At Westchester Burger Co., the eponymous burger comprises a 10-ounce patty topped with smoked mozzarella, tomato, pickles, frisée, and a secret sauce that has helped it receive local accolades. But it was quite a journey to get the burger to where it is today: the chef and owner, who has no formal training, spent many long hours in the kitchen using trial and error and complex algorithms to uncover the delicious combination.
That burger and the rest of the menu have proved to be so successful that three Westchester Burger Co. locations have opened in three years. They serve burgers nestled between grilled cheese sandwiches made with texas toast, Kobe beef burgers on a brioche bun, and italian-sausage burgers topped with a balsamic-vinegar glaze and broccoli raab. They also serve smoked Saint Louis–style ribs, vegetable lasagna, and root beer–braised short ribs.
The chefs at Euro Asian Bistro meld international cuisines to stock the menu with 18 imaginative sushi rolls and aesthetically arranged entrees. Guests can count the number of flavors grilled into five-spice chicken ($17) or use teeth and tiny scimitars to separate accompanying slivers of basil mango fried rice. Chefs wrap tempura-battered banana and shrimp and morsels of spicy lobster in a soy-paper shell to create the Paradise roll ($15), capping the combo with drizzled citrus-mango sauce. Send sweet-seeking forks to slice through the fruited glaze on blackberry salmon ($20) or set hungry eyes and possessive paperweights on the grilled center-cut filet mignon ($26), served with shallots and steeped in a red-wine reduction sauce. On Monday–Thursday, diners can also clinch their meals with a complimentary dessert: patrons can bite into a tart and creamy slice of key lime cheesecake or carve their date’s initials into a velvety chocolate soufflé.
Ferraro’s multifaceted menu meanders from classic pizza offerings to traditional pasta dishes and ends face down in a fully loaded line-up of italian heroes. Gnocchi bolognese ($9.50 small, $12.50 large) tempts diners with handmade memory foam pillows of potato pasta, while the chicken scarpara showcases a saucy soirée of chicken, sausage, and hot cherry peppers ($14.50). A side of pasta, a small salad, and a stern home economics teacher chaperone each entree. Lunchers can commandeer pizza by the slice ($2.35–$3.25), such at the Grandma Pizza, a thin and crispy Sicilian-style square crust loaded with plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and a sprinkling of garlic ($3.25 per slice or $16.99 for a pie). Chivalrously delicious heroes include the Ferraro Special, a vodka-sauce-drizzled, golden-haloed chicken cutlet bedecked in melted mozzarella and prosciutto ($8.99).
Each day, the crafty cooks at Belle Fair Country Market meld savory ingredients into an expansive array of fresh-made sandwiches and wraps, breakfast specialties, and grill fare. Jolt awake drowsy tongues with a burrito-bound blend of egg, cheese, onions, spinach and mushrooms ($4.50), or fuel up for a tranquil afternoon of dismantling model airplanes with a breaded-eggplant panini layered with fresh mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers ($7.99). On weekends while still in season, lobster rolls present chunks of buttery meat and homemade garlic aioli on a toasted potato roll ($8.99 for a single; $13.99 for a double). Herbivorous experimenters alchemize discordant greens into ambitiously leafy ensembles at the chopped-salad bar, which boasts more than thirty ingredients, ten dressings, and croutons shaped like Colorado ($3.49 for a large salad).
We are bakers of bread. We are fresh from the oven. We are a symbol of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure, honest and genuine. We are a life story told over dinner. We are a long lunch with an old friend. We are your weekday morning ritual. We are the kindest gesture of neighbors. We are home. We are family.
Not every Italian restaurant needs baked ziti and eggplant parmigiana. At Zeppoleme, the chefs strive to create a hybrid, bistro-style setting that combines elements of a wine bar, a coffee house, and a trattoria underneath the same roof. Instead of designing a menu that incorporates dishes from every corner of the Italian peninsula, the chefs choose to present diners with a curated collection of dishes that is intended to spotlight the potential of a handful of items prepared with hand-crafted care, as well as the occasional modern touch.
Befitting its name, zeppole—Italian-style donuts—appear prominently on Zeppoleme's menu. The list includes the time-honored version so often seen in the kitchens of Italian homes and on the streets during the annual Feast of St. Joseph; however, the chefs also create their own version by folding ricotta into the dough, making the pastry lighter and fluffier than their traditional counterparts. As many as six different dipping sauces, including vanilla cream, Nutella, and lemon glaze, can accompany these zeppole for dessert. For a more savory take on the treat though, Zeppoleme also offers another modern innovation: appetizer-sized versions stuffed with hearty fillings, such as bacon, chives, and provolone.
Although the zeppole appear prominently on the menu and even attracted the attention of Food Network personality Giada de Laurentiis, the selection also features a number of heartier gourmet options. Butter-pressed panini include everything from spicy eggplant and goat cheese to broccoli rabe and beef short ribs that braise for a full 24 hours. Even the salads put on upscale spin on the expected, as evidenced by the classic caesar made with kale instead of standard iceberg filler.
Stopping in for a quick bite or a meal is always an option, although Zeppoleme also caters to the whims of passersby seeking a drink and an opportunity to lounge for a bit in a relaxed setting. Baristas make specialty espresso drinks while exclusively using beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and the bartenders keep spirits high full by pouring fresh glasses of wine straight from the taps. Even with its gourmet bistro spirit and festively vibrant decor, Zeppoleme never manages to lose "the friendly, drop-in culture that thrives here," according to the New York Times.