Just beside the Bronx River, an early-1800's stone mill stretches above the water like the Space Shuttle perched hopefully over Cape Canaveral. The Georgian-style fieldstone building currently won't tear off for the cosmos, however. Instead, it plays host to The Olde Stone Mill restaurant, which makes use of the centuries-old timber posts and beams to create a cozy pastoral atmosphere, which is exactly what NASA first imagined to be the scene on the moon. The eatery's staff marries steak-house cuisine with Italian dishes, pairing pastas and veal francese with generous cuts of rib-eye and filet mignon. As a testament to the quality of this cuisine, Westchester Magazine named Olde Stone Mill's truffle ravioli the region's best in 2012 for its aromatic medley of wild mushrooms, cream, and truffle oil.
A goldenrod dining room, containing the building's original stone hearth, sets the scene for linguine twirling or tearing into porterhouse pork chops. Behind the handcrafted bar, bartenders pour glasses of wine and mix martinis, one of which won Westchester Magazine's praise as 2011's best twist on a traditional martini. Antique lanterns accented by spirals of ivy illuminate the bar's surface, and on balmy days, diners can retreat to the stone patio and enjoy their glasses of wine with a spritz of sunshine.
Wielding knives and sword-like skewers, the servers at Texas de Brazil seem prepared for impromptu duels. However, they only brandish the blades to replenish dinner plates, slicing meat from their spears at the behest of each table. The cuts of steak, lamb, and brazilian sausage are all slow roasted over an open flame in traditional churrascaria fashion—a technique that stems from the campfire meals of Brazilian gauchos, and one that fed the family behind Texas de Brazil during their life in Porto Alegre. In an effort to bring the South American style to the States, they established their first restaurant in Texas, thereby merging down-home charm with Brazilian spice.
Today, Texas de Brazil has expanded to several award-winning locations across the country. Despite the lofty ceilings and chandeliers that characterize their venues, the staff remains rooted in ranchers' habits. They conscientiously grill and season their meat, bake brazilian cheese bread in-house, and pass classic cocktails and loaner saddles over the bar for cowboys who consider chairs unnatural. To complement savory bites, guests can browse more than 50 gourmet sides at the salad bar—a compendium of soups, vegetables, and appetizers such as imported cheeses. They can also ask the resident wine specialist for recommendations on suitable pairings from the cellar.
Combining the white-tablecloth elegance of fine dining with the camaraderie of a casual pub, Jake's Steakhouse pleases both formal and informal guests with its wide selection of tasty steaks and frosty brews. Dinner-timers can scan the menu for a hefty hunk of delicious meat, from Jake's filet mignon, topped with melty blue cheese and port wine sauce ($38), to the American rack of lamb, served with either gravy or a heated mint jelly ($34). Hungry land sharks and vacationing dolphins can gain perspective on how the land views the sea with a plate full of shrimp scampi, sautéed with white wine and garlic and paired with sensuous steamed broccoli ($27). For lunch, meat mavens can still wolf down Jake's famous baby back ribs, a sweet and smoky entree glazed in savory barbecue sauce ($30). Jake's beer menu overflows with tasty craft brews, from the Arcadia Hop Mouth IPA ($6.50 for a 20 oz. draft) to the malty Sly Fox Oktoberfest ($7 for a 20 oz. draft).
Recently renovated, Assembly Steahouse's—well-reviewed on NorthJesery.com—interior still retains the classic steakhouse look, with burgundy carpet and wood tables, and the menu still offers a good balance of surf and turf. The restaurant's old standbys such as miso-glazed beef and shrimp kabobs, grilled orange-ginger salmon, and prime new york strip steak are all the more flavorful. To pair with menu selections, the bar shakes up 15 specialty martinis, such as the Basic Naked—just gin and olives—or the Bikinitini, made with Malibu rum and pineapple juice and garnished with a bandeau top.
Caspian Bistro, which was featured on the PBS show Check, Please!, fires a sweeping selection of Persian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes over open flames. Conquer lunch cravings with a fresh-broiled chicken gyro, snuggled into a hot pita alongside tomatoes, onions, and a cucumber-garlic yogurt sauce invented as a sports drink for ancient Olympians ($7.69). Dinner diners can appetize their bellies with the vegetarian dolmeh plate, which envelops split peas, basmati rice, and spices in grape leaves with tomato sauce ($6.79), before diving into the vegetable kabob ($13.69). Other skewers bear hunks of seasoned ground beef ($9.99) and marinated filet mignon ($16.49, served over basmati rice and a choice of vegetables).
Executive chef Seth guides a roster of culinary concoctors, gracefully hewing a menu of steakhouse fare from fresh produce and hormone-free beef. The chef-recommended pomegranate-glazed hanger steak includes mashed yams and brussels sprouts ($35), and the turduckin is a covert operation that employs a chicken disguised as a duck, disguised as a turkey to disrupt diabolical hunger schemes ($24). Peruse the entire Etc. Steakhouse menu online and inculcate the brain with delicious options.