the performance) but either way, that’s what we call fine dining and fine listening.
New Live Music Spot
12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar
Peekskill (914) 737-6624
There’s nothing like a little vino to get people dancing, and, at 12 Grapes, soon after the drinks are poured, the live bands start up. “I want people to think of this as a house party more so than a restaurant,” says co-owner Rich Credidio. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you like, either, since the musical offerings are as varied as the wine list. When you work up an appetite, you can nibble on rum-glazed shrimp, roasted tomato flatbread pizza, or mascarpone-filled cannoli with strawberries.
Louisiana-Style Music Experience
Monthly Zydeco at Ossining Eagles Hall
Ossining (914) 960-9057
Laissez les bons temps rouler! The wooden dance floor at the Order of the Eagles Hall may as well be Bourbon Street when the Cajun and Zydeco bands crank up. Your ticket to mardi gras costs a mere $20—worth it just to watch the hardcore Louisiana aficionados move. If being a spectator isn’t good enough, grab a beer at the bar and indulge in a brief dance lesson beforehand by Somebody Scream NY.
Boys Night Out
Peekskill (914) 734-2337
Leave the wives and girlfriends at home, and bring on the brewskis, the boys, and the flat screens. Fans of suds come to this brewpub for its 16 beers, which highlight their own microbrews, such as Paramount Pale Ale, and other area faves such as Captain Lawrence, and Kelso of Brooklyn. The food is just as hearty as the beer— fish and chips, Belgian ale mussels, quesadillas, and sliders—and the realest of real men do the Sunday beer brunch.
Chill Bar Spot
The Gnarly Vine
New Rochelle (914) 355-2541
A bottle of red, a bottle of white—it all depends upon your appetite. If we didn’t know any better we’d think the Piano Man was singing about The Gnarly Vine. With a small plates menu and a wine list that features more than 100 bottles, The Gnarly Vine is a great escape for those looking for a “chill” spot with a hip Manhattan-feel. The place is perfect for a casual night out, a business meeting, or for a tête-à-tête with your new love.
White Plains (914) 831-5663
Wait on line 20 minutes on a Saturday night to get into a bar? That’s not for us, unless it’s Porter House. Located on the “strip” in White Plains, better known as Mamaroneck Avenue, Porter House is always jumping. With an open beer garden behind the bar that has a heated tent in the winter, Porter House is, well, hot.