Rarely do two burgers at Burke's Restaurant and Bar ever look the same. Not only do diners get to choose from four buns—including pretzel buns and english muffins—but they can also crown their burgers with more than 16 toppings, such as chipotle mayo and Irish bacon. Burgers, however, are just one of many options available at Burke's, whose remaining menu sports everything from chicken parm sliders to Irish chicken curry. Bartenders complement hearty feasts with myriad libations, from 19 draft beers to liquor-spiked milk shakes, which visitors can sip while watching games on 14 flat-screen TVs and two widescreen projectors.
Route 100 Wine Bar & Grill's seasoned flame wielders compose a menu brimming with salads, burgers, and hearty entrees, and friendly servers furnish chalices with aged sippables from an expansive wine list. Kick things off with a starter, such as a batch of sauce-soused chicken wings ($7.50), or lightly fried spring rolls ($8.50) before bolstering mastication muscles with a kobe-beef burger ($15), which can be dressed to the nines in up to five cheeses, sautéed onions, mushrooms, or bacon ($1.50 each). The chicken mediterranean ($18.50) shines the spotlight on simmered morsels of poultry swapping kitchen gossip with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and gaeta olives beneath a canopy of a white-wine sauce. Chefs utilize their years of cooking experience to craft the Route 100 jambalaya ($20), a seafood menagerie of shrimp, clams, and calamari floating with julienne vegetables in a light tomato broth. Grilled and sautéed entrees also populate the eatery's lunch menu, including the spicy Cajun-chicken linguini ($13), tender skirt steak ($18), and chicken parmigiana ($13).
A restaurant is only as good as its head chef. Luckily, Tombolino has Pietro Siciliano. Recognized in 2010 by Bon Appétit as top chef in Westchester, Siciliano prepares scratch-made pastas and other Italian-style delicacies daily using imported ingredients and kitchen mastery learned during his training at the Culinary Institute in Italy. A selection of more than 500 wines pair well with Siciliano’s creations, which include house specialties such as almond-crusted chilean sea bass and veal milanese.
Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway thrills patrons with casino games and live horse races, and keeps them filled with gourmet fare from Empire Terrace Restaurant's menu. Share a plate of Maryland crab cakes packed with lump crab meat or the beefsteak tomatoes and mozzarella, pillars of layered tomato and fresh cheese arranged to complement a balsamic-glaze pesto sauce and imitate Stonehenge's lunar chart. Chefs grill up 24-ounce prime porterhouse and 10-ounce filet mignon cuts from corn-fed beef naturally raised on Brant Farms. Filets of red snapper seal in their juices while sautéed in a mushroom, tomato, shallot, and garlic sauce before sidling onto plates alongside rice and the vegetable du jour. Diners unfold emerald napkins in the sweeping dining room bounded by a wall of windows that reveal an unblocked view of the raceway's half-mile dirt track, home to standardbred speed demons too hooved to get drivers' licenses.
DeCosta's attentive owners, brothers Pedro and Nuno, trade off strolling through the dining room to connect with patrons dining on upscale Italian dishes. To craft an authentic menu of lunch and dinner selections, chefs whip up pastas from scratch and procure fresh fish via regular trips to the New Fulton Fish Market and a wholesale account with entrepreneurial merfolk. Thin angel-hair pasta forms a halo around forks as tines pierce aquatic bits in the capellini crabmeat and shrimp ($18 for lunch; $22 for dinner), and the chicken parmigiana's poultry cutlets sizzle in pans before slipping into a luxurious bath of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce ($16 for dinner). A 16-ounce steak is doused in a port-wine reduction and mushrooms to form the rib eye portobello ($33 for dinner), and the salmon Capri introduces a grilled fillet of salmon to a salad trio of arugula, endive, and radicchio drizzled in a light vinaigrette ($19 for lunch; $24 for dinner).
In a historical building that once housed a printing press, the smell of ink and newspaper has been replaced with the enticing aromas of Italian food. Zuppa Restaurant & Lounge's executive chef, Pasquale Dedi, oversees a refined menu of small plates, pizzas, and seasonal entrees made from traditional recipes with a modern twist and the freshest ingredients available. Pastas, such as the signature wide pappardelle with veal bolognese and mint, are all made in-house with the TLC of a loving nonna, and many of the main-course meats come from organic or wild sources.
Located in Yonkers's downtown waterfront district, Zuppa's warm, modern decor and sophisticated use of a former industrial space creates the ideal dining atmosphere. There are three dining areas here—the bar, the main dining room, and the private wine cellar. Each offers an intimate eating experience facilitated by helpful servers, knowledgeable sommeliers, and ghosts of the mythological Print Age.
From the Press
A Welcoming Wine List
When first perusing Zuppa Restaurant & Lounge's 19-page list of libations, diners may be intimidated by the eatery's wine inventory. The wine list, however, is just as accessible as it is extensive. Here are a few tips for navigating the menu.