Though Westchester County, N.Y., serves up mouthwatering food and craft beverages all year long, there’s something extra special about visiting during the annual Food & Wine Festival. This year marks its tenth anniversary, so local chefs and vintners are pulling out all the stops.
145 E Main St, Elmsford
RaaSa Indian Cuisine earned a 2021 Bib Gourmand distinction from Michelin, setting it apart as an establishment that purveys excellent food at a good value. According to the experts at Michelin, this distinction offers “a sense of satisfaction at having eaten so well at such a reasonable price.”
Indeed, Chef Peter Beck delivers a delightful blend of modern and traditional Indian cuisine, served alongside creative cocktails. The restaurant’s open-concept seating feels airy and contemporary without the pretentiousness of some fine dining establishments.
South Salem Winery
1202 Old Post Rd, South Salem
Do you fancy a tipple on the lush grounds of a plant nursery? Then don’t miss South Salem Winery, Westchester County’s micro-winery established amid the foliage at Gossett Bros. Nursery.
Sip your way through hand-crafted wine pressed from grapes grown in Orient Point and the Finger Lakes region. Because the vintners produce small batches of each variety, the offerings change from year to year. You might enjoy tasting a Cabernet Sauvignon next to the greenhouse or relaxing with a summery Rosé of Merlot at the charming live-edge slab tasting bar.
147 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont
Heritage 147 is at the heart of Westchester County’s farm-to-fork movement. With a menu built from sustainably grown and foraged ingredients, this dining establishment will convince you that knowing where your food comes from truly elevates your meal.
At Heritage 147, you’ll find a variety of charcuteries (pick from a creamy smattering of Vermont, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania cheeses), sharing plates chock-full of comfort foods, and sips and bites to satisfy happy hour cravings. If you’re in town on a Tuesday, don’t miss the special: fresh-shucked Atlantic oysters.
104 Kraft Ave, Bronxville
The innovative cocktail list at Tredici Social would rival any Manhattan mixology hub. Take your pick of beverages (including wine by the glass or bottle), then delve into a menu rich with hand-rolled pasta, decadent beef cuts and Italian-inspired desserts.
Celebrity chef Guiseppe Fanelli headed up the kitchen at Manhattan’s Baldoria before eventually making his way to Westchester County. While you can savor the chef’s creations to-go, you’ll want a reservation in the restaurant’s glam, red-accented interior for the complete experience.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
444 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford
A visit to Westchester County would not be complete without tasting some of the region’s local brews. At Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, that includes everything from hoppy IPAs to barrel-aged sour ales. As the Hudson Valley’s biggest craft brewery, the giant establishment — a 2,500-sq. foot beer hall — has a variety of award-winning beers on tap.
There are plenty of tables in Captain Lawrence’s shady beer garden if you prefer dining al fresco. You can also find Captain Lawrence Brews at the Burger & Beer Blast event on Thursday, September 23, at the Wine & Food Festival.
698 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley
Westchester County’s L’Inizio earned a coveted designation as “Plate Michelin” this year for its exceptional farm-to-table Italian fare. Reservations are recommended for the intimate space, which includes a cozy bar sandwiched between two narrow dining rooms.
Layout aside, L’Inizio is noteworthy for its impeccable Italian food and pastries. Proprietors Scott and Heather Fratangelo are star veterans of the New York restaurant scene – their first restaurant, Spigolo, served up rustic Italian dishes to Manhattan regulars back in the early 2000s. Now L’Inizio offers much of the same fare, though tested and aged to perfection.
Sound Shore Distillery and Tasting Room
360 Mt Pleasant Ave. Suite D, Mamaroneck
Whether you enjoy a regular dram of whiskey or not, Sound Shore Distillery and Tasting Room is worth your while. Situated just a block from the Mamaroneck Metro-North station, this charming little distillery uses New York ingredients to deliver a small-batch single-barrel American whiskey, grape and cherry brandies and grape vodka.
Tastings take place in a thoughtfully sparse, brick-walled space. Tours are also available twice a week from noon to 6 p.m. Check the website for full hours and details.
63 Main St, Irvington
Oenophiles will appreciate Mima Vinoteca for its incredible list of Italian wines. Split a bottle with a friend or taste your way through a couple of glasses broken up by bites of fettuccine al limone, gnocchi topped with toasted pine nuts or Mima’s signature rigatoni bolognese. Of course, the kitchen sends out more than pasta. A full modern Italian menu graces the line of cozy, candle-lit tables. If your stomach can handle it, finish off your meal with a scoop of the wine bar’s pistachio gelato.
1 Willett Ave, Port Chester
Not all foodies crave fine dining, and bartaco’s hip, breezy Mexican street food fills the gap between wine bar bites and indulgent feasts. You can enjoy outdoor dining by the river if you visit Westchester during the summer or shoulder seasons.
The white interior lit by woven basket fixtures is a perfect space for meeting friends for a quick trio of tacos or a round of margaritas. You can also find many tequilas at the bar and packaged hot sauces to take home a slice of the bartaco flavor.
49 E Sunnyside Ln, Tarrytown
If you enjoy an unexpected mesh of different cultures and cuisines, you’ll love Goosefeather. Helmed by Chef Dale Talde of Top Chef fame, the restaurant offers modern Chinese food from a seasonal menu that features everything from classic noodles to Cantonese barbecue. The establishment is located in The King Mansion at the Tarrytown House Estate, which sits high on the hill above Sunnyside, once home to “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” author Washington Irving.
Enjoy soaking in the folklore of Tarrytown while sitting inside Goosefeather’s chic, colorful dining room. In the summertime, stake your claim at an outdoor table under the twinkling lights beside the grand old house.
Mark your calendars for September 21-26, 2021, for Westchester’s annual Wine & Food Festival!