Itching to catch up with your girl friends? These are our favorite spots for chatting with friends, sharing plates and sipping great fine.
8 N. Broadway, Nyack: The magnificent copper bar and tin ceilings of the former Lushane’s have been maintained, but the restaurant has received a modern face lift inside and out. The menu features traditional Mediterranean dishes with ever-shifting local ingredients, sure to keep regulars coming back to see what chef-owner Constantine Kalandranis will whip up next. The restaurant’s commitment to true Greek hospitality should quickly earn it a welcome spot as a neighborhood favorite. Go: 8 N. Broadway, Nyack. 845-353-1200, 8northbroadway.com.
42, White Plains. The swank spot atop the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains has an unrivaled panoramic view, a dramatic backdrop thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Recent renovations to the space and menu have updated the special occasion restaurant and made it more friendly to the younger, hipper set. Chef Anthony Goncalves serves exquisite tapas and entrees with his signature Portuguese flair. Go: One Renaissance Square, Located at The Ritz-Carlton, White Plains, 914-761-4242, www.42therestaurant.com.
12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar, Peekskill: Comfortable and welcoming with live music in downtown Peekskill. When the weather is nice the front is open to the sidewalk filling the night air with jazz and blues. Terrific wine list with many offered by the glass. Look for weekly ladies night specials every Wednesday, with discounts on food and drinks, plus live music. Go: 12 N. Division St., 914-737-6624, 12grapes.com
Avida Wine Bar, Nyack. A few small plates, but not a spot to grab your evening meal. Instead, slide up to the sophisticated bar and sample one of the enjoyable pairings: a small flight of wines and a selection of small bites, such as cheeses or chocolates, specifically paired to each wine. Avida’s wine selection is focused on quality, not quantity — though there are plenty of choices to be had from California, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Also look for live acoustic guitar several nights a week. Go: 159 Main St., Nyack. 845-353-2525, www.avidabar.com.
Bar’Lees, Mamaroneck: People who know their stuff about wine and whiskey—or would like to—should appreciate the expertise at Bar’Lees. Let founder Colin Goundrey help you select from their extensive 11,000-bottle international wine collection, or attend a wine or whiskey class with co-owner Andre Cohen. Vibe is sophisticated without snobbery, a comfortable bar for grownups. Check the Facebook page for dates on live acoustic music or stand-up comedy. Go: 157 Mamaroneck Avenue, 914-630-7512, www.barlees.us
Batonnage, Pleasantville: Exposed brick, dark wood, couches and high tables. Groups of singles and couples on their way to the movies snack on pizzas, charcuterie and cheese platters, made with cheeses from Artisanal in Manhattan. Live music every Thursday and Friday. Go: 10 Marble Ave., 914-769-4040, www.batonnagewinebar.com.
Bin 41, Pearl River: Bar snacks and libations on par with city restaurants are the draw at this wine bar in a warm, burgundy-painted space with local artists’ works on the walls. Expect international and California wines, white and red sangria, and Belgium and German beers. The menu includes small bites like olives, fresh mozzarella or a choice of rich chocolate desserts. Look for happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, with half-priced wine by the glass. Go: 41 Central Ave., 845-735-4111, www.bin41winebar.com.
Croton Creek Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Croton Falls: Enjoy your favorite wine or cocktail while listening to live piano in a stylish yet cozy century-old lounge that feels like a piece of the city in the country. Dishes are bistro meets steakhouse, with selections like handmade mini lobster sausages, farmhouse cheese fondue and organic free-range rib-eye with choice of sauce. Go: 4 W. Cross St., 914-276-0437, crotoncreek.com.
Crush Wine Bar, Larchmont. Glittery chandeliers, two cozy window seats, a dancing gas fireplace and a variety of wine at every price point all add up to a reason to get dolled up for a night out with friends. Wines are divided into easy-to-understand categories (“lighter style reds,” “jammy goodness,” and “sweet and fruity”) and the menu has tapas-style dishes. Wine suggestions are paired with each dish for groups looking for a little guidance. For added entertainment, there is a tarot card reader on Tuesday nights. Go: 1985 Palmer Ave., Larchmont, 914-834-6600, crushwinebars.com
Freelance Cafe and Wine Bar, Piermont: Renowned chef Peter X. Kelly (X20, Xaviars, Restaurant X) doesn’t disappoint at this cozy bistro and wine bar. Relax at the granite bar with a glass of wine from the award-winning cellar it shares with Xaviars. The menu is divided into small plates and large plates, with cleverly composed dishes such as tiny duck and foie gras meatballs with savory apple and rosemary Condiment, or crispy Brie-stuffed chicken breast served alongside a baby spinach, mushroom and bacon salad. Go: 506 Piermont Ave., 845-365-3250. www.xaviars.com/freelance.
