Photo by Nikita Tewani
Looking for the tastiest eats in Westchester County? Our 2022 Best of Westchester food and drink winners have you covered.
New Vegan Café
Who can turn unique, unusual, plant-based ingredients — like sunflower cheese, hemp hearts, groats, and zoodles — into dishes that even the most committed carnivore can sink their teeth into? It’s the folks behind this plant-based café: nutritional consultant/ chef Jyoti Tewani; her husband, Raj Tewani; and Chef Michael Kagan. They have turned their passion for healthy, healing food as medicine into a delicious and different dining spot. Gluten-free, preservative-free, and organic never tasted so good.
In-Home Dining Experience
Rajni Menon’s cooking style was influenced by her mother and grandmother while growing up in Kerala, India; her dazzling plating skills show her artistic side (she has a FIT degree in Textile/Surface Design). The private chef, who is an ICE alum with 18 years’ cooking experience, including at Jean-Georges’ Inn at Pound Ridge, caters home dinner parties (three-courses for 10 guests max) that showcase dishes that are bold yet accessible — cranberry-studded brioche with cumin; spiced-organic chicken in a coconut milk sauce; and cardamom lentil pudding.
Asian Street Food
Dive headfirst into creative rice bowls, knock back a couple hoisin-glazed crispy chicken steam buns, and slurp noodles out of deeply flavorful broths. This is how each visit to Mogan Anthony’s Fatt Root goes down. These menu mainstays are undoubtedly addicting, but with Anthony, there’s always something new, always something he’s experimenting with that you won’t be able to resist. By the time you read this, Fatt Root won’t only be for slurping noods, but for sips, too. They’ve installed a new bar that’s sure to impress.
We realize it’s difficult to single out one entrée at Michael Psilakis’ upscale Greek tavern, but definitely don’t look past his souvlaki. Each freshly grilled pita is generously stuffed with your choice of falafel, chicken, pork, or hanger steak (and sometimes lamb sausage), plus crisp romaine, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and creamy homemade tzatziki sauce. The habit-forming, multiday-prepped, twice-fried smash fries that accompany this common street food are in the conversation for best spuds in Westchester.
Dobbs Ferry; thecookeryrestaurant.com
Anyone who has dined at David DiBari’s flagship knows it deserves every accolade, including Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition in 2020 and 2021. But the Saturday and Sunday brunches deserve this award for overall deliciousness and value ($39.95 for three courses and a drink). It’s also the best way to explore The Cookery’s menu. There are breakfasty items, like pizza rustica, ricotta pancakes, and the Hungry Whoever consisting of two eggs with house-made maple sausage, house-cured bacon, tater tots, and English-style brown sauce. Some of the restaurant’s evening menu peeks through here, too, with plump, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs, duck-liver cannoli, and the famous Stickabutta Pie.
New Coffee Shop
State of the Art Coffee
Crafting ethically sourced and small-batch coffees from local and seasonal roasts, this friendly neighborhood roaster and café gives you cups full of classic, quality drinks as well as delicious Balthazar Bakery pastries. Owner Billy Brogan’s drink menu is short, with espressos (so smooth), cappuccinos, mocha or chai lattes, drip, and cold-brew on offer. The chill atmosphere and excellent service make you think you’re in Brooklyn (sans hipsters).
Chicken Pot Pie
Emma’s Ale House
White Plains; emmasalehouse.com
The classic chicken pot pie at this hopping neighborhood haven is anything but. Described as “deconstructed,” it’s served in a shallow bowl and presents like a stew that’s taken refuge under a sturdy yet airy block of pastry. Comprising Murray’s Chicken simmered in stock with fresh peas, carrots, and potatoes, the result is a lighter take on a timeless down-home dish.
Luxe Foodie Experience
A Day in the Kitchen at Kanopi
White Plains; theopuswestchester.com/dining/kanopi
There is an extraordinary culinary encounter being offered on the 42nd floor of the Opus Westchester, beyond the dinner service of six-course tasting menus of Portuguese fine-dining plates that expertly use the bounty of the Hudson Valley. For $500, plus $125 for each additional guest (9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.), aspiring chefs and foodies alike learn classic and modern culinary techniques under passionate Chef Anthony Gonçalves’ tutelage. After the day of education, participants enjoy the fruits, meats, and grains of their labor with a custom meal accompanied by a beverage pairing of choice.
La Hacienda Meat and Grocery
Made fresh and by request, the guacamole at La Hacienda is the ideal palate prepper for the lunch-counter cuisine. Paired with straight-out-of-the-fryer tortilla chips, this guac is the midday snack you’ll start dreaming about at breakfast.
New Greek Restaurant
Greca Mediterranean Kitchen + Bar
White Plains; grecamed.com
If you see Greca partner Constantine “Dino” Kolitsas, he’ll likely be smiling. That’s because he loves what he does. His passion for hospitality shows in every aspect of this 150-seat, tri-level ode-to-finer-dining Greek/ Mediterranean restaurant, ranging from the fish that’s either wild-caught or organically/ sustainably raised to feta imported from Epirus, Greece, to sophisticated plating and a wine list with many interesting Greek selections.
KUMO Sushi Lounge
Hailed for the hot Japanese entrées as much as the gorgeously plated sushi, rolls, and sashimi that draw raw-fish aficionados from near and far, the new-to-the-menu soup dumplings rival those found in Chinatown’s top hotspots. Filled with luscious pork and a hearty spoonful of rich soup, the most noteworthy aspect is the dough swaddle, which is light and tender, often elusively so.