As Mario’s in Chappaqua underwent a transformation to become Aesop’s Fable, our first question was: What’s with the name? “Aesop’s Fables speak about tradition and morals,” explains Chef Matthew Cook, who cut his teeth at NYC hotspots like The Fat Radish, the Soho Grand Hotel, and Salumeria Rossi. “We’re talking about morals in terms of sourcing and growing, and tradition in terms of sitting down to share food.”
Like the famous fables, many of the dishes come with a little twist. The supremely moist fried chicken — a must-order — is brined and soaked in a whiskey-buttermilk bath for 48 hours and served with rosemary-flecked waffles. Creamy croquettes of local goat cheese come with a schmear of pesto aioli; elote-style corn with a hefty dose of chili flakes is presented with husk artfully still attached; and a cheeky Bunny Food salad of shaved fennel and purple carrots, herbs, and grapefruit segments was strewn with bits of Kalamata olives.
A custom blend of beef, ground in-house, is the foundation for this burger with 10-year-aged Cabot cheddar and heirloom tomato, served on an English muffin from Croton-on-Hudson’s Dam Good English Muffins.
In addition to sourcing locally, from spots like Briarcliff Manor’s CSI Farms and Dam Good English Muffins in Croton-on-Hudson, Cook plans to fundraise for local farms. This fall, he’ll auction off free food for a year and an exclusive table at the restaurant, with all proceeds going to farm partners. “No matter how well farms do in the summer and fall, winters are hard,” he says. “I want to help them; I’m here for the long run.”
13 King St, Chappaqua 914.238.3858