A satisfying burger at Chat, Scarsdale...

After a New Year’s Day viewing of La La Land at the Jacob Burns we headed back down to Scarsdale for an early dinner at Chat in Scarsdale. I ordered a Chat Classic Burger with muenster and mushrooms medium with its side of shoestring fries. It was delivered to our table as requested and it was very flavorful with just a bit of decadence oozing from the rim of the seeded roll. The fries were crispy and just as satisfying. My companion ordered the Roasted Pear Salad with watercress, spicy pecans, gorgonzola and pear vinaigrette. Refreshing, though we had to ask for a bit more seasoning. We had a yen for something sweet, so we went for the warmed Flourless Chocolate Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with sliced strawberry and whipped cream on the side. We were glad we did…

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I’ll wait to see what JMF has to say.

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Ha, Ha, yes, me too! I know he really gets around…

You will never hear a review from me about the place. It’s absolutely the type of place I loathe. You would have a fight on your hands to get me in the door. First, I have never heard any good things about the place. Second, it’s a “New American Grill”, an American nouveau fusion place that does faux Asian, Mediterranean, and grilled items. Yes, loathe is the term for what I think of this type of…, of… lack of cuisine.

Just reading the cocktail menu I do know that the cocktails are terrible. They have a 1990’s style menu of poorly designed drinks using mediocre, premade in general, ingredients. Hell, they have their cocktail menu broken down into a dozen, “martini’s” and the others. Ugh! Don’t these folks know about the cocktail renaissance that started in the late80’s & 90’s, and picked up into full swing early 2000’s?

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Thanks, JMF, for your insight…by the time we left last night the dining room was crowded.
I am not sure everyone cares about your cocktail revolution. (They have their cocktail list online, if you want to check it out.) I am sure it has helped bring prices thru to roof, though. Imagine, saying this about a restaurant without experiencing it…
Just for your info: The Fava family also owns Chat 19 in Larchmont, Lusardi’s in Larchmont, and Muscato in Scarsdale. And they have been at it for years.

Thanks. I know you know your cocktails- BTW, you won’t like Dudley’s Old Fashioned, Dudley’s is the place where people go to get drunk, but I love it - so can you expand on your list of preferred restaurants?

I’m quite lazy, so Lower Westchester will do, if you have a moment. We just passed by Carta Brava driving through Division Street, how did you find it?

Thanks.

I am not a huge fan of Chat, however, there are times when it serves a purpose. Like when meeting somebody for lunch, particularly when the patio is open, since there are not a lot of choices around there. I like the goat cheese salad and the steamed artichoke. Don’t know about the cocktails since I don’t really drink.

Thinking back, it was in November for lunch. I just had the ceviche/fried calamari combo. It was a smallish serving, a bit pricey for what you got, but good. Although the calamari was a bit overcooked and there was none of the traditional aji sauce served with it. I left hungry. I would have needed an additional app or side to make it a full meal. Other items were much larger servings. The ceviche wasn’t as spicy as I would like, but very flavorful and not oversalted, The owner/chef very nicely put what I think may have been a roccoto pepper in a small blender for me so I could add as much as I liked. It was a wonderful deep, bright red colored hot pepper. Lots of fruity flavors with some red wine tones, hot in the habanero range. I need to go back and check out the full menu some time. If I remember, it was a small/limited menu, of traditional Peruvian dishes, but made to more upscale/modern restaurant standards. Although the place isn’t a fancy one.

Well, as I said, this is the type of restaurant I loathe. And won’t go. I can’t stand fusion. I am very strongly of the belief that only a tiny minority of restaurants can do a successful fusion style well.

There are thousands of lousy restaurants that are always packed. Look at McDonalds or Chipotle.

As for people not caring about quality cocktails. It’s usually the same people who also don’t care about quality food. Which is probably 95% of the public. Let them eat and drink swill. They don’t know any better, and many don’t want to learn that there is better. Although I have turned dozens of people who didn’t care about food or drink, into ones who appreciated it and sought out the best. The thing that annoys me are people who act like they are food aficionados, but have poor taste and little knowledge.

I did check out their horrible, very dated, cocktail list. I can tell by reading a list exactly what they would be like. I have a fantastic palate memory and can create recipes completely in my head, and they come out exactly how I thought. So when I read the list of ingredients, and know what style of cocktail it is in general, I know what it will taste like.

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Lusardi. Ah, such a pretentious and overpriced restaurant. Much like the places owned by the Livanos.

JMF, what do you think of the cocktails at NoMa Social? I have no cocktail palate, and at times just want an Old Fashioned at Dudley’s, but NoMa did make me a nice Sidecar. I was entirely disappointed with the food and service at Modern on the Rails, but they made me a nice Boxcar.

We don’t try all that Westchester has to offer, and I doubt there is such a place, but why isn’t there at least ONE restaurant in Westchester that has good to very good cocktails, and good appetizers?

I haven’t been to NoMa Social so I can’t say.

