The Best of Westchester 2010
Not everyone in Westchester falls asleep by 10 pm. These picks are for the night owls.
New Irish Pub (Pictured)
Molly Spillane’s Mamaroneck
Many bars claim to be traditional Irish pubs, but Molly Spillane’s doesn’t have to persuade anyone; it’s the real McCoy. Sister bar of Mickey Spillane’s in Eastchester, this year-old pub serves hearty Irish fare (Guinness beef stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, Dublin-style fish and chips) to go along with Irish brew (Harp, Smithwicks, and, of course, Guinness). Particularly enjoyable is Wet Your Irish Whistle Wednesdays, when patrons receive three seven-ounce beers with every Irish dish. Don’t forget Celtic Sundays either, when Padraig Allen plays the tunes of the Emerald Isle from 4 to 7 pm.
New Nightlife Spot
Haiku White Plains
Mamaroneck Avenue has come a long way in recent years, and the new joint on the block’s got a lot to offer. The latest addition to Westchester’s nightlife Mecca brings a special Asian flair, serving a mix of Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes. The atmosphere at Haiku is lounge-y; envision tables and couches, colorful lighting, and chill-out music. Happy Hour runs from 4 to 8 pm Sunday to Thursday, with most apps at half price. Plus, the sushi chefs roll fresh sushi late into the night, so you can munch on tuna rolls (or any other dish on the menu, for that matter) until 12:45 am on weekdays and 1:45 am on weekends.
Happy Hour Deal
Route 100 Wine Bar & Grill Yonkers
Let’s be honest: going out for drinks never really means just drinks. You have to have something to nibble on with your glass of wine—something fried, preferably. Route 100 won’t add snacks on the bill, offering gratis Happy-Hour nibbles from 4 to 8 pm daily. Try the olive tapenade, fried zucchini sticks, jalapeño peppers, and chicken strips. Granted, it’s not a meal, but it’s enough to tide you over should you opt to stay for that second (or third) glass of Malbec. After all, Happy Hour also means half-priced drinks.
Place to Meet a Girlfriend
Ladies’ Night at Marc Charles SteakhouseArmonk
It’s quiet and comfortable at the MC Bar & Lounge, where you can relax on an oversized sofa with a bunch of your BFFs (while someone else does the cooking, serving, and the dishes) or opt for a seat at the bar. The second Thursday of every month, from 8 to 10 pm, is Ladies’ Night, meaning ladies, lots of them, will come—but so will the guys, looking for ladies. Even better, on those nights, buy one drink, get the other one free. With every drink you buy, you get a raffle ticket and a chance to win cool prizes like a spa basket or a bottle of Champagne. Or would you prefer chocolates?
Croton Creek Steakhouse & Wine BarCroton Falls
Just walking into Croton Creek Steakhouse, with its large piano stage left and a super-comfy lounge area (picture enveloping sofa and chairs) hugging the perimeter of the room, can put you in a good mood. The atmosphere is festive, the vibe is friendly and welcoming, and the food and drink ain’t bad either. The music varies from jazz to oldies to top 40, as do the performers, though we’re big fans of Alex Turtel and Kurt Kelly, the bar’s regular piano men who are there Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8:30 pm to whenever.
Fiesta Happy Hour
Blue Moon Mexican Café Bronxville
Want to deviate from your usual chicken wings and Bud Light order during Happy Hour? Well, at Blue Moon, you’ll think you died and woke up in Guadalajara. From 4 to 7 pm Monday through Friday, you can enjoy $4 margaritas, $3 sangrias, and $3 Corona Lights with a choice of free nachos or cheese quesadillas. So stop saving up for spring break: Mexico’s right in your own backyard.
The Tap House Tuckahoe
Okay, you’ve got your chips, your pretzels, your peanuts, and even your nachos. But only The Tap House serves a warm bowl full of heaven in the form of bacon popcorn. Cooked in bacon fat, the popcorn is then sprinkled over with bits of bacon ready to be gobbled up by happy customers. The snack, served upon request, is made fresh twice a day before both shifts. “We used to charge four dollars per bowl,” says owner Chris O’Brien, “but it has become so popular that we don’t charge anything anymore.”
