Emily Kratzer reported on restaurants in Northern Westchester.
Veal shank at Village Social in Mount Kisco. Joe Larese/TJN
After the jump, what’s on the menus at Village Social and 6 other spots in the community.
Kitchen & Bar
Industrial but comfortable, with reclaimed barn wood on the walls, a poured concrete bar and brick accents. The restaurant is owned by Joe Bueti, formerly owner of Caffe Strega in Pleasantville and Restaurant 121 in North Salem. A glass partition divides the bar from the dining room, which has oak tables and banquettes with orange, brown and white leather. The menu includes appetizers (potato-pork empanadas, summer rolls), entrees (ahi tuna with bok choy, St. Louis ribs with molasses pork and beans), pastas (bucatini with pancetta, minted ricotta and asparagus) and wood-fired pizzas.
Owner Joe Beuti.
New for fall:?Chef Morgan Vondle is focusing on the seasonal menu, expanding it to include more choices based on savory fall flavors. There will be a pumpkin pizza with brown sugar and cinnamon; papardelle served with short ribs and root vegetables, rosemary and a red wine sauce; and braised meats such as osso bucco, pork shank and lamb shank.
To add to the restaurant’s social aspect, Vondle is adding cheese fondue in a cast-iron crock to the menu and putting the fish tacos in the appetizer section.
Insider tip: A disc jockey spins tunes until late night on “Social Saturdays.”
Details: 251 E. Main St., Mount Kisco. 914-864-1255.
Earth tones, wood floors, white tablecloths and local art on the walls, but chef Daniel Petrilli’s food is still the star. Try the roasted pork tenderloin with cider-braised sweet potatoes or the Hudson Valley foie gras. Even the burger has a twist: It’s topped with applewood-smoked bacon and brie.
New for fall: Petrilli has an entirely new harvest-based menu. Depending on the market, you might find braised barbecue short ribs or butternut squash risotto.
Insider tip: Manager Aaron Pozit stocks the bar with a lot of small-batch brewers and distillers from the Hudson Valley. Customers may not recognize the labels, but they’re local.
Details:?472 Bedford Road, Pleasantville. 914-747-4646. www.havenpleasantville.com
Both the chef and the owner of Risotto used to work at Amalfi in Briarcliff Manor — so if you liked the soups, salads and homemade pastas there, you’re sure to be happy at this new incarnation of the former Crocitto’s La Casa Nostra. Owner Jack Palevic renovated the building, including stuccoing a brick facade and using brick tiling as an accent on the bottom of the light cappuccino-colored walls. Chef Juan Culcay’s signature dish is, of course, risotto, and you’ll find seasonal variations such as artichoke-and-pea in the spring, or pumpkin in the fall. But the restaurant is also known for its pork chops and linguine alla vongole.
New for fall: Look for homemade pumpkin ravioli and portobello ravioli, chestnut soup and different lasagnas (like crabmeat). The osso bucco is popular.
Insider tip: The wine list has been updated and there’s a new martini list.
Details:?788 Commerce St., Thornwood. 914-769-6000. www.risotto-restaurant.com
Part-saloon, part-bistro, with a big bar and dining room downstairs and a more intimate dining area decorated in earth tones upstairs. The menu offers something for everyone, from Cajun calamari to Tuscan arugula salad to Angus steaks. Try one of chef Marc Mazzarulli’s monthly salad specials or go for the cheeseburger or pasta Bolognese.
New for fall: Pumpkin ale risotto with seared chicken and roasted mushrooms; sweet potato salmon with sauteed Brussels sprouts and butternut squash ravioli with broccoli rabe.
Insider tip: There’s always entertainment at Opus:?karaoke on Tuesdays, acoustic jam on Wednesdays and live music on Thursdays and Fridays. The latest addition is big bands on weekends.
Details:? 465 Main St., Armonk. 914-273-4676. www.opus465.com
Quaker Hill Tavern
Regulars are greeted by name at this homey and airy tavern known for its salad, sandwiches, wraps and “Greeley”?burgers. (Even the photos on the walls are of local Horace Greeley athletes.) There’s also more upscale food, such as yellowfin tuna, Chilean sea bass or the tender rib-eye steak.
New for fall: The new menu includes a burger corner with new choices:?veggie, salmon, tuna and Kobe. There are also steaks, fresh seafood and salads. New this fall is family spaghetti night Mondays; Tuesday is buy a burger and get a meal of equal value or less for free; and, on Wednesday night, one child per adult can eat free. The full bar is separate from the dining area. There’s outdoor seating until Thanksgiving, too.
Insider tip: Regulars know to check out the bar menu — it’s available at the tables, too, and includes meatball sliders, nachos and other snacks.
Details: 61 N. Bedford Road, Chappaqua. 914-238-6416. www.quakerhilltavern.com.
Croton Creek Steakhouse & Wine Bar
A cozy dining room with knotty pine walls and butcher paper on the tables sets the scene for a casual-chic menu with six steak cuts (from a 7-ounce filet to a 40-ounce porterhouse for two), served with a variety of sauces and toppings, like Stilton cheese and smoky avocado butter. Chef Eric Kupferberg’s handmade mini lobster sausages might not technically qualify as steak, but they are every bit as satisfying and memorable. Guests can enjoy their favorite wine or cocktail while listening to live piano in a stylish-yet-comfortable century-old lounge that feels like a piece of the city in the country.
New for fall: Apple cider is on the bar menu — served both warm (spiced with rum) and chilled (in a martini). Also new for fall are flash-fried Blue Point oyster sliders with avocado bacon and tomato; butternut squash soup; and duck confit strudel over mixed greens with grilled jalapeno remoulade. The fondue is especially popular on a cold night. There’s also a “late-night lunch” menu Friday and Saturday nights, which includes crispy calamari served with a tangy jalapeno dipping sauce, soft-shell crab sliders and farmhouse cheese fondue served with baguette, mixed veggies or prime steak tips.
Insider tip: The butcher paper on the dining-room tables is stamped with different quotes, such as “It’s the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time,”?(Tallulah Bankhead). Owner Jim Stake says they’re perfect conversation starters for people on a first date.
Details:?4 W. Cross St., Croton Falls. 914-276-0437. www.crotoncreek.com.
In a hip, casual tavern-bistro, chef Franz Fruhmann’s menu dishes out inventive American fusion — everything from burgers to bass, short ribs to lobster risotto.
Many of his dishes have earthy underpinnings, too, with truffles, salsify, beets and braised celery playing a supporting role. Don’t skip the pork belly.
Tobacco-colored walls, wide-board wooden floors and a large smoky mirror also bring a modern feel to the dining room, while a curved wall of milky glass sets it apart from the convivial bar. Half-price wines (less than $75 a bottle) on Tuesdays.
New for fall:?Beef short rib parmentiere is a short rib, marinated and braised, then loosely crushed with a fork and covered with a dome of truffled-mashed potatoes. There’s also a poached lobster with kombucha squash gnocchi with a lobster vanilla nage, and a turkey meatloaf with English peas, carrots, mashed potatoes and mustard-chicken jus.
Insider tip:?Dennis Collins, a renowned singer (name anybody from Billy Joel and Sting to Roberta Flack and Lauren Hill, he’s worked with them), performs each Sunday night. Owner Phil Maniatty says his performance transforms the room.
Details:?85 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge. 914-764-0200. www.northstarny.com.