Blam! Labor Day Weekend slams down on summer like a safety gate. But the good news is that Westchester has returned from its vacations (and put away its bikinis); that means it’s time for serious eating and drinking. Here are the big fall openings of 2012:
· Modern Italian
This New Rochelle shocker has locals stunned. Ancient, idiosyncratic Modern Pizza http://www.modernrestaurantandpizzeria.com/index.html (a ‘20s-era commercial bread bakery) has taken over a charming architectural holdout on Huguenot Street that had recently been occupied by New Rochelle Restaurant Supply. In September, this former warehouse’s lofty vaults and sweet minstrel galleries will be rechristened Modern Italian. Look for the new design to feature homey, bare tables and vintage charm.
310 Huguenot St, New Rochelle
Named for Honeymooner Jackie Gleason, Peekskill’s most famous son, this new venture from the team behind Birdsall House promises a menu of flatbread pizzas made with locally sourced produce and house-smoked Hemlock Hill meats. Expect eight changing taps of craft beer and cocktails based on house-made bitters, plus an extensive Scotch and bourbon list. Open now.
911 South St, Peekskill
No phone; gleasons-peekskill.com
The third restaurant by the team of Jonathan Pratt and Craig Purdy (also behind Peter Pratt’s Inn and Umami Café), Tagine is named for Morocco’s signature, cone-lidded cooking vessel. Look for the new Croton-on-Hudson venture to mix French-bistro standards with the spice-soaked flavors of Morocco. Slated to open this fall.
118-120 Grand St, Croton on Hudson
· RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen
In one of the more stunning stories of 2012, partners Glen Vogt and John Crabtree announced that Crabtree’s Kittle House, a Chappaqua institution since 1980, would debut RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen in Tarrytown’s Hudson Harbor development. The 67,000-square-foot, LEED-Certified complex will encompass a restaurant and bar; a Hudson Valley-sourced farmers’ market (with prepared foods); and RiverMarket Wine and Spirits, a retail store specializing in organic, local, sustainable, and biodynamic wines and liquors. Slated to open in late fall 2012.
· Butterfield 8
Remember the movie of the same name: Liz Taylor as a call girl? Good. it’s a fun thought, but, sadly, this new restaurant doesn’t offer any violet-eyed prosties. The third Butterfield 8 (after original Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut, branches) is by the folks also behind White Plains’s Lola’s and Mulberry Street) Look for a White Plains debut in September with a self-described menu of “upscale American comfort food.” All three Butterfield 8 kitchens are now headed by longtime Cookery associate Matt Safarowic.
147 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
No phone; butterfield8wp.com
Wine Tour of South Africa
September 14, 7 – 8:30 pm
$35 per person (for educational materials)
Meander past the realm of Malbec with Derek Todd. From the site: “We’ll take you on a virtual tour of South Africa through wine—from Pinotage to Cabernet. Discussion led by Sommelier Derek Todd.”
Reservations required as seating is limited.
914-273-WINE (9463); www.winegeeksarmonk.com
Sunday Pig Roast at Barcelona Wine Bar www.barcelonawinebar.com, Greenwich, CT
September 9, 4 pm
$29 per person (exclusive of beverages, tax, and gratuity)
From the site: “inspired by Sasa’s trips to Spain, we are now offering our Sunday Pig Roast at all Barcelona locations!” Look for a family-style menu to include ensalada mixta, slow-roasted suckling pig, seasonal fresh vegetables, and flan. Half-priced bottles of wine.
HotPlate: Carnitas Taco at Mr. Taco
Oh, sure…New Rochelle’s new breed of Mexican restaurants get all the glory. They’re more authentic, they’re regional, and they have those unpronounceable pre-Columbian names. But let’s take a second to appreciate Mr. Taco, one of the first non-margarita joints to sling basic tacos in a town now dense with Mexican restaurants. Its digs are humble, but it offers buttery, made-to-order guacamole and tender, meaty carnitas tacos strewn with chopped onions and crisp cilantro. Yum.
619 North Ave, New Rochelle