Tips Are Getting Larger, Enjoy Rare Bourbons with Pappy & Friends at Pour, We’re in Search of Westchester’s Great Burgers, and New Rochelle’s Armory Food Hall Project Is a Go

This is a cringe-inducing fact about my father, who was a generous man and lifelong champion of The Worker (God rest his soul). To his dying day, he felt that it was perfectly okay to drop a couple of coins in the hatcheck’s dish, and, when a valet pulled up with his car, he’d probably palm that guy a dollar. As I say, my father was a lifelong proponent of the working class, but he was also of the generation that, to modern eyes, left meager tips. The expected restaurant tip when my father was a young man was 12.5 percent.

At some point in the 1970s, the fiddly math of 12.5 percent was streamlined with the general acceptance of the 15 percent pre-tax standard (and all the math-phobes collectively went, “phew”). But here’s the thing: How many of us wind up leaving a straight 15 percent tip? And how many bother subtracting the tax from the total before we tip? Turns out that while modern tip calculators recommend tips of 15 to 20 percent (before tax), most waiters tell you that 20 percent (post-tax) is closer to baseline.

BUT it looks like that 20 percent baseline might be going the way of two bits for retrieving that fedora. According to this New York Post article, Michael Lynn of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration “recently studied some 9,000 credit card receipts from a restaurant in Poughkeepsie, NY, and found that more than a third of customers — 37 percent — left a tip greater than 20 percent.” Oh, and it looks like this is not some freak of Hudson Valley generosity. There have been coast-to-coast rumblings about the new, 25 percent standard before.

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But what do you think, Westchester? How much are you leaving? What do you tip at restaurants, and is that pre- or post-tax? How much do you spot the valet? And how do you feel about possibly being expected to leave more? We want to hear about your tipping practices. PS: your answer will be completely anonymous, plus, you can have fun inventing a goofy screen name for your comment. Post your answers in the comments section below or email me on the EaterLine,


HotDate: Bourbon Snobs, Don’t Miss This One: It’s Pappy Van Winkle and Friends at Pour

October 21, 3 pm

$175 per person, which includes 10 whiskies and barbecue by Q Restaurant and Bar. Cigars will be available for purchase.

Oh, folks, it’s coveted… like Chef David Chang coveted. In fact, that’s pointedly three fingers of Pappy Van Winkle that Chang sips in the Anthony Bourdain-penned scene in the second  season of Treme. (Pappy also shows up in the hallowed pages of Chang’s cult cook porn, Lucky Peach). Sure, Pappy is expensive—as in, one bottle of the 20 year old regularly swings northward of $325.00 on eBay. But that’s not all. Even if you’re willing to spend the dough, you probably won’t find a bottle of this whiskey on the market. When this Food Republic article was written in May, there was a 90-person waitlist for one bottle of Pappy at a Brooklyn spirits shop, which explains the energetic and totally illegal re-sale market for those desperate enough to score. By law, liquor sales are restricted to licensed venues, so that Pappy listing on eBay winkingly states, “the bottle is being sold as a collectable and complies with eBay’s regulations on alcohol as the bottle is no longer available and its value is due to the fact that it is a collectable container, not its contents.” Yeah, riiiiiight, eBay, and those functioning bongs are really “tobacciana.”

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With Pappy Van Winkle so rare and so coveted (and so frickin’ expensive), a night like Pour’s Pappy and Friends offers bourbon cultists an amazing opportunity to sample seven rare Pappies (and a few more friends), all under one roof for one night only. Here’s what you’ll find:

·       Pappy Van Winkle 10 Year Old, both 90 proof and 107 proof

·       Pappy Van Winkle 12, 15, 20, and 23 Year Old bourbons

·       Pappy Van Winkle 13 Year rye

·       Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey Uncut/Unfiltered 18 Year

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·       Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C (Tornado Surviving) 10-Year, 100-Proof bourbon

·       Parker’s Heritage Cognac Barrel Finished Bourbon 10 Year, 100 Proof

The size of this event is strictly limited because of the rarity of these whiskies. Basically, if you want to go, don’t wait to book your place. To reserve, call (914) 846-0606 or email Pour’s owner, Anthony Colasacco at


Hot Flash: The New Rochelle Armory Project is a Go!

You remember my recent post about the exciting new restaurant/food hall project proposed for the historic New Rochelle Naval Armory? Well, guess what, folks—this sucker is a go: The city greenlit the project. Look for construction of a combination farmers’ market/restaurant complex/public park to get underway soon. Follow EDP—we’ll be checking in on the progress, but, for now, here’s the proposal.

EDP Alert!

I Want You (to Tell Me About Your Favorite Burgers)!

Folks, we’re on a BOLO (that’s Baretta-speak for Be On The Look Out) for Westchester’s greatest burgers—and we’re looking at everything from high-end haut to deliciously down and dirty. Westchester, where do you get your pattie on? What are your secret, D-L burger sources? Let me know in the comments section below, preferably using a silly screen name. Alternately, go ahead and email me privately on the EaterLine,, where you won’t even have to watch your language (because, God knows, I don’t). Thanks for reading EDP, and don’t forget to drop me a line.

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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