When wine distributor Jennifer Deutsch envisioned Crush Wine Bar, she wanted a place that “feels like you’re in someone’s living room,” as she told the Journal News. Indeed, there’s an intimate feel to the place: you can sit at a comfortable couch or stand by a gas fireplace as you sip any of more than 50 wines by the glass and bottle. The kitchen staff creates small, inventive bites designed to complement each varietal of wine. Of these plates, you can dine on their roasted-mushroom and spinach-artichoke dip, share platters of cured meats, or replace your spare tire with a wheel of creamy baked danish brie.
Chef Brian MacMenamin infuses Post Road Ale House's gastropub menu with clues to his own history and the nation's fine dining legacy, while embracing contemporary culinary touchstones. In the grand tradition of American chophouses, servers prepare salads tableside on a rolling cart before bringing out pastas and the classic cuts of beef, pork, and lamb MacMenamin honed at his now closed, eponymous grill on Cedar Street. A daily raw seafood bar suggests a similar narrative, revisiting a benchmark of dinnertime decadence and nodding to the time the chef spent at the Larchmont Avenue Oyster House. 1950's nostalgia is balanced by seasonal ingredients as MacMenamin wryly innovates low-brow bar snacks, culls side dishes from the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim, and includes options for kids whose primary ingredient is not regret. Furthermore, MacMenamin cultivates a lively atmosphere by hand-picking spirits for public tastings and hosting local bands every Friday night.
The restaurant's semi-formal atmosphere plays with this tension to invigorating effect, with bare brick walls backing a very well stocked, 25-seat bar that accounts for about a third of the room's capacity. The lofted ceiling exposes I-beams and ventilation ducts, under which two rows of sleek leather banquettes abut tables dressed formally in white linen ties and tails.
Whether it's the family history, the spices, or the fresh ingredients that give Don Coqui's food its flavor, the results have the potential to dazzle the taste buds. Classic Puerto Rican dishes and American staples sit side-by-side on the expansive menu—though it's nothing compared to the wine list—with braised oxtail and plantain-crusted red snapper sailing to tables as swiftly as the rib and chicken combo and the porterhouse for two. Abuelita's tres leches cake and coconut flan with a deep caramel glaze add a hint of indulgence at the tail end of evenings, and wines from far-flung locales can be savored by the glass, bottle, or incredibly tiny spoon.
The Rodriguez culinary dynasty was born in the Bronx, where Jimmy Rodriguez, Sr. set up shop beneath a bridge and sold fresh seafood to passersby. Jimmy Rodriguez, Jr. took his father's love of food and doubled down, opening beloved restaurants across the city. Both his recipes and his passion inspired his children, who've turned that passion into the Don Coqui restaurants. Each aims to be a place where food, wine, and salsa dancing bring people together—something of a family tradition. It's like bowling on Christmas Eve, only better and with more paella. Their flavors have also made them a "Worth It" dining destination by the The New York Times.
Since 1928, Beechmont Tavern has filled its convivial, neighborhood hangout in New Rochelle with the aromas of classic pub grub, including burgers, golden brown onion rings, and entrees such as sheppard’s pie. The local has recently expanded their brand of toast-worthy cooking to a second location in White Plains.
Chili is in SmokeHouse's name for a reason: it’s the centerpiece of this sporty grill's collection of culinary delights. Winner of Westchester Magazine's Best Chili award for 2008, each bubbling bowl ($5.25 regular, $6.25 bread bowl) is packed with ground beef, sweet Italian sausage, crisp bacon, and an array of secret spices and seasonings, all topped with a blend of shredded monterrey jack, yellow cheddar, and a dollop of sour cream. SmokeHouse's craftsmen keep their award-winning masterpiece on its toes by creating a new concoction every week to compete in a chili-based Thunderdome presided by a panel of post-apocalyptic chefs. The restaurant’s menu is also chock-full of other game-time bites to munch on during Yankees or Jets matchups, such as buffalo wings, hearty burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more.