I’m always looking for a good deal, even when it comes to finding fun ways to spend a night out. Fortunately, Westchester has a variety of options—from music and dancing to drinks and a show—that shouldn’t put a strain on the wallet. Take a look at these 10 possibilities:
1. Dancing is a favorite activity of mine, and one place that always gets me going is Don Coqui. There’s a newer location in White Plains, but I’m partial to the one in New Rochelle, because that’s where I first went and I just love the vibe. The ambience might best be described as Miami chic, with its white leather chairs, white linens and white hanging curtains, as well as soft and sexy neon lighting. Don Coqui is a good destination if you just want a terrific meal, but I say do both—eat and then dance off all that Puerto Rican food. Things get particularly saucy on Thursday and Friday salsa nights, with live music performed by an in-house band and—get this—complimentary salsa lessons to boot. But Don Coqui has something special planned every other night of the week, too. Mondays feature a three-course meal for less than $30, Tuesdays are karaoke night; Wednesdays have live Latin, jazz, or R&B music, and Saturdays feature a DJ.
2. For live music, Lazy Lounge in White Plains puts it all together. On Wednesdays, a blues, rhythm and soul jam session runs from 9 pm until 1 am, with co-hosts Curtis Winchester and Gil Parris, as well as special guests appearing weekly. DJs come in on Friday nights, while the weekends are focused on Latin (so, yes, another place for me to dance!). Lazy Lounge is also known for its imaginative signature cocktails; while listening to some great music, I’m partial to the tiramisu martini (yes I said tiramisu), best described as a dessert and drink all in one.
3. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford is well-known for its many fun and unique events, not the least of which is Cooktoberfest. Held in October with the support of The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry, one reasonably priced ticket gets you three hours of access to a fully stocked menu, drinks and remarkable live music. Other activities at Captain Lawrence include Tasting Room Trivia and live music, not to mention hosting regular meetings of the Westchester Homebrewer’s Organization.
4. Sorry guys, but this one is just for the girls. Every Wednesday night from 5 to 11 pm, The Brazen Fox in White Plains hosts ladies night, with $5 deals on all martinis, wine, and select appetizers. The interesting selection of martinis includes flavors such as cucumber, mango, espresso, and bellini pie (to name a few). Not only do you get a great deal, but a portion of all the proceeds from ladies night goes to the American Breast Cancer Foundation, so you get to do a little good while feeling good.While you’re there, try the fried pickles–they’re incredible!
5. Elements Food & Spirits–promising “a Manhattan vibe in the heart of White Plains”—offers 4 to 8 pm happy hour food and drink specials that draw quite a crowd. I recommend the St. Louis fried ravioli and the smoked gouda mac’n’cheese bites, together with a choice of drafts, wine, martinis, cosmos, and mojitos. Jazz Tuesdays and Rock n’ Roll Sundays are very popular, with special events mixed in between. The trendy rooftop bar and dining area is an added bonus for lounging when the weather cooperates.
6. Of course, happy hour isn’t exclusive to Elements. Peekskill’s Birdsall House, a craft beer gastropub, hosts both a regular happy hour weekdays from 4 to 7 pm and a late-night happy hour, with even bigger deals, every night from 10 pm to midnight. The 1940s tavern-like vibe, with rustic wooden booths and a laidback, friendly atmosphere, is one reason why this place is a favorite of mine. Plus, with more than 20 drafts and an always-changing collection of 15 bottled beers, I learn a little more about brews every time I go. Live performances are staged regularly, and if you’re into movies like I am, you will enjoy Birdsall House’s Sunday movie nights. The free popcorn is a nice touch.
7.At bartaco in Port Chester, I love that you can get margaritas, mojitos, or caipirinhas by the carafe as well as by the glass. (Unfortunately, tequila and I aren’t currently on speaking terms, or I’d be happy to sample some of bartaco’s large variety.) The place has a funky, low-key beach vibe and a rocking outdoor patio with live music and DJs Thursday through Sunday.
8. Chat 19 American Grill in Larchmont has been recently spruced up–sleek, dark wood and warm lighting set a nice mood. Monday nights include half-priced bottles of wine, Thursdays are ladies nights with half-priced martinis. Friday and Saturday nights from 9:30 pm to 1 am, Chat 19 transforms into a lounge with some of the baddest DJs and live bands around.
9. When I want to feed my theatrical side, I visit Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford. I not only get a fantastic Broadway caliber show, but a delicious meal. There is a wide selection of dinner entrées, each served with bread, salad, and dessert. (Appetizers and drinks are an additional fee.) My parents used to take my brother and me when we were younger, and it is a tradition that I plan to continue with my family. I recommend going with a group (if the group is large enough, get a private luxury box), because this experience is something that most definitely should be shared. The shows change every few months, so be sure to check the schedule often. Monday and Tuesday nights, the theater hosts special shows, such as comedy nights, magic shows, and musical acts.
10. Peekskill’s 12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar, situated near the Paramount Center for the Arts, features something exciting each night to go with the award-winning food. Tribute bands will make you think classic rock acts such as the Allman Brothers and Billy Joel have come to town. There are also Swing Band Sundays and Ladies Nights.