Michelle Almonte reported on restaurants in the Bronxville-Scarsdale-Eastchester area. Here’s what she found:
Pumpkin Gnocchi, a fall dish, at 808 Bistro in Scarsdale. ( Tania Savayan / The Journal News )
More than 100 candles twinkle every night to set a special ambiance at this intimate bistro, and the decor changes weekly based on the season. Now, it’s a combination of wine corks and apples. Classic movies — “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Zorba the Greek,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Casablanca” and more — play every night for those who want to enjoy drinks and dinner at the bar, and the music playing is a global fusion of classical selections and hip new artists. Dishes include beef or salmon carpaccio, skewered lamb and sesame-seed-crusted tuna with wasabi. Owner Khalil Wahab is from Afghanistan, so there is a decidedly Afghan slant to the menu, but it is globally influenced.
New for fall: Endive and fennel salad with apples, cranberries, pine nuts and aged balsamic dressing; curried eggplant salad with chickpeas, spinach and yogurt sauce; Afghan meatballs with beef and tomato sauce; and lamb penne with yogurt, mint and ginger.
Insider tip: One of Kraft Bistro’s regulars, Bronxville resident Richard Atkinson, was shooting his new film, “Dogs Lie,” at the restaurant in June.
Details: 104 Kraft Ave., Bronxville. 914-337-4545. www.kraftbistro.com.
Rosie’s Bistro Italiano
With pale yellow walls, white tablecloths and vintage posters, Rosie’s does a hip take on your friendly neighborhood Italian restaurant. Antipasto includes tuna carpaccio and stuffed zucchini blossoms, and entrees include snapper with marechiara sauce and grilled polenta.
New for fall: Seasonal specials such as seafood pasta; try the linguini with grilled octopus.
Insider tip: The piano room is available for parties (and sing-alongs).
Details: 10 Palmer Ave., Bronxville. 914-793-2000. www.rosiesbronxville.com.
The 808 Bistro
Chef-owner Salvatore Cucullo’s restaurant offers a fusion of Italian cuisine with Asian and French influences, served in a casual yet cosmopolitan setting with a mirrored bar detailed with gray and black tile and white tablecloths in the dining room. There’s an extensive wine list with choices by the glass or by the bottle, but if you’d like to bring your own, there is no corkage fee on Mondays.
New for fall: Denver Lamb Rib, at right, meat-stuffed pansotti (similar to a ravioli) and pumpkin gnocchi, at the top of this post.
Insider tip: Customers can ask for whatever they’d like, even if it’s not on the menu, and Cucullo will cook it to their taste. He’ll also work around food allergies by omitting certain ingredients. All you have to do is ask.
Details: 808 Scarsdale Ave., Scarsdale. 914-722-0808. www.the808bistro.com.
Chat American Grill
This sister restaurant to Chat 19 in Larchmont has a similar menu and atmosphere, but with the addition of a big, long bar, a patio for outdoor dining and a roaring fireplace in the winter. Early during dinnertime, it’s family friendly. The menu includes quesadillas, burgers, pastas, steaks and salads. Regulars love the calamari salad, tuna tartare and meatloaf. Later, there’s more of a scene; friends meet for drinks selected from the extensive cocktail list.
New for fall: Salmon over lentils with slab bacon; beef satay served with bamboo skewers on a bamboo plate; lobster quesadilla; lobster risotto.
Insider tip: The Key Lime Martini isn’t on the menu, but it’s a delicious way to start — or end — a meal.
Details: 1 Christie Place, Scarsdale. 914-722-4000. www.chatamericangrill.com.
This charming, family-run restaurant serves authentic French cuisine, and walking in feels like you’ve entered a Left Bank bistro. Joel Hucheg is at the stove; his wife, Jackie, and two daughters, Sandrine and Christel, serve the tables in front, greeting customers with double kisses. Start off with escargot, lobster bisque or an endive salad with tomatoes and blue cheese. Special entrees include Boeuf Bourguignon (beef braised in red wine), sauteed sweetbread with apples and calvados, and Cassoulet Toulousian (a lamb, pork and white bean stew served with duck-leg confit and pork sausages).
New for fall: A veal loin chop with mushroom sauce and chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and prosciutto. Fall specials include stuffed qualis, coq au vin, Blanquette De Beau and braised lamb shank. A prix fixe menu of $26.50 for three courses is available Tuesday to Thursday nights.
Insider tip: The most romantic table is the small round one in the corner in the back. Call to reserve it.
Details: 434 White Plains Road, Eastchester. 914-337-8447. www.jackiesbistro.com.
The folks behind Ruby’s Oyster Bar and Morgans Fish House, both in Rye, also own the region’s first gastropub. A homey yet creative menu (roast chicken, steaks and burgers, plus daily specials) is served in a pub setting, with wood tables, a marble bar and plaid curtains. Or walk through the kitchen to the secret dining room and enjoy more formal service in front of the fireplace.
New for fall: Chef Kevin?Bertrand is introducing such dishes as pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce, cranberries and walnuts; pumpkin-oil-seared salmon with wilted spinach, horseradish cream and potato fritters; and braised spiced pork belly with pear puree, caramelized onions and baby frisee. For dessert lovers, seasonal favorites such as apple fritters, mulled cider and apple crisp are sure to please. Beer connoisseurs will also be pleased to know that there’s a variety of seasonal beers, including Abita Pecan Harvest, made with toasted Louisiana pecans, and Smuttynose Pumpkin, with pumpkin and traditional spices.
Insider tip: Sliders are half-price at the bar from 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
Details: 16 Depot Square, Tuckahoe. 914-337-6941. www.thetaphouseny.com.
Strip mall chic? Just about. The talented chef Chris Vergara turns out innovative Italian-style food using top-notch ingredients. The black tables and chairs are comfortable enough that you can forget the drop ceilings and the Rothko prints. Or take a seat at the granite bar and hobnob with the locals. The menu includes pasta Bolognese, roast chicken and poached halibut — all delicious.
New for fall: The restaurant brings a whole new menu with a more rustic approach. The lighter fare of summer is replaced with heartier dishes like stews and roasts. Try the braised wild boar ragu, served over house-made pappardelle; a stew of braised short ribs with buttered vegetables and horseradish cream; roasted shoulder of lamb with potatoes and root vegetables; and roasted Hudson Valley duck breast with cauliflower, dates and chestnuts.
Insider tip: The veal, lamb, pork, duck and chicken is locally sourced and butchered in-house, giving Vergara greater control over the process from farm to table.
Details: 1505 Weaver St., Scarsdale. 914-472-8484. www.meritagerestaurant.net.