Lori McNamara-Kane reported on our restaurants in the White Plains area.
Pork chop with manilla clams, pancetta, fennel, sweet peppers, roasted potato and escarole at Tramonto restaurant in Hawthorne. ( Tania Savayan / The Journal News )
Here’s a look at what she found:
Harry’s of Hartsdale
Renovations and an updated menu will transform Harry’s from a steakhouse to a bar and grill by winter. In the works:?new light fixtures, beer taps and a more affordable menu with broader appeal (think burgers, bistro sandwiches, salads). The French doors that open to the sidewalk??The exposed brick walls??Both are staying.
New for fall:?The new menu will be rolled out throughout the fall, and the real changes will come after the holidays.?Look for angus sliders, right, Kobe beef hot dogs, chicken or steak panini, and barbecued pulled pork.
Insider tip: The bar makes an ice-cold vodka martini.
Details:?230 E. Hartsdale Ave., Hartsdale. 914-472-8777.
Arches in the brick walls frame painted murals of Italy, and a big wooden bar and white tablecloths topped with a single red rose welcome diners. Regulars love the homemade gnocchi with prosciutto, baby arugula, shaved parmigiano, grape tomatoes and garlic; penne with arugula and shrimp; veal Tramonto; and chicken scarpariello.
New for fall:?Owner Delia DiPietro says the sea scallops are the “talk of the town,” and chef Greg Depelteau, left, has two preparations on the menu — with sweet corn risotto, crispy oyster mushrooms and watercress salad; and sea scallops spiedino with sweet sausage, shrimp and roasted vegetable farrotto.
Insider tip:?DiPietro is one of three sisters who own the restaurant:?Michela Santuncci and Maria Mingoia are the others. You’ll always find one of them — or all of them — at the restaurant.
Details:?27 Saw Mill River Road, Hawthorne. 914-347-8220. www.tramontos.com
In a quiet section of White Plains, this standout blends a blue-colored Art Deco ambiance with a simple but elegant American-Asian menu. Ahi tuna is seared in wasabi and sesame. The filet mignon arrives topped with foie gras. And the chicken asparagus comes with lemon grass covered in a white sauce. Valet parking Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
New for fall: Executive chef Matt Kay is loving duck. The special soup for the season is a spiced carrot and ginger soup with duck confit, toasted pecans and a Vermont maple drizzle, and one of his new entrees is Hudson Valley duck breast with goose-fat potatoes, braised Brussels sprouts with bacon and onions and a cranberry port wine gastrique. Not into duck??The sweet potato gnocchi with applewood-smoked bacon, Swiss chard, toasted pine nuts, herb brown butter and sage sounds divine.
Insider tip: The round table in the left corner against the banquette has great people-watching:?you can see the action throughout the whole restaurant.
Details: 99 Church St., White Plains. 914-220-0000. www.bluewhiteplains.com
Emma’s Ale House
An upscale pub, perfect for after-work drinks, but just as good for dinner with the family. The atmosphere is upscale, but not stuffy, with high tables in the friendly bar and a separate dining room next door. The menu is full of options from small plates (the filet mignon sliders are terrific), flatbread sandwiches and salads, to salmon and Guinness-braised beef stew.
New for fall: The fall menu gets meatier — with shrimp dishes swapping out for heavier items such as pork chops. Also new:?warm spinach salad, butternut squash soup, and sweet potato and chicken chowder.
Insider tip:?With every order of mac and cheese, the restaurant will donate $1 to melanoma research in memory of owner Casey Egan’s friend, Doug Meyers, who died from the disease.
Details: 68 Gedney Way, White Plains. 914-683-3662. www.emmasalehouse.com
Melt Sandwich Shop
A small, hip, order-at-the-counter sandwich shop with a cool concept: choose your meat from the daily smokes and roasts, then choose from the combinations of sandwich or pizza toppings to go along with it. Everything is made fresh daily, including the flatbread that’s grilled for pizza or panini. (The rolls come from The?Bread Factory in New Rochelle.) Salads and sides are available, too. Even sauces — such as ketchup and mustard — are made from scratch.
New for fall: Owners Bill and Kristin Hall will introduce new soups — including butternut squash, pumpkin and beef oxtail — and meats, such as apple-cider brined pork loin. A special will be the Thanksgiving Combo Sandwich, with stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. You can choose your meat to go with it (we recommend turkey, of course!).
Insider tip:?Regulars know that unlike at a deli, where you might order ham and Swiss on rye, here, you order the bread first:?short, long or flatbread. Then choose your meats, sauces and toppings.
Details:?277 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains. 914-358-1364.
Peniche Tapas Restaurant
A chic tapas bar and restaurant named for the Portuguese port city. Take a tall walnut table near the open kitchen or settle in at the industrial-style bar to dine on small plates like fava beans with ham ($6.95) and house-cured salt-cod fritters, as well as charcuterie and cheeses.
New for fall: Chef Scott Weiss is getting adventurouswith an oven-roasted bone marrow and braised oxtail. He’s also offering new varieties of charcuterie, Spanish flatbread pizzas and risotto dishes. The breaded eggplant is also a big hit:?it’s like a grilled cheese, but with breaded eggplant as the “bread,” served with melted Manchego cheese, Spanish honey and white truffle oil.
Insider tip:?Cava — Spanish sparkling wine like champagne — can be served in a beautiful peron (glass decanter).
Details:?175 Main St., White Plains. 914-421-5012. www.penichetapas.com
John Gervasi, the former chef of Mulino’s in White Plains, has made his new home in the spot that was Gregory’s and Boe@324. There’s opulent decor — velvet curtains, murals, water features — and a traditional Italian menu: prawns with black linguine; double-cut veal chops with shiitake mushrooms; and herb-crusted prime rack of lamb herb with sage sauce.
New for fall: The new menu focuses on braised meats such as osso bucco, venison and bison. One of the entrees to check out: angus beef short ribs in a hearty sauce.
Insider tip:?You can reserve the table downstairs in the wine cellar.
Details:?324 Central Park Ave., White Plains. 914-684-8855. www.gervasis.com