Insider's Guide

Illustrations by Kim Rosen

[food]

Sample Westchester’s Best Dishes Without Spending a Fortune

Dylan Lounge at X2O

Four of our top, high-end restaurateurs hedge their bets by offering dual hi-lo eateries, which spread out their price points and draw from two distinct crowds. Casual, child-friendly Blue Hill Café (open until 4:30 pm) uses the same farm-to-table ingredients as haute, haute, haute Blue Hill at Stone Barns (bluehillfarm.com), and its soups, sandwiches, and scones are prepared by the same stellar staff. Dylan’s Lounge counters X2O’s river view with an absorbing city- and shore-scape, while offering casual, chic cocktails, and sushi—although X2O’s menu is also available à la carte (xaviars.com). Casually priced Bellota at Restaurant 42 (42therestaurant.com) offers the same panoramic view from the top of the Ritz-Carlton towers in White Plains, but its gentle prices and approachable tapas feel like a gateway to the higher-end venue. Also look for Bedford Post’s Barn’s (bedfordpostinn.com) pared-down, more casual take on the Farmhouse’s elegant menu.

- Advertisement -

Another tactic worth mentioning: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. It’s offered every spring and fall and runs for two weeks. That means, for one full month out of 12, lunches cost around $20 and dinners $28. Many of Westchester’s most popular restaurants—Harvest on Hudson (harvest 2000.com), X2O, Moderne Barn (modernebarn.com)—participate.

Photo by Paul Johnson

Bedford Post’s Barn

- Partner Content -

Photo by Paul Johnson

Moderne Barn

 

Be the First to Know What’s on the Menu

Savvy restaurants use Facebook for super-targeted marketing. In fact, many restaurants restrict the information available on their websites, preferring to channel inquiries to their Facebook page. Why? Facebook and Twitter send up-to-the-minute alerts to “friends” and “followers,” often sending news of special events and seasonal menu changes directly to hand-held devices. If you want to know about The Cookery’s Industry Night (where you could find duck tongues, veal brains, and its fabled chicken-skin “Cheetos”), simply “like” or “friend” the restaurant (thecookeryrestaurant.com). That also goes for alerts on Juniper’s pop-up dinners (juniperhastings.com, and the availability of Restaurant North’s (restaurantnorth.com) evanescent soft-shell crabs.

Go on a Real Dining Adventure

Check out Yonkers for a cornucopia of authentic foods: cerviche at Chim Pum Calloa, Patacon misto at Stefy’s Restaurant (stefysrestaurant.com), goat tacos at La Fonda Poblano el Mexicano, even fertilized Filipino eggs at Cartimar Filipino Market. Or, take a food crawl in Port Chester, home to a lively world of Latin American restaurants: look for Salvadoran pupusa at Rinconcito Migueleño (118 Westchester Ave), Peruvian grilled chicken that easily beat supermarket rotisserie at Misti Pollo al la Brasa (110 N Main St, 914-939-9437), soulful Mexican carnitas at Los Gemelos Restaurant & Tortilleria where they actually manufacture tortillas for other restaurants (167 Westchester Ave, 914-934-0372), and a rainbow of Mexican ice pops at Paleteria Fernandez (33 N Main St, 914-939-3694). Early risers can find massive, meaty breakfasts and arepas at Asi Es Columbia (172 N Main Street, 914-934-7675) and if you can get there early, warm, cinnamony churros at Uruguay Bakery (204 Westchester Ave, 914-937-4322) along the triangle formed by Main Street and Westchester Avenue.

- Advertisement -

Drink Your Favorite Wines—Without Paying an Extra Dime

A number of our favorite spots either don’t have a liquor license or allow customers to bring their own bottles. And there is no corkage fee on (Your) Wine Wednesdays at Plates (121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont, 914-834-1244, platesonthepark.com. Ocean House (Croton-on-Hudson), Juniper (Hastings-on-Hudson), Shiraz (Elmsford), Masala Kraft Café (Hartsdale), Café Tandoor (Tarrytown), Conte’s Fishmarket (Mount Kisco), and Docas (Ossining) also allow you to BYO.
Moderne barn photo by Paul Johnson; Bedford Post’s barn photo by Paul Johnson

Stock Your Kitchen With Professional Cookware—On the Cheap

You may not find the latest Food Network culinary tools at Harris Restaurant Supply (25 Abendroth Ave, Port Chester 914-937-0404; hrs-foodservice.com), a wholesale showroom open to the public, but you will find indestructible professional cookware designed with function first in mind—cookware that’s easy to wash, and cheap enough to buy by the score: 40-quart stockpots, 30-quart stainless bowls, re-usable silicone pads, flat-packed parchment paper, and every other tool or accessory you could want to turn your kitchen into a four-star eatery.

