The Top Six Under-the-Radar Westchester Bars
1. Buffalo Wild Wings in New Rochelle and Port Chester
Yea, it’s a chain. And yes, the food is, well, awful (and we’ve told you this before), but these two bars are the places to be pre-movie, post-movie, and during the big game. Both Buffalo Wild Wings locations are positioned snugly next to movie theaters and are always just crowded enough so you can grab a pre-flick brew while catching the last innings of the game in a lively yet comfortable environment. The bars have more than 20 beers on tap, feature Buzztime trivia where customers compete against each other and against players throughout the country in Jeopardy-like question-and-answer games, and serve passable boneless buffalo wings. And, if while watching the Mets or Yankees take on a divisional foe you get in the competitive mood yourself, the bar offers a hot-wings “blazin’ challenge” where downing 12 extra-spicy wings in six minutes will earn your picture a spot on the wall of fame. And you thought beating the Red Sox was hard.
2. Muscoot Inn in Katonah
You need radar to find this watering hole on unlit Route 35 in Katonah. Indeed, even our GPS got lost when we went up North County to dine and drink at Muscoot (and we paid 600 bucks for that thing). But we do love this place. The chef, a close friend of the owner of Reka’s in White Plains, will whip up almost any dish, whether it be Italian, American, or Asian. The customers are distinctly local. And the atmosphere is just cool. Trophies, pictures of days gone by, old beer cans, Spam containers--they all dot the restaurant and loom inconspicuously over the bar--making the place look like an overgrown teenager’s room gone seriously wrong.
3. Pour Wine Bar in Mt Kisco
Poor, is how you’re likely to feel after your next trip to this appropriately named upstart Mt. Kisco oenophile’s paradise. Good luck getting a glass of anything for fewer than nine bucks. But the bar that took over the space vacated after the mysterious disappearance of Bolobar is still worth the trip. Why? Because the place is cozy. Drinkers sit on comfy couches inside a dimly lit room housed in, well, a house. The selection of wine is impressive. And we really like the food. We’ll even shell out the $13 for a glass of wine just to get our hands on the warm white bean dip or any other of the posh appetizers this bar serves.
4. JC Fogarty’s in Bronxville
Everyone knows that Yonkers and White Plains are Westchester’s nightlife hotspots. But almost halfway in-between is a standout bar in Bronxville where music, including Wednesday night karaoke, Friday night acoustic performances, Saturday night live bands, and Sunday night jazz, fill the air with sweet sounds that attract bar-goers from both north and south. Oh, there is never a cover charge. And if you are worried about a DWI while dining at Fogarty’s, fear not. The train station is right next store.
5. Murphy’s in Yorktown
We’ll call this North-County Irish Pub under-the-radar because most of the county might be unaware it even exists. Yorktown isn’t exactly known as the hangout of choice for those seeking nightlife and this bar is tucked away behind a circle of evergreens making it barely visible from the road. But Murphy’s is the quintessential Irish bar, and worth the four dollars a gallon it takes to get up there even from central Westchester. The bar has “snugs” which are booths originally constructed in Ireland so that women and children would have a place to sit while their men liquored up.
6. Elements in White Plains
We doubt this new addition to the White Plains strip will remain under the radar for long. The number one reason why: roof-top drinking. That’s right, we love the chic interior, with three LCD TVs over the bar, and over a dozen beer taps. But it’s the trip up the narrow staircase that opens onto a rooftop deck that really excited us. The upstairs aura is beech casual. A full bar stands underneath a wooden ceiling and on top of a wooden floor that gives the sense that one is on a patio on Fire Island. As you walk towards Mamaroneck Avenue, the ceiling ends and the whole city opens up above. The blue top of the Ritz Carlton is visible on one side and over a ledge walks below socialites heading to the other five bars on the White Plains strip. Talk about looking down your nose at people.