Ordinarily, food isn’t a highlight when I visit Westchester—rather it’s trips to Target, quality time by a fantastic pool and leisurely bike rides—but that changed this week after a dinner at Thomas Henkelmann’s Homestead Inn. Located a mere 35 miles north of where I call home, I’m almost ashamed to say this was my first trip to the charming inn that was founded by Chef Henkelmann and his wife Theresa in 1997.
After exiting the highway and following a few winding roads, we arrived at a long driveway leading to a stately house surrounded by gorgeously manicured grounds. After a quick scan of the parking lot and a greeting by the bartender in a white jacket and bow tie, my first impression was a stuffy one, but on closer inspection I saw quirky lawn sculptures, zebra-patterned upholstery and adorable ceramic faces noting the his and hers bathrooms. Thomas Henkelmann doesn’t take himself too seriously (even though he has the credentials to make Hilly Holbrook question her own manners).
We were a little early and while they were happy to accommodate, it was suggested that we enjoy a cocktail on the porch and enjoy we did, as the summer breeze wafted through the air bringing with it the garden’s abundant fragrance. In the short time we spent on the porch, we witnessed more than a dozen guests descend upon the house for dinner. Clearly, this is not a hidden gem and the well-heeled diners of Greenwich, and beyond, seem to regularly visit for Henkelmann’s trademark cuisine that favors seasonal specialties.
The seared yellow-fin tuna, Dover sole and scallops, and warm Valrhona chocolate soufflé that we dined on (devoured more like it) were out of this world. The entire staff was attentive without being intrusive and took care to point out special touches, like the no-two-are-alike hand-painted charger plates. We were allowed to eat at a leisurely pace, something that can be hard to find at even the nicest haunts in New York City, and as we drove home I was trying to think of a reason to come back in the fall to actually spend a night (or two) in one of the inn’s 18 rooms.
When the need for a quick escape from New York City presents itself, albeit for a night or just to enjoy a lovely meal, a visit to The Homestead Inn will not disappoint. Now, about that trip this fall….
Read more about food:
Sip and Savor: 10 Summer Cocktail Recipes from the Restaurants and Bars of Luxury Hotels
Trip Tips: The Travel Channel’s Adam Richman “Exploring Fork First” Austin, Honolulu and New York
Destination Dispatches: A Meadowood Meal Fit to Photograph