As its name suggests, two halves create Full Moon Asian Thai Restaurant. On one hand is a vibrant, bustling dining room that would not feel out of place in Manhattan. The sounds of lively chatter pervade the open space, hanging over rows of wooden tables where napkins stand upright on plates like swans engaged in staring contests. This electric atmosphere juxtaposes neatly with the quieter corners of the restaurant, where eyes are drawn to elaborate woodcarvings and ears perk up at the sound of water burbling across bricks and sandstones imported from Thailand.
This fusion between West and East—between fast-paced and meditative—carries over to the Zagat -rated restaurant's menu. Sweat-inducing spices strike a balance with the sweet flavors of papaya in colorful curries. Similarly, crushed peanuts and handpicked bean sprouts lend a pleasant crunch to the rice noodles of a traditional pad thai dish. Purple- and orange-tinged lamps dangle above guests as they sample the spread of Thai cuisine, giving them the appearance of tigers at a black-light rave.
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.
Bagels are never boring at What A Bagel, where the classic chewy breakfast buns are baked fresh in more than 18 flavors. Savory egg, garlic, or whole-wheat sesame seed bagels become twice as tempting when crowned with a schmear of house-whipped scallion or bacon-garlic-herb cream cheese. Sweet options include blueberry or cinnamon-sugar bagels and cream cheese blended with strawberries. Any bagel can transform itself into a sandwich when stuffed with scrumptious fillings such as pastrami, house-cooked roast beef, rotisserie chicken, and jalapeño jack cheese. Lox lovers will also find themselves facing a major dilemma, as What A Bagel offers no less than nine types of smoked fish, including Scotch salmon, Nova Scotia salmon, and salmon that was born in Schenectady but now only visits on holidays.
At The Melting Pot, groups gather around bubbling cauldrons and dip chunks of bread and produce into molten cheese blended with sherry, lager, or dijon mustard. The cheese pairs well with a wine list, which was recognized by Wine Spectator with an Award of Excellence for the years 2008–2010. For heartier meals, diners cook meat and seafood in pots of hot oil or burgundy before tackling the chocolate fondue. They dunk morsels of cake or brownies into chocolate blended with peanut butter or sweet liqueurs for an ending to a meal that’s more decadent than riding home in a limousine lined with mink.
Within the ultramodern interior of Asian Temptation, the wait staff delivers equally modern Asian and Japanese cuisine. Owner Andy Lin—who also operates three other restaurants—created the multilevel design of the restaurant, where clean lines, high ceilings, a cobblestone walls, and a koi pond tingle the visual senses. Traditional Japanese greetings welcome guests as they enter the space and head to candlelit tables, where the staff serves selections from a sushi bar, bubble teas, or drinks from a full-service bar backlit with neon blues and glow sticks culled from a bioluminescent tree.
"Near-perfect" are the words that one Metromix writer used to describe the chicken enchiladas at Hacienda Azteca, a Mexican eatery with white tablecloths and wood floors. Enchiladas aren't the only specialty, though; cooks also marinate red snapper for ceviche, flavor grilled steak with brandy sauce, and stuff vegetarian quesadillas with zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli. After dinner, they step out of the kitchen to prepare desserts at diners' tables: ice cream with Kahlua-sauteed bananas is just one option.