What a Dish!
Readying for Restaurant Week: Whether stepping out for a casual bite or an elegant occasion, just think of the myriad of superb dining choices in town or a short drive away.
Whether stepping out for a casual bite or an elegant occasion, just think of the myriad of superb dining choices in town or a short drive away. Whether you’re in the mood for French or Italian, Asian or American, fish or steak house, comfort food or gourmet dishes, there is no such thing as an insatiable appetite here. What’s more, all the local restaurants offer inspired menus at affordable prices, including pre-fixe lunch and dinner menus and brunch wine specials.
Every week is restaurant week in Rye, and many are picking up the palate choices for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which runs March 18-31.
At Town Dock, they offer comfort food all year long. Mom’s Meatloaf is one of those dishes. Better than mother’s, Chef Jose Avelar’s version is served with carrots, peas, pearl onions, and mashed potatoes. Popular tavern specials include such favorites as chicken pot pie, fish tacos, and Guiness beef stew with buttered noodles and baby carrots.
Fine dining is close at hand over on Milton Road, where La Panetière offers French cuisine extraordinaire. Where else in Rye can you order escargot with garlic and hazelnuts? Some of Chef Dean Loupiac’s other standouts are his veal tenderloin with asparagus, shad roe with a leek and potato fondue, pancetta and sorrel sauce, and a Maine lobster cassolette. For the perfect ending to a perfect meal, guests always remember to order the grand marnier, chocolate, or semolina soufflé in advance. Look for La Panetière’s special menu during Restaurant Week.
Patrons line up at Rye Grill & Bar for their succulent pan-seared scallops with Parmesan grits; farfalle with crumbled hot Italian sausage, spinach, and Kalamata olives; and the original grilled salmon club. For Restaurant Week, when three-course lunches and dinners are available for $20.95 and $29.95, respectively, one of the delights Chefs Billy Esteves and Brian Nelsen are featuring is coconut-crusted mahi-mahi with a sweet chili soy glaze and baby vegetables. Start the meal off with the signature Cape Cod chopped salad and finish it off with sweet orange sorbet — it doesn’t get much better than that.
Patrons appreciate that Aurora’s gnocchi are handmade daily and enjoy the scrumptious tomato basil sauce they’re served with. Another one of the restaurant’s signature pastas is Kobe beef ravioli with Marsala wine and mushrooms. While the winter salad of spinach, endive, and ricotta salata is a big draw, one of the entrees Chef Julio Genao serves aplenty is sea scallops with sausage, white beans, escarole, roasted peppers, and saffron.
For oysters on the half-shell, tuna tartare pizza, and steak frites, everybody knows to go to Ruby’s Oyster Bar and Bistro. During Restaurant Week, Chef Greg McDowell will feature his signature bouillabaisse, which he’s confident “diners can’t get anywhere else in Westchester.” The fresh, hearty stew with the catch of the day, Little Neck clams, mussels, fingerling potatoes, plum tomatoes, and saffron is unrivaled.
Meat lovers gravitate towards the premier steakhouse in town. Frankie & Johnnie’s rib eye, T-bone steaks, veal and pork chops are second to none. The restaurant is introducing a new bone-in filet mignon that’s already a prime choice. Chef Steve Kontis uses only quality ingredients and cooks everything to perfection. The steakhouse also offers Dover sole, deboned tableside, and Chilean sea bass. Look for their special three-course meals during Restaurant Week.
At Café Livorno, the Penne Rustica with sausage, white beans, and broccoli in garlic and oil is always a winner. A couple of appetizers that patrons love to start their meal with are fried zucchini with pink tomato dipping sauce, a thin-crusted Margherita pizza or beef carpaccio with arugula, capers, and shaved parmesan. Another one of Chef Luis Portoviejo’s specialties is his flavorful Poletto Scarpariello, oven roasted free-range chicken with sausage, white wine, and fresh thyme.
Seafood aficionados love the raw bar and the “Blackboard fish”, an array of seafood that can be grilled, pan seared, or blackened, at Morgans Fish House. The Montauk blackened swordfish with sweet potato crabmeat hash on the menu is a big hit. For Restaurant Week, Chef Jorge Madrid is introducing horseradish-crusted salmon with julienne cucumbers. Both delicious and nutritious, the dish incorporates fresh Mediterranean spices and a yogurt sauce that sophisticated palates will love.
Behind the sushi bar at Water Moon, Chefs Gary Li, Kenji Cheng, and Edison Chen create their masterpiece rolls. Favorites include a Westchester Roll with spicy crunch tuna topped with avocado, and a Crazy Tuna Roll with avocado, spicy tuna, and wasabi miso sauce. The more popular hot dishes are Water Moon’s sesame chicken, crispy red snapper, and fire wok coconut curry sea scallops, prawn, and lobster tail. Cooked or raw, Water Moon’s dishes are top-notch.
For complete information, menus, and updates, visit HudsonValleyRestaurantWeek.com.
Provençe Is Closer than You Think
For a taste of the French countryside, head to Le Provençal Bistro in Mamaroneck, any day of the week. Monet yellow walls, vases brimming with sunflowers, and a welcoming, professional wait staff await.
Fifteen years ago he opened Le Provençal. Within a few days he realized he couldn’t do everything, so he asked his wife Mieke, who had a corporate job in Manhattan, to join him. Mieke, who’d never worked at a restaurant, runs the dining room with as much aplomb as the best restaurateur. On weekends, their teen-age daughter Tessa helps out too.
While Derrick and Mieke are both Dutch by birth, they are French at heart. Every summer they visit his father in Les Baux de Provence and enjoy the flavors, scents, and colors.
This year is their third participating in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. They were putting the finishing touches on the menu last weekend but allowed us to sample three things they know will be on the menu those two weeks: mussel soup with leeks and bacon, salmon with lentils and Chardonnay beurre blanc, and lemon tart with raspberries.
We made a reservation on the spot!
— By Janice Llanes Fabry and Robin Jovanovich