The warm — and in some cases hot and humid — weather may not be what we expect from the season, yet restaurants have transitioned to autumn-inspired menus. With all the dining options in White Plains, and with no exterior signage, one may forget about the Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester, but their fall food offerings are worth a try.
Small plates, entrées, and sandwiches (including few worthy vegan items) are on Executive Chef James Dangler’s American bistro menu, many of which utilize seasonal and local ingredients.
Starters to sample include Kung Pao calamari with toasted peanuts; a Lost in the Valley market salad with quinoa, edamame, cucumbers, apples, carrots, tomatoes, and poppy seed dressing; Murray’s Cheese assortment with amaretto honey, dried fruit and excellent house-made seasonal tomato jam; and Manhattan clam chowder that’s been given a classy makeover.
There are those carnivores that jeer vegan/vegetarian dishes, especially those made to mimic classic meat-centric main course dishes. In some cases they are correct — attempting to extract meat textures and flavors from a veggie can easily result in misfires.
The zesty-spiced vegan burger made with black beans, kidney beans, and quinoa has a crisp exterior and soft interior, and is hearty without being heavy. Topped with bright green avocado and arugula, and dressed with a kicky fire-roasted red pepper egg-free mayonnaise, it’s a winning burger most anyone would enjoy regardless of where they fall along the meat/no-meat continuum.
Other mains to try are the Goffle Road Farms organic chicken with wild mushroom and asparagus risotto and lemon verbena sage jus; Hudson Valley cage-free Muscovy duck with apple, walnut, pomegranate faro, and five-spice red plum sauce; smoked paprika roasted cauliflower steak with red quinoa, lacinato kale, and pine nut-caper-raisin relish; and horseradish-crusted salmon with parsnip purée and wilted spinach.
The Ritz has a pastry team known for delicious but also dazzlingly presented sweet endings, so don’t skip dessert. The creamy-cool citrus semifreddo is a laudable selection, with gram cracker crumble and lime rice crispy.
On certain dates (October 12 and 26; November 9 and 30 from 5 to 8 pm), soothing jazz complements meals via the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Live Music in the Lobby Lounge series. Artists rotate for each show and perform a repertoire from the American songbook jazz standards.
And if you’re feeling like a real splurge beyond your meal, new fall menu items extend beyond the Ritz’s food offerings to their 10,000-sq ft spa. The Fall Equinox Spa Treatment, (90 min, $260) is designed to restore the skin’s balance, and includes a dry skin brushing, warming marine wrap, and a hot stone massage.
3 Renaissance Sq, White Plains
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