It’s not country chic or even modern rustic, but Vox, a French bistro nestled into horse country in northern Westchester, is at once stylish and homey.
We love the concise menu, with bistro favorites like foie gras, croque monsieur and a buttery roasted chicken served with salted frites. It’s a natural for date night.
Vox is also an easy spot to dine solo or with friends at the bar, where you’re treated to charming conversation and a bowl of the house specialty: sweet and salty popcorn. The decor is subtly film-themed, with framed black and white noir posters and dark velvet curtains separating the bar area from the deep red dining room flanked with dark, knotty beams. (They also show movies on the patio, which has views of the rolling hills, stone walls and gardens.)
What we tried
Charcuterie board: An attractive and savory spread with housemade pate, grainy mustard, three types of cured meat (including an outstanding duck sausage), cornichons and toast points. The kind of selection that should start every meal.
Escargot persillade: Plump morsels dropped into shimmering pools of garlic and oily butter. What’s not to like? Each bite melts in your mouth, supple and flavorful.
French onion soup gratinee: For a dish that is essentially only four ingredients— onions, broth, croutons and Gruyere— the results are unbelievably satisfying, especially when given a dose of a sweet sherry or brandy. Vox’s version is traditional and heartwarming, not overly salted and just the right amount of sweet.
Grilled New York strip steak: A classic bistro entree with rich potato gratin, sauteed spinach and a drizzle of Bearnaise for good measure. Our piece was grilled to a slight char, but a slice of the knife revealed a perfectly pink rare middle. The portion of everything was generous, but I wasn’t lamenting the leftovers.
Poulet frites: With crisped skin stretched over tender meat, the roasted half-chicken was the star of the night. It is served with a stack of quickly steamed haricots vert and paper-line cone of salty French fries. And don’t overlook the tiny cup of sweet clover honey jus for dipping.
Drinks and dessert
Wine prices are reasonable, and probably something that has kept Vox a treasured local spot for weekday diners. By the glass, you’ll spend between $8 and $14, and bottles start at $30.
We skipped the tempting cappuccino and dessert wine options, and instead ordered an espresso martini and a slice of the decadent warm chocolate cake, drizzled with a drizzle of crème anglaise.
A handful of other couples joined us in the main dining room, as well as a larger group celebrating a grandmother’s birthday (clearly a regular, she told us it was her favorite spot in Westchester to eat). The bar had a convivial group, both men and women, chatting with each other and the staff. Don’t have a babysitter? There is a children’s menu and family-friendly tables on the stone patio.
The entire menu is available for takeout. Call ahead and Vox will prepare a romantic French dinner for you to pick up.
What we will order next
Something from the raw bar, which includes oysters, clams, shrimp and Littleneck clams. A pair at the bar ordered a half dozen oysters and I watched them slurp them down like a sad kid at recess left out of the kickball game. Next time, I want in.
Horses. Fall is a great time to make the drive on the scenic, leafy roads that lead the way to Vox. You’ll pass antique country homes, alongside newer ones outfitted with barns and equestrian training fences.
The 411 on Vox
Cuisine: French bistro.
Entree price range: $25-$34.
Great for: Date Night, Solo Dining, Live Music, Take Out, Excellent Desserts, Seasonal Menu, Brunch, Cocktails, Dining at the Bar, Kid Friendly, Outdoor Dining (Patio, Porch, Deck, Sidewalk), Romantic, Dinner with Grandparents, Special Occasion Dining, Vegetarians, Wine List.
Noise level: Quiet to moderate.
Hours: 5:30-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 12-8:30 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Go: 721 Titicus Road, North Salem, 914-669-5450, voxnorthsalem.com.