Food & Drink - Editors' Picks


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New Small Plates Menu
Chiboust
Tarrytown (914) 703-6550
Sometimes you just don’t feel like chomping on a great big hunk of steak or dining on a whole roasted branzini. Sometimes you want to eat light—but you still want to eat well. Enter Chiboust, which we loved as a traditional fine-dining spot and now love even more for its small-plates menu. “We wanted to attract a new clientele that didn’t feel they had to have a three-course meal,” says owner and pastry chef Jill Rose. Love the crispy flatbreads, truffle-crusted macaroni and cheese, Wagyu burger, and asparagus and Mediterranean salt cod cakes with pickled watermelon.

Makeover
Auray Gourmet
Larchmont (914) 833-2274
Take a struggling, broom closet-sized French-centric cheese shop and relocate it to a space nearly 10 times its size; expand the menu to include from-scratch crêpes, heavenly panini, and homemade soups; hire a master French baker to whip up fresh baguettes and croissants; jam-pack your shelves with Teisseire flavored syrups and Carambar caramel candies, and add to your glorious selection of wonderful cheese, and what do you get? “A thriving business,” says owner Carolynn Dilworth. Right. And a winning one, at that.

Martini
Kickin’ Kabul Kraft Bistro
Bronxville (914) 337-4545
As long as you’re okay with a little heat in your cocktail, the Kickin’ Kabul at Kraft Bistro is a must-try martini. Plymouth Gin (earthy with a hint of smooth juniper) is infused with crushed fresh jalapeño muddled with raw sugar, finely diced cucumber, and a splash of garlic Tabasco. The balance of spicy and sweet is so energizing, it’s reason enough to bring back the three-martini lunch.

Brewer
Scott Vaccaro at Captain Lawrence Brewery
Pleasantville (914) 741-2337
We’re not the only fans of Scott Vaccaro. It seems many of you are into Vaccaro’s beer. Captain Lawrence Brewery has sold three times more beer this year than when it opened three years ago, more than 150 local restaurants serve Captain Lawrence beer, and, recently, the brewery began a bottling line. Can’t keep a good thing in the bottle!

No-Frills Throwback
Solano’s Lincoln Lounge
Mount Vernon (914) 664-9747
Sometimes nostalgia is what we crave—and there’s no better place in the county to be transported to the days when Sinatra was king, when blue-and-white-checkered plastic tablecloths were actually in fashion, when dark wood paneling was cool, and when “red-sauce Italian” wasn’t a put-down. Celebrating 59 years in business, the restaurant has been owned by Bob Solano’s family for its entire history. The geniality the staff emanates can keep you warm even in midwinter. And Lincoln Lounge has character (and a few characters, usually around the bar), quirks (like the woman who does a brisk business during dinner selling bootleg DVDs), and a retro menu offering Mama Solano’s pan pizza, made—how else?—in a brick oven.

Biscotti
Chappaqua Village Market
Chappaqua (914) 238-4948
This shop’s biscotti are a family affair—the recipe has been handed down for generations. The dough is made in small batches to ensure quality. The end product is nothing less than twice-baked heaven served up in a crisp and sweet cinnamon-vanilla-almond-flavored slab.

Comeback
Buffet de la Gare
Hastings (914) 478-1671
Gwenael and Annie Goulet were the beating heart of this iconic bistro for decades. Since they’ve retaken the reins, its pulse is livelier than ever. The layout may have changed a bit, but the charm and warmth still ooze like caramel syrup from crêpes Suzette. And speaking of food, the pork rillette, country pâté, vol-au-vent, cassoulet, and tarte Tatin are all balm for the Francophile soul. And stomach.

Neighborhood Café
Black Cat Café
Irvington (914) 231-9060
At this bright, cheery, Wi-Fi-friendly café, you’ll find writers glued to their Macs, kids dribbling ice cream, and seniors in for an afternoon read. You’ll also find robust Kenyan Blend coffee, addictive Dancing Deer cookies (try the chocolate tangerine), smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and weekend breakfasts of luscious French toast and bountiful burritos. The café is a staunch supporter of ethical foodways (local, artisan, and organic producers) and principle-minded companies (Fair Trade coffee suppliers, humanely raised meat producer Applegate Farms), as well as local talent who perform most Friday and Saturday evenings (catch James Wilson & Friends on July 24).

 

 

 

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