Emerson & Ruth Brings Fine Dining to Castle Hotel & Spa

Photo courtesy of Emerson & Ruth at Castle Hotel & Spa

Emerson & Ruth has debuted in the former Equus space, where it serves a seasonal and regionally sourced menu in Westchester.

It’s been three years since the joyful din of clinking glasses and silver gently tapping against china has echoed from the centuries-old walls of Equus, the iconic restaurant at Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown. But unlike similar casualties of COVID, this Westchester institution has made a comeback — in the same historic, lofty perch overlooking the Hudson but with a new name, new chef, and an approachable take on seasonal, regionally sourced fine-dining fare.

Signature heritage chicken is both pleasing and elevated.
Signature heritage chicken is both pleasing and elevated. Photo courtesy of Emerson & Ruth at Castle Hotel & Spa.

Although Equus and Executive Chef Jared Secor (most recently of Peekskill’s Apropos) began quietly serving dinner in late spring, the venue debuted in July as Emerson & Ruth, named for Mr. and Mrs. Axe, who bought the castle in 1941 from Howard Carroll; he built it as his family home at the turn of the 20th century.

Hudson River views serve as a breathtaking dining companion
Hudson River views serve as a breathtaking dining companion. Photo courtesy of Emerson & Ruth at Castle Hotel & Spa.

In the storied space Equus diners will remember well — with rich mahogany panels, a towering stone fireplace, and the glass walls and airy feel of a companion dining area — Secor serves a five-course tasting menu with an optional wine pairing; family style service is offered for parties of eight or more. Brunch occurs on Sundays.

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Glazed pork belly with spiced pressed watermelon, in season
Glazed pork belly with spiced pressed watermelon, in season. By Michelle Gillan Larkin.

“The menu is truly unfussy yet tasty fare,” says Secor, citing an “unrestrained” pimento cheeseburger as a prime example of that overarching ethos, along with his standout, spice-rubbed, slow-roasted heritage chicken that sways sophisticated when accompanied by petite potato dumplings, cranberry beans, black kale, and aged Sherry. Simple seared diver scallops, hand-shucked from the Gulf of Maine, are served with local, organic squash, red quinoa, and yogurt with dill plucked from the on-premises garden.

“We understand the joys of living in the Hudson Valley is easy access to a bounty of fresh organic food and a general mindset that favors healthier eating,” says Secor, who grew up in Dutchess County. “There’s a host of markets that we will be sourcing in the area that offer flavorful farm produce as well as other organic spe-cialty products.”

Emerson & Ruth salad
Little gems garden greens feature sliced pears, local blue cheese, and zippy sesame-sunflower-seed crumbles. By Michelle Gillan Larkin.

Spirit-driven craft cocktails complement “a stocked wine cellar from select notable producers [that] is not only thoughtful and sophisticated but also accessible,” Secor says. “It’s constructed to be reasonable, perfect for enthusiasts and casual sippers alike.”

Fired up to be introducing a new, modern concept to the Castle, Secor considers it a privilege to carry on the legacy of a restaurant that was, for decades, on the tip of every Westchester foodie’s tongue. “We are committed to bringing the same level of enthusiasm and excitement to this new venture as we do with every culinary experience.”

400 Benedict Ave, Tarrytown; 914.631.1980
castlehotelandspa.com

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