Photo courtesy of BLT Steak White Plains
Top dining experiences involve more than just the food. What follows is a visual tour through Westchester’s 20 most stunningly designed restaurants.
Located at The Opus, Westchester, the tallest building between New York City and Boston, BLT Steak is an upmarket interpretation of the American steakhouse. The neutral-colored space in White Plains features rare Macassar Ebony tables, 18-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with sheer, white curtains, an open kitchen, and modern lighting accents.
A nautical lighthouse gastropub is the theme behind Ossining’s 12,000 sq. ft. 3 Westerly Bar & Grill, which sits in Harbor Square and has myriad indoor/outdoor seating options with Hudson River views. Zilkz Design in Manhattan is responsible for the look, including a 15-foot-long nautical chandelier that has a cluster of hanging colossal ship-rope pendants in the private dining room and oversized cantilever lighting in the bar area.
Presenting Chinese food and culture accurately and in its original authentic glory was owner Peter Liu’s goal when he opened Hartsdale’s 110-seat O Mandarin in 2017. To have decor that matched his mission, the interior is laden with Chinese antiques illuminated by warm, bird’s-nest lighting, making for an experience that is both transporting and fun. (Shown is the restaurant’s private dining space.) A stone lion in a waterfall greets patrons; a pair of Qing Dynasty gentleman farmer’s chairs, a hand-carved ceiling banner of elm wood, and traditional Chinese cookware are other decor highlights.
Tarrytown House Estate, in Tarrytown, is the impressive setting for Built circa 1840, the Georgian-style King Mansion, part of the sprawling Modern Chinese restaurant Goosefeather. The main objective for Sean Knibb, of Venice, CA-based Knibb Design, was to accentuate the classic aesthetic of the mansion by adding splashes of modernity throughout.
The black-white-and-gray design at White Plains’ 110-seat Kee Oyster House is Old New York circa Prohibition at its sophisticted best. Glimmering white subway tiles frame the mirrored marble bar, and amber pendant lights add modest color splashes. The lofty black ceiling, arches, and tall windows lend openness to the space. Papp Architects, P.C., of White Plains, designed the 3,000 sq. ft. restaurant, which opened in February 2016.
Situated in the former convent of the Episcopal Sister of St. Mary and designed by Ginsburg Development Companies, Apropos Restaurant at The Abbey Inn & Spa, in Peekskill, is a melding of historic architectural details and contemporary design. The restaurant is partially located in the convent’s former dining room, and the bar is in the former mother superior’s office. The color scheme celebrates the Hudson Valley’s natural palette of forests and woodworking traditions. Booths and chairs around natural-wood tables fill the dining room and four-season porch, with artwork expressing its modern reinvention.
Twenty-five 200-year-old antique doors (from an antiques collector in Belgium) separating a private dining space from the main room are but one of many repurposed wood design elements at Tarrytown’s RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen. A custom-designed copper beer tower and flooring that includes brick, polished concrete, and 200-year-old maple chevron under a cypress-and-hemlock ceiling are other highlights of the spectacular interior by designer Christian Arkay-Leliever.
The shopping-center locale of Yorktown Heights’ The Gramercy belies the stylish interior found within. Oversized windows line the room, letting in a plethora of natural light that reaches beyond the vibrant front bar area to the rear dining room decked out in green leather banquettes, brass accents, and sleek wooden tabletops.
Boyce Thompson Institute, built in 1924 and abandoned in the 1990s, was an empty brick shell in Yonkers that Tom Haynes of Haynes Architecture P.C. transformed in 2017 into what is the most evocative of Fortina’s four locations. Graffitied walls were retained, to lend an urban/industrial vibe, with soaring 35-foot-high cathedral ceilings and a Goddess of Wheat mural that stands tall in the barroom, overlooking a sunken, wraparound, concrete bar.
The design philosophy at Chef in Residence at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills was to respect the materials of the original buildings, which were built by John D. Rockefeller in the early 1930s and designed by architect Grosvenor Atterbury as a working farm. For the main dining room, Peter Guzy of Asfour/Guzy in New York used an oversized farm table as a focal point, and to ground the large space and exposed ceilings with their original steel trusses.
The quiet palette reflects the colors of the farm setting: natural tones of brown, gray, blue and green.