Get Top-Notch Organic Groceries For Much, Much Less

This may hearken back to those crunchy granola days in the ’70s when every hip (and hippie) area had its own food co-op. You remember: you’d join up and everyone would chip in with the work to save on overhead. Guess what? Food co-ops are back. The Raw Life Food Co-op (913 South St, Peekskill 914-257-7112; rawlife.memberlodge.org) is a nonprofit organic produce and grocery co-op that offers food priced 30 to 40 percent less than in retail stores. Members are required to work at least three hours every four weeks.

Surprise Dining

Once a month, self-taught chef David Leveen leaves his day job as owner of a digital photography company and transforms Grouchy Gabe’s deli in Croton-on-Hudson into Skillet (skilletgoodness.com). All the food is served family-style in—you guessed it—cast-iron skillets. The menu changes each month, the price for skillets is $30 to $35, and reservations are a good idea as it sells out. Remember to BYOB.

Snag a Table in the Hottest Restaurants

Restaurant North photo by Eric Issac

We’re lucky here in Westchester: we don’t have to avoid weekends to sample a chef’s food like the poor souls in New York City, when, according to Anthony Bourdain, hordes of food rubes from the suburbs (that would be us) clamor for safe old standbys like short ribs, filet mignon, and molten chocolate cake. Not true—our tastes are more evolved than AB gives us credit for. But it is true that making weekend reservations at the hottest eatery du jour can be tricky, so we suggest that you be flexible. Maybe you can’t get that coveted 8 pm slot on a Saturday, but you might get in at 9:30 and most certainly will be able to find a time during the week (and, if you call on the day of that 9:30 reservation, you might find a cancellation that shifts you earlier). Restaurant North in Armonk (restaurant north.com) and Tarry Lodge in Port Chester (tarry lodge.com) serve their entire menus at the bar—and sometimes eating there can be more fun than sitting at a table. Sometimes it pays to just show up; some restaurants (Tarry Lodge, for one) try to accommodate their customers by reserving a few seats for walk-ins.

 

Bag the Best Prix-Fixe Deals

Photo by Rana Faure

Crabtree’s Kittle House

Okay, you’ve got casual covered, but what do you do about fine dining the 11 months that restaurant week isn’t running (see page 68)? We’ve got two words for you: prix fixe.

Perhaps the best prix-fixe deal in town is X2O Xaviars on the Hudson’s elegant $38 Sunday brunch, which starts with muffins, breads, and hearty passed dishes like baby lamb chops and wild mushroom ravioli. Pace yourself: this is followed by two savory courses (maybe shellfish chowder followed by poached eggs with creamed spinach or whole roasted New York sirloin with coconut shrimp); dessert (we recommend the chocolate callebaut cake, strawberry parfait, and warm bananas Foster); and vast amounts of unlimited Champagne—the real stuff, not the lower-priced Kava or Prosecco. Tuesday through Friday weekday lunches offer a similar deal, minus the Champagne and passed dishes, for $25 (71 Water Grant St, Yonkers 914-965-1111; xaviars.com).

Iron Horse Grill has three dinner options daily: the theater menu includes a salad or the soup of the day, an entrée such as the prosciutto-wrapped breast of organic chicken or the Georges Bank cod, plus dessert and coffee for $38. For $49, seared day-boat scallops and timbale of peaky toe crab are added to the first-course selections; main courses include Za’atar-dusted swordfish and thyme-rubbed rack of lamb; desserts include chocolate marquis and passionfruit-blackberry tart. A five-course chef’s tasting menu is available for $69 (20 Wheeler Ave, Pleasantville 914-741-0717; ironhorsegrill.com).

From 5 until 7 on Sunday through Friday evenings, you can pick any two-course meal (appetizer/entrée, entrée/dessert, or appetizer/dessert) for $30 at Plates. We’re talking appetizers like fried rock shrimp, pulled-pork sliders, or a charcuterie plate. Entrées include pan-roasted chicken breast, rib-eye steak, duck, and roasted salmon; desserts include our favorite, the giant Ring Ding, as well as warm country donuts and apple crisp (121 Myrtle Blvd, Larchmont 914-834-1244; platesonthepark.com).

Equus at Castle on Hudson

At Crabtree’s Kittle House, the $24 three-course lunch starts with savories like butternut squash soup, Caesar salad, or crab cake, and is followed by John Boy Farm’s chicken breast or pan-seared Norwegian salmon. For dessert, choose three-chocolate terrine with dried cherry sauce or vanilla crème brûlée (11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua 914-666-8044; kittlehouse.com).

