Madison Kitchen, Larchmont. When chef-owner Nick Di Bona renovated his restaurant, he filled the space with custom touches like a sleek pewter bar, plush black leather seating and a long gas-fueled fireplace that dances behind the bartender. The space is masculine and dazzling, equally suitable for some Don Draper types looking for a drink after work as it is couples on a date. The menu is heavy on small plate options like smoky pork-belly-stuffed oysters, but don’t miss new American entrees like Cajun jambalaya with duck, shrimp and Andouille sausage. Go: 7 Madison Ave., 914-732-3024, mklarchmont.com.
The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges. In the historic building formerly home to Emily Shaw’s Inn, celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten spent two years renovating the space to match the trademark aesthetics in his other restaurants, which means lots of pale, natural wood and rustic textures. There are four fireplaces in all, scattered throughout the two-story building, so nearly every table feels fireside. The menu features favorites from his other restaurants too, like peekytoe crab crostini and salted caramel popcorn sundae. Go: 258 Westchester Ave., 914-764-1400, theinnatpoundridge.com.
Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish, North Salem. Revolution-era touches like wide plank floors, low beamed ceilings and a fireplace big enough to stand in give a historic patina to Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish. The main dining room is open and casual, but with a menu focused on fresh seafood, housemade pasta and produce straight from the property garden, dishes are serious. We like a hot bowl of the Purdy’s clam chowder at the bar, or a spot by the fireplace with the Nova Scotia halibut, served with truffled risotto, Brussels sprouts leaves and black trumpet mushrooms. Go: 100 Titicus Road, 914-617-8380, farmerandthefish.com.
Half Moon, Dobbs Ferry. A modern, gas fireplace in the bar area is open on all sides, so you can get a view of it from the bar, the dining room or while sitting at the lounge tables right alongside. You can even see it flickering from the far side of the dining room. While it’s not even the most exciting focal point in the place — stunning, panoramic views of the Hudson might prove a little distracting— this time of year the site of dancing flames is a nice counter-image to the icy river outside. Go: 1 High St., 914-693-4130, harvest2000.com.
1915 Restaurant at the Bear Mountain Inn, Bear Mountain: After a renovation, the 1915 stone-and-timber Bear Mountain Inn in the northern tip of Rockland County has been given a gracious facelift that retains its awe-inspiring character, yet provides some needed updates. Most important, the old public lounge on the Inn’s second floor is now the 1915 Restaurant. But you gain a whole new appreciation for the basics when you’re enjoying them under the gaze of a mounted moose head in a soaring, timbered dining room with a massive stone fireplace and a panoramic view of the Hudson Valley. The Bear Mountain Inn, Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain. 845-786-2731, Ext. 1915. 3006 http://nysparks.com/ parks/13/ Parking is $8.
Peter Pratt’s Inn, Yorktown Heights. A roaring fireplace enhances the rustic charm of this treasured Westchester institution, a former colonial home with roots that go back to 1780. A menu of heartwarming seasonal dishes like wild boar gnocchi and whole Maine lobster truffle mac and cheese, along with a romantically historic feel from the crackle of burning wood, makes a table by the fire a prime location this time of year. And if all that doesn’t warm you up sufficiently, the restaurant’s extensive selection of wines and choice of 13 single-malt scotches should do the trick. Go: 673 Croton Heights Road, 914-962-4090, www.prattsinn.com.
Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua. Set in an inviting 1700s country inn with tall white columns and beautiful gardens, a place to celebrate special occasions. You’ll often find game on the progressive American menu, which uses local and seasonal ingredients and includes dishes like line-caught sustainable Loch Duart Scottish salmon and Hudson Valley foie gras. But the real draw for some is the wine cellar, which includes some 70,000 bottles, and it’s easy to relax with a glass by the fire in the tap room. Go: 11 Kittle Road, 914-666-8044. www.kittlehouse.com.
Rye Grill & Bar. A Rye staple for more than 20 years. There are three levels, three fireplaces, a huge wood-and-tile bar area and a dining room with booths fit for families and friends— this is the restaurant for everybody. And the long menu presents options for all tastes too. Start with crispy calamari or beer battered popcorn shrimp with jalapeño remoulade and move on to any of the satisfying salads, pizzas or sliders. Go: 1 Station Plaza, 914-967-0332. www.ryegrill.com.
