Great Local Food Eats in Chappaqua

local-smLocal

75 South Greeley Ave. Chappaqua, NY

914.238.0698; ChappaquaLocal.com

Tuesday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,

Friday/Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.,

Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Situated in the heart of the Chappaqua community, Local is a cafe and ice cream parlor serving delights to satisfy the appetites of the health conscious and “free eaters” alike.

Owners Adam Strahl and Danielle Zinaich, both vegetarians, began Local with the desire to merge the city feel of a great cafe with a fine dining touch in the suburbs of Westchester County. Originally a musician, Strahl ran private events for seven years at Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant before resigning in 2010 to broaden his horizons and build Local. Zinaich brings a background in homeopathic education to their partnership, and they both call upon their world travel experiences to create the Local menus.

Westcester-sept-oct-2012-117-small

Adam Strahl, owner of Local in Chappaqua

Local was intended to be an ice cream parlor with a few soup and sandwich options but customer demand helped this concept evolve into what we see today. Local’s menu features soups that are all vegan, pressed sandwiches made with fresh artisan breads from the New York bakery Balthazar, baked goods from Briar Cliff bakery, seasonal salads with greens from such local farms as Kitchawan, and other delicious farm to table dishes. Their decadent natural ice cream, free of preservatives and artificial coloring, comes from the famous SoCo Creamy and Ronnybrook farms. Local also has gluten-free options for those with wheat sensitivities or celiac disease, and Strahl creates recipes that can be customized for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Some of the featured dishes this season include smooth pureed butternut squash and the house winter salad with pomegranate and red pears.

As parents, Strahl and Zinaich also wanted Local to be a place for the younger crowd to enjoy. Some nights they feature live music or screen documentary films on their walls. If this does not wet your palate, you can strike up a conversation with Strahl, who is passionate about environmental awareness and great food. His philosophy is that all of the café’s meals and ingredients must be fresh and mindfully chosen. This integrity, along with sundaes that ooze homemade organic chocolate sauce and caramel, is what sets a restaurant like Local apart.

Natasha Bernardez is the Executive Chef of Clean Plate Culinary Inc. Her team specializes in farm to table culinary services, including catering and other customized offerings. To learn more about their services visit CleanPlateCulinary.com.

Sweet Grass Grill and Tomatillo Restaurant, Terrific Local Food Dining in Southern Westchester

Chef Iain Falconer at the Sweet Grass Grill

Chef Iain Falconer at the Sweet Grass Grill

Sweet Grass Grill

24 Main St. Tarrytown, NY 10591

914.631.0000; SweetGrassGrill.com

Hours: Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. – ‘til, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – ‘til, and  brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tomatillo Restaurant

13 Cedar St. Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522  

914.478.2300; Mexchester.com

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (most nights); kitchen stays open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

Sweet Grass Grill and Tomatillo Restaurant are located in the heart of Southern Westchester and both are owned and operated by David Starkey. I stumbled upon Sweet Grass Grill one summer afternoon when I was searching for a great farm-to-table lunch option. Chefs Ian Falconer (Sweet Grass Grill) and Starkey (Tomatillo) are both dedicated to healthy, locally sourced foods and Starkey’s commitment is to ensure that his food is not only delicious, but also socially responsible. Many of the ingredients used at both restaurants come from nearby farms, such as Stone Barn in Pocantico Hills and Ryder Farm in Brewster. My favorite dish at Sweet Grass Grill is the free-range chicken, which is covered in an array of savory toppings according to the season.

Sweet Grass Grill offers American-infused traditional comfort dishes with a healthy twist, while Tomatillo offers Mexican favorites with the same health consciousness (e.g., brown versus white rice). The menu items change seasonally according to the local foods used to create them. Sweet Grass Grill also offers Meatless Mondays, giving vegetarians a prix-fixe menu option. Their children’s menu items come with vegetables to provide a balanced meal and promote healthy habits. Many of the wines served are also local. One of their most popular Chardonnays comes from Red Tail Ridge Winery in the Finger Lakes region.

Whether he’s buying garlic from California, shrimp from the Gulf Coast or pumpkin from the farm next door, Starkey seeks to make sure that his business boosts the American economy while staying on top of food trends. His restaurants are a great option for those seeking to enjoy a healthy, local and sustainable meal that is both delicious and reasonably priced.

Natasha Bernardez is the Executive Chef of Clean Plate Culinary Inc. Her team specializes in healthy food culinary services, including personal chef and other customized offerings. To book their services visit CleanPlateCulinary.com or call 347.644.8306 for a consultation.