The Cookery Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry, NY is one of the more popular restaurants amongst the thirty something foodies crowd in Westchester. It’s food is rustic, flavorful and pushes the envelope just enough to make it a truly unique culinary experience, without going over the top.Now, we all know Brunch wouldn’t be Brunch without a Bloody Mary. Especially when I’m working hard to populate the Bloody Mary App I created. Like everything else at The Cookery, the Bloody Mary was unique. It was spicy while also oddly acidic. After a few sips, I am fairly confident the extra acidity was coming from Apple Cider Vinegar. While I appreciated the unique twist on the Bloody Mary, fellow feasters agreed we did not enjoy the pungency that was coming from the vinegar. The garnish was also non existent and this surprised me a bit given the creative nature of the restaurant. I think with some tweaks here, their Bloody Mary could be something of note, but not as it is now. Not for me anyway.
On the flip side, the cocktail that came with our Brunch, referred to as the ‘Brunch Punch’ was delicious! The cocktail changes, although I don’t know how frequently. On this day it was a cocktail with Gin, triple sec, orange juice and thyme. It was dangerously good.Upon entering, we experienced a positive and fun vibe that was coming from the dining room, while the bar area was quiet and empty. Typically, we saddle up to the bar and settle in, but we went where the crowd was. The crowd was predominantly young professionals enjoying friends and cocktails on a Saturday afternoon. It reminded me of weekends in New York City where this scene is the norm. But here in suburban Westchester, this vibe can be hard to come by. Immediately, we’re hooked.The Cookery’s brunch is really unique for a multitude of reasons. First, it is one price for everyone. You can not order a la carte. For $35.00 you are offered a choice of an appetizer, an entree, a dessert, a small plate of passed Hors d’oeuvres, and the cocktail of the day. At first, $35.00 for brunch seems a little high, but think about it. An average brunch dish, say Eggs Benedict, ranges from $14-$18 at comparable restaurants and a Bloody Mary averages $12.00. So $30.00 is your average minimum brunch investment and all you get is a traditional breakfast dish and a drink. Here at The Cookery you get a full sized 3 course meal, a fantastic cocktail, and a tasting plate from the kitchen. It’s unconventional to not offer a la carte, but I can also quickly see why this makes it ideal to dine here with friends. One price, lots of options, no issues with the bill- I’m a fan. Brunch is served on Saturdays & Sundays.Now onto the menu. There is nothing ‘typical’ about this brunch menu. Not a single thing looks ‘average.’ You will not find ‘blueberry pancakes’ or ‘two eggs any style with your choice of bacon or sausage.’ No- not here. Here they combine ingredients that you never thought to do. The Meatball topped with Egg, for example. This I had to try, and I am very glad I did. Here is another unique combo for you- Waffles & Bone Marrow. Certainly not something you see everyday. But for those less adventurous, there are many approachable classics like the bucket of fried chicken or the griddle burger.
I did have some trouble deciding what to get- I wanted to try everything! But in the end, I choose to start with the Meatball and an Egg, followed by Eggs in Purgatory and Warm Chocolate Polenta for dessert. My dining companion went with Egg in a Jar, French Toast with Smoked Scramoza Poached Egg and Stickabutta Pie. Here’s what we thought.
The Meatball and Egg was awesome. The meatball itself was probably one of the best I have every had. (I love meatballs.) The egg was cooked perfectly and the combination really worked. It was a sizable appetizer- a meal in itself. The Egg in a Jar was a perfectly poached egg over polenta with crispy pork and it was really, really good. This was a also a fairly filling appetizer. There was no clear winner here and I would recommend both without delay.
In the entree category we had a very clear winner. The Eggs in Purgatory were awesome! This dish was packed with flavor, and while savory and rich, also bright and clean. However, we thought the French toast with Housemade Sausage and a Poached Egg was just okay. We agreed that the dish was slightly disconnected and needed something to bring it all together, or at the least, the french toast needed to be a little sweeter. Overall, neither of us would order this dish again.Dessert soon arrived. Although both desserts were good, they were both outrageously sweet. Like crazy, insanely, diabetic coma sweet! This is of course is the intention and both were good in their own right, but for us, it was just too much. This was not unique to only the two desserts we choose, as all the dessert options were very sweet and this was a little disappointing. We agreed we would like to see something like mixed berries or a cheese plate as an option for those who can’t handle the sugar.All and all, I really do like most everything about The Cookery. In fact, I wish it was located a little closer to me. I applaud them for stepping out of the box and creating something unique. Certainly I didn’t love everything, but I think that’s the point- you have to try new things to find out what you like and what you don’t like. It turns out, I don’t like apple cider vinegar in my Bloody Mary, but I do like an egg on a meatball, and I wouldn’t have known that if not for The Cookery. I am eager to try the other menu items and look forward to going back soon.