Lunch like royalty at Equus at Castle on the Hudson for just $38 with such delectable offerings as maple-cured wild salmon, rainbow trout, or Berkshire pork loin, and desserts such as almond-crusted blood-orange mousse, flourless chocolate torte, and apple spice cake (400 Benedict Ave, Tarrytown 914-631-3646; castle onthehudson.com).

For Francophiles, La Panetière offers a lavish $25 three-course prix-fixe lunch with entrées like beef bordelaise and cannelloni of duck confit. Dessert choices include warm chocolate fondant with raspberry ice cream or chilled lemon parfait with fresh pineapple. Bon appetite! (530 Milton Rd, Rye 914-967-8140; lapanetiere.com).

Indulge in escargot and mussel soup for starters at the $36 lunch at La Crémaillère. Entrées include roasted chicken and Scottish smoked salmon; desserts, ice creams and sorbets, crème brûlée, and chocolate soufflé cake (46 Bedford-Banksville Rd, Bedford 914-234-9647; cremaillere.com).

Le Château has a $46 dinner deal that includes Caesar or mesclun salad or French onion soup, followed by salmon, hanger steak, medallion of pork, or chicken breast. Flourless chocolate cake, Key lime and raspberry tart, or crème brûlée with coffee or tea round
out the menu (1410 Rte 35, South Salem 914-533-6631; le
chateauny.com).

Italophiles will love The Cookery’s, $21 three-course lunch with offerings like a crostino of fresh ricotta. End on a sweet note with sticky pumpkin tortina with warm pumpkin cake, cinnamon gelato, and figs (39 Chestnut St, Dobbs Ferry 914-305-2336; thecookeryrestaurant.com).

On a more casual (read: “less expensive”) note

Share a tray and a pitcher at bartaco

It’s not exactly a prix-fixe deal, but a deal it is at bartaco. If you’ve got more friends than money, order a large tray (feeds three or four) of tacos, guacamole, tamales, and sides like grilled corn, chipotle slaw, and crispy cucumber salad, and a pitcher of margaritas (eight glasses) for $48. The place is chic, hip, and reasonably priced—even if you want to go à la carte (1 Willett Ave, Port Chester 914-937-8226; bartaco.com).

You can’t beat Turkish Meze’s weekday lunch deal of $9.95 for a two-course meal (regular price for the char-grilled salmon is $19.95; vegetable casserole $15.95). One caveat: it’s cash only (409 Mount Pleasant Ave, Mamaroneck 914-777-3042).

Start with a salad of organic mixed field greens followed by handmade ricotta gnocchi or chicken scarpariello, then dessert at Trevi for $21 (11 Taylor Sq, West Harrison 914-949-5810).

Lunch at Harvest on Hudson is just $17.95 for such choices as a burger, rustic pizza, or house-made pasta like tagliatelle primavera (1 River St, Hastings-on-Hudson 914-478-2800; harvest2000.com).

 

 

[entertainment]

Mingle with Bestselling Authors

At just $25, Spoken Interludes (spoken interludes.com) is possibly the cheapest intellectual night out in the county, where not only can you listen to the latest works from such authors as Alice Sebold, Arianna Huffington, Michael Connelly, and Jay McInerney, but you can mingle with them afterwards, too. Plus, there’s a buffet dinner at Chutney Masala (4 W Main St, Irvington 914-307-1683; chutneymasalabistrocom). On April 12, bestselling writer Frank Delaney reads from his new book, The Matchmaker of Kenmare, and New York Times writer David Itzkoff reads from his memoir, Cocaine’s Son. Michael Korda and Alexandra Styron (daughter of William) are on the roster for May.
Dine at a Michelin Three-Star Restaurant—And Help a Cause

Once a year, the Copland House in Mount Kisco throws a fundraiser like no other. The galas are always held at the most exclusive New York City restaurants: Daniel, Le Bernardin, Del Posto, the Four Seasons—with music provided by the Copland House, of course. And the party is open to anyone—well, anyone who can fork over the $500 or so introductory price for the night. But given that it can cost that much just to eat at one of these restaurants, it’s a bargain. Helping out the Copland House? Priceless. For more info: coplandhouse.org.

Be a Voyeur

We’re all voyeurs, and, for just a $5 admittance fee, anyone can venture behind the hallowed gates into some of the most beautiful private gardens in the county through the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program (gardenconservancy.org). Dates for 2011 are: May 1, 7, 22, 28; June 5, 18, 26; July 31; September 11; October 22; and November 5. The gardens are always free for kids.

