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.
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.
Impressed by the flavor and precision of Okinawa Hibachi Steakhouse's cuisine and chefs, respectively, the readers of Westchester Magazine cast their votes to name the restaurant the home of the area's best hibachi in 2011. Surrounded by the glowing reds and golden hues of the dining room, chefs sear and manipulate meats and vegetables at traditional teppanyaki tables, cooking steaks to order and cutting heads of broccoli to resemble arms of broccoli. At the sushi bar, a line of chefs assemble maki rolls and platters of sushi and sashimi. The trickle from the fountain in the dining room provides a soothing soundtrack for fully equipped eating contests.
Since he entered the culinary world two decades ago, Chef Bruce Beaty has honed his skills and climbed the ranks at numerous acclaimed establishments, including Le Bernardin and Jonathan Waxman's Jams, and most recently working as Executive Chef at the Red Hat in Irvington for five years. He learned from the celebrated New York chef Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar and Grill, continued to develop his unique style while working in restaurants in France, and served as Executive Chef of two New York restaurants before taking the reins in the kitchen of Hudson at Haymount House, named one of the Best New Westchester Restaurants of 2012 by Westchester Magazine.
To create Hudson at Haymount House's dishes, which have been lauded by the New York Times, Chef Beaty highlights the natural flavors of fresh, in-season ingredients. Sommeliers complement meals with locally sourced, imported, and organic wines, while barkeeps pair feasts with cocktails inspired by the Prohibition era.
Meals unfold in Haymount House, a southern-colonial-style mansion that was custom built in 1910 by industrialist William Fuller. Before garnering accolades for its eatery, the estate earned renown for its alleged portrayal of Tara in Gone with the Wind. Though restoration modernized its interior, the mansion's original architectural flourishes remain, including marble fireplaces and wrought-iron doors. Overlooking the Hudson River from its four hilltop acres often shrouded in the fiery hues of Westchester County's characteristic fall foliage, Haymount House accommodates guests in its main dining room as well as private dining areas and a bar and lounge on the second floor.
Sala on Hudson is an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant, encouraging diners to stop in for a glass of sangria and its traditional small savory plates after work. Classic ingredients such as octopus, clams, and olives make an appearance on the menu, and many of the artistically plated foods are designed to be shared with friends or eaten as finger food. The warm dining room has a full bar and offers an all-Spanish wine list.
Peter Xavier Kelly has been nominated for a James Beard Award, done barbecue battle with Bobby Flay, and hosted Anthony Bourdain when he suddenly found himself without reservations. He's also completely self-taught. Instead of following a traditional culinary path, the seasoned chef began working in the restaurant industry when he was 14. But while Kelly held positions from the back of the kitchen to the front of the house, his passion was always for food. Today, he owns several noted establishments throughout the Hudson Valley, where he shares his own uniquely delicious take on contemporary American cuisine.
At Kelly's Restaurant X, the chef dishes up plates lauded by Zagat as "extraordinary," "magical," and even "transcendent." Allusions to sorcery are fitting, given the kitchen's near-alchemical blending of New- and Old-World flavors. Elegant mainstays such as duck breast and lamb ossobuco are given flavorful new life with additions of sun-dried cherries and sides of mascarpone polenta, while even humble macaroni and cheese receives a Roquefort makeover. But the artistry doesn't stop at the plate—Fodor's praises Restaurant X's "picturesque ponds and gardens" as well. An airy, rustic design featuring skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows connects these elements of nature with the dining room, and the warm atmosphere extends to the Bully Boy Bar, where cocktails and dinner are served fireside.