Friday, Apr 12th

An Exciting, Creative Menu At Park 143 Bistro and Fish In Bronxville

143 Park Bistro 2Bronxville is an area that boasts many beautiful homes. It is also the home of many delightful restaurants. On one of their charming streets, lined with brick-faced retail shops and colorful well manicured planters, directly across from the train station, is one of my favorite dining spots, Park 143 Bistro & Fish. It opened several years ago as Park 143 Bistro and within a few years, owner Wayne Chessler added "And Fish" to its name. The unique menu now offers a fabulous selection of innovative fish and seafood dishes, served in a sophisticated yet comfortable setting.

The atmosphere at Park 143 Bistro & Fish is warm and inviting with a New York City modern vibe. Seating about 70, the busy bar with its striking red upholstered stools greets you. Lit with pendant lighting it's a friendly place for interesting cocktails. Beyond the bar, zebra patterned covered banquettes line the walls. Black tabletops are adorned with fresh flowers of interesting varieties. Silver framed mirrors add to the setting. Not to be missed is the artwork of Manhattan artist Nick Stavrides. His childhood summers in Montauk inspired his marine series of paintings that adorn the walls. They are for sale. A few comfortable tables are offered outside, weather permitting.

Owner, the enthusiastic Wayne Chessler, is a familiar face in the culinary field. Through the years, he has managed The Assembly Steak House in Manhattan, Underhills Crossing in Bronxville and Harrys of Hartsdale. "I love coming to work and I never get bored. Each week, I visit restaurants around the city to keep up with current trends. Simplicity and freshness are very important. The formal high end dining spots of the past are waning in number and more casual dining options are becoming popular. Park 143 Bistro & Fish is unique among bistros because of its modern, warm and casual ambiance. We use top quality ingredients, make everything to order, and we keep up with current trends that our clients desire. I'm so proud of our food and there is nothing more exciting than being host on a busy night. I would love to host a dinner at Park 143 Bistro and Fish and invite 5 chefs, both young and old, and watch their reactions as they take their first bites."

scallopsThe kitchen is headed by Chef Andrew Hopkins. His creativity is evident in his musical talent, on the guitar, as well as in the preparation of the interesting menu choices. He worked his way up in the culinary field from dishwasher to chef. After graduating from Johnson and Wales, he honed his skills in Chappaqua, The Hamptons, Argentina and Brazil. "For me, heading the kitchen is an extension of my artistic expression. I love the pressure of the kitchen. And I am inspired by the ingredients. "

burgerOn the day of my visit, Hopkins was deciding what type of sauce to prepare to enhance the freshly arrived sea scallops.
I just loved the menu. So many interesting choices. Our opening acts were selections from the "In the Pot" section. A large silver pot arrived, filled with mussels, perfectly cooked, just until the shells opened and revealed their tender contents. We loved the parm mussels in a nicely spiced sauce of parmesan, cream, lemon, scallions, toasted garlic and crispy shallots. We removed the cover and used it for our discarded shells. A small ladle and a seafood fork allowed us to savor these morsels, as well as the flavorful broth. A nicely grilled crouton absorbed the fine broth. Another pot arrived, this one filled with mussels in an aromatic broth of ginger, garlic, sake, chilies, soy and butter. The Asian flavors were enticing. Mexican mussels, drunken mussels with tequila and little neck clams, classically prepared were other In the Pot options.

shrimpFrom the numerous starters, we enjoyed Park Shrimp, in an individual cast iron skillet. The rubber-covered handle was a thoughtful touch since it prevented us from burning our hands on the sizzling pan. Olive oil, sherry, garlic and red pepper strips mixed with the shrimp for a lovely taste and presentation. Fried oysters should not be missed. With their mild semolina crust, the flavor of the bluepoint oysters shone through. Tarragon remoulade and chipotle aioli shared the plate. Next a most unusual dish of many textures, our crispy octopus arrived. The rings of octopus sat on a bed of potato puree. Salsa verde, strips of sweet peppers, and slices of tomatillo, completed the plate, an explosion of color, taste and texture. The octopus was carefully cooked to retain its tenderness.

Three varieties of taco are a must here. We chose the fish tacos. The 6 inch tortillas sit on a paper lined plate. Ours was generously topped with beer battered mahi mahi, Asian slaw and chipotle aioli. Your fish can be grilled instead of fried. In the future, we will try the jerk chicken and bbq pork tacos.

salmonYet to be tried are chopped kale salad, the very popular shrimp and grits, crab cake and truffle mac 'n cheese. There is a burger bash section with offerings of a butcher burger, veggie burger, and a seafood burger with many varieties of fish in it, to name but a few possibilities.

It is hard to believe that we are just arriving at the entrees, which range from pasta primavera, gnocchi, seafood pasta, New York Strip Steak, a hearty short rib, and veal schnitzel with homemade potato pancakes and apple sauce. We tried the grilled wild Atlantic salmon, cooked rare, as requested, sitting aside a mound of wild and brown rice pilaf and a julienne of steamed vegetables. A fragrant citrus, dill butter completed this simply elegant dish.

Complete your meal with a classic carrot cake, a homemade brownie sundae, an innovative Nutella lasagna or a trio of ice cream or sorbets. My dessert of choice here is the seasonal mixed berries with freshly whipped cream.

If you choose to enjoy lunch or brunch at Park 143, the choices are varied from rustic frittata, huevos rancheros, lobster roll, and seafood salad, to name just a few choices. Monday through Friday lunch options include bbq pulled pork sandwich, fish and chips, seafood burger, fish tacos and Cobb salad and much more. There is also a happy hour menu of small bites available Monday through Friday from 4:30- 6:30. They can satisfy appetites for every meal.

A carefully thought out exciting and creative menu awaits you at Park 143 Bistro & Fish. It brings a New York City vibe to Westchester.

Park 143 Bistro & Fish
143 Parkway Road
914 337 5100

Aromatic Sake Steamed Mussels (serves 2)

2-3 pounds PEI Mussels
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup sake wine
1 Tbsp. tamari or light soy sauce
3 spring onions or scallions, finely sliced
1 red chilie finely sliced, or more if you wish
¼ bunch fresh Italian parsley, more if desired, chopped
Olive or preferred oil for sautéing

Clean and debeard the mussels. Tap any open mussels and discard any that do not close up. Place mussels in a bowl filled with ice until ready to use. In a large pan, over medium to low heat, soften the garlic in a bit of oil. Stir in the grated ginger and then add the sake. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add tamari and toss in the onions or scallions and chilies. Add the mussels and steam them for 3 to 5 minutes until they open. Take the pan off the heat and scatter with the chopped parsley. Serve in bowls and garnish with more parsley if desired. Some enjoy adding a bit of sweet butter to the sauce before serving which will give a creamy texture to the dish.

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