Get Tickets to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Photo by Bryan Haeffele

 

Membership has its privileges. If you spring for the $350 Premier Family Historic Hudson Valley Membership, a family of three adults and five children, plus two guests, can go to the Blaze without a reservation. Too pricey? An individual membership is $60, and you’ll get one free ticket to the Blaze and access to an early reservation. Details: hudsonvalley.org.
 

 

Catch Spring Blooms at Their Peak

Lasdon Park and Arboretum

So where are the best places to take in spring’s bounty?  Lasdon Park and Arboretum in Somers has a continuing display of azaleas, lilacs, magnolias, and Kousa dogwoods all spring long. Rockefeller Park has 300 Japanese tree peonies that strut their stuff from late April to early May, and Kwanzan Double Flower Pink cherry trees are all abloom on Harbor Island in Mamaroneck in May. Weather conditions determine the peak times, so call ahead

Find the Halloween costume

Whether you have a hankering to dress up like an English king, a French maid, or even a geisha girl, two words: Beyond Costumes (530 Nepperhan Ave #2, Yonkers 914-963-1333). Choose from 20,000 theatrical costumes along with wigs, hats, masks, and accessories for a complete transformation.

Get Tickets to a Sold-Out Concert

StubHub.com, baby.

Spot Celebs

Willie Sutton famously said, “I rob banks because that’s where the money is.” Same principle works here, and you’ll have the most significant sightings of celebs and industry insiders at the Jacob Burns Film Center (364 Manville Rd, Pleasantville 914-747-5555; burnsfilm center.org), including Jonathan Demme (who is a board member—he was there for the Q&A with Michael Moore); and at The Picture House (175 Wolfs Ln, Pelham 914-738-3161; thepicturehouse.org) with Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Gabriel Byrne, and Charles Grodin making appearances. To increase your odds, become a member—you’ll be the first to know which celebs are going to appear.
Don’t want to see a movie but do want to see a star? No problem. Find these folks where they dine or play:

Photo by Pat Arnow

Andrew Cuomo—Mount Kisco Diner or Café of Love in Mount Kisco (His girlfriend, Sandra Lee, lives in a house right on the Mount Kisco/North Castle border)
David Rockefeller—Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills (after all, it’s his money that built the restaurant)

Will Shortz photo courtesy of Will Shortz

Will Shortz—the crossword king plays Ping-Pong at Rivertowns Table Tennis Club, usually in Tarrytown branch. On Thursday nights, he may be at the Burke Table Tennis Club at the Burke Rehabilitation Center, White Plains.
Joseph Abboud—The Meeting House in Bedford Village (right across from his elegant office)

Joseph Abboud photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Richard Gere—Bedford Post Restaurant in Bedford (he co-owns the joint—and eats there pretty much whenever he’s home)

Seema Boesky—TJ Maxx in Mount Kisco (just because she’s as rich as Croesus doesn’t mean she doesn’t love a bargain)

 Seema Boesky photo by Chris Ware

 photo by jpfilo©2001World Wide Inc.

David Letterman—Jogging along North Salem roads

Martha Stewart—The Meeting House in Bedford Village (just down the road from her tony estate)

 

Take a Free Music Break

It’s been going on for 23 years, and, if you haven’t yet treated yourself to a bit of jazz or other great live music during your lunch break, well, there’s no time like the present to start. Since 1988, Downtown Music in White Plains (dtmusic.org) has offered free weekday and weekend performances in genres from classical to ethnic music. Noonday Getaway Concerts are held at Grace Church (33 Church St, White Plains 914-949-0384) on Wednesdays from May through September, starting at 12:10 pm.

Pray Like (or with) A Rockefeller

The Union Church (555 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills 914-631-8200; hudsonvalley.org) has been the Rockefeller family church since John D. finished his mansion in 1913, and there are still a few family members in the neighborhood. While it’s not exactly free (a $5 donation is requested to visit), it’s worth it to gaze upon the stained-glass windows there—nine by Chagall and one by Matisse, commissioned by the Rockefellers. These windows represent the only cycle of Chagall church windows in America and the last completed work of Henri Matisse.

 

Get into Museums for Free

Photo by Margaret Fox

Katonah Museum

Visit the Katonah Museum of Art (134 Jay St, Katonah, 914-232-9555; katonahmuseum.org) on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to noon and pay…nothing (there’s never a charge for kids under 12).

Zero cents: two different art experiences in one visit at back-to-back institutions—the Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase 914-251-6100; neuberger.org) and the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden at PepsiCo (700 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase; pepsico.com). See works by Rodin, Calder, Moore, and others, scattered over the 168-acre sculpture garden at PepsiCo’s corporate headquarters. Be sure to pick up free passes at the information booth for the Neuberger Museum just across the street at Purchase College. Admission to the Neuberger is also free the first Saturday of every month; children under 12 always are admitted free.