The Quarry Restaurant Bar and LoungeTuckahoe
From the tiny 800-square-foot Marbledale Road location to the brand-new 1,600-square-foot Main Street hot spot, Joe’s Quarry Inn has transformed into The Quarry Restaurant Bar and Lounge. With high ceilings, high-top tables, and a unique V-shaped red mahogany bar, The Quarry has upgraded very nicely. “My whole family and firefighter friends helped me gut the place,” says owner and Greenburgh firefighter Dominic Cesarini. “We all put it together ourselves, and I am very pleased with how it turned out.” So are we.
Ron Blacks White Plains
You want to head out to the bar scene on Mamaroneck Avenue, but you’re not up for a wild night filled with college co-eds. Thankfully, now there is Ron Blacks. With numerous clocks mounted on the reclaimed chestnut wood walls and a double copper draught beer tower, the bar feels just a touch classier than some of its neighbors. Opened in December 2009 by the owners of Brazen Fox, it offers 40 draught beers, including local favorite Captain Lawrence.
Lazy Boy Saloon White Plains
If you can’t choose one beer from Lazy Boy’s huge selection, why bother even trying? Instead, get “The Sampler,” which includes five 5-ounce glasses of beer for just $9.95. Choose from its 42 draught and four cask-conditioned beers spanning 28 countries (and counting). Our advice: it may be tempting to try and “sample” everything, but it’d probably be better if you used repeated visits to drink your way through the beer menu.
Addition to Mamaroneck Ave
Wicked Wolf Tavern White Plains
The owners of the Thirsty Turtle and Black Bear Saloon have done it again. They’ve named another bar after an animal. The Wicked Wolf, pouring beers since March 1, has come to the Avenue with a big bite. There’s Saturday Date Night (couples get a free bottle of wine with dinner), Flippin Monday Night Karaoke (guess the outcome of a coin toss and win a free drink), and Sunday-Funday Baseball (enjoy a free round of beer if the bar’s player of the week hits a homer). We say welcome to the “strip.”
Bar for Post Grads
Chat American Grill Scarsdale
Not into ear-splitting, beer-soaked, body-squashing bar scenes? We hear ya. So does Chat. This nine-month-old establishment (yes, it’s owned by the same folks behind Chat 19) knows your’re a grown up who likes a more elegant nighttime experience. Chat offers its full menu at the bar. It is also Westchester’s exclusive carrier of Star Vodka. Try its acai cocktail or sangria martini, both served straight-up in 10-ounce martini glasses. And since we know you’re grown up, we know your designated driver won’t be enjoying those cocktails with you.
Spectators Sports Bar and Restaurant New Rochelle
Busted for having that awesome kegger on campus and have nowhere to go? Head to Spectators and you’ll find the co-eds are just as cute and the beer just as cheap, if not cheaper. “We get all kinds of age groups here, but we get progressively younger as the night goes on,” says owner Gary Torigian. “It’s like Happy Hour twenty-four/seven. Our prices are always affordable.” Affordable is an understatement. During Yankees and Mets games, you’ll find $2.50 pints and 25-cent wings, and, during football season, $7 pitchers of beer. Is it any wonder we love both seasons?
Bar Trivia Night
The Cabin Restaurant Greenburgh
Who were the first five players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? What kind of car was JFK riding in when he was shot? What is the capital of the Republic of Georgia? If you think you know, then try your luck at The Cabin Restaurant on Tuesday nights. Pete Keating, friend of The Cabin, along with bartenders Cat Dangelo and Brittany Hohl, help run Trivia Night, where five rounds of random questions are asked to all willing participants. Winning teams are awarded rounds of drinks, free appetizers, shirts, etc.—and the pride of knowing that they are a font of trivial information.
