Outdoor Dining in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam



outdoor dining westchester

bartaco, Port Chester: Nothing says summer like a margarita served on a deck overlooking the river and Port Chester’s bartaco’s has the formula covered. Kick back with one of its specialty margaritas (by the glass or in a pitcher to share), nibble some grilled corn and a plate of shrimp ceviche and who’s to say you’re not relaxing in Baja rather than on the Byram River? This is one hip Mexican restaurant and it’s open until 2 a.m. every day. Go: 1 Willett Ave., Port Chester. 914-937-8226,www.bartaco.com.

Boat House, Ossining: There’s a patio overlooking the Hudson at the Boathouse, where you can order burgers, salads, chicken and a terrific clam po’boy: clam strips piled high in a roll served with fries and coleslaw. There’s a parking lot between you and the river, so we like to head instead to the Boat Bar— a bar made out of a sailboat! There are 24 stools and six tables nearby. You can order anything off the menu at the Boathouse and then carry it out to dine waterfront. The boat bar opens mid-May. Go: 800 Westerly Rd., Ossining, 914-923-6466, www.ossiningboathouse.com.

Chat American Grill, Scarsdale: The sister restaurant to Chat 19 in Larchmont, with a similar menu and atmosphere, but with the addition of a big long bar, a roaring fireplace in winter, and — the reason everyone flocks there in summer — a huge patio with big red umbrellas, surrounded by an elegant wrought-iron fence. The menu includes quesadillas, burgers, pastas, steaks and salads. Go: 1 Christie Place. 914-722-4000. www.chatamericangrill.com

Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua: It’s no wonder so many people book their weddings at the Kittle House: the 1789 inn with tall white columns and well-tended flower gardens makes for a to-die-for country-chic setting. But what many people don’t know is that you don’t have to throw a once-in-a-lifetime party to dine outdoors in such splendor. A patio sits just outside of the tap room with several tables, umbrellas and flickering candles. Pair your dinner with a bottle from one of the best wine cellars in the nation. Go: 11 Kittle Road. 914-666-8044, kittlehouse.com.

Farmhouse at Bedford Post, Bedford: Dining in this restored farmhouse with elegant and simple decor is an exhilarating experience that starts with the first cocktail. And when you’re on the bluestone patio, with a string of Edison bulbs hanging above and a fountain trickling off to the side? It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic setting. Go: 54 Old Post Road. 914-234-7800, www.bedfordpostinn.com.

Half Moon, Dobbs Ferry: Tables are so close to the river, you could just about skip stones on it. From the wrought-iron tables and outdoor bar at Half Moon, you have a 180-degree view unlike any other. Signature dishes include duck tacos, Montauk calamari salad and ceviche, and the menu also has a plancha section with a mixed grill and meats like veal Porterhouse. Go: One High St. 914-693-4130, harvest2000.com.

Harvest on Hudson, Hastings-on-Hudson: Like a lodge in Napa Valley or a villa in Italy, but close enough for a cocktail this evening, Harvest has one of the most spectacular settings in town, with its garden, views of the Hudson and a dining room with soaring ceilings. The inventive menu is grounded in Mediterranean cuisine and uses ingredients from the restaurant’s own herb and vegetable garden. Go: One River St. 914-478-2800, harvest2000.com

Red Hat on the River, Irvington: This riverfront favorite has multiple seating areas to enjoy the French-American bistro menu: high-tops near the bar, a cozy second floor loft, and patio dining just outside. If you want to come early for pre-dinner cocktails, or skip the meal in favor of a glass of wine and an astounding view, head upstairs to the rooftop bar where low-slung couches and chairs are just the thing for casual conversation and watching the sun set over the Palisades. There’s no food served here, but if you get hungry, just head downstairs. There are waterfront tables that are first-come, first-served. 1 Bridge St. 914-591-5888, www.redhatbistro.com.

RiverMarket, Tarrytown: Taking the “farm to table” concept a step further with a farmer’s market in the front of the restaurant, a menu filled with local, sustainable, and in many cases biodynamically-farmed produce and meats. A generous wrap-around patio offers river views and stylish seating for dishes like Stone Broke Farm grass-fed beef carpaccio, warm roasted oysters, grilled Block Island swordfish and a variety of refreshing in-house sorbets. Go: 127 West Main Street, Tarrytown, 914-631-3100,www.rivermarketbarandkitchen.com

Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar, Rye: With a rocking tiki bar, late-night eats, live music and wall-to-wall panoramic views of the Long Island Sound, all you have to do is throw in a lobster roll and some coconut shrimp and call it paradise. Owners John Ambrose and Sam Chernin also run Rye’s Seaside Johnnies down the beach and have the food and drink equation down pat. Choose among steaks and burgers, ribs, fish of the day, and a nice selection of deep-fried classics, from clam strips to chicken fingers. Go: 1 Playland Parkway. 914-967-1020, www.pierrestaurantandtikibar.com.