Admission to the Hudson River Museum (511 Warburton Ave, Yonkers 914-963-4550; hrm.org), the oldest museum in the county, is free to children under five at all times. The museum also has frequent free kids’ programs on weekends. While visiting, be sure to stop by the nearby Glenview Mansion, where six turn-of-the-century rooms are open for viewing.

 

 

[shopping]

Find the Most Fabulous Crafts

Lucky us—Westchester hosts the country’s biggest crafts show twice a year at Lyndhurst Castle (35 S Broadway, Tarrytown 914-631-4481;
lyndhurst.org). This year’s dates are April 29 through May 1 and September 16 through 18. Other not-to-miss shows: Crafts on Stage (Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, 914-251-6273; artscenter.org), November 5 and 6 this year and the The Westchester Craft Show at the County Center (198 Central Ave, White Plains 914-995-4050; artfaircalendar.com) October 14 through 16. The Armonk Outdoor Art Show (205 Business Park Dr, Armonk; armonkoutdoorartshow.org) will be celebrating its 50th show September 24 and 25. The Westchester Arts Exchange (31 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; artswestchester.org) debuted a craft show last Winter and plans a second one in December.

Get Bargains Online

Beehive Co-op

We all did a little happy dance when Groupon (groupon.com/westchester-county) branched out into our fair county offering up sweet deals each day on everything from dining out to spa treatments. But we’re a bigger market than Groupon realizes: we’ve also got our very own Westchester Magazine Deal of the Day (deals.westchestermagazine.com/dailydeal), Knowtorious Deals (knowtoriousdeals.com), Living Social (livingsocial.com), and mamamedia.com. For residents in the north, check out  facebook.com/northernwestchesterfreestuff to get, well, free stuff. Winners are selected daily and can pick a coupon for manicures, pet grooming, yoga classes, and more from participating merchants.

Buy Future Family Heirlooms Just Like Grandma Made

The Scarsdale Woman’s Exchange (33 Harwood Ct, 914-723-4728), an 80-year village fixture, sells gift items handcrafted by local residents: baby dresses, knitted sweaters and hats, stuffed animals and dolls, baby quilts, blankets, and more. It also sells homemade jellies, baked goods, even tea sandwiches. It is part of The Federation of Woman’s Exchanges, an organization started during the Depression, so some of the proceeds go to help fund local charities. Buy local, help local.

Find Gorgeous Local Crafts

Craft by Kristina Stafford of Port Chester at The Clay Art Center

Beehive Co-op in Mount Kisco (337 Main St, 914-218-8700; beehiveco-op.com) sells the work of (mostly) local artisans, including ceramics, wood, jewelry, and children’s items. The Clay Art Center in Port Chester (40 Beech St, 914-937-2047; clayartcenter.org) isn’t just a place to learn how to spin a wheel. It’s also great for buying some of the prettiest pots and pitchers, all fired in the gallery’s four huge, gas-powered kilns.

Cheap Dates

Check here to find when your favorite stores are having sales.

JANUARY
Sportech, 124 S Ridge St, Rye Brook (914) 934-0001. Save up to 80 percent on all athletic footwear and apparel.

Rothman’s, 1 Boniface Cir, Scarsdale (914) 713-0300; rothmansny.com. Find huge markdowns on suits, sport coats, overcoats, sportswear, denim, and shoes from the likes of John Varvatos Star USA, Hugo Boss, and Canali at this high-end men’s clothier warehouse sale.

 

Ceramics from Melita’s Home Furnishings shine

Victoria’s Secret, 49 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco (914) 242-7308; victoriassecret.com.
Get 25 percent off sexy little nothings starting the first week of January. Going, going, gone—anything remaining moves to the clearance tables until the items are sold out.

Groovy on Grand, 119 Grand St, Croton-on-Hudson (914) 271-0700; groovyon grand.com. The store for “Cool Clothes for Cool Kids, Tweens & Teens” has two big clearance sales a year, one in January and one in August.

Petticoat Lane stores in Chappaqua, Scarsdale, Bronxville, and Greenwich, CT. Save 40 to 70 percent on all handbags and winter sleepwear; 20 percent off all lingerie.

Tiger Lily Boutique, 139 E Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 244-4201. Find up to 50 percent off select winter and holiday items.

Wishes, 315 Kear St, Yorktown Heights (914) 962-9474. Great reductions on jewelry and children’s things.

Beehive Co-op, 337 Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 218-8700; beehiveco-op.com. Look for a studio sale the last week of January as designers clear out their studios to make room for the next season. Ceramics, jewelry, accessories, housewares, and more are reduced from 20 to 50 percent.

