R5 Summer Fun in Westchester County: Dining Out

MP Taverna’s patio is a stone’s throw from the HudsonEat With a New View

One of the great pleasures of summer is dining alfresco. Make sure to add these  restaurants to your roster of outdoor dining destinations.

MP Taverna
The new and highly vaunted Greek restaurant in town is also the place to enjoy a lovely river view while dining on the front patio. While MP Taverna offers delicious meze like char-grilled octopus with chickpea salad ($11), and light eggplant dip with roasted peppers and garlic, served with pita ($8), a unique option is its “whole animal” dinner—which requires that you call in three days ahead—served family-style. Choose from lamb, goat, suckling pig, veal shank, a 25-pound whole-roasted fish, and more. This comes with a selection of meze, salad, and dessert. Pricing starts at $75 per person.
1 Bridge St, Irvington (914) 231-7854 michaelpsilakis.com

BUtterfield 8
BUtterfield 8 is not your typical bar-crawl joint. It considers itself an American gastropub, with an upscale take on pub food. Its casual-but-polished look continues outside, where diners can enjoy eating under large patio umbrellas among simple furnishings. While there, snack on the dirty chips: house-made potato chips scattered with bacon, blue cheese, crispy chicken livers, fresh tomato, and green onion ($11). Or try the Abigail Mussels, with roasted garlic butter, leeks, and Belgian ale broth ($12).
147 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains (914) 358-4881; butterfield8whiteplains.com

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Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish offers its homey porch to diners. Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish
This restaurant offers local food done unpretentiously. And, situated on the 22-acre Purdy Land Trust, the historic 18th-century edifice where you eat offers views of the restaurant’s vegetable and herb farm from certain tables. On the porch is a dining space with floral arrangements, hanging plants, and a garden view. Comfort-food-inspired dishes like the brandy-infused lobster pot pie ($32) and the lobster boil ($29)—a one-and-a-half-pound lobster with steamer clams, red potatoes, and steamed carrots—will make you feel like you’ve taken a trip to New England. Other staples are from the raw bar, but also the New York Finger Lakes Beef daily special ($MP) cannot be passed up. Tip: Go for the polenta fries…gotta have  ’em!
100 Titicus Rd, North Salem (914) 617-8380 farmerandthefish.com

Find northern New Mexican cuisine with purpose at Truck. Using more than 15 local farms and artisan products to supply its store, Truck is committed to sourcing local and organic ingredients whenever available. To continue its nature-loving theme, it’s adding a new landscaped garden and eating area for diners to bask in the glory of Mother Nature, while eating hyper-local and authentic New Mexican treats like Long Island Sound fried oysters with a chipotle crema ($15), or the carne adovada taco ($4.50), made from Niman Ranch pork shoulder braised with ancho and gua jillo chiles, and cumin. The meal wouldn’t be complete without a Margarita ($10) made from 100-percent agave tequila and fresh-squeezed lime juice.
391 Old Post Rd, Bedford (914) 234-8900 truckrestaurant.com

Enjoy Summer by the Bushel

It’s time to celebrate seasonal fruit. Here’s where to find the County’s sweetest summer treats.

June Swoon: Cherries
Cherry Pie at The Tavern at Croton Landing
Cherry season is lamentably short, but this pie artisan makes the most of it. Dave Tuttle, or “Chef Dave,” has been baking pies exclusively for the Tavern at Croton Landing for nearly five years. “Cherries are a fickle fruit,” says Tuttle, so when sweet cherries become available in mid-June, he pounces, baking them into his cherry rhubarb pies, which sell for $20 per 10-inch pie, or $7 per slice.

A Berry Good July
Blueberry Treats at La Renaissance Pâtisserie Française
There’s nothing better than a handful of sweet berries, be they black, red, or blue, during warm July days. David Shore, managing partner at La Renaissance in Scarsdale, gets his blueberries straight from Maine. “They’re smaller and sweeter,” he says. In July, you’ll find blueberries in a number of treats here, including blueberry pie and blueberry crumb pie ($23 for a 10-inch pie), blueberry scones ($3.50 each), and blueberry muffins ($3 each).

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Peachy, Plummy August
Peach Brown Butter Tart at Baked by Susan
We’ll admit we have a special place in our hearts for the juicy, sweet peaches and plums that arrive in August. We’ll also admit that everything, including this delightful stone fruit, is better with butter. At Baked by Susan bakery, owner Susan O’Keefe looks for the freshest ingredients for her desserts, and sources locally whenever possible. The same goes for her brown butter tarts—shortbread crusts topped with brown butter and filled with fresh fruit, which in August means succulent peaches that arrive from DuBois Farms in Milton, New York ($22 for a 9-inch round, $8 for a 6-inch). Excuse us while we take care of this drool.

Plum Tarts at Provisions Bake Shop
At Provisions Bake Shop, owner Nannette Conners likes to keep her fruit tarts simple and let the season’s freshest shine through. The stars in her open crostata are the fruit: peaches and plums. These rustic tarts feature flaky pastry layered with fruit and a little added sugar—simple, sweet, and delicious ($25 each).

The Tavern at Croton Landing
(914) 271-8020

La Renaissance
Pâtisserie Française
(914) 472-0702; lrbakery.com

Baked by Susan
(914) 862-0874; bakedbysusan.com

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Provisions Bake Shop
(914) 738-6622 pelhamprovisionsbakeshop.com

Get Hot! Hot! Hot! at Restaurants that Pack the Picante Provisions

Ever wonder why you start to crave spicy foods when the weather turns? Didn’t think there was a link, huh? Guess what? Your body was trying to tell you something.

When the weather gets hot, your body wants to cool off. When you eat those spicy foods, you can start to perspire, thus naturally cooling down your body. 

So, where do you find the spiciest foods? Mostly in the warmer climates. Tyrynda Thai, for example, serves more than 30 spicy dishes made with Thai chili and different kinds of curry. Here, fresh fish and game grace the table in plates like pla gra prow, a lightly battered and fried whole red snapper, tilapia filet, or striped bass filet, with onions, bell peppers, and chili in a spicy basil sauce ($17.75-$21.75), and pineapple duck served in a pineapple curry, accompanied by rice ($21.75). There are numerous curries to choose from, like the classic Thai green curry ($10.95) with eggplant, baby corn, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, string beans, and basil, and a base that’s both sweet and spicy.

The new Saigonese offers Vietnamese cooking in all its delicious glory. It takes 15 hours to make the aromatic anise-coriander beef broth used in the very popular pho. There are a few different kinds of pho ($8.50-$9.50), with different cuts of meat like shaved rib-eye and beef brisket. Saigonese also offers a chicken pho. The soup can be kicked up with sriracha, a typical spicy chili paste that has a cult following. Another great dish is the chicken lemongrass ($11), sautéed with fresh stalks of perfumy lemon grass, sweet and tangy spices, onions, and fresh herbs. It can be kicked up with fresh red chili, and is served with rice.

At Coriander Modern Indian you can experience warm flavors of fenugreek, black mustard, and cardamom. The spicy-hot lamb vindaloo ($19) is made with a mixture of red and green chilies, and is simmered in a peppered Indian-style curry. No coconut milk here! Then there’s the Punjabi-style battered squid ($12), made with chickpea, fennel seed, paprika, and garam masala. It’s served with spicy chili sauce, tomato cream sauce, and topped with peshawari chutney.

Not in the mood for anything exotic? Go down-county to the Deep South Cajun flavors of The Bayou. Here, you control how much heat you get. The restaurant has 100 hot sauces to choose from. Already spiked dishes are the voodoo wings ($8.99), the grilled peppered catfish ($22.99), and the jambalaya ($17.99), all smothered in cajun seasonings, a mix of toasty cayenne, paprika, garlic, and onion.

Tyrynda Thai
128 Cortlandt St
Sleepy Hollow
(914) 524-5003, tyryndathai.com

158 Central Ave, Hartsdale
(914) 288-9088

Coriander Indian Cuisine
154 Larchmont Ave Larchmont
(914) 235-0134; corianderny.com

The Bayou
580 Gramatan Ave
Mount Vernon (914) 668-2634 bayourestaurantny.com

(Clockwise from top left): Poutine King, The Pink Panther Taco Truck, Johnson Truck, DoughNation


Track Down a Food Truck

When time is short and you’re on the move, there’s no better bet for a quick bite than one of our local food trucks.

Poutine, a staple in Canadian fast food, has—finally!—made its way to the US. At Poutine King, you can sample the classic poutine, consisting of hand-cut red potato French fries topped with savory cheese curd, and then basted in homemade brown gravy ($5). Or, you can change it up by subbing in sweet potato fries ($6), or adding shredded chicken ($7) for an even more decadent dish. Poutine King also makes a Poutine dog ($6), topped with, you guessed it, poutine. Central Ave at Andrus Park, Yonkers (347) 245-1089, open year-round (noon – 5 pm in winter; until 8 pm in spring/summer); follow them on Twitter at @ThePoutineKing1.

The Pink Panther Taco Truck has been serving up freshly made tacos for more than 24 years, thanks to the Chile-born Magdalena Toledo. The very popular pork taco, chicken taco, beef taco, and vegetarian taco (all $2.50) are saucy and simply dressed with lettuce and sprinkle of cheese. Saw Mill River Rd, just south of Jackson Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson, open Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm.

The Cookery chef David DiBari’s DoughNation is an 800-degree, wood-burning Neapolitan pizza oven on wheels. Crackling crusts are topped with local, seasonal ingredients from the Rivertowns Farmers’ Markets. You can’t go wrong with a traditional margarita pizza from the truck, or mix it up with  a fontina and prosciutto pie. Even better, you can gorge for a cause: DoughNation also donates 2 percent of every pizza bought to a local charity. DoughNation travels throughout the County; follow it on Twitter at @CookDoughNation or visit thecookerysdoughnation.com for an updated list of locations and times.

Johnson Truck is a jazzy, all-natural, Cajun- and Creole-inspired eatery. With lots of personality, and food to match, this truck keeps the Louisiana hospitality gushing. The crazy-delicious Lobsta Cheeseburger is a must-try: It’s a grilled Angus burger topped with Creole lobster salad and melty Gruyère and Swiss ($16). Other standout items are the Andouille Dog ($6), a Louisiana-style smoked chicken sausage, topped Johnsons’ with their signature “onions and friends,” sautéed onions and secret ingredients, and the “Mac-an-Cheese Johnson’” made in-truck with real cheddar ($6). Specials like shrimp and grits ($12) made with organic yellow corn grits in a kiwi-lime-pepper sauce, show up on the menu occasionally. Gary Ptak, aka Chef Johnson, says that there’s no need for preservatives in his food. Everything on the menu is fresh and all natural, keeping the food “deliciousy-able.” 1 Harbor Island Rd at Harbor Island Park, Mamaroneck (914) 488-4369; follow the truck at chefjohnson.com.

â–º For more from the June issue, click here.
â–º For more Summer Fun, click here.

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

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