Persimmon-hued umbrellas line Hudson Water Club’s outdoor patio, where visitors dine along the picturesque Hudson River. In the kitchen, executive chef Michael Dobias tailors his lunch and dinner menus to the season’s fresh produce, adding Italian flair to dishes ranging from almond-crusted tilapia to wild mushroom gnocchi. An Italian-built wood-fired oven cooks pizzas in three minutes or less at temperatures over 800 degrees, creating lightly-charred pies topped with house-made tomato sauce, thin slices of prosciutto, and mozzarella.
Guests can also admire the river views from the indoor dining room, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer river views. During the weekend, you could catch a musical performance over from local DJs, bands, or champagne flutes filled to varying heights.
The chefs at Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant cook fresh seafood with a Mediterranean flourish, earning Westchester Magazine's award for Best Prix Fixe in 2010. The raw bar's 17 types of mollusks converge from across the United States and Canada, including blue point oysters from Long Island and jorstad oysters from Washington. From the open kitchen, sights and sounds of baking shrimp, grilling steak, and searing tuna stoke the restaurant's lively ambiance.
Bartenders tend to a glowing blue bar, mixing cocktails and dispensing their trademark Goldfish crackers to luckless fishermen. On Friday nights, live music gets toes tapping and oyster shells clacking.
It's a packed house for brunch on Moon River Grill's 25-seat open-air patio. Across the Hudson, the sun hangs like a poached egg, dripping yellow light onto the New Jersey landscape. A waiter delivers menus to the table, his shirt emblazoned with the restaurant's name and crescent moon emblem in golden stitching. It's going to be a good afternoon––definitely worth sticking around for dinner.
Inside there's so much more to see. In the downstairs dining room, burgundy curtains hang from tall patio doors. Crisp white tablecloths prop up plates of 10-ounce burgers, seafood wraps, and fresh shellfish from the raw bar. After warming knives in a rack of ribs or grilled fish, patrons can watch the sun setting over the Hudson in the second-floor dining room, or they can bask in the pixilated glow of the TVs perched above a fully stocked bar.
Viru Restaurant demonstrates its authentic Peruvian roots with a wide variety of traditional dishes. Causa rellena de camarones satisfies bellies with shrimp, as long as those bellies like their shrimp hiding inside chilled mashed potatoes that are spiced up with lime and yellow chili ($12). The parihuela, a soupy sea of seafood cooked with white wine, spices, and panca chili, moisturizes parched stomachs with a torrential downpour of flavor ($24). Representing the eternal battle between land and sea, the bisteck a la chorrillana—a grilled New York steak with a sauce made of panca chili, onions, and tomatoes ($24)—wields haricots verts clubs against the pescado sudado, the fish of the day poached in seafood broth and herbs ($19). Placing a comforting cap on dinner, flan reminds diners of former days when sweet, creamy desserts grew everywhere all the time and only cost a nickel ($6). In addition to edibles, Viru Restaurant nourishes guests at the bar, which stocks its shelves with an impressive supply of domestic and imported beers, sangria, wines, and chicha, a drink made of fermented maize.
Chosen by Zagat as one of the best steak houses in Westchester County, The Willett House quells discerning appetites with scrumptious steaks and seafood. On the prix fixe dinner menu, starters such as lobster bisque and gorgonzola salad prime bellies for entrees such as chicken francese and a 10-ounce filet mignon au poivre coated in a peppercorn cream sauce. After lulling anyone who eats it into a content, satiated slumber, the 2-pound lobster (an additional $5) infiltrates diners’ dreams and pinches them awake again. As they finish off the table’s shared bottle of wine, each patron can choose from a tray of fresh, house-made desserts and wash down the treat with a cup of coffee or tea. Surrounding the main dining room, a pressed-tin ceiling and exposed-brick walls augment the 90-square-foot mural depicting life in turn-of-the-century Port Chester, when the seaside town still led the world in exports of soda jerks’ red-striped hats.