Menu Movers & Shakers

The Cheesecake Factory Delivers Quality and Variety Every Time

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Two popular dishes at Thornwood’s Bar 141 are the chicken parmigiana sandwich and the steak wrap served with chips.

By Morris Gut

Since its founding in Los Angeles in 1978 by the Overton family, The Cheesecake Factory has grown into a powerhouse food service company encompassing more than 200 restaurants nationally, not including its acquired ancillary venues operating under different names.

Branches in Westchester at The Source in White Plains and at Ridge Hill in Yonkers carry the theme well: Egyptian-influenced art and archways, decorative glass, expansive 200-plus-seat dining rooms and copious menus containing about 250 dishes. Then there are the monthly specials and at least 40 variations of Nancy Overton’s popular original cheesecakes colorfully on display as you enter the establishment.

Through the years, The Cheesecake Factory has also become a bastion for families lured by reasonably priced and abundantly served family-style meals. On a recent weekend visit to The Source, the sprawling dining room was loaded with patronage of all sorts, from seniors to children. The bar, with its high tops, also was bustling.

There was a brief wait before we were escorted to a table, a comfortable booth not far from the big picture windows looking out onto Maple Avenue. Fortunately, there was a large floor staff on hand and our section was well-covered throughout our meal.

The eclectic menus are long and cover a large expanse of culinary territory. We were handed both the regular and low-calorie menus. Ultimately, my choice was The Club – freshly roasted turkey breast, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on toasted white bread. My request for extra mayo arrived quickly.

My partner went for the Santa Fe salad, a mountain of marinated chicken, black beans, cheese, tortilla strips, tomato and romaine lettuce tossed in flavorful dressing. They served big portions; sharing was a must. I even took home part of my turkey sandwich.

A showstopper portion of their fresh strawberry-topped cheesecake with whipped cream was a winning finish to our meal! The cheesecakes are also available to take home.

The Cheesecake Factory is located at The Source, 1 Maple Ave. in White Plains, and at Ridge Hill in Yonkers at 140 Market St. Open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Happy hours are Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Reservations are accepted. There is a parking facility next door in White Plains.

For more information, call 914-683-5253 for the White Plains location and 914-709-9240 for the Yonkers location or visit

Bedford Post Inn Reopens

The charm of country dining returns to the Bedford Post Inn.

The Bedford Tavern, an upscale dining room, is now accepting reservations for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

Meanwhile, Bedford Post Barn reopens this week for breakfast and lunch.

The chef de cuisine is Sam Mason, a former pastry chef at innovative WD-50 in Manhattan, and “ice cream chef” at Oddfellows Ice Cream. At Bedford Post he will be putting out such dishes as oysters and fried chicken. Not sure about his dessert plans yet.

The Bedford Post dining rooms will be operated by Sunday Hospitality Group in partnership with the owner, actor Richard Gere. Sunday Hospitality runs several restaurants in New York City, including El Quijote and Café Chelsea.

Originally constructed in 1762 as a stagecoach rest stop, Bedford Post Inn sits on 20 acres of lovely country property. More on this down the line.

Bedford Post Inn is located at 954 Old Post Rd. in Bedford. Info: 914-234-7800 or visit

Bar 141 Offers Summer Lunch Deal

A solid summer meal deal is being offered at Bar I41 in Thornwood. Its three-course lunch special is available from Tuesday through Sunday for $19.99 per person.

John and Joanne Piazza operate a surprisingly casual, cool restaurant and glittering bar tucked into the corner of the bustling Town Center Shopping Mall. The friendly staff make you feel right at home.

Chef Edy Payes, who previously worked at Mediterraneo in Greenwich, is turning out a tempting eclectic mix of contemporary Italian/American/Global dishes such as lobster bisque; crispy cauliflower; Thai meatballs; tossed Caesar salad; house-made pappardelle with tomato cream, mushroom, peas, asparagus and sausage; an open-faced pastrami Reuben; parmesan-crusted halibut; the double-cut maple pork chop; Thai chicken bowl; and burgers with the works.

There’s a cool entertainment schedule. Check their website to learn more. Also check out the kid’s menu. Private party facilities are available for parties of up to 60. Free parking. Closed Mondays.

Bar 141 is located at 1006 Broadway in Thornwood. Info: 914-579-2610 or visit

Rooftop Deck at Freebird

The rooftop at Freebird Kitchen and Bar, overlooking Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, has been drawing a crowd. Proprietor Nick Fusco has also expanded service hours with new lunch choices served Tuesday through Sunday as well as weekend brunch. In addition, there is an expansion underway.

The cooking at Freebird is quite satisfying, all done with a friendly southern theme. My menu favorites include fried calamari; oysters; succulent pork ribs; Cobb salad; spicy chicken wings; crispy Brussels sprout, a pimento cheeseburger; shrimp and grits; and braised short ribs. Portions are ample and shareable. The lighting and artsy birds hanging from the ceiling in the main dining room give it a magical atmosphere.

There are Friday and Sunday night live jam sessions. The sprawling bar on the main level has craft beers. Happy hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 2 to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.

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