Cedar Street Grill's New Manhattan Chef Gave Their Burger a Facelift

The popular Dobbs Ferry restaurant’s owner has decided to step away from the kitchen, giving the new chef de cuisine more reign over the menu.

With just more than six years under its belt, Cedar Street Grill in Dobbs Ferry has appointed a new chef de cuisine and rolled out a new fall menu.

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Owner Matt Kay, who was formerly the chef, recently hired Justin Ortiz as chef de cuisine, who has experience at Manhattan’s Michelin-rated British gastropub The Breslin, as well as steakhouse Wolf and Lamb. Kay explains how, about two years ago, he was forced to oversee the whole restaurant’s operation after his mother and brother parted ways with him.

“I’ve had to switch my mindset from a chef to more of a restaurateur,” Kay says. “I decided that if I wanted to grow and expand, and to have accountability with the right team, I had to bring in a chef, let him shine and showcase his talent.”

After a year-long search and more than 30 interviews, Ortiz was chosen. The menu has undergone an 80 percent change; there are more appetizers and fewer entrées, with vegetables becoming more of a focal point.

Photos by Sibylla Chipaziwa

Credit the menu changes on new Chef de Cuisine Justin Ortiz.

The wild mushroom toast comes with whipped mascarpone, mustard greens, and a six-minute egg, of course. There’s more tang and less earthiness with this appetizer.

Chef de Cuisine Ortiz has been looking forward to the small-town environment and bringing his style “without scaring too many people away.” His approach to food is minimalist with a healthy dose of exploration. “We kept some old items to keep regulars coming back, but as far as the new menu, I have full control over that,” he says.

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Not to worry, the pepperberry-spiced chicken wings and Brussels sprouts are still there. However, the Cedar Street burger now has maple bacon made in-house. There’s a wild mushroom toast that doesn’t taste how many would expect; burnt carrots that are given a punch thanks to dukkah (an Egyptian spice blend consisting of herbs, nuts, and spices such as coriander and cumin) sprinkled on top; warm popovers with Gruyère, fennel seed, and honey butter; three fresh homemade pastas, and a dry-aged, 22-ounce rib eye served with bone marrow, an item that has been popping up in some of the hippest of menus, lately.

The Cedar Street Burger has a facelift, adding maple bacon to the mix. This may be the best burger you’ve had in a while.


Cedar Street Grill
23 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry


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