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Lohud’s Best New Restaurants 2015…We made the list!

We got an unexpected surprise last night: Yonkers Brewing Co. made Lohud’s Best New Restaurants 2015 list! While we are a brewery first and foremost, we take a great deal of pride in our food and versatile menu; we are humbled that a news organization like Lohud would honor us.

Reporter Megan McCaffrey, along with a team of other scribes, complied a list of up-and-coming dining establishments in the Lower Hudson Valley. One of the main reasons we count ourselves lucky to be on the list is that there are so many great restaurants popping up around these parts that not only have amazing food, but also provide an eclectic atmosphere and source local ingredients whenever possible. Much like the brewing, distilling and wine making industries, the Hudson Valley food industry is growing and improving at a rapid rate. 

While we were the lone Yonkers representative on the list, the other Lower Hudson Valley towns got some love as well. Mount Kisco was the only town to grab two spots on the list with 251 Lex & Drunken Little Chef, while Armonk (Market North), Hartsdale (Kishuya Ramen Noodle Bar), Port Chester (Saltiare), Nyak (Communal Kitchen), Tarrytown (The Oath), New Rochelle (The Wooden Spoon) and Harrison (273 Kitchen) all earned one selection each. Just like we hope that others see this list and come to us, I will certainly be checking out a few of these now that I work in the Lower Hudson Valley!

The article by Megan is below, enjoy it and go & get your grub on! 

– Nick

Best new restaurants of 2015

 Megan McCaffrey, mmccaffrey@lohud.com10:43 p.m. EST December 21, 2015

Approachable, honest food that’s made with careful attention to organic, sustainable and local resources. As the restaurant scene continues to evolve in the Lower Hudson Valley, 2015 saw plenty of openings that really hit home.

These are our favorites.

251 Lex, Mount Kisco

The Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, front, and Day Boat Ceviche, rear, at 251 Lex, a new restaurant in Mount Kisco. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

The team behind 8 North Broadway in Nyack and 273 Kitchen in Harrison has brought its inventive Mediterranean cooking, killer cocktails and old-fashioned hospitality to 251 Lex in Mount Kisco, in the space that was formerly The Flying Pig. The sophisticated space includes a copper bar similar to the one in Nyack, and outdoor dining area and a whole-animal spit roast barbecue that will open later this year. The menu changes with the seasons, but expect lots of fresh seafood (don’t miss the crispy calamari), loaded salads and of course, fresh pita. Go: 251 Lex, 251 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco, 914-218-8156. www.251lex.com

273 Kitchen, Harrison

Fritto Misto, with scallop, rock shrimp, snapper, yuca frites and house-made tartar sauce at Kitchen 273 in Harrison. (Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

Another restaurant from the 8 North Broadway team, 273 Kitchen is more hip wine bar than restaurant, but we love the tapas-style dishes like fresh fish crudo sprinkled with pretty, leafy and edible garnishes and a drizzle of vinaigrette, lobster crudite or charred and colorful winter vegetables. The small space is bright and open, and the well-curated wine list makes it a destination on its own. Slide up to the bar with a friend or date, and don’t miss the mezze, a specialty at all three of chef Constantine Kalandranis’ restaurants. Go: Go: 273 Halstead Ave., Harrison, 914-732-3333.www.273kitchen.com

Communal Kitchen, Nyack

Lamb ribs with roasted Japanese eggplant and root beer glazed at Communal Kitchen in Nyack. (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal New)

After a quiet opening in the spring, Communal Kitchen has enjoyed a growing number of fans for its sophisticated cocktails and serious food in a not-too-serious setting. After more than 20 years as a Manhattan chef, owner Jed Gidaly says he wanted to open a restaurant close to his Rockland home that he and his wife would want to go to on a Tuesday night. There are charcuterie platters of various sizes, small plates like fried cauliflower with yogurt tahini or spicy pork meatballs and heavier entrees that include poutine and lamb ribs with roasted Japanese eggplant. Excellent house cocktails pull a fun adult crowd on weekends. Go: 162 Main Street, Nyack, 845-535-3133. www.communalkitchennyack.com

Kishuya Ramen Noodle Bar, Hartsdale

Kogashi ramen at Kishuya Ramen in Hartsdale. (Photo: Seth Harrison/The Journal News)

Open since July, Kishuya is tucked away in a line of shops on Central Avenue, across from Ethan Allen, with a deep dining room serving lunch and dinner daily. The menu offers seven ramen varieties, but our favorite so far is classic tonkotsu: a rich and salty, pork-based and totally slurp-worthy bowl of ramen with the best example of a gooey, soft boiled and seasoned egg (tomago) we’ve seen in local ramen dishes. Each bowl can be fully customized to your liking. There are also plenty of vegetarian options, and a long, appealing list of non-ramen dishes. Go: 163 S. Central Ave., Hartsdale, 914-949-0600. www.kishuya.com

Little Drunken Chef, Mount Kisco

The Little Drunken Chef in Mount Kisco opened in July. (Photo: Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News)

Chef Bonnie Saran, who also owns Little Kabab Station, Little Spice Bazaar and Little Crepe Steet, expanded a fourth time last summer with a French-Indian restaurant that has a best-of feel. It’s everything we love about Saran’s other locations with a ton of perks, like cool cocktails, small plates, raw oysters, late night hours and a DJ for the spirited weekend crowd. Go: 39 E. Main St., Mount Kisco, 914-242-8800. Facebook: Little Drunken Chef.

