Menu Movers & Shakers

Places Where College Students – and the Rest of Us – Can Eat and Mingle

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menu moversBy Morris Gut

Summer is unofficially ending next week and most fall college semesters are in full swing, so here are some dining and networking venues while keeping students in mind.

The Cobble Stone

According to brothers Scott and Craig Sala, this Purchase restaurant and bar has been continuously operating under their family name since 1917. Many of the old fixtures are there: the green vinyl wooden booths, cobblestone walls (of course) and stained-glass windows. Even an old jukebox and cigarette machine sit idle in the bar and lounge.

The restaurant is located within close range of Manhattanville College, SUNY Purchase and Fordham University’s West Harrison campus.

The bacon gorgonzola burger is a tasty bet, served on a Kaiser roll with a side of steak fries. So is the chicken chopped Cobb salad, a bed of mixed greens topped with avocado, tomato, bacon, hard-boiled egg, red onion and cucumber served with choice of dressing. The portions are ample.

For dessert, the house-made New York-style cheesecake with caramel sauce and whipped cream satiated our sweet tooth.

The Cobble Stone is located at 620 Anderson Hill Rd. in Purchase. Open seven days, from 3 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 12 to 9 p.m. on weekends. Info: 914-253-9678 or visit

Trattoria 632

Just a short drive from SUNY Purchase and Manhattanville as well, there is a pizza bar with tasty pies to eat in or to take out.

The Mangone family serve a regional Italian menu. Check out house specialties such as the roasted beets with goat cheese mousse, Sicilian pistachios and microgreens; house-made chitara pasta with veal polpettine and shaved ricotta; squid ink pasta with shrimp, bay scallops, chilies and arugula; classic veal, chicken or shrimp parmigiana; or wild striped bass Mediterraneo with capers, olives and cherry tomatoes. There’s a bar and lounge with Happy Hours. Free parking.

Trattoria 632 is located at 632 Anderson Hill Rd. in Purchase. Info: 914-481-5811 or visit

The Cabin Restaurant

This vintage spot is at the busy intersection of Knollwood and Grasslands roads, not far from New York Medical College, Westchester Community College and Touro Dental College. It’s a sprawling bar and restaurant serving an eclectic mix of tavern specialties: Angus sirloin burgers, a daily Thanksgiving sandwich, fresh soups, appetizers, overstuffed sandwiches and salads, main courses and desserts. There’s pizza, too. Open seven days. Happy Hours. Free parking.

The Cabin Restaurant is located at 1172 Knollwood Rd. in White Plains. Info: 914-592-6682 or visit

Keeping Cool at Captain Lawrence

Also near New York Medical, Touro Dental and Westchester Community colleges, this popular craft brewery touts an indoor beer hall and outdoor beer garden. The menu features such favorites as craft pizzas, appetizers to share, fresh salads and sandwiches. So, pick your favorite brew or take a flight and enjoy the bustling atmosphere.

There is free parking, but it crowds up quickly. Open to the public Wednesday through Sunday. Weekday Happy Hours to 6 p.m.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. is located at 444 Saw Mill River Rd. in Elmsford. Info: 914-741-2337 or visit

Freebird Kitchen and Bar

An easy drive from Pace Law School, Fordham University’s West Harrison campus or the College of Westchester, will bring you to Freebird Kitchen and Bar. We have devoured fried calamari, meaty racks of baby back ribs, Cobb salad, spicy chicken wings and crispy Brussels sprouts. There’s shrimp and grits and braised short ribs, too. The cooking here is very satisfying and all done with a friendly southern theme. Portions are ample and shareable.

The lighting and artsy birds hanging from the ceiling in the dining room give it a magical atmosphere. There is a seasonal rooftop and Sunday night jam sessions. Happy Hour is Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. Weekend brunch. Closed Mondays.

Freebird Kitchen and Bar is located at 161 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. Info: 914-607-2476 or visit

Mughal Palace

Pace Law School, Westchester Community College and New York Medical College are nearby this gem. Owner Mohammad Alam serves delicious Indian regional specialties. Look for the tandoori chicken or shrimp; Lasuni Gobi (cauliflower florets tossed with bell peppers, onion, garlic and green herbs); chicken barbecue kabab; lamb bhuna (pieces of lamb cooked in a medium spiced sauce of bell peppers, tomatoes and fresh Indian herbs); and mango chicken (boneless chunks of chicken cooked with fresh mango, ginger, garlic and dry spices).

There’s a bar and it’s open seven days.

Mughal Palace is located at 16 Broadway in Valhalla. Info: 914-997-6090 or visit

Valhalla Crossing

Owner Stan Chelluck operates the bustling Valhalla Crossing, a vintage establishment next to the Metro-North station. Over the years, he has spruced up the railroad cars, facade and sweeping bar, offering kitschy but flavorful rail car dining.

The kitchen serves an eclectic menu of American tavern specialties, including wings, sliders, burgers with choice of toppings, mac and cheese, chicken pot pie, fresh salads and wraps. There’s a kid’s menu, too. Portions are generous.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Free parking. It’s a short drive from Pace Law School, New York Medical College and Westchester Community College.

Valhalla Crossing is located at 2 Cleveland St. in Valhalla, just off the Taconic Parkway. Info: 914-682-4076 or visit

Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at 914-235-6591 or

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