POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – A refreshing update to the 1833 historic building located at 258 Westchester Ave, Pound Ridge, has been completed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Update is probably the incorrect word for the complete transformation of the tired and somewhat claustrophobic space. There is now an upscale vibe with a sleek modern bar area, vaulted beamed ceilings, polished original wide-board floors and finally custom oak tables hewn from reclaimed antique barn wood sourced from upstate New York and Eastern Pennsylvania. Upscale meets Upstate.
The food is inventive and unexpected. This is accomplished by Vongerichten’s creative pairing of ingredients in untraditional ways to create something completely different than is available elsewhere.
I spoke with Brandi Kowalski, the Assistant General Manager since the restaurant opened on Jan. 21. She works for Jean-Georges throughout the United States, launching various restaurants and is pleased that she has been able to stay in Pound Ridge this year, hiring and training the staff to her high standards.
The Inn at Pound Ridge is the de facto home base for Jean-Georges Vongerichten since he lives nearby in Waccabuc with his family.
The food is – well, the food was excellent. I started with several appetizers including yellowtail sushi with crunchy rice and hamachi. Wow. The texture was distinctly different than any other sushi I have tasted before – flavorful and a bit spicy – while the rice was crisped in a gluten-free batter that was so much lighter and better than a normal batter. The second appetizer was the Foie Gras Terrine with caramelized strawberries. Another distinctly different take on a classic – this can almost be served as a dessert!
The entrees did not disappoint either. The entrees are a diverse group that range from a burger to filet mignon, with all of the stops in between including lobster. I tried the Scottish salmon with corn pudding and cherry tomato salad, which turned a fish that I have become bored with into an interesting meal with lively summer flavor. I also tried the pork chop wrapped in prosciutto.
Pork wrapped in pork – even though I have never, ever ordered a pork chop at a restaurant, I had to try it – and I was not disappointed! The pork chop is large enough to share and comes with sautéed mushrooms – truly a divine pairing. In honor of this dish, I may not eat pork again until I go back to the Inn at Pound Ridge.
Desserts were a fitting end to the sumptuous meal – with offerings from chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting to peach cobbler with blueberry ice cream to berries swimming in marscapone cream.
The Inn at Pound Ridge is a labor of love for Jean-Georges Vongerichten that we are lucky to have in our neighborhood. It is centrally located less than 20 minutes from my home base In Chappaqua and is close to all points in Northern Westchester - plus it is extremely close to Connecticut. I would recommend this restaurant as a place that everybody should visit sooner rather than later.