The Barn at Bedford Post and The Farmhouse at Bedford Post. The Barn is a cafe, with exposed beams, a stone fireplace and tables on a shaded patio on which to enjoy breakfast and lunch. (Don’t miss the French toast.) At the Farmhouse, dining is an exhilarating experience that starts with the first cocktail. Chef Jeremy McMillian uses his wood-fired grill to impart a char to local ingredients, but his cooking is not rustic: it’s sophisticated and subtle. Go: 954 Old Post Road (Route 121), Bedford. 914-234-7800. www.bedfordpostinn.com.
121 Restaurant & Bar, North Salem. In the heart of horse country, this New American eatery draws trendy people eager to warm up by the fire in winter, or dine on the wraparound porch come spring. The menu is Asian, American and Italian, fused to provide hip suburbanites a dependable array of choices, including bok choy salad, juicy burgers, and risotto con funghi. An adventurous wine list makes waiting at the bar a lot more fun. Go: 2-4 Dingle Ridge Road (corner of Route 121), North Salem. 914-669-0121. www.121restaurant.com.
Lusardi’s, Larchmont. A destination restaurant with excellent service, classic Northern Italian food, fine wines and an upscale atmosphere with vintage posters, wood paneling, wine racks and a fireplace. Italian. $$$$. Go: 1885 Palmer Ave., Larchmont. 914-834-5555. www.lusardislarchmont.com.
Molly Spillane’s, Mamaroneck. Fireplace dining doesn’t always have to mean fancy. The Mamaroneck sibling of the Eastchester pub has two floors, three outdoor patios (one with an outdoor fireplace), and a huge bar (with 16 high-def TVs). It’s a draw for families, couples and singles who come for great burgers and steaks, salads and late-night dining. Go: 211 Mamaroneck Ave., 914-899-3130. www.mollyspillanespub.com.
The 76 House, Tappan. Love fireside dining but concerned you won’t get a seat by the flame? At The 76 House, that’s never a concern thanks to its three fireplaces, located in three distinct rooms. Whether you eat in the Andre Room, the Prison Room and Bar, or the Tap Room, you’ll feel like you’ve been airlifted out of New York and plunked down into the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. This 17th century building — the state’s oldest tavern and a National Landmark — feels like a Revolutionary War museum thanks to its array of rifles, copper pots, soldier uniforms and other artifacts. Who knows? Your table could very likely have been where George Washington once held court (he didn’t sleep here but he did hold frequent meetings in this space). Though the fireplaces were changed to gas last year, nothing can erase the authentic old feeling that on a cold night, when you’re sitting down to a plate of Yankee pot roast or roast duckling Hamilton, might encourage the whole family to tuck their 21st century devices away for the night. Go: 110 Main St, Tappan, 845-359-5476, www.76house.com.
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 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
Restaurant X and Bully Boy Bar, Congers. Exposed beams, a roaring fireplace and a view of the ducks in the pond out back make for a chic-country setting to enjoy the culinary stylings of Hudson Valley superchef Peter X. Kelly. Try his classic cote du boeuf for two or grab a seat at the bar for a few appetizers and some camaraderie. Go: 117 N. Route 303, Congers. 845-268-6555. www.xaviars.com
The Club House Bar & Grill, New City. After a major renovation, this casual neighborhood staple reopened with a new outside bar and patio. The menu is typical pub food, ranging from burgers to renowned wings to lobster and porter house steaks. Another noteworthy mention: frozen drink rails on three tables and the two indoor bars keep your drinks frosty between sips. American. Go: 191 S. Main St., New City. 845-638-1818. www.clubhousenewcity.com.
Nyack River Club. The view is one of the main draws to this laid-back waterfront restaurant near Nyack’s marina. The restaurant’s slogan is “Where Maine meets Memphis,” and you can find everything from ribs to clam chowder. Go: 11 Burd St., Nyack. 845-358-0220. www.nyackriverclub.net
Tequila Sal y Limon, Piermont. On the upper floor of the Turning Point music club, Mexican food in a kitschy but classy setting. Inside, hardwood floors, a small bar and brightly colored Mexican art. Outside, porch dining, too. The menu is heavy on seafood, and the Camarones Tequila is a huge hit. Go: 468 Piermont Ave., Piermont. 845-680-6740. www.tequilany.com
Marc Charles Steakhouse, Armonk. Venetian plaster faux finishes in earthy tones set the mood for this steakhouse from chef-owner Marc Mazzarulli, also of Opus 465. Diners can customize spices and rubs for their steaks and chops, or go casual with a small-plates menu and cocktail list in the bar. The warm decor and affordable wine list help you forget the corporate park setting but the steak prices are dear. A sandwich-nibbles-salad menu can be found in the bar. Go: 92 Business Park Ave., Armonk.914-273-2700. www.marccharlessteakhouse.com
Opus 465, Armonk. Part-saloon, part-bistro, with a big bar and dining room downstairs and a more intimate dining area decorated in earth tones upstairs. The menu offers something for everyone, from Cajun calamari to Tuscan arugula salad to Angus steaks. Try one of chef Marc Mazzarulli’s daily salad specials or go for the cheeseburger or pasta Bolognese. Go: 465 Main St., Armonk. 914-273-4676. www.opus465.com
La Crémaillère, Bedford. A countryside destination: one of the top French restaurants around. Nestled in a 1750 white clapboard farmhouse, this Westchester classic serves French cuisine such as escargots, crispy duck salad and rack of lamb with red wine sauce. The romantic interior boasts a working fireplace in the front room. The wine cellar has more than 14,000 bottles and specializes in Bordeaux and California wines. The restaurant also makes and sells its own ice cream. Jackets are required after 6 p.m. Go: 46 Bedford-Banksville Road, Bedford. 914-234-9647. www.cremaillere.com.