Market North, Armonk

Chef Eric Gabrynowicz stands alongside some of the baked items offered at Market North in Armonk. (Photo: Joe Larese/The Journal News)

Chef-owner Eric Gabrynowicz, who was nominated for the James Beard Foundation award of Best Chef: Northeast last year, launched this sustainably-focused market and to-go cafe with the Restaurant North team, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner right across the street. The morning menu spans from yogurt and granola to pancakes with maple pastry cream and local farm fruit preserves, and lunch options are healthy, simple sandwiches and salads. There’s also an appealing pay-for-plate offer: buy a plate and fill it up with any of the day’s vegetables and proteins, such as house-cured bacon from Josef Meiller Farm, Montauk tuna or Alaskan smoked salmon (everything on the menu comes with a note on where it was procured).Go: 387 Main Street, Armonk, 914-273-3773. www.mktnorth.com

Saltaire, Port Chester

The dining room at Saltaire Oyster Bar and Fish House in Port Chester. (Photo: Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Owner Les Barnes opened Saltaire in the former Willett House at the end of August and it’s become a fast favorite. There’s a massive marble bar with seats for more than 50, exposed brick and lofty beams, a private event space and decor straight out of a Restoration Hardware catalog. Barnes, who also owns London Lennie’s in Queens, has made a career out of sourcing the best and freshest seafood available. The Port Chester menu, created and executed by chef Bobby Will, focuses on raw bar and seasonal dishes such as crispy Point Judith calamari, served with orange-poppy seed glaze, charred shishito peppers and pickled red fresnos or a classic lobster bake with fingerling potatoes, chorizo and drawn butter. Go: 55 Abendroth Ave., Port Chester, 914-939-2425. saltaireoysterbar.com

The Oath, Tarrytown

The Oath craft beer bar in Tarrytown. (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

Craft beer fans in Westchester know there are a few bars that really get it right, and the Craftsman Ale House in Harrison is definitely one of them. So when Joe Vicidomini, owner of the Craftsman, opened The Oath Craft Beer Sanctuary in the former Santa Fe Restaurant space in Tarrytown in May, it was big news. There are 20 rotating draft lines — a mix of American and notable international crafts — plus many bottles of unique, and hard to find brews. Vicidomini is one of the most well-connected bar owners in the area, and like Craftsman, The Oath hosts many events like tap takeovers and meet-the-brewer nights, when you can use his connections to your best advantage and rub elbows with some equally passionate and well-informed beer drinkers. This a must-try spot for any beer lovers in the Hudson Valley.Go: 5 Main Street, Tarrytown, 914-909-5148. www.theoathny.com

The Wooden Spoon, New Rochelle

Chicken and waffles at The Wooden Spoon in New Rochelle. (Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)

Owner Nick Triscari is a lifelong New Rochelle resident and current city firefighter. After nine years cooking in firehouse kitchens and spending years of off-duty hours working in other people’s restaurants, he decided to take the plunge and open his own. The Wooden Spoon (a tongue in cheek reference to his hands-on Italian upbringing) focuses on no-fuss comfort food. Chicken and waffles, wings, burgers, hardy salads, brownie ice cream sundaes— it’s like pub food with a trendy twist thanks to mason jars, rough wood tables and a chalkboard menu listing daily specials. It’s not fancy, but that’s just why we welcome it. Go to The Wooden Spoon for a date, a solo lunch, dinner with the kids. There is always a place for easy comfort food and a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Go: 16 Division Street, New Rochelle, 914-278-9432, www.woodenspoonnewro.com

Yonkers Brewing Co., Yonkers

The tasting room at Yonkers Brewing. (Photo: Peter Carr/The Journal News)

After a long renovation at the former historic trolley building near the waterfront, the craft brewery started by two childhood friends from Yonkers became the sixth in the Lower Hudson Valley. John Rubbo and Nick Califano, along with head brewer Sharif Taleb opened in March, and the grand opening event was packed to the industrial rafters. The brewery and restaurant has seats for more than 120, mounted flatscreens, plus a full gastropub menu that nicely complements the in-house craft beers like crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon and Parmesan, chili-pineapple chicken wings and spicy patatas bravas. Go: 92 Main St., Yonkers, 914-226-8327. yonkersbrewing.com

Twitter: @megmccaff15

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