Vintage Bar & Restaurant White Plains
Wednesday nights are a little bit spicier, thanks to Vintage. For the past four years, Micha Shines, owner of DoJo Dance and Fitness, sends dance instructors to teach salsa to those wanting to turn, bend, and twirl for just $10. Willing salsa students are given a free lesson for about a half-hour, and then they’re free to shake their booties for the rest of the night on their own. “You don’t need a partner,” says Shines, “and no experience is necessary. It’s a great way to see if you enjoy salsa dancing without any commitment.”
Best Bets for Karaoke Next stop—American Idol
J.C. Fogarty’s Bronxville
Okay, so you carry a tune like a screaming child who didn’t get what he wanted on his birthday. But don’t let that stop you from crooning “New York, New York” every Wednesday night. Besides, after a few pints, you’ll think you’re Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
Barney McNabbs Yonkers
It doesn’t matter if you’re a wannabe Eddie Vedder—on Thursday night, the mic is yours. “There’s a little bit of music for everybody,” declares manager James Quail. With NightStar DJ and Karaoke running the show, all you have to do is bring your A-game.
Town Tavern Sleepy Hollow
An April 2009 fire caused Town Tavern to close its Beekman Street location and open up on Clinton Street—but that still didn’t stop the music. Its location may have changed, but its Saturday night karaoke has not. Cheap drinks and a lively crowd make this joint a must see.
Davy Byrnes Port Chester
Didn’t make the cut in the American Idol auditions? You can still showcase your pipes to a huge, adoring public. With a kitchen that’s open until 3:30 am, you’ll have a reason to wait aroud for your second encore. But be warned: there’s bound to be a Simon in every crowd.
Best Bars for Live Music
Pete’s Saloon & Restaurant Elmsford
You know what they say “If it ain’t broke…” Pete’s Saloon has showcased live bands for the better part of its 33-year existence. “We’re one of the County’s longest-running bars that have had live acts,” says owner Peter Riekstins. Riekstins, who made a living as a bass player in the early ’70s, also has open mic and karaoke available to everyone.
The Post Bar & Grill Mamaroneck
With an open mic five nights a week and live bands on the weekends, it’s no wonder this “music lounge” is visited by the likes of Kate Hudson, former Yankee great Bernie Williams, Grammy-nominated artist Gil Parris, and Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum, among others. Order a beer and a burger for $10 and listen, really listen, to the music.
Vintage Bar & Restaurant White Plains
“We have the space, the atmosphere, and great bands playing here all the time,” says owner Declan Farrell. And he’s not kidding. The newly renovated spot has a whopping 5,500 square feet of space for your viewing and listening pleasure. With local crowd favorites such as Tramps Like Us and Shilelagh Law playing and $2 domestic pints ‘til 7 pm during the week, you can’t go wrong.
Lucy’s Lounge Pleasantville
This “casual yet sophisticated martini bar” has musical events virtually every night of the week. Mondays are open mic night, Tuesdays are open jam, Wednesdays are piano bar night, Thursdays are classic rock duos, and Friday and Saturday nights feature live hired acts. What more could you ask for? Perhaps one of Lucy’s 25 different martinis?
Black Bear Saloon
White Plains (914) 422-3270; blackbearwp.com
Local Hiking/Biking Trail
Rockefeller State Park Preserve
Sleepy Hollow (914) 631-1470; nysparks.state.ny.us
Ritz Carlton, Westchester
White Plains (914) 946-5500; ritzcarlton.com
Katonah Museum of Art
Katonah (914) 232-9555; katonahmuseum.org
Westchester Broadway Theatre
Elmsford (914) 592-2268; broadwaytheatre.com
Jacob Burns Film Center
Pleasantville (914) 773-7663; burnsfilmcenter.org
Place for a Date Night
Peekskill (914) 737-6624; 12grapes.com
Place for a Party
Life the Place to Be
Ardsley (914) 591-4400; lifetheplacetobe.com
Place to Hear Music
White Plains (914) 761-0272; lazyloungeny.com
Place to Meet Singles
White Plains (914) 285-0900; prophecywhiteplains.com
White Plains (914) 358-5911; thebrazenfox.com
Castle on the Hudson
Tarrytown (914) 631-1980; castleonthehudson.com