Seaside Johnnies, Rye: This casual seafood restaurant in the Spanish Colonial-style Oakland Beach Pavilion, which was built in 1909, has some of the best views in Westchester County: a sandy, crescent-shaped beach and the Long Island Sound beyond. The menu has everything from lobster and shrimp dishes to barbecue ribs and chicken parmigiana. But we say that the fried clams, popcorn shrimp and calamari should be on the agenda. Go: 94 Dearborn Ave. 914-921-6104. www.seasidejohnnies.com

Vox Bar & Restaurant, North Salem: A stunning setting: a 45-seat patio with its own full bar overlooking rolling hills and gorgeous grounds. Vox, named after the cinema in the French hometown of owners Jean and Sophie Le Bris, even shows movies outdoors. The eclectic fare ranges from seared blueberry foie gras to juicy burgers with fresh-cut, salty french fries. The grounds and multiple dining areas, including a 45-seat patio with its own full bar, could only be found in the heart of horse country. Go: 721 Titicus Road. 914-669-5450, www.voxnorthsalem.com.


Outdoor Dining in Westchester and rockland

Blu Fig, New City: A casual but upscale-looking brick-oven pizza place with small plates, salads and pizza. There are walnut tables, blue and grey mosiac tiles and a big brick oven in the center of the restaurant. Plus, outdoor dining under market umbrellas on the limestone patio. Go: 191 South Main Street, New City. 845-708-5686.

Cornetta’s Restaurant, Piermont: A steak and seafood place with an Italian twist. Simple decor with knotty pine walls, and a covered tent in the back parking lot looks out over the Hudson River. Seafood. Go: 641 Piermont Ave., Piermont. 845-359-9852. www.cornettas.com

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. Go: 191 S. Main Street, New City. 845-638-1818.

Gilligans Clam Bar and Grill, Pomona: The restaurant arm of C&M Seafood shop is more pseudo-Caribbean vacation than seafood shack. Expansive and exuberant, it’s decorated with sunny peach walls and decked with potted palms. The atmosphere is festive enough to engage kids, but not so hokey that it’s off-putting to adults. Everything is fresh and expertly cooked. As good as the food is, the best thing about Gilligan’s is the service, with its well-trained friendly, attentive, and energetic staff. Their enthusiasm is contagious, especially when they give a spirited rendition of the Gilligan’s birthday song. Go: 366 Route 202, Pomona. 845-354-2139.

Hudson House of Nyack: Hudson House is a long-time favorite for good food in an elegant yet unstuffy setting in Nyack’s erstwhile Village Hall, complete with jail cell turned wine cellar. Known as a great dinner, lunch, or Sunday brunch destination, it’s also a pleasant spot for a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine.  Go: 134 Main St., Nyack. 845-353-1355. www.hudsonhousenyack.com

Hudson Water Club, West Haverstraw: Panoramic river views is just the setting you want for an appealing menu with lots of fresh seafood, but plenty of pastas, meats and wood-fired oven pizzas, too. We recommend ending your waterfront meal on a tropical note, with the mango-coconut rice pudding Enjoy live music and great happy hour deals every day from 4 to 6 p.m. Go: 606 Beach Road, West Haverstraw. 845-271-4046, www.hudsonwaterclub.com.

La Fontana Family Restaurant, Nyack: Spread out and relax in the large Tuscan dining room with massive cathedral ceilings, or sit in the upstairs dining area for a view of the Hudson. Go to the prix fixe buffet brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids 12 and under eat for $10, and adults for $20. Unlimited champagne and mimosas included. Go: 95 S. Broadway, Nyack. 845-358-3770.

Pier 701, Piermont: Completely unobstructed views of the Hudson and the Tappan Zee from the wide patio in the former Lighthouse on the Hudson restaurant. Lunch and dinner entrees are bistro-style with a Mediterranean accent, and are updated with the seasons. For spring, we like the chilled Maine lobster salad with shaved fennel, avocado and sweet mango or anything from the raw bar section. Go: 701 Piermont Ave., 845-848-2550, pier701ny.com.

Sidewalk Bistro, Piermont: Elegant bistro food enjoyed in a classic Parisian setting. Sidewalk tables are perfect for relaxing and people-watching, and there is more seating on a shaded back patio. The menu includes leafy salads, organic chicken, rack of lamb and rib eye with crispy salted frites. Insider tip: Wednesdays are B.Y.O. and every Sunday there is a three-course prix fixe menu for $25 per person. Go: 482 Piermont Ave., Piermont. 845-680-6460.

