Twice a year, as Hudson Valley Restaurant Week returns to the area, we think a three-course dinner for $32.95 has to be a good deal, right? Not necessarily. Each spring and fall, we sift through menus to find the places you have to book now. You know, the places that serve regular-menu-worthy dishes and where your $32 means mega savings.
221 Main St, White Plains; 914.467.5500
Participating for the first time this fall, BLT Steak’s normally high prices make it an obvious candidate for a HVRW deal. Thankfully, the sleek steakhouse, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown White Plains, doesn’t shy away from putting steak on the menu. (No, that’s not a given for a steakhouse during restaurant week.) Consider putting your savings toward an expertly crafted cocktail from the bar.
What We’re Having: Crab cake salad with avocado and pancetta or the quail-egg-topped steak tartare, followed by grilled filet mignon with spinach and mashed potatoes.
531 Main St, Port Chester; 914.481.8833
It’s time to finally make it to this somewhat-under-the-radar restaurant. The second Port Chester restaurant from brothers-in-law Edi Rivera and Edwin Montoya (they also operate classically French Appetit Bistro), Capers takes its culinary inspiration from Mediterranean-fronting countries, including Greece, Italy, and Spain.
What We’re Having: Artichokes with capers, garlic, lemon, and white wine to start. Then, the linguini with clams and butter, seafood paella, or hanger steak cloaked in peppercorn sauce. For dessert, our money’s on the chocolate mousse.
837 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale; 914.725.3450
One word: Oysters. If you love the briny bivalves — stick to seafood for the best deals — you should book this one ASAP.
What We’re Having: Go for the six Blue Point oysters, followed by the maple-glazed salmon with roasted parsnips or the Parmesan-crusted cod on a bed of sautéed vegetables. Profiteroles with Kit Kat ice cream don’t sound half bad, either.
5 John Walsh Blvd, Peekskill; 914.788.4555
The menu is admittedly heavy with supplements for premium dishes, but even strict $32.95 purists will find plenty of interesting dishes on the menu.
What We’re Having: Start with a salad of lettuces, shaved root vegetables, and pecorino in beer-mustard vinaigrette; pilsner-steamed mussels with house-cured bacon; or the spicy charred octopus with smoked yogurt (worth the extra $5). Then, have the hake with white beans, sausage, and tomato broth or the bone-in pork chop over grits and apples.
660 White Plains Rd, Eastchester; 914.961.1001
Restaurant week is a good opportunity to try a new restaurant. This time around, we’re booking a table at Gigante, the newest restaurant from the owners of Mulino’s, helmed by Executive Chef Samuel Kim (Per Se, Jean-Georges, Colicchio & Sons) and pastry chef Stephen Collucci.
What We’re Having: Burrata with smoked-tomato relish; Faroe Island salmon with apple purée, fennel, and charred cucumber salad, or braised short ribs with spatzle and chili-honey-onion jam; and hazelnut panna cotta with cookie crunch.
698 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley; 914.693.5400
HVRW menus can end up costing more than ordering from the regular menu, especially at a place where you wouldn’t get dessert. That’s not a consideration at L’inizio, where we always pony up the cash for Heather Fratangelo’s sweet creations. Whether you’re ordering the warm caramel apple with vanilla semifreddo or the bomboloni, you really can’t go wrong.
What We’ve Having: Other than dessert, we’ll have Scott Fratangelo’s crispy green tomatoes with remoulade and pickled vegetables, followed by the egg campanelle with his luscious Bolognese and smoked ricotta.
179 Rectory St, Port Chester; 914.933.0200
Rafael Palomino’s ode to Latin cuisine (dishes are labeled with the country they represent) is always a solid restaurant week choice. It gets extra props for having several, actually good vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
What We’re Having: Start with the Argentinian skirt steak flatbread with arugula, Manchego, and romesco sauce. Follow that with paella (seafood or vegan) or the branzino with lobster-habañero sauce. For dessert, it’s pumpkin churros all the way.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week runs from October 29 to November 11 with more than 100 restaurants participating in Westchester County. For more information, visit www.valleytable.com/hvrw