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Some New Culinary Delights to Try for Local Foodies
By Morris Gut
This free-standing building near the Hawthorne Metro-North station had been operating as Gordo’s Tavern for 40 years before shutting down in 2019. Along the way, they accrued a large following of locals and out-of-town visitors.
Unionville Tavern has replaced the original, and longtime owner Gordon (Gordo) Kreuger has kept the place intact, much to the delight of his many regulars.
My first encounter with Unionville was last summer, once COVID-19 restrictions began dissipating. I recall pulling into the parking area and taking a seat on the outdoor patio. It was a quiet sunny afternoon, a fine time to enjoy a quick beer and snack.
My follow-up visit was just a few weeks ago. I walked into the bar area and it was bustling. Customers spread into the rustic multiroom dining areas as well. I was the stranger at the bar, and ordered an IPA as I looked over the menu. Nora, the friendly barkeeper, was working hard to keep up with her clientele. It didn’t take long for us all to exchange smiles and enter the conversation. I was made to feel at home.
The sliders seemed like a good bet – three mini burgers served with pickles. I enjoyed every juicy bite. They were delicious! So were the tender Buffalo chicken wings on the bone I ordered during a return visit a few weeks later. They were served with crisp celery sticks and dipping sauce. There’s a choice of flavors such as Jameson, spicy Thai and dry, too. I found these plump wings to be among the best I have tried in Westchester. They were that good.
Nora told me Unionville would be premiering an expanded updated menu this week and showed me a copy. There will be tempting tavern fare, such as the Dy-No-Mite shrimp, crispy fried chicken, flatbread pizzas, a variety of burgers and sandwiches, Guernsey fish and chips, “Yoots” mac and cheese and a wiener and fries. I will keep my palate open for another visit to check out some of the new specialties. Best part? The house is doing its best to keep prices reasonable.
There’s a great Happy Hour starting at 3 p.m. on weekdays featuring specially-priced drinks and small plates.
Unionville Tavern is located at 415 Commerce St. in Hawthorne. Open Tuesday through Sunday. Free parking. Info: 914-747-6795 or visit www.unionvilletavern.co.
Morris Park Inn to Open in Thornwood
Proprietor Steve Poli, of bustling Morris Park Inn in the Bronx, has taken a space in the Rose Hill Shopping Center in Thornwood. The storefront had previously operated as Skratch.
If the Bronx restaurant is any indicator, there will be a full tavern menu with generous portions. Specialties to look for include the nachos supreme; Baja crispy fish tacos; chopped Cobb salad; hefty burgers; wraps and sandwiches; mussels with spaghetti; baby back ribs; fried seafood combo; and center-cut pork chops. They are currently awaiting proper licensing. More on this as it develops.
MPI Thornwood will be located at 652 Columbus Ave. in Thornwood. Info: Visit www.morrisparkinnthornwood.com. For a look into Morris Park Inn in the Bronx, visit www.morrisparkinn.com.
While Macelleria is a high-end Italian steakhouse, a Michelin Guide Award-winner serving classic cuts of prime beef and chops, you may want to pop in for their comfort dishes and small plates that are sure to please. Just what we need right now.
You can have fresh-made meatballs served with a big dollop of ricotta cheese and luscious tomato sauce; a jumbo crab cake appetizer served with an herb mustard sauce; a perky arugula salad, with arugula, navel orange segments, fennel, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette; and a delicious herbal steak tartare. There’s a classic burger, too.
For dessert there’s a most extraordinary house-made tiramisu. Proprietor Tony LaLa and his team will take good care of you.
Open seven days for lunch and dinner. Free parking. Macelleria Italian Steakhouse is located at 111 Bedford Rd. in Armonk. There are locations in Pelham and Greenwich. Info: 914-219-5728 or visit www.macelleriaarmonk.com.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Returns
The 2022 edition of Spring Hudson Valley Restaurant Week will take place Mar. 21 to Apr. 3. It is being touted as “the sequel,” an appropriate tag for this popular dining-out promotion sponsored in spring and fall by The Valley Table Magazine (now owned by Today Media). More than 200 past participants and some new ones from throughout the Hudson Valley are promised, with patrons anxious to cash in on the seasonal bounty at reasonable prices.
Restaurants are expected to offer three-course luncheons for $29.95 and three-course dinners for $39.95. There are also take-out options. Remember that beverages, tax and tip are not included. Sometimes there are caveats, so be sure to verify the hours and menus that are being served. Reservations are advised.
For additional information and an up-to-date list of participating restaurants, visit www.valleytable.com/hvrw.
Local Beard Award Finalists
Local chefs and restaurants are semifinalists for James Beard Awards in 2022. They are Chef Dale Talde of Goosefeather in Tarrytown; Chef Eric Gao of O Mandarin in Hartsdale and Hicksville, L.I.; and Chef Brian Lewis of The Cottage in Westport and Greenwich, Conn. and OKO in Rye.
The James Beard Awards are considered the Oscars of the culinary world.
Lewis was the opening executive chef at The Barn and The Farmhouse at the Bedford Post some years back. Nominees in the Hudson Valley include Gabe McMackin, Troutback, Amenia, N.Y.; Albert and Melinda Bartley, Top Taste, Kingston, N.Y.; and Carla Perez-Gallardo and Hannah Black, Lil’ Debs Oasis, Hudson, N.Y.
Finalists will be announced this Wednesday, Mar. 16 in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit www.jamesbeard.org.
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 by e-mail at email@example.com.
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