Food for Thought – Restaurants Move Outside for Summertime Dining

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by Linda Viertel

Summer has finally arrived; patios are being swept off, gardens replanted and seasonal furniture is making appearances throughout our river towns. Sidewalk dining on our Main Streets has become ubiquitous – a touch of Manhattan’s culinary atmosphere in Westchester. But, several new restaurant gardens have cropped up over the past year or two, in addition to patios and decks with panoramic views of the Hudson River. Each provides a different, enchanting, fun way to drink, dine and celebrate convivial times.

RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen

Since opening in the fall of 2013 (The Hudson Independent, Oct. 2015), RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen’s patio has been a gathering place for both destination diners and locals who want to enjoy their views of the Hudson River and, now, the New New York Bridge construction. With seating for up to 100 outside, the “umbrellad” tables are in constant demand. Lushly planted pots plus views from the wrap-around porch to the north-facing allee of trees provide differing visual impacts. The patio is handicapped accessible, and wait stations outside make service prompt and reliable.

In addition to RiverMarket’s justly sought after classic dishes and wood-burning oven pizzas, now is the time to try RiverMarket’s new seasonal menu. Heirloom tomatoes are starting to make their appearance, plus tuna crudo, crispy soft-shelled crabs, quail, and duck confit. Traditional cocktails are now supplemented by new summer drinks such as the New Fashioned, Marie is Ready to Mango, or the Lola.

You’ll have to stop by to find out what makes these beverage creations so appealing, and let Emilio Ugarte, RiverMarket’s award-winning mixologist, know which one is your favorite.

127 Main Street, Tarrytown

Bistro Z at the DoubleTree Hotel

Complementing Bistro Z’s large patio dining area is the restaurant’s new outdoor bar – an already popular watering hole that opened in early June. High-top tables and stools, plus high backed chairs made comfortable by generous pillows are situated next to low tables with a more private feeling. But all of them get the festive treatment with decorative lights and attractive planters. A full service bar is on hand, and bar specials are available. Full service dining is always offered on the restaurant’s adjacent patio.

Happy Hour is from 5-7 p.m. Flat screen television will also be featured outside, so customers don’t feel they have to miss viewing their favorite team while enjoying a relaxing time, beer in hand, at Bistro Z. Just drive by the DoubleTree on South Broadway any summer weekend evening to catch the action.

455 South Broadway

Il Sorriso Ristorante Italiano

One of our river town restaurant’s hidden gems is Il Sorriso’s rear terrace, graced by a commanding view of the Hudson River. With seating for approximately 36, it is a popular place for parties and often a first choice for summer dining. It’s a short walk from the Irvington train station, and what better way to relax after a hard day’s work then with a glass of wine, a pizza from Il Sorriso’s wood-burning oven, and the view from the beautiful patio brimming with planters, warmth and conviviality?

Il Sorriso’s full traditional, homey Tuscan menu is always available, with special dishes, wines and cocktails also offered. And, if you are lucky enough, you can book the Wine Cellar – a short flight of steps down from the patio, for a private dining experience for 16 in a truly exquisite Enoteca.

5 Buckhout Street, Irvington

Brrzaar – Frozen Yogurt Café

It’s hard to believe that Brrzaar has been open just over a year ( The Hudson Independent, May 2015) and has aleady made a name for itself in providing, fresh, wholesome, and delicious frozen yogurt creations, rich coffees, and now much more. Starting this summer season, Brrzaar has opened its FroYo Garden, a delightful greenspace with 3 picnic tables, topped with umbrellas for sun protection. Charmingly landscaped, replete with water bowls for thirsty animals, and plenty of fencing, customers can enjoy their frozen yogurts outside while watching trains pull in and out of the Irvington Train Station.

New seasonal offerings are the organic grass-fed Brrzaar Dogs and the fresh chilled soups (vegan) from Splendid Spoon. Choices include cauliflower coconut, pumpkin pear hempseed, vegan bone broth and carrot turmeric. Drinking a cold cup of soup on a hot summer’s day is one of the most refreshing and nutritious experiences imaginable. Only bested by following up with a frozen yogurt treat, individually crafted by the one who is going to enjoy it most.

7 North Astor Street, Irvington

Bridge View Tavern

Since Bridge View Tavern’s Beer Garden opened last October, just next door to the tavern, it has lived up to its reputation as one of the most welcoming, fun spots to enjoy a brew. And what a vast offering is on hand! Twelve lines of draft are available outside, and the selection switches weekly in constant rotation. (Thirty, in total, are available, if you include the tavern’s full beer selection.) Peach guava sangria and red classic sangria, as well as ciders and wines are also on hand, so everyone will be happy with their choices.

Favorite appetizers, burgers and sandwiches can be ordered outside, with additional food specials offered daily. Monday through Wednesday, $4 pints are on special; Thursday some selected pints are featured. And, Trivia Night just started on Monday, June 20th, from 7 to 9 p.m., so the fun is on at Bridge View for trivia enthusiasts.

Wood lattice-work creates an open feel to the sides and roof of the terrace, plus enhancing the free flow of cool breezes coming off the river. Wood decking and tables, planters all come together to provide an indoor/outdoor feel. The array of beer logos, licenses, draft handles, posters make Bridge View’s Beer Garden a place that says, “Come on in – you are going to have a good time.”

226 Beekman Avenue

River Grill

Next door to Bridge View Tavern is the River Grill, which specializes in seafood, steaks and sandwiches. The Monday Lobster Night and Thursday Prime Rib nights are a big draw, but dining on the rooftop patio with full view of the Hudson River in all its glory, enhances the dining experience beyond measure. With the GM land about to be developed, diners will soon be able to witness the development being created with each successive visit.

222 Beekman Avenue

5 recommended
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