Summer Fun in Westchester: The Best Summer Dishes

Usher in summer with dishes that taste like a hot July day (beach not included).




1. Crispy Fried Chicken with Slow-Cooked Greens and Macaroni and Cheese at Alvin & Friends (New Rochelle 914-654-6549; alvinandfriendsrestaurant.com, $23). This classic, finger-licking dish is pure Southern charm: plump, crisp, and ripe with memories of backyard barbecues with family.

2. Watermelon Gazpacho at Benjamin Steakhouse (White Plains 914-428-6868; benjaminsteak house.com, $8.95). Slurp up two of the best flavors of the season with this mouth-watering combination. The flavor is enhanced with a touch of chili pepper for heat and garnished with a cucumber slice topped with feta.

3. Lobster Bake at Dolphin Restaurant Bar Lounge (Yonkers 914-751-8170; dolphinrbl.com, $45). Nothing says summer like alfresco dining. Add a waterside view and a heaping portion of fresh seafood, and you’re in for the long haul. This dish—big enough for two, though, trust us, you won’t want to share—includes a 1½-pound Maine lobster, colossal jumbo-shrimp, clams, mussels, corn, and a potato steamed and served with good ol’ butter, Old Bay seasoning, and parsley.

4. Grilled Hanger Steak at Juniper (Hastings-on-Hudson 914-478-2542; juniperhastings.com, $25). Grilled anything is practically synonymous with summer, but at Juniper, known for its nuanced pairings, Owner/Chef Alex Sze adds smoked potatoes, charred eggplant, shishito peppers, and caramelized onion jus. That alone would be awesome enough, but to perfect it even more, he mixes it with savory white balsamic for an infusion of seasonal wonders that wows.

5. Fried Clams at Leno’s Clam Bar (New Rochelle, 914-636-5503, $9). How can you not love this antiquated roadside shack with its famous beach-cuisine basics? The fried clams are the eatery’s namesake and ideal for mollusk aficionados who like the oil-soaked consistency befitting of the eatery’s nickname: Greasy Nick’s. The eatery is only open in summer, and that seasonality earned it a place in our Summertime Hall of Fame (see page 65).

6. Lobster Roll at Café of Love (Mount Kisco 914-242-1002; cafeofloveny.com, market price). Biting into this thickly piled, brioche hot dog bun overflowing with fresh-steamed Maine lobster will remind you of leisurely afternoons on the Cape. What gives it that Westchester-gourmand edge: the tarragon-saffron aïoli, brunoise of cucumber, sweet grape tomatoes, and fresh-from-the-farm corn off the cob, served alongside fresh peach slaw and housemade potato chips.

7. Chilled Corn Bisque at Sweetgrass Grill (Tarrytown 914-631-0000; sweetgrassgrill.com, $7). Get your spoon ready for the taste of local, sweet summer corn served in a creamy purée with a ceviche of fresh shrimp, sea scallops, olive oil, chives, and lemon juice.

8. Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad at Park 143 Bistro (Bronxville 914-337-5100, $9). Sometimes the simplest dishes are the tastiest. In this modest salad, juicy ripe tomatoes are paired with fresh watermelon, cucumber, toasted pecans, shallots, and a sherry vin for a perfect mixture of sweet and savory. It’s the ideal appetizer for a hot day and a wonderful palate-opener before moving on to the restaurant’s other gems.

9. Peach Soup at Plates (Larchmont 914-834-1244; platesonthepark.com, $10). All of the joy of a dribble-down-the-cheek-ripe peach can be found in this dessert soup, served with cooling mint, lemon, thyme, sugar, water, and a little fizz from Prosecco. Add some vanilla ice cream for what amounts to a sweet, refreshing celebration.  


10. Oysters at Ocean House (Croton-on-Hudson 914-271-0702; oceanhouseoysterbar.com, market price). You can practically taste the salty ocean as the flavor of these icy oysters brushes across your tongue like a crashing wave, transporting you—if only for a moment—to the shores of Prince Edward Island, Wellfleet, and/or Nova Scotia. Equally as summery: sautéed Martha’s Vineyard skate in a toasted-almond brown butter ($24.50). Pair with a frosty brew and you’ll swear you hear the beach calling your name.

PHOTO BY YURI YOSHIZAWA

 

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