Two NYC Hotshots Open Restaurants in Westchester, Wine & BBQ Dinners, Killer Kupcake

Two NYC Restaurant Biggies to Open in Westchester!

In a restaurant world shocker that had the New York Times’s Sam Sifton scratching his head, charming Maialino Sommelier Stephen Paul Mancini is leaving Danny Meyer’s Roman digs to head north. He’ll be teaming up with Tavern on the Highland’s Chef Eric Gabrynowicz in a new restaurant, North, to be located on Main Street in downtown Armonk. (For more on Gabrynowicz, see HotLink, below.) The opening is slated for May, and we’re absolutely stoked.

In the Times piece, Mancini relates a story that we’ve heard often: Manhattan restaurateurs are beginning to look at Westchester in a whole new light. Where once, the County was seen as the gateway to the culinary Midwest (so, golf-club cuisine and chain restaurants), it’s all looking different now that Batali and Bastianich are, according to Mancini, doing “over 500 covers on a Saturday night; and Blue Hill at Stone Barns is booked over a month out.”

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That’s right, folks—art and culinary genius are fine, but to paraphrase the pithy Batali, restaurants are in the business of buying food, fixing it up, and then selling it at a profit. Manhattan’s stupid rents nix profit hopes in small start-up restaurants, which is why the avenues are jammed with dire tourist traps like Ruby Foo’s. In contrast, Westchester offers more space for less money – plus a density of high-income diners with well-traveled, cosmopolitan tastes. It’s a restaurant world no brainer: time to sling your food up here, guys.

In related news, it looks like the Hostaria Mazzei space has finally been taken. We recently reported that the Port Chester landmark was being shopped, with a large Manhattan restaurant group nearly in the august door. However, in this piece on NBC New York, it was reported that Shea Gallante (ex-Cru and ex-Bouley) will be setting up in Port Chester right down the street from Tarry Lodge. Smart money says Gallante’s going into the Hostaria Mazzei space.

Gallante’s June-planned Port Chester venture will be called Arrosto, and, in what feels like a dare to TL, it looks like it’ll be trying peel off a few of those 500 covers. Like Tarry Lodge, Arrosto will celebrate its wine—and like Tarry Lodge, it will be serving a reasonably priced “take on Modern Italian food with some classics” (including pizza, shrimp fra diavolo, and Gallante’s famous pasta). To make matters more personal, Gallante also was formerly at Felidia—which is, as you probably know, a Lidia Bastianich restaurant.

Not that Joe Bastianich is quaking up in Port Chester. Says Joe, “We love Shea! So happy for him, and glad to have him up in Port Chester.” Yeah, right.

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Wine, Shad & BBQ Dinners

Summer’s (almost) here, and the time is right for dancing in the streets. Check out these eat-and-drink events that herald the coming season:

Wines for the BBQ
 Wine Geeks Armonk 
Thursday, May 20, 7pm: 
Porch sipper central! Expect to be edified by Derek Todd and lovely wife, Carol, who together operate the County’s hottest new wine shop. You might remember Todd—he was the original wine director at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. According to the site, “This wine and food pairing class focuses on that great American pastime: the Backyard Barbeque. Never be at a loss as to what to serve with BBQ’d spareribs, hamburgers or chicken wings again!” Indeed.

Saturday Wine Tasting Series on the Terrazzo at Tarry Lodge 3rd Saturday of every month at 2 pm (schedule below),
$35 per person, per tasting (plus tax & gratuity), reservations required. This warm-weather series will be conducted on Tarry’s roof terrace by TL’s crack wine team, which includes the restaurant’s Wine Director Julia Blandori, Sommelier Chase Hochstin, and co-owner Nancy Selzer. Welcome the season in style by sipping a few in the shade. Here’s the upcoming schedule, courtesy of Nancy Selzer:
May 15—Italian White Basics: Road trip through Italian Whites
June 19—Rosati: Pink wine, not all bad…
July 17—Summer Reds: Lighter reds ideal for the heat of the summer
August 21—Value Whites: Too many BBQ’s, refreshing answers
September 18—Italian Red Basics: Navigation through Italian reds
October 16—Spicy Reds: Transition the heat of summer into fall

Riverkeeper’s 20th Annual Shad Festival and Hudson River Celebration May 16, Noon to 5 pm
Boscobel, Garrison

The anadromous shad (and their roe) are swimming up the Hudson to spawn. Forget 20th annual celebration—this was a party before Hudson launched the Half Moon. Look for local beer, wine, food, and music to celebrate the River and its bounty.

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Sexy Strawberry Cupcake at Cupcake Kitchen

This sassy glamorpuss from Cupcake Kitchen knows how to catch an eye, with pink, mile-high icing and moist, cocoa-rich chocolate cake. But the killer in this creampuff is its drizzle of fragrant strawberry syrup, which smells as sweet as summer and is as alluring as a sheer cotton sundress.

Cupcake Kitchen
100 Main St, Irvington
(914) 231-6261

Eric Gabrynowicz, Chef of Armonk’s Upcoming North

We found this old YouTube clip of Chef Gabrynowicz when he was still at Tavern on the Highlands. He’s since left to join Steven Paul Mancini in his hotly anticipated Armonk spot, North.


Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

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!

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