Ristorante Lucia, Bedford. The gourmet brick-oven pizza combinations are the draw. Try the Bianca with mozzarella, ricotta and prosciutto, or La Bandiera with sun-dried tomato, olive pesto and basil. Entrees include such pasta specials as tortellini with prosciutto, wild mushrooms and a four-cheese sauce, or such standards as homemade lasagna and linguine with clams. Chicken, veal and shrimp dishes are prepared in the typical Italian-American styles: Marsala, francese, scarpariello and marecchiara. Go: 454 Old Post Road, Bedford. 914-234-7600. www.ristorantelucia.com.
The Tuscan Grille, Briarcliff Manor. The former Torchia’s has gotten a make-over. Look for the same fun atmosphere and a terrific bar crowd on weekends, but the dining rooms are prettier and there’s good, interesting Italian food on the menu. Italian. Go: 518 N. State Road, Briarcliff Manor. 914-488-5618. www.thetuscangrilleofbriarcliff.com
Horse and Hound Inn, South Salem. A beacon amid the dark and lonely roads of South Salem and charming as all get-out, with wide-planked floors, low ceilings and original beams. The foyer allows two choices: right, a modest dining room; left, a cozy pub. Go for the firecracker shrimp, the juicy burger or the pork tenderloin. American. Go: 94 Spring St., South Salem. 914-763-3108. www.horseandhoundinn.com
Le Chateau, South Salem. A French restaurant set in a 1907 mansion located on 32 acres with a spectacular view of the Hudson River Valley, Le Chateau is the perfect venue for an elegant dining experience. Revel in the happy conundrum of having to choose from the likes of roasted breast and braised leg of duck in a Grand Marnier sauce, fricassee of lobster with fennel, coconut milk, saffron and basil, or roasted sea scallops with asparagus tips and vermouth truffle coulis. The wine list boasts more than 100 labels. After your meal, stroll through the formal gardens. French. Go: Junction of routes 35 and 123, South Salem. 914-533-6631. www.lechateauny.com
Don Coqui, New Rochelle. Owned by Jimmy Rodriguez, the owner of Jimmy’s Bronx Cafe, and set in a former munitions warehouse, Don Coqui’s mixture of authentic Puerto Rican food, minimalist and industrial design and upscale edge is sure to become an exciting dining and entertainment spot. Latin. 115 Cedar St., New Rochelle. 914-637-3737. www.doncoqui.com
Il Sogno, Port Chester. Brought to you by Rafael Palomino (Sonora) and Jimmy Resulbegu, stone-striped walls and light-wood floors set a welcoming dress-it-up-or-down scene, and the Italian-Mediterranean menu offers inventive takes on chicken, pasta, veal and seafood that are both fresh and delicious. Go: 316 Boston Post Road, Port Chester. 914-937-7200. www.ilsognony.com
Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse, Rye. The classic steakhouse menu includes prime Porterhouse, lobster tails and crabmeat cocktail, along with sides such as fried onions and sauteed mushrooms. From the balcony seating, you can see the stained glass and the faux-Hopper painting above the dark-wood bar. Go: 77 Purchase St., Rye. 914-925-3900. www.frankieandjohnnies.com
Manor Inn, Larchmont. A grown-up space, with two cozy fireplaces, wall murals painted by local artists and an easy-to-read wine menu divided into categories like “high intensity reds” and “dry sparkling whites.” The menu at the former Pastore’s is classic Continental — with rack of lamb, lobster tails and Chateaubriand for two. Great for special events or private parties, the restaurant boasts plenty of on-site parking and a lovely private room with a separate bar. Go: 2047 Boston Post Rd., 914-732-3100, www.manorinn.net.