The Gnarly Vine, New Rochelle: Contrast to the name, this stylish and hip wine bar offers a cozy atmosphere with a menu of delicious small plates. Try the popular feta Greek salad, or one of the gourmet flatbreads. With a vast selection of wines by the glass or bottle, stop by to enjoy your favorite wine or taste something new. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates on happy hour specials, open mic nights and live music. Go: 501 Main St., 914-355-2541, www.thegnarlyvine.com.
The Melting Pot, White Plains: This fondue restaurants offers a nice break from the ordinary with an interactive dining experience. You can dip your bread in cheese or swirl your strawberry in chocolate at one of the cozy tables, the perfect setting for catching up with old friends. Monday is Ladies’ Night Out, with a $19.95 per person deal that includes cheese fondue, salad and chocolate fondue dessert. Go: 30 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains. 914-993-6358, meltingpot.com.
Nessa, Port Chester: An Italian enoteca with an eclectic wine list, sleek, bustling atmosphere, and a menu that ranges from light sampling to ample entrees. The bar scene is fun, too. Insider tip: Mondays are BYOV (bring your own vintage) with no corkage fee, and on Tuesdays all pastas are half-priced. Go: 325 N. Main St., 914-939-0119, nessarestaurant.com.
Pour Cafe & Wine Bar, Mount Kisco: A homey and warm little spot with a charming, relaxed layout. Couples and other groups recline in soft sofa-like chairs and huddle around small, candlelit tables. Small plates include terrific meatball sliders, warm white bean dip and flash fried artichokes dusted with Parmesan. The spirits list is impressive, and the space is equipped to host private parties for 10 to 49 guests, complete with wine, cheese, beer or whiskey tastings. Go: 241 Main St., 914-864-0606, pourmtkisco.com.
Taiim Cellar, Scarsdale: Who knew falafel could be cool? At this lounge, owned by the same folks who have Taiim Falafel Shack in Hastings-on-Hudson, not only is it cool, it’s upscale. And it pairs pretty great with the hard-to-come-by wines from Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Greece and Portugal. Moroccan fixtures, in alternating globe and teardrop shapes, set the tone for the lounge-y decor, and banquettes and comfortable, plush brown ottomans can be moved around the room to accommodate parties and wine tastings. The menu also has cheese, sandwiches and no fewer than 11 creative variations of hummus, including including preserved lemon, roasted garlic and tomato, edamame and, interestingly, truffle oil. Go: 11 Boniface Circle, Scarsdale. 914-723-6900, taiimcellar.com
The Tapp, Tarrytown: A bonafide cocktail lounge with a mixologist who can shake a very well-crafted drink. Take a table along the comfy banquette or try to nab a bar seat, and order terrific salads, fresh hummus and sliders (try the meatball). There’s also an impressive craft beer list. And don’t miss happy hour: $5 appetizers, drafts of beer and wines by the glass. Go: 17 N. Broadway, Tarrytown. 914-703-6022, www.thetappny.com.
Velo Bistro Wine Bar, Nyack: A restaurant first, where Anthony De Vanzo uses his classic training and experiences in Italy. But take a seat at the small bar to sample the eclectic wine list, which changes frequently and has many by-the-glass and half bottle options. The menu has good options for sharing with a group, like a goat cheese tartlet with caramelized onions, thyme and sweet white wine honey syrup or any of the artisanal pizzas. But there’s no shortage of dazzling entrees— we like the classy Chianti risotto with black truffle or the pan-fried Atlantic skate, served with whipped potatoes, French beans and a luscious caper butter sauce. Go: 12 N. Broadway, Nyack. 845-353-7667, velonyack.com.