Take a Hudson River Stroll and Get a Bite at RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen

menu moversBy Morris Gut

A rainy Memorial Day weekend had finally cleared last Monday, so a nice drive and meal near the Hudson River seemed like a relaxing destination.

After taking in the lovely view at Hudson RiverWalk in Tarrytown, we headed up West Main Street to RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen. Looked like a lot of people had the same idea. It was bustling when we walked in, both on the patio and inside the main dining room. We took seats at the big wraparound bar with a good view of the proceedings.

To my delight, proprietor Glenn Vogt was on the premises. We go back a long way. Years ago, his father, Harold E. Vogt, was president of the Westchester County Chamber of Commerce, while his son decided to enter the restaurant and hospitality field. Glenn Vogt had been general manager at Windows on the World before the 9/11 disaster; later he brought his extensive experience with food and wine to Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua under proprietor Richard Crabtree.

Besides being managing partner and founder of RiverMarket for the past eight years, Vogt is also partnering at the Kittle House with Crabtree’s son John Crabtree.

It was a pleasure to chat with him, as he, like too many others in the restaurant industry, are finally gathering strength following more than a year surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. He is optimistic about the future.

I decided on the Hemlock Hill Farm grass-fed beef burger with smoked bacon on a brioche bun, fries and house-made butter pickles. I asked for a helping of aged cheddar on top, too. My companion went for the popular iceberg wedge, with soft-boiled farmhouse egg, smoked bacon crumble, toasted croutons and cherry tomatoes bathed in a creamy blue cheese dressing. There was enough for both of us to share, and each was quite good.

I noticed that the fresh market section was now preparing pizzas, there was a RiverMarket Wine & Spirits shop next door featuring organic vintages.

RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen is located at 127 W. Main St. in Tarrytown. Open daily. Info: 914-631-3100 or visit www.rivermarketbarandkitchen.com.

The crispy buffalo chicken salad at Pleasantville’s Southern Table.
Relaxing Lunch at Southern Table

Restaurants in New York State are fully re-opening and I have been taking advantage. After a scenic weekday drive through some charming Westchester towns, we were happy to get back to Southern Table Kitchen & Bar in Pleasantville. It was a lovely mid-afternoon, and right from the start the staff made us feel comfortable. The outdoor patio was active as was the dining room. We opted for seats at the bar.

We lingered over a Sloop Juice Bomb IPA while perusing the menu. We had not forgotten how generous the portions were here. For lunch I decided on a fried green tomato BLT wrap, which included bacon, lettuce and chipotle aioli, with a side of sweet potato fries. My partner had crispy buffalo chicken salad featuring a small mountain of romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, scallion and blue cheese dressing.  There was more than enough to share, and both dishes were delish.

For dessert we had to have a slice of their creamy house-made key lime pie with a dollop of whipped cream. It was exceptional! We savored every morsel.

Southern Table recently received a second coveted Bib Gourmand designation (restaurants that are high quality and represent good value) from this year’s Michelin restaurant guide for New York State. Ownership also operates Wood & Fire pizza in Pleasantville and Scarsdale and O.T.R Off The Rail in Hawthorne.

Additional specialties include cheddar biscuits, grit bowls, Cajun-style seafood boils and fried chicken. There is seasonal patio dining. Open daily. Pickup and delivery are available.

Southern Table Kitchen & Bar is located at 39 Marble Ave. in Pleasantville. Info: 914-618-3355 or visit www.southern-table.com.

Michelin Publishes New York Restaurant Ratings

It has become an annual rite of the culinary world. The prestigious Michelin restaurant guides have been publishing their ratings internationally, nationally, for New York City, and for the second year, Westchester and the other metropolitan area suburbs.

As always with these guides, there is controversy – who made the list, who didn’t and why? It is all secretive. The Bib Gourmand designations (typically more casual eateries of merit) and stars (for high-end restaurants) can be meaningful to a restaurant’s bottom line. There is a small group of local spots that made the list. Based on my experience, these are deserving finalists.

Bib Gourmand recipients in Westchester include Southern Table Kitchen & Bar, Pleasantville; Badageoni Georgian Kitchen, Mount Kisco; Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar, Elmsford; RaaSa, Elmsford; Maria, New Rochelle; and X20 Xaviars on the Hudson, Yonkers.

By the way, the only star recipient was Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Check out https://guide.michelin.com/en/us/new-york-state/restaurants.

Don’t Eat Cicadas if Allergic to Seafood

Are cicadas on your menu? The brood only shows up every 17 years or so, an uber-seasonal event. But beware, the Food & Drug Administration has issued a warning. Do not eat them if you are allergic to seafood. Apparently, there is a connection.

I have no food allergies that I am aware of. I was looking forward to at least tasting a Cicada Cookie. Check it out at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cicadas-brood-x-seafood-allergy-fda-warning.

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 gutreactions@optonline.net.

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