Barbara Bratone once served as the executive director of La Napoule Art Foundation in France’s Côte d’Azur. Arthur Bratone served as the managing partner of a private company in the Middle East. Their shared international experience—and palates for international fare—come to life at Bistro Rollin. The two have rigid standards for selecting their ingredients: they get as much local and organic produce, sustainably farmed seafood, and antibiotic- and hormone-free meat as possible. This makes for a rich selection that spans brunch, lunch, and dinner. Creamy endive and roasted apples and prunes lend the tender Long Island duck breast extra flavor. Chef Manny Lozano and his staff also pan roast skate with acorn squash and roast racks of pork. It’s no surprise that the spirit selection is locally harvested, too: whiskey from Gardiner, New York, bourbon from Brooklyn, and gin from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, pour into artisanal cocktails. Cozy, intricate decor rounds out the experience at Bistro Rollin. Beneath original tin ceilings—the space was constructed in 1910—guests slide into dark wood chairs that match paneling hand made by a local cabinetmaker. The granite bar is also custom, its wood base built to fit into the space as snugly as the pieces of a puzzle that depict a bug in a rug.
Voted Best Authentic Crepes in 2009 by Westchester Magazine, Rue des Crepes conjures a Parisian ambiance with a colorful street-side mural, cobblestone floors, and authentic French fare that "transports you to the quais of the Seine." According to metromix.com's mustachioed detectives, "all the classic fillings are there," including lemon, plantain, ham, and chorizo. Chefs prepare savory crêpes with a buckwheat-flour batter and, upon request, serve dessert crêpes à la mode. Rounding out the menu, pots of cheese fondue arrive with bite-size dunkers such as focaccia, shrimp, and buttons from Napoleon's doublet.
La Panetière's elegant cuisine works its way into not only the stomachs but the hearts of those who dine within the restaurant's cozy French-countryside embrace. Tucked inside a 200-year-old building, the "hushed dining room," as it was described by the New York Times, is home to "artistically arranged dishes" straight from the brain of owner Jacques Loupiac. The AAA Four Diamond Award–winning restaurant changes its menus frequently, but consistently remixes French culinary staples with seafood, beef, and vegetables grown in the United States.
Complemented by pours from vintages drawn out of its historic cellar, seasonal dishes may highlight sautéed Maine lobster with minty zucchini and white gazpacho or sophisticated accents of foie gras and escargots. It's La Panetière's unwavering devotion to refinement that makes it a destination for romance and celebration, as well as a proud recipient of the Best French Restaurant award, as voted by the people who read and make origami dragons out of Westchester Magazine. The eatery also boasts high Zagat ratings—food, decor, and service are all in the “extraordinary to perfection" category.
The experience at a restaurant is usually about the food going into diners’ mouths, but with chef Richard Desmond, it's often about the sounds coming out of his. Desmond is known for bursting into spontaneous operatic performances in the dining room during breaks from his work in the kitchen. At Om Bistro, he and his staff harmonize aspects of French and American cooking. Cooks prepare upscale appetizers such as smoked-trout cakes in horseradish rémoulade and pan-seared foie gras napoleon with caramelized mango. The eatery's mac and cheese puts a spin on an old favorite with local english cheddar, turkey bacon, and a crust of herbed bread crumbs. Long Island duck confit glistens with raspberry sauce, and short-rib pizzaiola is served over pappardelle pasta. Lamb shank is braised for five hours with merlot and rosemary and then finished over roasted fennel orzo. In Om Bistro’s yellow-walled dining room, diners at white-clothed tables can gaze at gilt-framed paintings. Artwork is replaced by TVs in the lounge, where guests can sip cocktails and watch sports.
A wood fire crackles in a stone hearth, the warm glow of the flames lighting the inside of a cozy Victorian house. Visitors might think they've stepped into a New England country inn, if it wasn't for the white-linen-swathed tables that populate the room—not to mention the aromas of French-inspired, New American cuisine that hang in the air. The genteel space serves as the dining room of Barney's Restaurant, the brainchild of Executive Chef Mitchell Hauser. He waxes Continental with succulent foie gras, goat-cheese-crusted filet mignon, and duck confit, while also paying homage to closer-to-home culinary motifs with crab cakes, crispy-skin salmon, and mussels from Prince Edward Island. Colorful and artistic platings bring each dish to life, but the presentation is not the only area in which Barney's goes the extra mile: Mitchell and his staff scour local markets for the freshest produce to work into their menu, ensuring that each dish pops with flavor and has a passing allegiance to the region's sports organizations.
When legendary chef Thomas Keller started telling patrons of his California dining mecca The French Laundry about plans for his new Manhattan restaurant, he said it wouldn't be the French Laundry “per se." Though vague, the summation was accurate—those who have visited the predecessor will recognize Per Se’s blue door and garden, as well as a pair of nine-course daily tasting menus inspired by seasonal ingredients or whatever the silverware is craving that day. Oysters and Pearls, pearl tapioca with oysters and white-sturgeon caviar, is lifted right from the Laundry menu, while the rotating dishes take inspiration from the surrounding region, such as a gateau of Hudson Valley Moulard duck foie gras. The restaurant, ranked as the sixth best in the world by Restaurant Magazine in 2012, has an urban edge over its Californian counterpart: Columbus Circle sits right outside the fourth-floor windows, which also allow for views of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park’s leafy canopies. Thomas’s taste for the culinary industry started early—as a youth, he worked in a restaurant managed by his mother in Palm Beach. His career quickly gained steam, as he studied at various Michelin-rated kitchens in France. He then returned to the United States, eventually taking over the reins at the French Laundry. Over the years he has nabbed consecutive Best Chef awards from the James Beard Foundation, was named America’s Best Chef by Time in 2001, and won Chef of the Year from the Culinary Institute of America. Now serving on the CIA’s Board of Trustees, he helps guide the school’s development while pioneering new ways to wear toques. In 2012, he was awarded the S. Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award.