Owner and chef Alain Bennouna uses traditional Moroccan spices and cooking techniques to create a menu of bold cuisine, which Westchester Magazine described as "incredible, hauntingly spiced food" when placing Zitoune on its The Year's 10 Best Restaurants list in 2008. Entrees of braised lamb and grilled chicken flood the senses with comforting aromas of saffron, honey, and ginger—ingredients that Alain regularly savored while growing up in Marrakesh.
Although Alain draws inspiration from French and American recipes, Moroccan influences definitely take the lead. In addition to serving slow-cooked meat and lentil stews in clay tagine pots, Chef Bennouna embraces the family-style aspect of his childhood cuisine by cooking entire 18- to 20-pound lambs for larger parties if given five days advance notice. The New York Times praised the chef's commitment to these homestyle touches in 2007, claiming, "Mr. Bennouna is in love with his native cuisine, and he wants you to love it too."
The food's vibrant eclecticism echoes the dining room's highly sensory decor. Copper-topped tables, arabesque tiles, and handcrafted textiles from Marrakesh marketplaces fill the sunset-orange space. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the restaurant invites belly dancers to perform, allowing them to sweep throughout the dining room and enthrall diners with their ability to recite the Gettysburg Address backwards.
Carne asada, chiles rellenos, quesadillas—these dishes have become familiar sights on a Mexican restaurants menu. Gusano Loco's bill of cuisine lists these, as well as carefully crafted house specialties. For the carne arrachera, the kitchen crew marinates steak in a zesty house barbecue sauce, while for the seafood chiles, poblano peppers burst with sautéed shrimp and garlic. Meanwhile, waitstaff pours pitchers of the house sangria, made with wine and fresh fruit, which can make for a well-round meal that hits all levels of the food pyramid—meat, fruit, and stuff that tastes like candy.
Chef Lisan slashes a checkmark of sauce on a bistro plate. The sushi bar radiates with purple neon. Red walls stand stark against black lacquered tables, where bamboo mats tell Lisan's story—an upbringing in Tokyo and 20 years in New York dreaming of a restaurant just like Ginban Asian Bistro. An ever-evolving Omakase menu mingles Japanese, Malaysian, and Southeast Asian influences and presents everything from fresh sashimi to saucy filet mignon. After splashing soy on a slice of just-rolled sushi, patrons can retreat to the outdoor patio for a cocktail. The restaurant also caters parties of up to 200 people, or occasionally up to 201 people if the outlier can stay quiet beneath a friend's trench coat.
To enter Club Car Restaurant is to go backward into the past. Inside the restored space of what was once the Mamaroneck train station?originally erected in 1888?pressed tin ceilings and chandeliers gleam above the upscale dining room. A floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace looks like something out of Citizen Kane, and the marble and wooden bar juxtaposes with exposed-brick walls to create a rustic-yet-refined atmosphere. Whether sitting on a leather banquette or half-moon, tufted booth, diners sip pear-basil martinis as they take in the sights around them.
But, as noted in the New York Times, "the food here is as impressive as its decor." Seasonal menus have been known to feature plump escargot in "a mouthwatering garlic butter enhanced by pesto," and grilled filet mignon with jumbo shrimp. Meals are complemented by an impressive array of drinks, including a blood-orange margarita and wines from France, Italy, Spain, California, Chile, New Zealand, and Germany, to name a few.
"Simple and elegant" is a phrase that describes not only the decor at Manor Inn, but also the menu. The restaurant's opening attracted the attention of the Examiner News, and its light hardwood floors and crisp white tablecloths foreshadow what you'll find to eat: an upscale mix of Italian, French, and American cuisine. From king-salmon puff pastry and brazilian lobster tails to braised veal shank and rack of new zealand lamb to wild-mushroom risotto and four-cheese ravioli, the menu spans international seafoods, meats, and pastas.
It shouldn't take long to enjoy a delicious meal. That's the philosophy at Salsa Fresca Mexican Grill, a casual eatery specializing in fast, fresh Mexican fare. Cooks whip up simple, yet satisfying classics using seasonal, local ingredients whenever possible, adding zest to salads with fire-roasted poblano peppers and stuffing burritos, tacos, and quesadillas with slow-braised pork, grilled chicken, or chipotle-seasoned steak. True to the restaurant's name, dishes can be topped with salsas ranging from a mild corn and black bean blend to a tomato and habanero sauce packing the flavorful heat of a volcano dipped in salsa.