MARCH displays the latest fashions

MARCH Boutique, 1250 Pleasantville Rd #6, Briarcliff Manor (914) 923-2100; march boutique.com. Semi-annual sale throughout the month, with up to 70 percent off merchandise.

Stickley Audi & Co, 50 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains (914) 948-6333; stickleyaudi.com. Winter sale begins mid-January and ends Presidents’ Day; save anywhere from 35 to 50 percent.
Bloomingdale’s Furniture & Rug Outlet, 2 Saw Mill River Rd (Rte 9A), Hawthorne (914) 592-0413. Save an additional 20 percent on everything in the store except mattresses and rugs during the Martin Luther King Day sale.

MarketPro Computer Show and Sale,Westchester County Center, White Plains (201) 825-2229; marketpro.com. Spend just seven bucks on an admission ticket and save up to 80 percent on the latest brand-name merchandise, including hardware (mostly IBM-compatible, but some Macs), software, and accessories.

February
Pedigree Ski Shop, 355 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains (914) 948-2995, pedigree skishop.com. Sales of all ski equipment, clothing, and accessories start at the end of February and go into March.

ABC Carpet & Home, 1055 Bronx River Ave, Bronx, NY (718) 860-0468; abchome.com.
The first week in February, items usually offered at 30 percent off are marked down as much as 60 percent.

Country Willow, 230 Rt 117 By Pass Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 241-7000, countrywillow.com. Shop its winter clearance sale on home furnishings and accessories.

Wishes displays housewares and more

MARCH
Stickley Audi & Co, 50 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains (914) 948-6333; stickleyaudi.com. Save 55 to 70 percent during this annual rug sale.

Casafina, 301 Fields La, Brewster, NY (845) 277-5700; casafinagifts. Four times a year, the Casafina warehouse opens its doors to clear out excess inventory, as well as discontinued and slightly imperfect items (call for exact dates the month before). Save up to 50 percent on retail prices on an extensive collection of Italian and Portuguese home furniture and accessories.

MarketPro Computer Show and Sale, Westchester County Center. See January; March 21, 22.

Wüsthof, 333 Wilson Ave, Norwalk, CT (203) 295-3804; wusthof.com. Reconditioned and discounted knives are at least 50 percent off retail, and sharpening any brand of knife is available at $2 per blade. (Our food writer wouldn’t take her knives anywhere else.)

APRIL
Country Willow, 230 Rt 117 By Pass Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 241-7000; countrywillow.com. Country Willow is tripling its size and expanding into baby furnishings and is having a grand opening/expansion sale to clear out the old, bring in the new.

Stickley Audi & Co, 50 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains (914) 948-6333; stickleyaudi.com. Save 50 to 70 percent on all clearance items.

Sportech, 124 Ridge St, Rye Brook, (914) 934-0001. The bright side to tax day is the start of Sportech’s annual footwear blowout. Every pair of shoes is knocked down from its original price to between $19.95 and $59.95. Prices keep dropping as the sale goes on, but get there early for first dibs. Sale is scheduled through mid May.

Island Imports, 5F W Cross St, Hawthorne (914) 747-1040.
You’ve seen its bags, scarves, and accessories in such catalogs as Coldwater Creek and Soft Surroundings or at such retail stores as Bloomingdale’s, but never at the prices offered at the twice-yearly (usually April and October) sales of samples and overstock. On average, you’ll get half off wholesale prices, so a $100 purse would cost between $15 and $20.

Sublime giftware at Two’s Company

MAY
Country Willow, 230 Rt 117 By Pass Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 241-7000; countrywillow.com. Country Willow’s annual anniversary sale on home furnishings and accessories.

Melita’s Home Furnishings, 127 Main St, Ossining (914) 923-0351. Sales of up to 30 percent on Chandler Bedding Collection begins around Mother’s Day.

MarketPro Computer Show and Sale Westchester County Center, White Plains.
See January; May 30, 31.

JUNE
Casafina, Brewster, NY
See March.

JULY
Rothman’s, 1 Boniface Cir, Scarsdale (914) 713-0300; rothmansny.com. Their summer sale starts in July and runs through the first weekend in August coinciding with the Scarsdale Sidewalk Sale. See January.

Wondrous Things, 1159 Pleasantville Rd, Briarcliff Manor (914) 762-3300; wondrousthings.com. Find gifts for baby and the home, jewelry, ladies clothing, and accessories.

Nordstom, The Westchester
135 Westchester Ave, White Plains (914) 946-1122;
nordstrom.com. Get all your kids’ back-to-school fall clothes; find such high-end brands as QuickSilver and Northface winter jackets at great prices.

