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Eat Here Now: New Restaurants South Of I-287

A "Mexibowl" at PopoJito in Scarsdale. Photo Credit: Facebook
Fresh seafood is front and center at Vento Bistro in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Submitted

Westchester is a foodie county -- many of us are transplants from Manhattan after all --  and in the dense part of the county south of I-287, that means an ever-expanding repertoire of top-notch restaurants.

Over the past few months, there's been a flurry of new openings -- along with the promise of more tasty bites to come.

Read on for where to go. Our Northern Westchester overview can be read by clicking here.

  • Capers Restaurant, Port Chester: This Mediterranean eatery in the spot formerly occupied by Cafe Mirage, opened Sept. 1 and specializes in seafood and a few vegetarian options. The owner also runs Appétit Bistro in Port Chester.
  • Flames Steakhouse, Elmsford: What's old is new again --  Flames Steakhouse, founded in 1992 in Briarcliff Manor, came south this past summer at 121 E Main Street in Elmsford.
  • George's Dragon, Tuckahoe: Wholesome Chinese food is the motto at this tiny take-out, open since Dec.16. That means traditional Cantonese cuisine free of artificial colors, preservatives and additives.
  • Hudson Farmer & The Fish, Sleepy Hollow: The folks behind North Salem’s Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish have recreated their Northern Westchester outpost on the Sleepy Hollow waterfront but this time there's an emphasis on pizza. You'll still find seasonal specialities from their farm, along with a full raw bar, and innovative interpretations of seafood classics. Come spring, there will be outdoor dining.
  • Mr. Koo's Kitchen, Irvington: Looking for inventive Chinese? Head to this intimate eatery which features a contemporary Cantonese menu based on local offerings. In other words, the menu changes weekly.
  • Pizzeria La Rosa, New Rochelle: Open since late September, this pizzeria is getting lots of buzz with its classic Neapolitan meets New York style pizzas, seasonal salads, side dishes and classic Italian desserts, all of which are made in-house with fresh ingredients.
  • PopoJito, Scarsdale: Open since mid-November this 30-seat restaurant focuses on healthy Mediterranean-inspired dishes with a Mexican twist. All dishes are gluten-free and rely on locally-sourced proteins, seasonal vegetables, and classic flavor elements like tahini and citrus.
  • The Red Pony, Rye: This new Purchase Street wine bar, open since late December, has been a longtime dream of Cai Palmer, the owner of Rye's Wine at Five. The mission: To be a European-style wine bar where you can sit with friends, have a nice glass of wine without a TV screaming a sports game and not have the commitment of a full dinner. Charcuteries, cheeses, and "Clarktails" by the well-known Westchester mixologist Clarke Moore, are also available. .
  • Vento Bistro, New Rochelle: This charming spot, by Chef Francesco Coli, formerly of La Viletta in Larchmont and Massa’ Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar in Mamaroneck,  has been dishing out fresh seafood and homemade pastas since opening in late September. The wine shop next door means you'll also find lots of great bottle options.

Opening in 2018

  • Cooked & Co., Scarsdale: Folks addicted to the nutella muffins or the low-cal sandwiches are eagerly awaiting the expansion/remodel of this cozy spot, with an emphasis on healthy fare. Keep up to date on Facebook here for their grand reopening.
  • Colony Grill, Port Chester: The Connecticut-based pizza chain, known for its paper thin-crust pizza served with a “hot oil” topping, has had construction delays. The opening is now set for spring.
  • Pax Romana, White Plains: Expect an open airy space when Pax Romana opens -- possibly by the end of January (but possibly later). "Every aspect of the space is visible," said Owner Paul Russo. "From the kitchen and pasta bar in the dining room and even prep rooms and storage." Pizza will also be a bigger part of the operation, with flour imported from Rome. The eatery is five doors down from its original location at 171 East Post Road.
  • Playa Bowls opened in December in Pleasantville and is set to open sometime in March in Bronxville. The New Jersey-based acai bowl franchise, with a surfer facade and counter seating, specializes in fruity foundations that are topped with a host of options such as chocolate, pineapple, granola, honey and almond butter. The new location is at 15 Park Place.
  • Rio Bravo Tacos & Tequila, Tuckahoe: This lively Mexican restaurant -- popular for its killer margaritas and tableside guacamole -- is opening a second Westchester location at 296 Columbus Avenue by the Tuckahoe train station. The Fairfield County-based eatery opened in Larchmont in March 2015.
  • Root & Vine Juice Bar, Bronxville : Not technically a restaurant but a new smoothie and juice bar will open at 4 Cedar St. in late January.
  • Saw Pit Smokehouse Port Chester: You'll have to wait till May (ish) to taste Greg McDowell' smoking ribs, brisket, chicken and waffles. The former chef at The Bayou in Mount Vernon and Ruby's Oyster Bar & Bistro in Rye, is all about showcasing the foods he grew up eating when he opens this spring at 26 Poningo St.
  • Taco Shack, Port Chester: Not sure when this new taco place will open but Instagram photos show progress.
  • Walter's Hot Dogs, White Plains: The iconic Mamaroneck landmark has the goal of opening at 186 Mamaroneck Ave. by the end of February.

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