Only 15 miles from where his former boss recently opened The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, Beck Bolender has staked his own county culinary flag. Previously executive sous chef for five years at the illustrious Jean-Georges (then the youngest in that role at a J-G restaurant), Bolender is now executive chef at the revamped One Twenty One Restaurant. Reopened May 7 after a four-week renovation, the restaurant features a new menu that is mostly small plates ($6 to $19) and, according to Bolender, “highlights local, in-season Hudson Valley ingredients prepared in a progressive style.” Bolender, who was raised in North Salem and, at 14, got his first industry job working at the original 121 Restaurant, says, “My goal is to have customers try new dishes that they have never had before, especially in North Salem.”
Small dishes include charred mango salad with strawberries, chèvre, and basil; roasted fennel with buttermilk and oil-cured olives; sweet chili shrimp and cheddar grits; and chickpea empanadas with smoked ham. There is also a selection of larger “small” plates (most are $21 or $22), such as hanger steak chimichurri; snapper with rainbow chard and black garlic vinaigrette; and duck breast with sour cherries and edamame.
Designer Pamela Dailey used mid-century-modern touches (e.g., retro bar seats and vintage pendant lighting) to modernize the space while keeping an earthy feel by incorporating natural reclaimed woods, tobacco wool, copper pipes, and fall hues. The 48-seat main dining area showcases a dramatic window looking into the redesigned kitchen and wood-burning oven, while the lower-level gallery dining room (with another 48 seats) has shimmering, gray, textured walls and is outlined by soft ceiling lights. One Twenty One Restaurant features lunch weekdays, dinner every day, brunch Saturday and Sunday, and a late-night menu on Friday and Saturday until 1 am.
2 Dingle Ridge Rd, North Salem (914) 669-0121 | www.121.restaurant.com