Club Car in Mamaroneck, which opened in March, has joined the short list of Westchester restaurants that have taken over renovated train stations. But what a renovation!
The soaring space, which dates to 1888 and is the second oldest depot on the New Haven line, is built in the Romanesque Revival style — a monument to the grandeur of the past. Standing by the hostess area, you can’t help but overhear the words “stunning, “gorgeous” and “wow” from people walking in the door for the first time. With a shimmery tin ceiling (not the original but close), glittery chandeliers, a massive fireplace and tons of intimate seating areas, the space is spectacular.
Chef Brian MacMenamin, who owns the restaurant with wife, Fatima Rabbani-MacMenamin, takes considerable pride in the new look, which took five months to complete.
“You wouldn’t believe the layers and layers of paint and grime that had been here,” he says. “Even the fireplace was covered.” The building had been partially condemned and in disarray for years.
The former waiting area has been incorporated into a stunning rectangular room, divided into a tavern area on the left and a larger dining room to the right. The “Mad Men”-vintage bar uses the old station ticket windows as its backdrop.
Those who remember MacMenamin from his days at the helm of New Rochelle’s MacMenamin’s Grill will feel some familiarity with the menu, which is heavy on beef and chops, albeit with locally sourced ingredients and a global flair. There’s panko-and-mint-crusted lamb chops, center-cut Chateau Briand filet mignon, bone-in New York sirloin and roasted loin chop pork.
And while the food is serious — MacMenamin calls it “modern American with a retro touch” — he’s also got a lighter side. “If there were three things I’d want people to know it’s that we’re about food, service and fun, in that order,” he says.
A few more photos, after the jump.
Like Cinderella, at the stroke of midnight, the place is transformed. It turns into a sophisticated nightclub and lounge, with DJs, bands and entertainment that showcases a range of acts including flamenco dancers and a girl who eats fire, all with no cover charge.
Club Car is also available for private parties– it’s booked for a couple of bar/bat mitzvahs already. The restaurant recently opened for lunch and offers a Sunday brunch buffetwith a raw bar, omelet station, pasta station, antipasti station, carving station, Viennese dessert table and more (it costs $36; $15 additional for bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys).
Details: 1 Station Plaza, Mamaroneck, 914-777-9300, http://www.clubcar ny.com. Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; Dinner: 5-10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-11 p.m. Thursdays, 5-midnight Friday and Saturday; Lounge hours midnight to 4 a.m.; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for Sunday brunch.