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X-Planations: Chef Peter X. Kelly Dishes On Favorite Restaurants

Tuna Taquitos (jicama wraps, guacamole, salsa roja) at Armonk's Moderne Barn.
Tuna Taquitos (jicama wraps, guacamole, salsa roja) at Armonk's Moderne Barn. Photo Credit: Submitted

YONKERS, N.Y. -- I’m often asked, “Where do you eat when you’re not at one of your restaurants?"

Since this happens far too infrequently than either my wife or I would like, we try to choose carefully. But, like everyone else, we have our favorites. We also like to try out whatever is new or interesting.

More often than not, we are drawn to area restaurants where I know the chef and respect their work and attitude. Some of my local favorites are The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry where Dave Dibari’s playful take on Italian cooking is always fun and surprising.

I'm also a fan of the Fortina restaurants in Armonk and Rye Brook where Christian Petrone and his team always welcome us with big hugs and serious plates of twisted Italian classics.

The Livanos family at Armonk's Moderne Barn consistently offer warm hospitality and a terrific dining experience and Jaques Loupiac at La Panetiere in Rye has been welcoming me and my family for nearly 30 years with warm French ambiance and classic cuisine Franciase.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also rave about the steaks at Nick Vuli’s Flames in Briarcliff Manor which rival those at Peter Lugers.

The Westchester area is very lucky to have so many wonderful chefs and restaurateurs and the ranks keep coming. Jean Georges Vongeriecten and his chefs at The Inn at Pound Ridge, Michael White at the Bedford Post, and Andy Nusser and Mario Batali at Port Chester's Tarry Lodge have all added excitement and vitality to the Westchester culinary scene.

On any given day, you can dine extraordinarily well on a host of cuisines. Try Chinese at Aberdeen in White Plains contemporary American at Kittle House in Chappaqua, Japanese at Murasaki in Nyack, Greek at MP Taverna in Irvington, Vietnamese at Saigonese in Hartsdale, Indian at Chutney Masala in Irvington, French at St. George in Hastings, fancy Italian at Mulinos In White Plains, casual Italian at Polpettina in Eastchester and Larchmont, and even Croatian at Dubrovnik in New Rochelle.

These are just a few of my "go-to's" and every week I discover more, so I promise to keep answering the question on where I eat out -- and keep you posted.

Got a favorite you want to share? Tell me about it in the Comments area below.

Next Week: "The Hills of Tuscany"

This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group which runs every Thursday. Go here for last week's story.

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