Italian and Portuguese dishware for less at Casafina

MARCH Boutique, 1250 Pleasantville Rd #6, Briarcliff Manor (914) 923-2100; march boutique.com. Save up to 70 percent at this semi-annual sale beginning in July, ending in August.

AUGUST
Beehive Co-op, 337 Main St, Mount Kisco (914) 218-8700; beehiveco-op.com. Look for a studio sale the third week of August, not to mention every other month.

Groovy on Grand, 119 Grand St, Croton-on-Hudson (914) 271-0700; groovyon grand.com. See January.

Wishes, Yorktown Heights.
See January.

SEPTEMBER
Hickory and Tweed, 410 Main St, Armonk (914) 273-3387. The first two weeks of September is the best time to get your winter sports gear during Hickory and Tweed’s annual tent sale. Pick up ski equipment, snowboards, helmets, jackets, snow pants, and boots. Not into snow? Bike accessories are also on sale.

Katonah Yarn Company, 120 Bedford Rd, Katonah (914) 977-3145; katonahyarn.com. The annual Fall Festival Day offers lots of bargains and a trunk show with local artists, yarn companies, and designers.

OCTOBER
Pedigree Ski Shop, 355 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains (914) 948-2995;
pedigreeskishop.com. Columbus Day weekend from Thursday through Sunday, Pedigree holds a huge sale on ski equipment, clothing, and accessories in a 10,000 square-foot tent in their parking lot.

Country Willow, 230 Rt 117 By Pass Rd, Bedford Hills (914) 241-7000, countrywillow.com. Country Willow’s fall home design event with savings on home furnishings and accessories.

Island Imports, Hawthorne
See April.

Melita’s Home Furnishings, Ossining.
See May.

Casafina, Brewster, NY.
See June.

NOVEMBER
 

Island Imports discounts jewelry, scarves and accessories

Nordstrom, The Westchester 135 Westchester Ave, White Plains (914) 946-1122;
nordstrom.com. Nordstrom’s half yearly sale for women and children starts November 3. Once sale items are marked down twice, they’re shipped to the Nordstrom Rack, so shop early.

Two’s Company, 500 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford (914) 664-2277; twoscompany.com.
You could go to Saks or Crate & Barrel and pay full price for Two’s Company’s trendy-chic giftware and accessories, or get terrific bargains at its mega warehouse sales (where proceeds are donated to a charity). In addition, the company’s Elmsford warehouse is open on Thursday and Friday, from noon to 3 pm, for discounts of 5 to 10 percent off wholesale prices on an ever-changing selection of merchandise.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels, LLC, 171 Saw Mill River Rd, Hawthorne (800) 777-4308; zwilling.com. Every December, this high-end cutlery warehouse slashes prices up to 50 percent. Overstocks, seconds, and discontinued items will be available, and cookware, flatware, gadgets, cutting boards, and more will be up to 50 percent off. Example: a Henckels premium brand professional “S” eight-inch chef’s knife will be on sale for $34.99, list price $120.

DECEMBER
Casafina, 301 Fields La, Brewster, NY (845) 277-5700.
See October.

Nordstrom, The Westchester, 135 Westchester Ave, White Plains (914) 946-1122; nordstrom.com. Men’s sale starts December 26.

Patio.com, locations in Scarsdale, Mount Kisco, and Stamford, Westport, Greenwich, and Ridgefield, CT; patio.com. During December, the company takes $100 or more off all pool tables (prices range from $800 to $15,000). Select Christmas merchandise is discounted up to 60 percent.

Wondrous Things, 1159 Pleasantville Rd, Briarcliff Manor (914) 762-3300;
wondrousthings.com.
The sales begin the day after Christmas and continue through mid-January. Find gifts for baby and the home, jewelry, ladies clothing, and accessories.

 

 

[transportation]

Get Your Driver’s License Renewed Without Losing a Year or Two

There is no shame in crossing borders, and it’s worth your while to take a drive up north to the Brewster, New York, DMV branch (1 Geneva Rd, 845-278-2838) just off exit 19 on I84 in Putnam County. Lines are usually short, the people friendly, and they even let you retake your picture if you don’t like the first one.

Avoid 287 Traffic

Now there’s an app for that. The New York Department of Transportation has added a mobile phone application, INRXTraffic ($24.99), which gives you traffic, transit, emergency services information, and weather advisories. It works with BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android phones.

Avoid Parking at The Westchester (And Save Money!)

