Life in the Lower Hudson Valley has a lot of perks, and proximity to waterfront dining is definitely one of them. Stay-cationing this summer? Score one of the area’s prime tables and you’ll wonder why you’d ever leave. Feel that cooling waterfront breeze, nibble on crispy calamari and raise your margarita: summer is here.
Here are some of our favorite waterfront restaurants in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.
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. Go: 800 Westerly Rd., Ossining. 914-923-6466, www.ossiningboathouse.com.
Bridge View Tavern, Sleepy Hollow: It’s not on the water, but you’ll find a spectacular river view (plus a view of the Tappan Zee Bridge) at this Sleepy Hollow casual restaurant. Amazing nachos and burgers, not to mention an impressive selection of craft beers on tap (Peekskill Simple Sour, Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, and of course, Captain Lawrence) make the bar a destination, especially for sports fans. But on the other side of an etched glass panel featuring the Tappan Zee, a classic dining room, with a fieldstone fireplace, is the setting for some wonderful entrees: steak frites, center cut pork chops and barbecue ribs, slow-smoked on the premises. Go: 226 Beekman Ave., 914-332-0078, www.bridgeviewtavern.com.
Chutney Masala Bistro, Irvington: Traditional Indian cuisine served in a modern bistro-like setting with antique mirrors and photographs and lithographs of India during the Raj era. Chutney Masala is in the Metro-North parking lot, and not all tables provide a waterview. You’ll find curries and tandoori dishes, but also more creative fare like amritsari macchi, which is flour-dusted tilapia with crushed garlic, carom seeds, cilantro and pomegranate chutney; and gilafi purda kebab, which is skewered ground lamb with cumin and ginger baked in flaky bread in a tandoor. Go: 4 W. Main St., Irvington. 914-591-5500, www.chutneymasalabistro.com.
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. Go: 641 Piermont Ave., Piermont. 845-359-9852. www.cornettas.com.
Dudley’s Parkview Restaurant, New Rochelle: Hang out on the deck overlooking the marina in summer, and order clams on the half shell and a cold beer. This waterfront spot, overlooking Echo Bay Harbor and within walking distance of Hudson Park, is quite popular in the summer months. The menu offers reliably good American pub fare. Go: 94 Hudson Park Road, New Rochelle. 914-235-4445.
Four Brothers Restaurant, Mahopac: Who would expect such stunning views of Lake Mahopac from an unassuming pizza and pasta place? The breezy open-air dining area, with some of the best views in town, is extremely popular in the summer. An extensive appetizer menu offers everything from hot spinach and artichoke dip to zuppa di clams. There’s something for everyone: salads, pastas, pizzas, burgers, seafood and excellent wedges. Go: 654 Route 6, Mahopac. 845-628-4404. www.fourbrothersmahopac.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, 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., Dobbs Ferry. 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., Hastings. 914-478-2800, harvest2000.com.
Hudson House River Inn, Cold Spring: The tables on the porch aren’t more than 100 feet from the water. 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.
Hudson Water Club, West Haverstraw: Panoramic river views are 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.
Las Mananitas, Brewster: Fine Mexican cuisine in a very Hudson Valley setting. Outdoor tables on a shady patio are canopied by tall, leafy trees and overlook the gorgeous reservoir and surrounding hills. Indoor seating is just as lovely, with vaulted, beamed ceilings and lots of natural sun from the oversized windows. Enjoy table-side guacamole, crab cakes served with tortilla chips and mango relish, black beans soup served with crispy corn straws or tender pork carnitas in tequila sauce. Go: 1250 Route 22, Brewster. 845-279.4646, lasmananitasrestaurant.com.
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. We like the chilled Maine lobster salad with shaved fennel, avocado and sweet mango or anything from the raw bar section. Also a great choice for a sunny Sunday brunch. Go: 701 Piermont Ave., Piermont. 845-848-2550, pier701ny.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., Rye. 914-967-1020, www.pierrestaurantandtikibar.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. Go: 1 Bridge St., Irvington. 914-591-5888, www.redhatbistro.com.
River Club, Nyack: The view is one of the main draws at this laid-back waterfront restaurant near Nyack’s marina. Dine dockside and you’ll feel like you’ve gone on vacation in Maine, which is fitting, because the restaurant’s slogan is “Where Maine meets Memphis.” From the Maine side of the menu, pick from seafood options like Boothbay shellfish stew and Scarborough shrimp scampi. The Memphis side features hearty entrees like baby back ribs, barbecued ribs, Andouille sausage and pit-smoked rib eye steak. Go: 11 Burd St., Nyack. 845-358-0220. www.nyackriverclub.net.
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., Rye. 914-921-6104. www.seasidejohnnies.com.
Sunset Cove, Tarrytown: You can’t get much closer to the Hudson than the waterfront patio at this popular Continental restaurant. House favorites include Chicken Scarpriello and day boat scallops. Sunday brunch buffet offers smoked ham or turkey breast from the carving station and pancakes made just the way you like them. Go: 238 Green St. (in the Washington Irving Boat Club), Tarrytown. 914-366-7889, sunsetcove.net.
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. Go: 825 South Lake Blvd., Mahopac. 845-621-5200. www.theterraceclubrestaurant.com.
Washington Irving Boat Club, Tarrytown: Not to be confused with Sunset Cove, the upscale sister restaurant that sits within the property. This is waterfront dining with flip flops: an outdoor patio filled with round tables for crowds, the bar is for standers only. But while you’re sharing 60-ounce pitchers of $8 Bud — yes that’s $8 a pitcher! — or sipping a cold pinot grigio, you’ll swear you’ll hear the waves of the Hudson lapping. This is one of the best waterfront seats in Westchester. Don’t miss the tiki bar: cash-only, with typical bar fare like burgers, pulled pork, pizza, salads and barbecue chicken ribs. Relaxed and fun; closes at midnight. Go: 238 Green St., Tarrytown. 914-366-7889, www.wiboatclub.com.
X20 Xaviars on the Hudson, Yonkers: There’s no outdoor seating, but you’d be hard-pressed to find river views this expansive. From just about anywhere inside Peter X. Kelly’s restaurant, gaze at floor-to-ceiling window views that include both the Tappan Zee and the George Washgton bridges twinkling over the water. The restaurant takes up the entire second floor of a century-old Victorian pier that juts out in the Hudson, and the seasonal menu presents elegant choices like grilled local quail served with kale, fingerling potato and shiitake ragout. Or hit the Dylan Lounge near the bar, which has a communal table and a menu of fresh sushi and sashimi, plus plates like miso-glazed cod and Chinese wheat noodles with kimchi and braised pork belly. Go: 71 Water Grant St., Yonkers. 914-965-1111, www.xaviars.com.