The thing that struck me the most about Stone Manor 101, which opened earlier this year in Hawthorne, was the fact that no matter when I drove by the parking lot was full to overflowing. Weekends made sense, but Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights?
What could they possibly be doing, I wondered?
Turns out owners Michael Casarella and Tommy Stratis have totally transformed the former Tino’s Villa, an Italian restaurant best-known for its basement pizzeria, into a Mediterranean steakhouse.
There are still a few traces of its former life left, including the building’s impressive stone exterior, which has been spiffed up and shined, and some of the original 180-year-old beams. Gone is the bee-hive coal pizza oven and white plastic chairs. Instead, there are gorgeous hardwood floors and distinct dining spaces — we particularly liked a table tucked into an alcove. The dark gray color of the walls and black leather chairs add a sense of gravitas to this very serious steakhouse.
What we tried
Steaks: Of course! There’s the expected offerings, from a 45-ounce porterhouse for two to a 20-ounce ribeye and a veal chop. All come with a choice of two steakhouse sides (garlic mashed, creamed spinach) and one of five sauces. We went with a chimichurri on a skirt steak and Bearnaise on the petit filet, but ended up skipping the sauce entirely once our plates arrived. Both were beautiful cuts, cooked perfectly medium-well on the filet (sorry, purists, I don’t do rare) and medium rare on my son’s skirt steak.
Sides: We had the mashed and the creamed spinach, but what was really outstanding were the Parmesan truffle steak fries: salty, crunchy and served in a paper cone.
Sliders: Loved the crusty rolls on these sliders, a trio that included Kobe beef, lamb and a chilled lobster. Fabulous beef, not really a fan of the lamb, but the lobster slider was a lip-smackingly succulent mini-lobster roll.
Meatballs: I’ve got to try them wherever we go, just to compare them to my mother-in-law’s beloved version. Don’t know if it’s bad news for Grandma, but these, made with Kobe beef in a surprising feta sauce, got high marks from my son.
Stuffed Long Hots: Wondering what this is? So were we, so we ordered them. You might want to get two orders of these roasted spicy peppers, which are stuffed with ricotta, kind of a spicy take on the classic mozzarella stick.
Swordfish: This felt like a antidote to the other rich, beefy dishes we had. Served with a clean, fresh citrusy sauce, the fish came with cauliflower puree and fennel prawns.
Fiduea: If you’re looking for something beyond the usual fettucine, this is your dish. A generous heaping of chicken, shrimp, calamari, bacon, and onions comes tossed with a toasted angel hair pasta.
Drinks and dessert
There’s an extensive wine list, with about a dozen by the glass, and some clever house cocktails, a few of which, like a Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini, could do double-duty as dessert. If you’d rather have the real thing, there are about six desserts, including a souffle. We had the crostata, which was a wedge of heaven! It is like a pie with cannoli cream as the filling and then topped with chopped nuts and a drizzle of chocolate. A close runner-up for best dessert was the Molten Lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
We saw couples enjoying a quiet dinner, a large group of co-workers in a party mood, and families with older children (including mine). The way the dining room is set up allows for lots of different comfort levels. They do a lot of private events in a separate space.
There’s a $31.01 prix fixe dinner, which has a couple of steaks, chicken Milanese and a pork chop. There’s a nice lobster bisque or salad, some sides, and dessert. It’s available Monday through Friday for lunch and Sunday through Wednesday for dinner.
What we will order next
Next time, I’d like to test drive the separate bar, which looked pretty and clubby. There’s a fun cocktail menu — the Stone Jack (Jack Daniels, mint leaves and a splash of club soda) would be great on a bitter night — and a separate small plates menu with short rib sliders and coconut shrimp.
With the Saw Mill Multiplex directly across the street and the Greenburgh multiplex about a mile further south, this is a great pre-movie dinner option.
The 411 on Stone Manor 101
Entree price range: $13.01 for a burger to $75.01 for a 45-ounce porterhouse.
Great for: Big groups, date night, watching the game, cocktails, dining at the bar, girls’ night out, meeting for a drink, open kitchen, going out on Mondays, private room, romantic, dinner with grandparents, small plates, special occasion dining, wine list
Noise level: Moderate.
Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; Dinner 4-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 4-11 p.m. Thursday, Friday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5-9:30 p.m. Sunday. Late night bar menu and lounge, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Happy hour 4-6:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Sunday.
Go: 101 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne, 914-703-4112, www.thestonemanor101.com
You might also like
Sparkill Steakhouse, Sparkill: The enormous restaurant at the corner of Route 340 and William Street in Sparkill is now home to the aptly named Sparkill Steakhouse — and with in-house dry-aged steaks, a world-class wine list (at reasonable prices!), and a commitment to excellent hospitality and service, we’re hoping this one stays a while. Also check out the “chef’s table” in the wine cellar for private dining and wine tastings, or the upstairs ballroom for larger events. 500 Route 340; 845-398-3300; www.sparkillsteakhouse.com
Benjamin Steak House: The Westchester outpost of a Manhattan stalwart, expect big cuts of dry-aged beef, lobster, and chops, along with other steakhouse classics like jumbo shrimp cocktail, creamed spinach, and of course, cheesecake. Nice happy hour, too, with a separate bar menu. 610 W. Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, 914-428-6868, www.benjaminsteakhouse.com
The Chophouse Grille: Like Stone Manor, this steakhouse, which opened in 2012, also has a fun lounge, which is great option for happy hour or after-dinner drinks. Tons of steaks, fish, pasta and salads on the menu. Expect a diverse group; very popular with families. 957 Route 6, Mahopac, 845-628-8300, www.TheChopHouseGrille