While you’re ordering your tickets for the American Gold Cup (Sept. 10-14 at Old Salem Farm), you might also want to make reservations at neighboring One Twenty One, which features a trifecta of talents – chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten alumnus and executive chef Beck Bolender, general manager Jeffrey Skiba and designer Pamela Dailey.
The trio led a four-week renovation of the restaurant, opening May 7 just in time for Old Salem Farm’s Spring Horse Shows. One Twenty One catered the spring shows in May and will once again be the caterer for the Gold Cup. Call the look young and modern meets country chic. The 15-seat bar is all glossy black lacquer and marble with copper and steel structures for barware suggesting the area’s fences. Mid-century seating teams with petrified wood stumps and reclaimed maple slabs that can serve as tables or additional seating in the lounge area, which can seat up to 20.
A vestibule graced by a photo mural of waves of grain against a blue sky leads to a lower-level dining gallery that seats 48. The walls are shimmering gray eel-skin; the sconces, black, copper and modern. The upper-level dining area, seating 50, looks onto the redesigned kitchen and wood-burning oven. Both dining rooms feature reclaimed oak tabletops and chairs in a warm, tobacco-colored linen that rest on steel bases. There are also banquettes in charcoal vinyl and community tables with metal-framed glass tops on wood bases.
Come for the design, as they say, stay for the food. Beck – who grew up in North Salem before going on to Nougatine and Jean-Georges in Manhattan, becoming the youngest sous chef in J-G history – whips up any number of locally sourced Hudson Valley treats. They include hangar steak chimichurri; crispy veal sweetbreads with wilted greens and chili aioli; seafood cioppino; snapper with spring vegetables and spring garlic; pan-fried shishitos with parmesan and lemon; and goat cheese fritters with bacon jam.
There’s a smear menu with creative combos like duck terrine and blackberries and bone marrow and cauliflower, along with wood-fired oven favorites like pizza, and prawns and pork. The service is overseen by Skiba, who honed his skills at such Big Apple faves as Craftbar and Gotham Bar and Grill. Pair the delectable offerings with one of 20 whites or 20 reds, a selection of American Craft beers or one of the imaginative cocktails. They include the Tennessee Cola (Michter’s Whiskey with root syrup, Sorel liqueur, Averell Damson gin liqueur and Coca-Cola, poured into a flask-shaped bottle); and Passion in Phuket (Tito’s vodka, passion fruit and Thai chilies).
It’s all designed for the adventurer in any horse or food lover. Says Beck: “My plan is to make sure the customer leaves the restaurant having tried two to three new dishes. I want to open our guests’ eyes to a new world of food and flavor trying dishes that they have never had before, especially in North Salem.”
One Twenty One serves weekday lunch and Saturday and Sunday brunch while offering dinner seven nights a week and a late-night menu. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant is at 2 Dingle Ridge Road. For reservations or more information, call 914-669-0121 or visit 121restaurant.com.