The Westchester parking garage creeps us out, probably as much as it does you. Try parking just up the street at the Westchester Pavilion, the mall that houses Daffy’s and Toys ‘R’ Us. It’s less expensive and generally less crowded. And if you’re just running in to The Westchester for something super-fast—like to ooh and aah the Jimmy Choos at Nieman Marcus before returning to Daffy’s to buy a pair of no-namers for $39.99—it won’t cost you anything, because Daffy’s gives you one free hour with purchase. But if money’s no object, use the valet: Nordstrom is on Paulding Street off Westchester Avenue, Neiman Marcus is on Pauling Street off of Maple Avenue.

Help Your Kid Pass the Driving Test—No Bribes Involved

Well, you want to avoid New Rochelle, where one tester is referred to as The Flunker, that’s for sure. White Plains also has a tough rep. We’ve found that Yorktown is your best bet. Directions there are vague: 118 to Underhill, then take a right at the firehouse. Oddly, there is no building or any indication that this is where driving tests occur; the line of nervous 16-year-olds in cars parked at the curb is your only clue. Just some turns on quiet streets (remember to signal and look both ways before!), maybe a parallel-parking test, and a drive through the shopping center. Piece o’ cake.

Save on Parking Meter Fees

If you’re using the White Plains Metro-North station in the evening, park in the public lot on Barker Avenue next to the Porsche dealership instead of paying $6 at the station. After 5 pm, there’s no parking attendant until early the next morning, so there’s no charge. It’s only a minute walk to the station depot. In Rye, no need to pay to use the parking lots behind the stores; you can park for free on the streets downtown. Ditto Bedford Village.

 

[health & beauty]

Get a Manicure That Lasts for Weeks—Really

A well-groomed girl’s dream: the Shellac system goes on like a nail polish, but lasts like a gel—two (sometimes three) whole weeks with no chips, smudges, dings, or dents. It’s UV-cured after each step (base and two color coats), so there’s zero dry time. Manicures, $40; pedicures, $50 at Ivy Nails (15 N Central Ave, Hartsdale 914-946-6245); Oasis Day Spa (50 Livingstone Ave, Dobbs Ferry 914-409-1900; oasisdayspanyc.com); Paulo’s Atelier (725 Bedford Rd, Bedford Hills 914-666-2800; paulosatelier.com); and Shine Salon & Spa (161 Main St, Ossining 914-762-6675).

Find Cheap Meds

Psst: Target and Walmart charge only $4 co-pays on about 300 commonly prescribed generic drugs (the basics: anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, antibiotics).

Get Buff, Not Broke

No sense paying sky-high membership fees if you just want to get on a treadmill or lift some weights. Planet Fitness in Yonkers, Scarsdale, or White Plains (yeah, yeah, we know it’s a chain, but you won’t find a cheaper deal anywhere), was offering, at press time, a $20-a-month deal with a low start-up fee of $9.75. Visit planetfitness.com. Or join the Y, where financial aid is available at some locations.

Get a Cut or Color from Top Stylists without Paying Big Bucks

Be a stylist’s “model” and get your hair done at a significant discount—or even free, in some cases.

Beautiful Hair Color Salon
41 Washington Ave, Pleasantville
(914) 741-2428; bhcsalon.com
On Tuesday nights: $10. Call in advance to find what is offered.

Le Collage Salon
200 E Main St, Mount Kisco
(914) 241-0084; lecollagesalon.com
On Tuesday nights: free. Call in advance to find what is offered.

Paulo’s Atelier Hair Salon
725 Bedford Rd, Bedford Hills
(914) 666-2800; paulosatelier.com
On Wednesday nights: free. Call in advance to find what is offered.

Richard Scott Salon and Day Spa
15 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco  
(914) 242-1700; richardscottsalon.com
Free nights vary. Call in advance to find what is offered.  

 

[miscellaneous]

Gas Up and Heat Up for Less

Westchestergov.com to the rescue with up-to-the-minute prices on gas and oil around the county, searchable by price or zip code.

Get Fido Bargain Drugs and Treatments

At the SPCA of Westchester (590 N State Rd, Briarcliff Manor 914-762-4842, ext. 10), your pets’ physical exams are just $10, rabies vaccines are $20 for dogs or cats, and there are similar savings on other vaccines and tests. Spaying and neutering cats starts at $125; dogs at $225. And buy your pet meds like heartworm pills and flea and tick treatments online for more savings (petedge.com has the best prices).

Get Rid of Your Toxic Waste

Who says your county government doesn’t work for you? They sponsor household chemical-waste clean-up days where you can load up your car, van, or truck with pesticides, cleaning fluids, old computers, and broken down appliances (not to mention all those CFL light bulbs) at either Playland in Rye or Croton Park in Croton-on-Hudson. It’s like a giant garbage fair: you drive along and people in haz-mat suits at various stations take everything out of your car for you. Details at westchestergov.com.