A riverfront villa with a vast, verdant patio, a 2,000 sq. ft. fully functioning herb-and-vegetable garden, and magnificent sunsets pretty much sounds like Italy or France, right? Try Hastings-on-Hudson. Harvest On Hudson is the village’s Tuscan-style dining destination worthy of an on-location movie shoot. The 200-seat interior features 30-plus-foot-high ceilings, a color scheme of red, gold, and green, and a double-sided, hand-built, stone fireplace by Sal Sanzo Masonry of Dobbs Ferry. A greenhouse is planned for summer 2022.
Sitting 42 floors above Main Street in White Plains, atop The Opus, Westchester, is Kanopi, a 2,500 sq. ft. restaurant tucked within a 10,000 sq. ft. event space. The lofty perch enables views of the New York City skyline, Hudson Valley, and Long Island Sound. Neutral grays, browns, and creams dominate the subtly colored dining room, with the occasional pop of vertical green, meaning the bright and dynamic colors both outside the windows and on the plate standout out with marked vibrance.
The historic Yonkers City Pier, built at the turn-of-the-century as an open-air recreational pier, is now the location of X2O Xaviars on the Hudson, an urbane New American restaurant with 20-foot ceilings and wrapped in glass boasting breathtaking views of the Hudson River and Palisades. Rica Kelly, wife of chef-owner Peter Kelly, worked with architects from Highland Associates in Pennsylvania to create a refined urban interior with a color scheme of Champagne and chocolate, with butter-tone accents.
On a small hill at one end of the Warburton Avenue Bridge, with a rear patio that overlooks the manicured lawn and lake fountain of the Jasper Cropsey home and studio, is Divino Cucina Italiana, in Hastings-on-Hudson. The decor theme is old-meets-new, with lots of gray and brick, and Edison bulbs of various sizes hanging from exposed beams on one side of the dining room, while light fixtures crafted with old fire mantles illuminate the other. A hidden doorway leads to a lower-level speakeasy bar decked out in LED-lit fish-wire cabinets containing multicolored Mason jars filled with faux liquor and black-and-white Prohibition-era photos.
The bi-level Moderne Barn combines rustic elements with modern industrial details. Designer Kim Nathanson of Pawtucket, RI, and architect Lucio Delio of Pound Ridge combined walnut shades and country-chic fabrics to lend a sophisticated yet comfortable vibe to this popular Armonk venue. A soaring, vaulted ceiling of American walnut, hand-designed glass chandeliers, and an iron catwalk above the bar (housing the wine cellar) are focal points in the 7,000 sq. ft. space.
Architect Thomas Juul-Hansen designed The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean Georges, set in an 1833 inn, to have the warmth of a country home and the elegance of a Manhattan restaurant. Many of the original materials were preserved, including four operating wood fireplaces and exposed wooden beams in the high ceiling of the upstairs dining room. Accents of dark brown, exposed stone, and tan leather upholstery add to the rustic charm. A candle-only illuminated wine cellar is a singular space for an intimate party (up to 22 guests).
Quiet elegance abounds at Rye’s La Panetière, where soft, faded, yellow walls and classic Provençal tableware and antiques (including an ornate bread cabinent, or panetière) set a mood for romance and dining as would befit pampered French royalty.
Jennifer Geddes of Goldman Design Group in Norwalk is the creative mind behind the fashionable interior at Nonna Carola Ristorante & Bar, in Mamaroneck. The anteroom sets the swank factor at high, with marble, gold lettering, and a black-iron staircase. The modish Art Deco style includes blues and grays, with accent lighting and other details in gold. A white-marble-topped bar, dressed in black-and-white tile, Tiffany-blue velvet banquettes, and black Italian floor tile, round out the decor highlights at this relative newcomer.
SoHo meets Nantucket is the vibe at Port Chester’s Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House, situated in a century-old grain warehouse nestled along the banks of the Byram River. Four shades of blue represent the ocean in the various rooms, and vaulted high ceilings, a grand, dramatically lit marble oyster bar, and original brick are all focal points.
A city-chic vibe can be found in quiet Purchase at tredici NORTH. The color scheme is black, white, silver, and splashes of red here and there that fiercely pop. The focal point of the 2,500 sq. ft. dining room is the wall behind the bar: a beautiful seashell design featuring antique brick roof tiles imported from a farmhouse in Messina, Sicily. The wall is complemented by copper artichoke chandeliers suspended above the bar. Even the bathrooms have been treated to a metropolitan-inspired design: The men’s room, for example sports mysteriously cool skull tiles with mirrored eyes, imported from Italy.