News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
If you’re looking for a high-quality steakhouse in northern Westchester, there aren’t many options. But one of the few choices has been a local steak lover’s destination now for 15 years.
Augie’s Prime Italian has occupied the same free-standing structure on Lexington Avenue in Mohegan Lake since it opened for business on Feb. 6, 2009, serving steaks, chops and seafood. More recently, they have added an array of Italian dishes to the menu that provides variety for patrons at different price points – as well as a tweak to the establishment’s name from Augie’s Prime Cut.
Owner Audrey Hochroth, part of the husband-and-wife team with Sal Barone that has operated the restaurant since its debut, said they tapped into a niche that for the most part still doesn’t have much company north of I-287.
“We would always travel into the city or down county to find that because there was nothing here,” said Hochroth, who retired after 30 years as a registered nurse shortly before opening Augie’s.
Providing the type of meal that customers might only expect in a community with a larger downtown has been one of the benefits, Barone said. A longtime contractor, Barone previously operated similar style restaurants in Arizona and has put his prior experience in the industry to good use.
Opening during the height of the Great Recession, Augie’s was able to flourish because patrons look for value when they choose to go out for dinner, Barone said. Some items are as much as 30 percent less at Augie’s than at more well-known steakhouses in White Plains or in southern Westchester, he said.
“My mother said make sure the food is good enough to take home and you give them plenty of food,” Barone said. “With the inflation, then people want value. You give them good value, that’s what it is.”
What has helped has been the periodic freshening of the menu as well as additional items that are offered for a limited amount of time. While there is always the prime rib and the porterhouse for two on the menu, adding an assortment of Italian dishes has been a boost. Now, if one half of a couple wants their steak and their companion wants something different or lighter, they can choose from the handmade rigatoni, chicken alla parmigiano, Augie’s meatballs or one of the flatbreads. Or go with seafood or flatbreads.
Hochroth also regularly runs what she calls additions or features, items that are offered for a limited time.
“We are doing a lot of features every week,” she said. “We did flatbreads, some pasta dishes. They were really going. So we were like, 15 years, let’s add some different items to it, and we did it.”
For dessert, Hochroth and Barone recommend a plate of warm zeppoles with honey and/or chocolate sauce for dipping.
There are also promotions for all of February such as $6.95 burger nights every Monday, $24.95 prime rib on Tuesdays and $12.95 for all pasta dishes on Wednesdays, Hochroth said.
Through Feb. 28, Augie’s is running a promotion where the public can enter a drawing for a $500 gift card without making a purchase. The drawing will be held on Feb. 29.
Next month, from Mar. 10-13, in celebration of the restaurant’s 15th anniversary, Augie’s will be offering $15 dishes on selected items.
Happy hours are weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. in the bar where $6 glasses of beer or wine and $8 martinis are offered along with $8 for a plate of certain food items.
There is also an upstairs loft for parties and special events that can seat up to about 70 people in addition to the downstairs dining.
For Hochroth, operating a quality neighborhood establishment has been a boon professionally and personally.
“I enjoy it and I took to it and I made a lot of friends, actually, friends from our customers, which his nice, and I welcomed the opportunity in my life to do something different,” Hochroth said.
Augie’s Prime Italian is open seven days for dinner starting at 3 p.m. until 10 p.m., except for Sunday when it closes at 9 p.m. It is located at 3436 Lexington Ave. in Mohegan Lake.
For more information, call 914-743-1357 or visit www.augiesprimeitalian.com.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/