Ethan Prater

Whole-pig dinners and Roberta’s-style pies are just a quick MetroNorth ride away.

Alex Schechter
September 03, 2015

One could argue the riverside town of Dobbs Ferry, New York—25 minutes north of Manhattan—was always marked for greatness. It’s the hometown of Mark Zuckerberg. Parts of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video were filmed here. In 2008, restaurateur Frank Donata got caught printing fake money in the back of his Main Street pizza shop. “Pizza Man: I Made a Lot of Phony Dough” ran the triumphant NY Post headline

Now, the sleepy suburb is enjoying another, albeit scandal-free, moment in the spotlight. 

A wave of new restaurants has sprung up across town—last November, the uniquely positioned Hudson Social opened inside a former ticketing station along the Metro-North rail line. Its 12 outdoor tables face the river, so in the late afternoon diners can sit outside, munching house-baked Bavarian pretzels and watching the sun set over the Palisades. Nightly happy hours—like $6 Jameson’s picklebacks every Friday—are a good way to shake off the commuter rush (plus you’ll be rewarded with a less-crowded train on the way back to the city).

Unless, of course, you’re in the mood for pizza. Roberta’s Cookbook has a prominent spot on the shelves at Parlor, and the graffiti-spattered, repurposed brick interiors immediately call to mind its Bushwick forerunner. But the pies ($15-$18) are no joke: they’re fired in a massive circular wood-burning oven, Neapolitan-style, and use non-traditional toppings like smoked scamorza, chili honey, and maitake mushrooms. Worth springing for, too, are the wines on tap and bottled cocktails—one mixes ginger-infused gin, watermelon, cucumber, and lime ($12).

(Owner/chef David DiBari, who logged hours with Mario Batali and David Bouley, also runs the Cookery across the street, known for its whole-pig dinners and, yes, chocolate polenta(!!!) with pretzels and Slovenian fleur de sel).

We can almost picture a weary Zuckerberg (inventing the world’s largest social media network is one way to work up an appetite) tucking into a plate of plate of beer-battered pickles ($8), followed by Yonkers Lager–braised barbecue lamb ribs ($24), at all-American eatery Cedar Street Grill. Brunch might be a “city thing,” but the sausage with creamy grits and maple syrup ($13) is one meal worth heading upriver for.

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