The first answer is yes. You should go to the Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges. That is, if you can get in. A reservation at the restaurant, owned by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, is the hottest ticket in Westchester since Blue Hill at Stone Barns opened in 2004.
The second answer: very good. The food is beautifully presented, and the flavors shine with signature Jean-Georges magic: a little heat, a little sweet, a little acidity, a little umami. The chef is Blake Farrar, who formerly cooked in Jean-Georges’ restaurant The Mark in Manhattan.
The third answer: gorgeous. The renovations of the building, a former inn and restaurant dating from 1833, will leave you slack-jawed. A big white-brick fireplace is the centerpiece of the dining room. The decor is mid-century-modern (elegant wood tables and chairs), vintage (mismatched silver and linens) and farmhouse chic (reclaimed barn wood, exposed beams), all rolled into one.
The fourth answer: it won’t break the bank — unless you want it to. Entrees range from $25 to $38. If you’re there for a celebration, you can spend $300 on a bottle of wine. If you’re there on a Tuesday, you can get an appetizer and a pizza and be out of there for under $50.
Food writer Megan McCaffrey and I had a reservation for opening night, but because of the snowstorm, we decided to change it to Wednesday. It meant we missed Martha Stewart and Richard Gere, but lucked in to a sighting of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.
It also means the restaurant had one more day to work out kinks. Besides a little technical difficulty with the check at the bar and the extra salt on our fries, we didn’t notice many.
Because we changed our reservation at the last minute, we could only get in at 5 p.m. (I think I was the first customer at the restaurant!) We ordered drinks at the bar while the staff scurried around, getting the dining room ready for the evening.
The bar is small — about 10 seats — and there are 10 or so tables in the lounge alongside it.
The lounge and dining room are separated by a banquette (for both). The dining room has a soaring ceiling, but feels cozy nonetheless.
This is not a review, just our first impressions of a restaurant on its second night open to the public. But here’s a look at the food. It was all terrific, though a couple of dishes were heavy handed on the salt.
Our first dish was the Peekytoe Crab Crostini with Garlic Aioli ($14). It came on a rye toast, considerately cut into four pieces, which made it easy to share. Sweet and buttery, and just as good as when I had it at ABC Kitchen.