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Westchester's Ridge Hill a dining destination
Westchester’s Ridge Hill, the new village-like shopping complex along the New York State Thruway in Yonkers, is making a play to be a dining destination (One Ridge Hill Blvd., Yonkers; 914-207-2900; westchestersridgehill.com). Six restaurants, several of the white tablecloth variety, plus two additional spots slated to open this summer, are situated among national retailers like Lord & Taylor, Victoria’s Secret, Old Navy and L.L. Bean.
Here’s a bit about each of the restaurants in the dining lineup, presented in alphabetical order.
BRIO Tuscan Grille is a sleek, semi-casual Italian restaurant that is part of a large nationwide chain (914-709-1000; brioitalian.com). Lunch is a good deal: lasagna Bolognese ($14.85), grilled salmon with angel hair pasta ($14.85) or a soup and salad of choice ($9.25), as is happy hour, with $5 specialty drink specials and $3.95 “Tuscan Tasters” (3-7 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close, Monday-Friday in the bar). It has an attractive façade, with a green striped awning and a large outdoor café. Lunch and dinner are served daily.
The ubiquitous Cheesecake Factory offers a gigantic menu and huge portions (914-709-9240; thecheesecakefactory.com). Lunch and dinner are served daily.
Havana Central, a spinoff of the two originals in Manhattan, showcases traditional Cuban fare in a colorful and festive atmosphere (914-423-5500; havanacentral.com). You’ll find dishes like ropa vieja, arroz con pollo and vaca frita (crispy shredded beef), plus first-rate mojitos. There is live Latin music Wednesday through Saturday (salsa lessons are Wednesday at 6 p.m., with salsa dancing from 7 p.m. to close). Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. Lunch and dinner are served daily.
Studio 3, a semi-casual American restaurant and bar, is in the lobby of the Showcase Cinema De Lux — a growing trend as movie theaters nationwide attempt to lure movie fans off of their couches with Netflix on the TV (914-963-3780; showcasecinemas.com). It serves simple American fare and is very accommodating with children.
Texas de Brazil describes itself as a churrascaria, which is a Brazilian steakhouse that cooks over open fire (914-652-9660; texasdebrazil.com). It has sibling outlets in more than a dozen states. The menu presents all kinds of charred beef and poultry as well as a 50-item salad bar and a large wine list. Dinner is served daily ($46.99 per person, $24.99 per person for a light dinner; prices for children vary).
Another chain outlet found in more than a dozen states, Yard House serves burgers, grilled seafood and meats along with a large selection of beers (914-375- 9273; yardhouse.com). Lunch and dinner are served daily. Happy hour, held Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Sunday through Wednesday from 10 p.m. to close, includes drink specials ($6 martinis, $2 off wine and cocktails, $3.50 domestic pints) and select half-priced appetizers and pizzas.
A few restaurants are slated to open soon (likely in July), as follows:
The pitch at Elevation Burger, which has outlets in 10 states (including a restaurant in Rye Brook), is that it uses only organic, grass-fed beef that is ground on premises. You can also indulge in old-fashioned ice cream sodas and malts (elevationburger.com).
Lefteris Gyro (lefterisgyro.com) is the third outlet of the wildly popular, bargain-priced Greek eatery (others are in Tarrytown and Mount Kisco). You can fill the tank with winners like lamb and beef gyros in pita ($7.25), moussaka ($12.75), excellent split-pea soup ($4.25), spinach pie ($5.25) and more. The atmosphere is very casual.
A final option for those looking for a quick bite is the Whole Foods Market, open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (914-378-8090; wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/yonkers).