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 Camerones Tequila is a huge hit. Mexican. Go: 468 Piermont Avenue, Piermont. 845-680-6740. www.tequilany.com

Velo Bistro Wine Bar, Nyack: Chef Anthony De Vanzo uses his classic training and experiences in Italy to create a modern menu with small plates, salads, pastas and entrees. The eclectic wine list changes frequently and has many by-the-glass and half bottle options. The food is very well executed, especially the goat cheese tartlet with honey and thyme and the addictive pastas. Try the gnocchi with lamb bolognese and the chianti risotto with black truffle. New American. Go: Broadway, Nyack. 845-353-7667. www.velonyack.com

Wasabi, Nyack: Hip, very hip. Owner-chef Doug Chi Nguyen’s stylish sushi and sashimi creations have an equally stylish home with vivid green walls and a tiled sushi bar. Fusion dishes with flair include risotto with tuna sushi, lobster tempura, and Asian sticky black rice pudding. Go: 110 Main St., Nyack. 845-358-7977. www.wasabinyack.com


hudson house river inn cold spring

Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill, Cold Spring: The soft pastel colors are eye-catching, and during summer, the flower garden out front matches the green and orange walls, the gold curtains and the purple trim. Brunch in the garden under an umbrella, sip a great Italian wine at the bar or try squid-ink pasta or seared scallops with pancetta and fava beans at a comfortable table in the sunken dining room. Go: 91 Main St., Cold Spring. 845-265-5582. www.tuscangrill.com/Dolcigno.htm

Cold Spring Depot, Cold Spring: Legend has it the ghost of a murdered socialite comes around waiting for a train she never caught. The menu focuses on comfort food like burgers, pot pie and meatloaf. There’s outdoor dining in summer, but live music, a raw bar and a fireplace inside the 1893 building mean year-round popularity. Go: 1 Depot Square, Cold Spring. 845-265-5000. www.coldspringdepot.com

Foundry Cafe, Cold Spring: Vegetarians and meat eaters can both be happy with creative breakfast and lunch options including hearty soups, multi-grain pancakes and Foundry Cafe crab cakes. Homemade baked goods, vegetarian dishes and beers and sodas from around the world add extra appeal. Go: 55 Main St., Cold Spring. 845-265-4504. www.hvgateway.com/foundry.htm

Hudson House River Inn, Cold Spring: The tables on the porch aren’t more than 100 feet from the water, and the might just be the best in town. Inside, the Colonial-style building, which has been continuously operating as an inn since 1832, there is a sophisticated charm with low lighting and a vintage Americana feel. Along with homemade popovers and dry aged steaks, the caprese salad and the seared tuna are winners.  Go: 2 Main St., Cold Spring. 845-265-9355. www.hudsonhouseinn.com

Le Bouchon, Cold Spring: Undeniably French, the menu here also has little touches from Belgium and Alsace. The porch is perfect for people watching, and the there’s a backyard patio too. In winter, settle in by the fire and dig into steak frites, mussels or cassoulet. The decor is bordello red with mirrors. French. $$$$. 76 Main St., Cold Spring. 845-265-7676.

Riverview Restaurant, Cold Spring: A perfect name. The great view of the river, the Hudson Highlands and the passing trains comes with house-made ravioli or cavatelli, three-melon salad with goat cheese or a Caesar with smoked white fish. On Wednesdays, the whole village descends on the restaurant for its $14, two-course, prix fixe menu, which includes delicious thin-crust pizzas. Cash and checks are accepted, but not credit cards.  Go: 45 Fair St., Cold Spring. 845-265-4778. www.riverdining.com

Terrace Club, Mahopac: Tuna and salmon parfait is delicately made with wasabi and creme fraiche, pastas with truffle oil, and an amazing classic hanger steak frites. There’s indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, two bars and a secluded  outdoor lounge. In the works: delivery service to boaters on the lake and a cafe offering coffee and breakfast. Go: 825 South Lake Blvd., Mahopac. 845-621-5200. www.theterraceclubrestaurant.com

Valley Restaurant at the Garrison: A stunning setting overlooking the Hudson Highlands where you will dine on spectacular dishes created from ingredients grown on the property and by Hudson Valley farmers. The dining room, in soothing shades of beige and cream, is lined with a wall of wine. Enjoy such New American dishes as Herb Roasted Free Range Chicken with Toussaint Cheese Spaetzle, Pea Shoots and Caramelized Onions.  Go: 2015 Route 9, Garrison. 845-424-3604, Ext. 25. www.thegarrison.com/valley.html




About Author

Megan McCaffrey is a food writer for The Journal News and contributor to the Small Bites Blog. She has a degree in Digital Media from Fordham University and a fondness for good craft beer. She loves to bake, read cooking blogs and taste all the Lower Hudson Valley has to offer. Megan lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her husband and three kids.

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