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Restaurant Examiner: New American Cuisine Restaurant Opens in Tarrytown

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The outdoor dining patio at the Toasted Barrel at the Sheraton Tarrytown, which features burgers, baby back ribs, steak, fish and more.
The outdoor dining patio at the Toasted Barrel at the Sheraton Tarrytown, which features burgers, baby back ribs, steak, fish and more.

The Toasted Barrel has opened at the Sheraton Tarrytown serving a wide variety of dishes from burgers to baby back ribs, steak and peppercorn seared salmon.

An extensive whisky and bourbon list is also offered, a reason for the restaurant’s name choice. (A toasted barrel refers to a barrel used for a second sitting for certain alcoholic beverages to enhance flavor in the aging process.)

The cuisine at the Toasted Barrel is New American and the menu includes crab cakes and lobster mac and cheese as appetizers.

Al fresco dining on the restaurant’s brick patio will begin as soon as the weather permits. Outside grilling on the patio is planned for steak, lobster and fish. Heat lamps will help to expand the patio’s dining season.

“Bourbon is a popular ingredient used by Chef Michael Koonce in many of his dishes,” said Manager Michael Dizzine, a Nyack native who graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence with a hotel management degree. He was food and beverage manager at Comfort Inn & Suites in Nanuet before assuming his present duties early last year.

Meanwhile, Koonce was previously a line chef at the Loews Regency Hotel and The Water Club in Manhattan and is a graduate of the New York Restaurant School.

Items prepared with bourbon include its signature baby back ribs, bourbon cheese steak, French onion soup, bread pudding, cheese cake and fried ice cream, which comes with a flamed bourbon glaze.

The restaurant has breakfast (6:30 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday) lunch, dinner and bar menus. There is also a tapas menu and a weekend buffet brunch from 7 to 11 a.m.

The tapas menu includes lamb chop lollipops, gumbo soup, stuffed mushrooms and popcorn shrimp ($10 and up). A personal pizza is offered in many varieties including oven-roasted tomato with arugula and mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, chicken, seafood and calamari ($8 and up).

Burgers range from a basic burger on a brioche bun ($11) to one with foie gras and truffle ($18).

Entrées come with a house salad; a Caesar salad can be substituted for $2 extra. Entrées include a 14-ounce New York strip steak with vegetables and fingerling potatoes ($32), veal parmesan with pasta ($28), baby back ribs with French fries and coleslaw ($23) and spaghetti and meat balls ($18).

Peppercorn seared salmon is served with bourbon peppercorn demi-glace and basmati rice ($26) and penne a la vodka is topped with bourbon-glazed smoked chicken ($18). The bourbon cheese steak is sliced and comes with cheddar cheese, smoked Gouda cheese, carmelized bourbon onions and bell peppers ($15).

Two eggs (any style) is part of the “Sleepy Hollow Breakfast” and accompanied by Italian sausage, applewood bacon or Black Forest ham steak, home fries and toast ($14). Omelets with up to three toppings also cost $14. A breakfast quesadilla is priced at $10.

The weekend buffet branch includes fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, granola, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, bakery items, bagels, cream cheese, butter, jam, juice and Starbucks coffee. It costs $19.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. Children under four years old are free.

Live music is planned for the patio every Thursday night. Requests will usually be honored by the band and there is no cover charge.

The warm-weather outdoors schedule will also include Caribbean nights, BBQ nights, Maine lobster nights and BYOC (Bring Your Own Cigars) cigar nights, mostly on Thursdays but occasionally on Friday evenings.

Sampling “theme” evenings are planned for bourbon, whisky and cocktail specialties — some with blues music — and with brief comments by representatives of liquor distributors.

Ladies’ nights feature half-cost drinks for women.

For sports enthusiasts following the NCAA basketball tournament, through March these specials are offered: Bud and Bud Light bottles ($4), Coors Light bottles ($4), house cocktails ($6) and vegetable pot stickers, taquitos and potato skins at half price.

More than 30 different wines are available by the glass along with an extensive wine bottle list. Most of the bottles are from California vineyards.

A private room is available accommodating up to 80 people for parties; groups up to 20 can get a special seating area in the back of the restaurant.

Toasted Barrel, which has replaced SB&G, is located in the lobby of the Sheraton Tarrytown Hotel, 600 White Plains Rd. (Route 119) Call 914-332-7900 for more information.

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