Local and seasonal is the name of the game at the recently revamped One Twenty One in North Salem. The restaurant reopened in May 2014 after a dramatic redesign that changed the look, the menu, the chef, and even the name.
After serving as a local eatery proffering homestyle comfort food, One Twenty One took its culinary game to a new level—and now customers are flocking from all over the county. Some of the restaurant’s original patrons were miffed at the change to a refined style, but the transformation was definitely a positive one.
Make a reservation—although that won’t guarantee you’ll be seated immediately. The restaurant, bar, and outdoor dining areas (during the warmer months) are always packed, and customers tend to get comfortable. Frustrating as this can be, the food is always worth the wait.
With the restaurant situated in the far reaches of Westchester, surrounded by farms, it’s no surprise that Executive Chef Beck Bolender utilizes the region’s bounty: Cabbage Hill Farm in Mount Kisco and Snow Hill Farm in North Salem are just two of a slew of regional suppliers. Go at the end of fall and you can enjoy heirloom carrots with a carrot-top pesto. But make a trip again during the spring to sample lobster and spring pea risotto.
Pan-seared scallops with green apple and guajillo chili sauce.
Choose a mix of the restaurant’s small plates and entrées, which have roots in many flavors and cultures and pair with each other surprisingly well. Although most of the menu options are seasonally charged, there are a few staples available most of the time: Charred cauliflower and sweet chili shrimp with cheddar grits are not to be missed.
Although it may seem like having pizza on an already expansive and varied menu is trying to do too much, the wood-fired pizza is surprisingly on-point; light and slightly doughy, pizzas like the Bianca pie will be in your dreams long after you visit.
A little bit country-chic and a little bit modern, One Twenty One mixes the rustic feel of the area (think farmland photography lining the walls) with elegance (take a look into the sleek open kitchen and the gorgeous wood-fired stove). One Twenty One surprises and delights at every turn with thoughtful, locally sourced food that tastes as fresh as it is.
WHAT TO ORDER: pickled vegetables, charred cauliflower, shrimp and cheddar grits, house-made tacos, wood-fired pizzas (caramelized onion and goat cheese; wild mushroom), black bass, butterscotch pudding
2 Dingle Ridge Rd, North Salem
(914) 669-0121; www.121restaurant.com