It didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve reached a tipping point in the dining scene around here — we’re now a vibrant restaurant region.
Longtime residents can recall when fine dining meant long drives on dark, winding roads to French restaurants in converted farmhouses.
In more recent years, a first wave of pioneers opened sophisticated spaces in our downtowns, serving innovative cuisine and offering thoughtfully crafted wine lists.
Now, a second wave is joining their ranks, serving top-quality food in even more comfortable settings. Today, there are more and better choices in every village, with some towns bragging of their own restaurant rows.
A core group of chefs — some of them are profiled in this link here — paved the way. But these new chefs are also building a following by presenting us with bold flavors and innovative flourishes — or making subtle changes to the classics we love.
They’re making dining out in Westchester and Rockland really fun, exciting — and accessible.
We talked with 11 of them we think are worth watching. All have in common a terrific enthusiasm for farm-to-table cooking.
All go out of their way to use Hudson Valley ingredients and to support local farmers and food purveyors. All strive to present what’s come to be known as “upscale-casual” dining — superb food served in a welcoming setting.
These chefs aren’t fly-by-night celebrities, opening additions to their restaurant empires, never to set foot in the kitchen again. Instead, they’re local people who are investing in our communities. They’re making good food possible, right here in our neighborhoods. And we say cheers to that!
Here are links to the profiles on the new chefs.
Anthony Accomando of Antoine McGuire’s in Haverstraw.
Anthony DeVanzo of Velo in Nyack.
David DiBari of The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry.
Christopher Dunn of Hudson House of Nyack.
Eric Gabrynowicz of Restaurant North in Armonk.
Matt Hutchins of Birdsall House in Peekskill.
Stephanie Landis of Don Coqui in New Rochelle.
George DiMarsico of Xaviars at Piermont.
Andy Nusser of Tarry Lodge in Port Chester.
Kevin Reilly of Cafe Barcel in Nyack and CB Kitchen & Bar in New City.
Alex Sze of Juniper in Hastings-on-Hudson.
And here is a look at the chefs who paved the way: Veterans Keeping It Fresh.