While local restaurants are gearing up for Hudson Valley Restaurant week, Westchester’s gourmands have another reason to celebrate: For the first time this year, the 2020 Michelin Guide’s NYC edition will include elevated eateries from Westchester County.
Now in its 15th year, the move to include New York’s “sixth borough” as part of the city guide was natural, says Michelin Guide International Director Gwendal Poullennec.
“As an international reference and trusted companion for travelers for more than 120 years, Michelin is honored to recognize the evolution of gastronomy and culinary talent in Westchester County,” he says. “Inspectors were particularly impressed by the technique and highest quality of ingredients that they discovered during multiple visits to the area.”
Exemplifying this trend is Westchester’s very first entry into the Michelin Star catalog: Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills. The farm-to-table Dan Barber location, itself a 2004 offshoot of the NYC Blue Hill, will represent Westchester in the 2020 New York Guide with a hefty two stars (outpacing the original, by the by).
“Barber’s onslaught of clever bites consists mostly of vegetables plucked from the property’s greenhouses and working farm,” Michelin says of Stone Barns. “The kitchen serves excellent cuisine with a distinct personality in its stunning dining room that was formerly a dairy barn.”
“Inspectors were especially impressed by an extraordinary execution of the Guide’s five criteria,” says Poullennec of Stone Barns and this year’s nine other new listed restaurants, “including the quality of ingredients, the mastery of cooking technique, the harmony of flavors, consistency over time, both during the meal and throughout the year, and the personality of the chef as it is expressed on the plate.”
In our inaugural showing last week, Westchester also landed eight restaurants among the 2020 guide’s 133 Bib Gourmand distinctions, which are restaurants Michelin says serve “quality food at a good value,” i.e., two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for about $40 or less.
In New Rochelle, established Croatian restaurant Dubrovnik made the list of gourmands, as did newcomer Maria Restaurant. Chef Peter Beck’s RaaSa Fine Indian Cuisine and Mediterranean-Persian restaurant Shiraz Kitchen both made the cut for the town of Elmsford, while New-Italian Café Alaia represented Scarsdale.
Perennial Dobbs Ferry favorite The Cookery also made the cut, as did its sister restaurant in Port Chester, Eugene’s Diner & Bar. Lastly, Pleasantville’s Southern Table rounds out the county’s first inductees with their typical southern flair. You can read the full list with NYC restaurants here.