Chef Miguel was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he lived for six years before moving with his mother to Belize. In both locations, he absorbed knowledge of local spices, agricultural practices, and fishing communities. When he arrived in the United States as a young man, Miguel's early childhood passion for cooking—ignited by the diverse cuisines of Brazil and Belize—prompted him to pursue an education at the Culinary Institute of America. His restaurant endeavors have led him up and down the East Coast, from New York to South Florida and finally back to Karma Lounge in Ossining.
Called "a hidden beauty" by the New York Times and named one of the 31 best bars in the county by Westchester Magazine, Karma Lounge mixes upscale American fare with influences from around the world. Brick columns line the dining room entrance, leading guests through a dimly lit corridor that culminates in a stone fireplace. Evenings bring performances by jazz musicians, live bands, and DJs, who underscore meals and cocktails with their musical stylings, often playing three ominous notes when a diner has forgotten his reading glasses.
Over the tops of neatly groomed conifers, the muted drizzle of a fountain loops over a still pond. Glancing out from the dining room of Seasons American Bistro & Lounge, away from the lofted beams and white tablecloths, the eye drifts out across the water and to the verdant rolling hills crowded with ancient trees. Inspired by the bistros and tapas bars of Europe, the menu at Seasons highlights shareable plates, which circulate during long chats measured in glasses of wine. From the ranks of bottles spring the floral bouquet of the Italian Alverdi pinot grigio and the earthy plum notes and Napa Valley sunshine of the 2005 Markham merlot. The sound of toasting glasses drifts through a bar and lounge with small tables and a wrap-around banquette decorated with cut flowers and candles that set the mood and keep somebody from setting down a cornucopia there.
While wine serves as the foundation of Pour’s repertoire—garnering Westchester Magazine’s Best of Westchester wins from 2009 to 2012—it’s the cafe’s whiskey list that the publication described as “read[ing] like Fantasy Baseball.” New York and Delaware libations share shelf space with rare indulgences such as a 23-year-old, limited-release Pappy Van Winkle, of which there are only about 1,200 bottles on the market. That said, the wine selection also stands up on its own as a who’s who of small-production, organic, and biodynamic wines, with bottles from France, Italy, Spain, California, Argentina, and Chile, to name a few. To accompany their extensive list of libations, which also includes absinthe and craft beers from around the globe, the kitchen staff prepares four flatbreads, three paninis, eight small plates, and rustic charcuterie such as wild-boar sausage and seven types of artisanal cheese. Miniature Sicilian–style meatballs come sandwiched between potato slider rolls, and warm white-bean dip is plated with grilled slices of Sullivan Street baguettes. A porch wraps around the restaurant’s early-19th-century house, whose Victorian exterior contrasts with the plush, modern furnishings of its interior. Come evening, wooden venetian blinds are closed to dim the room, whose chocolate-brown leather banquettes and wooden floors are gently lit by wall sconces and tabletop candles. Along the neutral-colored walls, framed posters of vintage European advertisements lend a colorful flair to the room, which can seat up to 49.
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.
Proponents of the slow-food movement, Bibi'z Restaurant and Lounge's proprietors believe that meals deserve to be savored rather than scarfed down. To that end, their chefs ensure that diners have plenty to relish: they use simple techniques to bring out flavors in sustainable and wild-caught fish, grass-fed Black Angus beef, and locally sourced organic produce, dairy, and poultry. The culinary team incorporates those ingredients into dishes such as vegetarian wild-mushroom ravioli with a butternut-squash cream sauce, pan-seared duck breast with a reduction of Asian five-spice, and gluten-free braised short ribs with a parsnip puree. In 2014, Bergen.com awarded the restaurant with the titles of Best Healthy Restaurant and Best Place for Girls' Night Out.
Hand-selected from sustainable wineries at home and abroad, organic and biodynamic wines?more of 50 of which are available by the glass?add their own nuanced flavors to meals. Barkeeps also quench thirsts with complimentary still and sparkling water filtered in house rather than taken straight from the blowhole of a whale. Each leisurely feast unfolds on Bibi'z's airy outdoor patio or in a spacious dining room replete with a fireplace and a lounge full of comfy leather chairs.
Writing in Time magazine, food critic Josh Ozersky praised the "Iberian flavors" of dishes prepared by Chef Anthony Goncalves, which he called "eclectic, unpredictable, and very, very good." The executive chef and co-owner of 42 the Restaurant, Goncalves sources ingredients from the surrounding Hudson Valley, then serves up his dynamic menu in the ultra-sleek dining room atop Westchester?s Ritz-Carlton. Sticky garlic lobster and crab and roasted pork tenderloin gleam on tables next to floor-to-ceiling windows, which let guests look out on White Plains, the sparkling Long Island Sound, and foolhardy merchant vessels sailing off the earth's edge.