Sunday, May 17, 2009

Top Hudson Valley Restaurants in the News

Congratulations to chef and restauranteur Peter X. Kelley. Two of his restautants are rated in the top ten in the Hudson Valley and Westchester by the newest Zagat Survey.

Once again, Xaviars at Piermont takes the Number One spot for both food and service. Kelley’s newest restaurant, X20 Xaviars, on the Historic Yonkers Pier, wins for the the area’s most popular.

The elegant Equus at the Castle on the Hudson in Tarrytown, gets the vote for best decor, and the top-rated as a newcomer is 36 Main in New Paltz. Other celebrated arrivals include Tarry Lodge, Spadaro, Chutney Masala and Arielle.

Zagat's reports that -- like everywhere else -- Hudson Valley and Westchester County residents say they are eating out less often, being more attentive to prices when ordering, eating at less-expensive places, and cutting back on alcohol. Not surprising since our home area is among the most expensive in the country -- right in there with New York City and New Jersey -- with an average cost for dinner of $38.99.

So, restaurants are rolling out edible versions of stimulus packages to lure local diners to the table. Some examples:
  • X20 Xaviars on the Hudson features two levels of dining: formal New American fare upstairs, and more casual small plates and cocktails downstairs in its Dylan Lounge.

  • Special-occasion mainstay Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua now offers a New American bar bites menu

  • Rye’s legendary French La Panetière has loosened its prix fixe only format, adding lower-cost à la carte options.

  • Diners seeking an economical celebrity chef experience fill up on pizzas at the Mario Batali backed Italian, Tarry Lodge, in Port Chester.

  • The Barn at Bedford Post lures locavores for seasonal American fare priced steps below the inn’s flagship Farmhouse restaurant.

  • Blue Hill Café in Pocantico Hills offers wallet-friendly bites from the same farm-fresh ingredients used at its parent, Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Zagat's does an excellent job of letting you know in just a paragraph about the kind of food, service and price to expect at neighborhood restaurants. I'm a firm believer in longer restaurant reviews, like the ones in my Eating the Hudson Valley book, published by Countryman Press, to give you the full flavor of your dining dollar. And -- unlike newspaper and magazine restaurant reviews and book food and wine guidebooks like mine, Xagat's guides don't have the room for appetizing, enticing photos.

But, as I said, Zagat's does an excellent job of letting you know in just few short sentences what you can expect for your Hudson Valley dining dollars.

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