Scan the list below and one thing is immediately clear: This year, casual cuisine reigns supreme. Taco joints are popping up throughout the county; late-night dining options are expanding; and sit-down restaurants are ditching any semblance of pretense. There’s also a boom in breweries with four new openings slated for later this year (plus River Outpost Brewing Co., the second brewery from Captain Lawrence’s Scott Vaccaro, which began service earlier this month).
Know about any openings we missed? Sound off in the comments below.
Where: 10 N Central Ave, Hartsdale
After working at Gramercy Tavern and Craft in Manhattan (and spending several years in Seville, Spain), Chef Brian Sernatinger moved to Tulum to open Único. Now, the successful restaurant is opening a second location in Hartsdale, serving the same funky mix of Mexican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines. The result: A menu that runs the gamut from white truffle soufflé to purple-basil pappardelle to spiced lamb meatballs with chayote, pistachios, and mint.
Where: 171 E Post Rd, White Plains
It was a shock when this Roman restaurant closed last year due to a landlord dispute. Relocated to a space just down the road, the new Pax Romana will have the same pasta-centric focus — a commercial extruder and upgraded pasta bar will be front and center — plus expanded pizza offerings and some new Italian-American favorites. Our favorite part: a back window that will serve snacks until 3 a.m.â€‹
Where: 25 N Main St, Port Chester
Halstead Ave Taqueria in Harrison makes some of our favorite tacos, pressed juices, and salsas, but seating has never been its strong suit (there are just a few stools lining the walls). Taco Shack will be the taqueria’s first sit-down location, complete with full bar serving margaritas and a series of cocktails built ever-trendy mezcal.
Where: 124 Wildey St, Tarrytown
The newest restaurant from Dave Starkey’s ERL Hospitality group (Tomatillo, Red Zebra, Sweet Grass Grill) will be this “fresh-casual,” locally sourced spot by the Tarrytown Metro-North station. On the menu: fresh-baked desserts, muffins, and biscuits; vegetarian sandwiches; and other seasonal specials. “Our goal was to offer our Sweet Grass customers a more casual option,” says Starkey. “We’re currently testing recipes at Sweet Grass and we have a vegan Reuben [that’s] getting great reviews.
Where: 39 Marble Ave, Pleasantville
The owners of Wood & Fire laid down some serious cash — from the 60-seat patio we expect will be packed come summer to the $35,000 custom Asador grill — to create this open-concept restaurant focused on flavors from the American South. Besides fried chicken, homemade biscuits, and pork-belly-topped grits, expect “a lot more creative dishes,” says owner Michael Ferrara. “The concept is refined Southern, so basically a modern twist on Southern comfort.”
Where: 472 Bedford Rd, Pleasantville
What do you get when the owners of 105-Ten Bar & Grill in Briarcliff Manor open a restaurant that aims to create a “taco-and-tequila experience”? Good drinks and a menu of Mexican- and Latin-inspired bites like tequila-lime ceviche, Mexican-fusion salads, tacos, and spiced rotisserie chicken.
Where: 362 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
Founded in Philadelphia, this East Coast chain will bring Thai-rolled ice cream to Westchester. Bases include frozen-yogurt and vegan options, and topping combos feature flavors like chocolate-peanut-butter pretzel, s’mores, mint Oreo, and the SoCal, made with açai, honey, coconut, and banana.
Where: 186 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
Walter’s has seen unprecedented growth in the past few years with the launch of its food trucks and the opening of a Stamford stand. But 2018 will bring a first: a restaurant space with inside seating, lots of mustard-slathered hot dogs, and room to display generations of memorabilia and memories. “Our new location will have more of a fast-casual restaurant feel,” says Katharine Warrington Woodward. “Having the indoor space will allow us to show customers, new and old, what the Walter’s experience is truly about.”
Where: 75-77 Spring St, Ossining
The first of two NYS farm breweries slated to open this year, Sing Sing Kill puts local sourcing front and center. “Most of our ingredients will be from family farms in the Hudson Valley for a truly grain-to-glass experience,” says brewer Matt Curtin. “We will also offer New York-distilled spirits, wines, and soft drinks.” A taproom menu will include small plates and a selection of local snacks.
Where: 139 Hoyt Ave, Mamaroneck
It’s already the county’s best beer store, but starting this spring, Half Time will also be home to Decadent Ales’ brewing operations. The store will convert space into a brewery and taproom for the Mamaroneck-based brewery, where they’ll pour Decadent on draft and lines curated by Half Time. Plans include a full restaurant menu and, of course, customers can crack open bottles purchased at the store.
Where: 35 Abendroth Ave, Port Chester
For the Connecticut institution known for its hot oil pie, this will be the first New York location. The 170-seat pub space will front the Byram River (with outdoor seating in warm weather) and will serve its bar-style pies until 1 a.m. on weekends.
Where: 195 E Post Rd, White Plains
This NYS-certified farm brewery grew out of owner Michael Chiltern’s award-winning obsession with homebrewing. Signature styles will include a hazy New England IPA and a tropical stout Chiltern describes as like “Guinness with a lot more chocolate and vanilla undertones.” Collaborations with local brewers are also in the works, as is a full menu of farm-to-table fare sourced from within 100 miles of White Plains.
When: late 2018
Where: Dalewood Shopping Center, Hartsdale
Lines were out the door when the first location of this buzzy fast-casual chain opened in Yonkers in 2016. We expect nothing less at this Hartsdale location, which will, of course, feature a signature concrete plus the crispy, smashed patties we know and love.
When: Fall/Winter 2018
Where: 72 Alexander St, Yonkers
While most of Chicken Island’s 11,000-sq-ft Yonkers space will be dedicated to brewing, owner Andy Fondak also plans to carve out a small area for tasting, where visitors can try flagship styles including a citrusy American Pale Ale and German-style Hefeweizen.
â€‹Where: 26 Purchase St, Rye
Chopped champion Raffaele Ronca’s Rye restaurant (he’s also the chef at Ristorante Rafele in NYC) is expected to open in the first half of 2018. Details on the menu are scarce — the restaurant is still under construction — but expect classics from his Neapolitan upbringing plus his mother’s cheesecake, named one of the best in America by Food & Wine.