The cocktails at Burrata in Eastchester were very, very, good. I don’t know what they are like now. I haven’t been there since Nov. 2015. But I spent much of 2015 working with them on their beverage program. Sadly, I have found in the past that unless the folks are dedicated, the bar program starts to wallow after a few months to a year. As for the food. I am not a fan of the brick oven style pizza. Maybe because I ran a brick oven bakery back in 2002/03. But I really liked all their apps and pasta. A lot.

I am very saddened by the state of cocktails in Westchester. Worse than the dining scene. I used to be able to recommend a few places, but not many anymore. I go to the City for cocktails. Usually Manhattan. I used to be the Education Director for the US Bartenders Guild NYC chapter a few years ago. Although I developed diabetes a little over a year ago and don’t drink many cocktails anymore. Bummer… one of life’s pleasures ripped away from me.

Just so you know, I did work with Chas and his family when they first started Burrata and it was an interesting experience. And I did like their pizza, even though their initial public did not know what to make of those specimens at the time.
You sound so frustrated, though. Let’s agree to disagree from time to time…

I went twice within the first 18 months Chat was open. The first time was for dinner with another couple and our combined 3 kids. We had a 6:30 reservation on a Saturday night.

There were no seats set aside for our party of 7. We were told to wait in the bar area with the 3 5th graders. The bar was already 3-4 deep with singles from 40-80 years old. The servers were practically swimming their way through bodies from the kitchen to the dining room through the bar area. One dropped a huge tray of apps right in front of the kitchen entrance next to the hostess stand. Despite the presence of the hostess and the manager, who were standing right there, the mess stayed for at least 10 minutes. We watched server after server slide along the slime and try to avoid broken glass while juggling serving trays. It was ridiculous.

A member of the other couple got the adults a round of the worst lemon drop martinis we had ever had. It was Pledge-flavored gin. One sip later, I passed off my glass and switched to Diet Coke.

We were finally seated in the bar area. Yes, we were a party of 7 with 3 kids and they thought it was fine not only to have us wait for an hour before being seated, but to seat us in the bar.

I ordered the tuna tartare and the meatloaf. The tuna was served with long plantain chips. Every time I tried to scoop the tuna with the chip, the chip broke into the tuna. Eventually, after losing more than one chip, we had to put the tuna on our plates and manually place the tuna on the chips. The tuna itself was seasoned only with sesame oil. Like, a huge amount of sesame oil. The color was off (grayish) on many of the tuna chunks. The chips were unsalted and beyond crumbly. The tuna was cut horribly with chunks, strips, and strings of flesh. Fail.

The meatloaf had been made in a food processor. It looked and smelled awful and the texture was absolute mush. It went home in a doggie bag and was thrown out a couple of days later.

Our entire dinner was spent with horny seniors knocking into our backs. There were furs that ended up dragging through our food. We even had some elderly man sit himself at our table. He didn’t say a word and stayed after we paid our check.

The second visit was for lunch at the insistence of one of the folks we went with before. I’m a little less sure of what I ordered as it was the wacko conversation that captured my memory, but I’m pretty sure it involved a sandwich that arrived without fries. It was supposed to come with fries. I asked once, then twice, then 3 times in the hour I was there. The fries came out with our check.

I did let management know about the first visit and how messed up it was, mentioning the tartare in particular. I never received a response and the dish is apparently still on the menu. Seriously, you guys, the menu hasn’t changed since 2009. This place seems to be geared towards two groups: Ladies and moms who lunch and would rather talk than eat interesting, well-prepared food during daylight hours; and for local widowers and divorcees with pockets full of Viagra looking for some early bird fun on weekends. I’m pretty sure it stays popular because it is in walking distance for many Scarsdale residents so they don’t need to Uber home after drinking.

GR, I’m glad you enjoyed your lunch. For me, this isn’t a food destination but rather just a place to meet up with locals that is a little more upscale than other Scarsdale venues like Metro Diner or Parkway Coffee Shop. Our expectations around here are painfully low.

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I think this thread illustrates well why discussions like this one hold back participation of your regional board. Food forums like these are about opinions. One may not like the others’ opinions, and sometimes one may not like another person because of their opinions. The issue is, when these opinions are expressed in a way that’s an implicit/ explicit swipe at another person, it sets the tone of the forum YOU want to have. When negativity abounds, observers are disinclined to join in the discussions. When the discussions are conducted respectfully despite disagreements, more are encouraged to chime in, creating a positive cycle.

I’d suggest that, if you disagree, just disagree with the opinion. If you, for whatever reason, really don’t like a particular person and their opinions, that you feel the urge to swipe at another person, stop, and ignore. Please refer to the forum rules for more details.

I’d encourage participants of this board to have a discussion what kind of board you want to have a year from now and the tone you want to set.

Thank you.

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I am very saddened by the state of cocktails in Westchester. Worse than the dining scene.

Thanks, JMF. I couldn’t agree more.

… . delete

Topic is getting unproductive. Locking it.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold