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Any good restaurants in Cortland, NY?

There are not many good options. If you like old-style restaurants, by far the best option is the Green Arch, which is on Elm Street. They are only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday and it is a good idea to call ahead for reservations. Excellent steaks, chops and italian dishes. The place is a time warp--you will feel as though you have been transported to 1942.

Other than that, there is also a place called Fabio's with good italian food, though the decor is a bit lacking and the service is hit or miss. Those are the only two I feel comfortable recommending.

Apr 03, 2013
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

LaManda's Restaurant in White Plains

A little background. We moved to Westchester in 1993 (first Scarsdale, now Chappaqua). The kids are in college now, but we have been going to La Mandas since we came to Westchester and they were toddlers.

It is not fancy. The service varies. The old owner, Jerry, has passed the place on to his son, Sly. Sly takes some getting used to but his heart is in the right place and he has been fixing the place up without changing it too much. That is good business sense as part of the charm of the place is it's old-time feel.
The reasons we have been regulars at La Mandas for almost 20 years are that (i) the food is great for what it is--red sauce Italian and pizza (I agree with a previous poster that the food has improved over the last year or so, but it was always good. The veal dishes are excellent and the chops with peppers are amazing. The salad is also top rate.); (ii) we are suckers for old-school restaurants (remember Salerno's, Jason's, Manero's in Greenwich? Loved those places and sorry to see them gone. This place is in the same mold, though less expensive than the others.); and (iii) they treat us well. Jerry is still around (go on a Monday and he'll seat you just like old times) and Sly is fine once you get to know him.

So, if you are thinking about giving it a try, and you like old-school red sauce Italian, give it a shot. There's a good chance you'll like it.

In short, it's not for everyone but if you go with the right attitude and expectations, you will be very happy indeed.

May 16, 2012
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

dog friendly restaurants in westchesrer

We often take our two small dogs (Cotons) to Le Jardin du Roi in Chappaqua, and the staff there couldn't be nicer (gave the dogs water, etc.). You have to sit outside, of course, but the patio there is lovely.

Jun 30, 2011
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

Moderne Barn or North in Armonk?

I have been to both on several occasions. North is excellent and consistent. If you want to see and be seen, ask to sit downstairs. If you want a more pleasant dining experience and don't care who you see or who sees you, sit upstairs and have a nice relaxing meal without all the hubbub. I actually like that you have a choice, as sometimes I want one and other times I want the other. The food is always very good. Desserts serve three easily. I don't drink any more but the wine list is good, well-priced and varied.

Moderne Barn is hit or miss. I've had some very good meals there and some not so good. Service can be spotty and it's always kind of crowded and can be noisy. If you choose well, though, you can have a very good meal. Both it and North are great additions to the area and deserve support, in my opinion, as they are clearly trying hard and mostly succeeding.

Mar 09, 2011
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

Christmas Eve dinner in Armonk/Mt Kisco/Chappaqua area?

The Kittle House is, as the first responder suggested, the best choice. We have been there right around Christmas (sometimes right before, sometimes right after depending on when the extended family arrives) and they always do a great job. Kids are fine and welcomed as long as they are well-behaved. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and in a perfect location for the holidays.

A distant second, but still a fun place to go at the holidays, would be Travelers' Rest. The food is not comparable, but if your expectations are appropriately modest it can be fun and the decorations, while kitschy, are festive. If you just arrive expecting run of the mill food but a good time and professional service in a fun spot, you will have a good time.

Nov 18, 2010
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

What do you think??

We went to Moderne Barn two weeks ago and were not impressed. Service was OK, although on a previous visit we were told we'd have to wait "30 minutes or so" for a table that had been reservered for over a week, and not at a prime dining hour.

We had heirloom tomato app and tuna taquito (sp?) apps. Tomato fine, tuna meh. Both had steaks (me ribeye, wife strip) on the theory that those should be staples and lets see how they do staples well. Both ordered medium rare.

We weren't expecting steakhouse quality but we had two different problems. Quality of my ribeye was fine but it was medium well not medium rare. I apprised server of the problem but declined to send it back to avoid long wait for another meal. It was a kitchen problem not a communication problem with the server. Wife's strip was done correctly but was one big mass of gristle. Yuk.

In addition, and this seems significant to me, both were PAN FRIED rather than grilled/broiled. WHAT?

Based on previous courses, skipped dessert and coffee.

Sep 13, 2010
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

Trevi - Lake Street - West Harrison

Went to Trevi again last Friday night. I have mixed feelings about the place. On the one hand, the food is pretty good and the prices seem reasonable. (Typical northern italian menu, with a few unusual choices and several small pizzas as an appetizer to be shared or perhaps as a main course for one. Everything we had was perfectly acceptable but nothing memorable.) On the other, the service is spotty and the two times I have been (both weekend nights, admittedly) the place was full and the noise level bordered on deafening. I think the issue is that there are no noise-absorbing surfaces (hardwood floors, wood or wallboard walls, no accoustic tiles or similar sound buffers on the ceiling). So, when the noise level escalates everyone starts raising their voices to be heard over the din, and the situation gets out of hand. So, I'm willing to go back but will limit myself to weeknights when I hope the place is less than completely full.

Feb 11, 2009
ericstratton in General Tristate Archive

Trevi - Lake Street - West Harrison

Steelydad: I'm going back tonight so will have a non-opening night meal to report on tomorrow. As to your question, it's similar to Moscato in Scarsdale or Lusardi's in Larchmont (but a little more casual and a bit less expensive).

Feb 06, 2009
ericstratton in General Tristate Archive

Trevi - Lake Street - West Harrison

Went the first night it was open. Typical Westchester northern italian. OK, but nothing special. Extremely noisy, but that might have been a result of the many large parties there, probably because of opening night.

I'd be willing to try it again, but would probably try to go during the week when it would be likely to be less busy.

Jan 09, 2009
ericstratton in General Tristate Archive

Worst restaurants in Westchester

Stoneleigh Creek is now the Armonk Lobster House. Stay far, far, away. We decided to give it a try two weeks ago and to call it a disaster would be giving it too much credit. Worst service ever. I was a waiter back in the day so I'm usually pretty forgiving about that--as long as they are giving it a decent effort I'm good.

Our waiter, though, just didn't care. Had to ask for water FOUR times--it got to be a joke. The fourth time (after having to actually stand up and wave my arms to flag him down as he walked by our table and avoided eye contact even though he wasn't carrying anything) i had to say "Walk over, now, pick up the water pitcher and bring it back to this table." That seemed to be specific enough instructions for him, finally. Got the drink orders wrong. Then got the appetizer orders wrong. Then somehow thought my 6 foot/200 pound 17-year old son ordered a petit filet. It was about the size of a fifty-cent piece. The lobster was, to be fair, not bad. I wouldn't go back if you paid me. I'm sure it will be gone soon, but don't make the mistake of giving it a chance unless you have a masochistic streak.

Jan 09, 2009
ericstratton in New York State (exc. NYC)

Steak in White Plains?

I would put WIllett House at number 1 and Morton's number 2. Flames was awful the two times I went and Tollgate was so bad the first time I never went back. The food is fine at Frankie and Johnny's but the noise level is so high you can't carry on a civil conversation.

Dec 17, 2008
ericstratton in General Tristate Archive