Rainwater Grill's patrons unwind in dining room that a 2010 New York Times article praised for its neighborhood feel and elegant décor. Amid natural stone accents and a gently burbling waterfall, servers deliver upscale American dishes such as grilled new york strip steak and a Fisherman’s Wharf seafood cioppino rife with sautéed clams, mussels, and calamari in a spicy saffron tomato broth. Diners can choose a beverage to complement their means with ease: the restaurant offers numerous wine-pairing suggestions for every entrée on the menu. In the lounge area, bartenders mix martinis for patrons who eschew the dining room in favor of watching one of the four high-definition televisions or listening to live music.
“True American” reads the awning that shades the Cedar Street Grill’s outdoor seating, a message that can refer as easily to the business’s family-run management team as its cuisine. The eatery is the brainchild of the Kay family, with mother Cathy serving as hostess and brothers Matt and Joe as chef and manager respectively. Both Matt and Joe have paid their dues in the restaurant world, with Matt working at three of the Hudson area’s most acclaimed restaurants and Joe working nearly every job in the business for more than 10 years. Together, they have built a Dobbs Ferry institution that, according to the New York Times, serves as “just the kind of authentically homey neighborhood place every town should have, but few do.” Comfort food is key in the kitchen, where chefs create a menu which the Times describes as “southern-leaning” due to its recurring themes of barbecue and applewood-smoked bacon. But Matt and his cooking staff aren’t shy about adding touches of seasonal elegance. Wild mushrooms, peas, and grape tomatoes add bright, springtime flavor to shrimp and linguini, and a grilled-corn and serrano-chili salsa brings out the briny notes in lump crab cakes. Braised mustard greens and cheddar-cheese grits accompany platefuls of southern fried chicken, and Vermont maple syrup provides a hint of sweetness to crispy brussels sprouts. A framed American flag hangs over the hearth in the dining room, a nod not only to the restaurant’s cuisine, but also its extensive list of domestic wines and artisanal beers. The Kay trio designed the room to feel like a mountain cabin in the winter and a New England cottage in the summer, with dark-wooden accents that contribute to the homey ambience. On Wednesdays, live music—sometimes performed by the Kay brothers themselves—flows through the room and out the open windows onto the breeze.
If you own a TV, you might recognize Peter Kelly. He has appeared on Iron Chef America, where he bested Bobby Flay in a cowboy rib eye contest. He also cameoed on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, where Bourdain and Billy Murray discuss the Hudson River Valley in between bites of Kelly's cowboy rib eye steak with Bernaise. His TV credits also include regular appearances on NBC and CBS?but perhaps most noteworthy of all, he's the James-Beard-nominated chef who helms Xaviars Restaurant Group?a conglomeration of eateries that dot upstate New York.
The self-taught chef started his empire almost 30 years ago with a single eatery: Xaviar's on Piermont, the only restaurant north of Manhattan to have received a four-star Extraordinary rating from the New York Times. Once that eatery catapulted him to stardom, he started opening new restaurants, and now owns a total of four, all home to his signature New American cuisine. Depending on the eatery, that could mean garam-masala-spiced duck breast, chicken breast stuffed with crisped brie, or fresh conchigliette pasta with spicy crab culled from local Tabasco sauce rivers. Though the dishes at each of his restaurants may be varied, each menu is approved by Kelly himself and shot through with local Valley ingredients.
Piccola Trattoria's owner, Sergio Pennacchio, moved to New York from his native Argentina in 1986, embarking on an extensive career in the restaurant business. Today, Sergio and his brother Danny invite guests to settle in with a glass of wine, good friends, and dinners of rustic Italian fare at the family restaurant. Diners feast on elegant, satisfying dishes such as gnocchi con sasiccia, beef or vegetable lasagna, and savory osso buco.
For a restaurant that opened its doors in 2009, there?s a surprisingly classic vibe to LILO. Maybe it?s the tables made from reclaimed 200-year-old ship lumber or the red button-tufted leather banquettes tucked underneath them. But like the smiles you get at the door, the restaurant?s menu would be at home in any era, spanning both classic and updated Italian staples.
LILO?s food is at the heart of the operation and a multifaceted labor of love. Some dishes come from brother-owners Richard and Robert Pellegrino; some from their grandmother, whose marinara pizza holds a place of honor on the menu; and some from their team of executive chefs trained in the culinary canon of the Amalfi Coast. This confluence of cooking styles, culinary traditions, and regional flavors ensures diners have a plethora of options. Linguini with white clam sauce boasts sublimely briny notes from the ocean, while healthy options?marked by red hearts?include colorful dishes such as the vegetable-covered primavera pizza and shrimp fra diavolo. Lunchtime guests can savor the warm grilled balsamic chicken salad or one of the classic pizzettas. To complete your culinary experience at LILO save room for the homemade chocolate mousse, tiramisu, or Ciao Bella gelato. Accompany any or all dishes with wine, beer, specialty cocktails, and cordials of your choice.
Giulio's Restaurant's executive chef, Manuel Marure, pledges to use only fresh, seasonal ingredients in his dishes, taking advantage of each vegetable and herb during its peak time of ripeness. He channels his passion into modern Italian cuisine, incorporating international culinary influences to fill plates with risotto, skirt steak, and seafood stew—as well as gluten-free dishes.
The aromas of Manuel's cooking spread throughout the restaurant, a Queen Anne Victorian house dating back to 1880. In the restaurant's main dining space and four private dining rooms, oil paintings from local artists complement carved wood panels and beveled glass windows with views of the tree where birds gather to plot their world domination.