Business SpotlightsGeneric

Blue Mountain Tavern, Cortlandt

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The bar at Blue Mountain Tavern, which opened in Cortlandt on Feb. 5.
Photo credit: Neal Rentz

Located near the Blue Mountain Middle School in Cortlandt, Blue Mountain Tavern was opened in February by Scarsdale resident Brian Panessa, Cortlandt resident Hugh Macfayden and Scarsdale resident Edward Alarcon.

Panessa explained last week why he and his partners wanted to open the establishment. “We’ve been friends for years and the opportunity on this property came to be and with the dynamics in this area we figured why not take a shot at it?” he said. “I particularly like this building. It’s a building by itself. It has a nice sized parking lot which gives us more latitude from a business perspective.”

Blue Mountain Tavern’s menu features several appetizers. “Our business model is tavern with a spin,” Panessa said. “We made sure to have all of the tavern-like items, but sort of putting a spin on them in terms of the ingredients that we use to enhance them.”

The appetizer menu “includes a twist on calamari” with Tai flavoring, he said. “It’s made from scratch,” he said.

Some of the other popular appetizers are crab cakes, shrimp cocktail and nachos, Panessa said.

There are many burgers offered at the new restaurant. “Burgers are a big part of the business,” Panessa said. Aside from traditional beef burgers, a turkey burger, a pork kimchi burger and a sweet potato, black bean and quinoa burger are on the menu.

“We’re trying to not necessarily to be everything to everybody, but we wanted a variety in the burger category,” he said.

A large selection of sandwiches is available. “The sandwiches are hardy to say the least,” Panessa said. The diverse sandwiches include a Cubano, a triple decker chicken sandwich and a traditional hanger steak sandwich, he said. The Ruben sandwich includes pastrami that has brined in house for seven days. “It melts in your mouth. It’s quite the good sandwich,” Panessa said.

The owner of the previous restaurant (Julianna’s) that was in the building, Montrose resident Derek Palmisano, is working as the chef at the new eatery.

Business at the new establishment has “exceeded our expectations,” Panessa said. There will be outdoor seasonal seating, he said. Most of the customers come from northern Westchester, Panessa said.

The restaurant offers dinner every night except Monday, when it is closed. Lunch is provided on Saturdays and Sundays. The owners plan to add Sunday brunch in the near future, Panessa said.

The partners also plan on having live music performed at their restaurant, Panessa said.

“We do have pretty lofty goals,” Panessa said. “Mainly our goal is to create an institution here; an institution where generations will come and a place where people can enjoy a good meal, quality food at a fair price.”

“We’ll always be evolving,” Panessa said. “We will be adding to the business in various ways as time goes on.”

Blue Mountain Tavern is located at 276 Watch Hill Rd. in Cortlandt. For more information, call 914-607-2111 or visit


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