If you are a frazzled Metro North commuter, jump off the train in Katonah. Or, if you are stuck in annoying traffic on Route 684, veer off at Exit 6 and point your car towards Katonah. The Whitlock Restaurant located in this quaint village (directly across from the train station) will make you quickly forget your travel woes.
Christina and Matt Safarowic opened this haven 8 months ago, and have just introduced their summer menu. “We wanted to create a meeting place in the heart of town to gather family and friends for good food and spirits,” said Matt.
In the early 1800s, merchants John Burr Whitlock and Squire Wood created the region’s very first businesses – a general store, tavern and mill – appropriately named Wood & Whitlock. The sense of community that was created was so vital that the settlement grew and shifted several times in the 19th century, until New York City condemned the land to construct reservoirs along the Croton and Cross Rivers. Residents were forced to lift their homes from their foundations and transplant their families to what we now know as Katonah. “The impact of their creation is what we honor,” said Matt.
“We also want to support local farms, purveyors and businesses to bring our customers a hyper-local and authentic experience in the heart of the hamlet,” said Christina.
The local farms and breweries supported include: Amba Farm in Bedford Hills, Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grove and Meadowland Farm in Clinton Corners. Their ice cream comes from Longford’s of Port Chester. Captain Lawrence, Peekskill Brewery and Yonkers Brewery supply the beer. “We cater to the preferences of our customers. Many of our customers are health conscience and our menu reflects that, so all but one of our desserts are gluten free,” said Matt.
We chatted with Matt about his summer menu which highlights Lobster BLT Sliders and a Market Fish, a fresh daily catch paired with seasonal greens. After agonizing over what to order from all the wonderful choices we decided to start with the Everything Bagel Deviled Eggs.
So delicious! We also shared the Willy Nick’s Green Beans--tempura string beans fried to a perfect crisp that brought out their sweetness. I had to try their Chorizo and Shrimp Burger with Oaxaca cheese, serrano, avocado, mixed greens, and lemon aioli served on a brioche bun. Scrumptious!
When my husband boasted that he is a burger aficionado, Matt heartily recommended his own Classic Burger, a special blend from CM Meats with lettuce, tomato, maple bacon, pickles, and house sauce served on a brioche bun. The aficionado gave it 5 Stars! Other yummy small plates include Fish Tacos, French Onion Soup complete with a marrow bone, and a Roasted Artichoke Dip. A Berkshire Pork Chop with a vinegar pepper relish and a 20 oz Tomahawk Steak round out the entrees.
The restaurant is described as a modern farmhouse with a homegrown feel and features spacious black booths, a pressed tin backbar and white walls dotted with framed landscapes. This cozy, handsome restaurant only has 16 inside tables, but their patio is now open and seats an additional 24 diners.
Christina and Matt are also giving back to the community that has been so receptive and supportive of their new restaurant. On Saturday, June 9th they are participating in the 3rd Annual Kindness Over Muscular Dystrophy (KOMD), a fight to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The fundraiser will be held at the Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford from 7-11 pm and includes a Chef’s Tasting, Silent Auction, DJ, Raffles, and a release of a limited edition KOMD brew!
The Whitlock’s tasting will be their famous Chorizo and Shrimp Burger. Every dollar raised will be directed to the best scientific and medical research to help end Duchenne and support Connor Curran, a local boy suffering from this disease.
The Whitlock is also open for brunch, the menu offering a large and very inviting selection of brunchy items to choose from. Their spin on Eggs Benedict, bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise served on top of potatoes latka's, I am sure is worth the trip itself!
So, my suggestion for kicking off your summer in style is to nab a patio table and watch the harried commuters stumble off the train as you sip a gin & tonic and nibble on some Lobster BLTs!
17 Katonah Avenue