A few months ago, my good friend Helene, who lives in LA, emailed to say she was coming to New York for a long weekend. Great! “Is there anything in particular you want to do?” I asked in a return email. (Does anyone use a phone anymore?) Helene shot back an email saying there was a museum exhibit she wouldn’t mind viewing, named a few shows she was thinking of seeing, and then listed a slew of restaurants that she “really, really would love to try.” Is it any wonder Helene and I have been friends since—gulp—seventh grade?
Helene—who, to no one’s surprise, became a food writer—and I discovered the joys of eating out way before we discovered the joys of dating. Heck, we were trying out restaurants—fancy restaurants, ethnic joints, famous places, brand-new spots—before we graduated junior high school. Don’t ask how we managed to pay for them. And, unlike so many youthful discoveries, this one never soured. I still love restaurants. My credit-card bills can attest to that. My husband can, too. “Let me guess,” he’ll tease me, after asking how I might want to spend an evening. “You want to, ahem, eat out?” Bingo!
I realized the other day that I have spent more hours in restaurants socializing with friends and family than I have in any other type of “venue.” Hikes? Love ’em, but more than a good dinner out? Sorry. Movies? Adore ’em, but a girl has got to eat. Theater? Sure, but not unless there’s dinner before or after the show, of course.
I have a sneaking suspicion that you love dining out, too. It never surprises me that the questions I am asked most by Westchesterites I meet are, “So, what’s the best restaurant in Westchester?” and “What’s the newest, hot dining spot?” or something similar. You want to know that, too, right? Which is why, each year, we bring you an issue devoted to the pleasures of food and wine—our annual dining issue. There’s a lot to chew on in this one. Enjoy.
Larchmont-based writer and photographer Leslie Long is “a huge fan of where I live.” But, she says, “doing photo essays for Westchester Magazine has helped me realize that Westchester is richer and more varied than I’d realized. It’s also such a luxury to take one topic and explore it from many angles.” For this issue, Leslie, a mother of two boys, explored Westchester’s many beautiful barns. “I love older architecture—we live in a 1927 Tudor—and find it sad that wooden barns are becoming a thing of yesteryear. Therefore, I loved discovering and celebrating the barns in our county. I also grew up taking horseback-riding lessons, so it was fun to be back in riding stables.” Leslie’s photo essay begins on page 76.