Captain Lawrence Brewery Gets a Food Makeover

Scott Vaccaro has the brewing down; now, with the hire of a fulltime executive chef, comes food to match

At many breweries, the food menu is much like dessert at a sushi restaurant, a timid afterthought. At Captain Lawrence Brewery, with Chef Joseph Smith’s recent hire, the food offerings are no longer in the aforementioned category.

“It only took 11 years,” quips founder and brewmaster Scott Vaccaro, regarding the hiring of Smith at his 40-barrel craft brewhouse in Elmsford.

Smith, formerly executive chef at The Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island, is a Long Island native and grew up spending summers on the East End. “I was spoiled by the produce and great local proteins we got to use in our kitchen.”

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He is known for embracing both traditional and non-traditional fare using locally sourced ingredients. For starters ($10-$14), try the jumbo Bavarian “everything-crusted” pretzel with smoked porter cheese sauce; beer-infused hummus, crispy baby potatoes with house-cured bacon; and hickory-smoked, beer-barbecue glazed chicken wings. Main plates ($10-$16) are overstuffed sandwiches (e.g., Hudson Valley duck Reuben, crispy chicken biscuit, sourdough grilled cheese with caramelized onions) plus nightly specials like rotating burgers, fish and chips, and tacos. 

Previously, the brewery had food brought in by outside venders.

Smith’s menu is offered counter-service style during beer hall hours Wednesday through Sunday. He’ll also oversee a variety of events held at Captain Lawrence including weddings, fundraisers, private parties, and monthly five-course beer dinners ($65-$75).

Expect some barbecue on the regular menu in the future. 

“Late at night I find myself on eBay looking at pig smokers,” says Vaccaro. “It would be perfect on the deck in the beer garden.”

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Captain Lawrence Brewery
444 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford

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