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Dining & Wining

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Grand Dining in Restored Rail Station

The Club Car Restaurant may be in Mamaroneck, but Executive Chef Brian MacMenamin says many of his regular diners are from Rye.

 

By Jon Craig


Clubcar 0156The Club Car Restaurant may be in Mamaroneck, but Executive Chef Brian MacMenamin says many of his regular diners are from Rye. Ever since the restaurant opened at the Mamaroneck Train Station in April, it’s been nearly impossible to book a reservation.


MacMenamin, who honed his cooking and pastry skills in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, transformed one of New York’s oldest railroad stations into a restaurant and bar seating 180. The landmark was built in 1888 but left vacant for 40 years.


Fare includes escargots, lobster, T-bone steaks, locally grown produce, poultry, and other food that the Club Car owner scopes out with some of his 70-member staff on weekly field trips throughout the Hudson Valley.


clubcar-DSC 0149The dining area has a warm but historic feel, with a blazing fireplace at one end and huge, comfortable sofas and chairs. Diners gaze at the 50-foot tin ceilings, crystal chandeliers, tall stained-glass windows, and mosaic tile floors, surrounded by brick and mahogany paneled walls. The building, once condemned and abandoned, has come back to life with fine china, white tablecloths, and gray-vested servers under soft lighting.


MacMenamin, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, cooks up old-school entrees such as pork chops. On our last visit, we were treated to a divine lobster risotto. Among the most popular items on the menu are escargots, Arctic sea bass, and oversized portions of Black Angus steak cut in-house.


The chef/owner previously opened the Larchmont Avenue Oyster House, Post Road Ale House, and MacMenamin’s Grill & ChefWorks.


His Club Car Lounge wine list mirrors the one that received a prestigious Wine Spectator award at MacMenamin’s Grill in New Rochelle. The raw bar menu included clams, crab legs, jumbo shrimp, and oysters.


In its short life, the Club Car has quickly become the destination for all the important celebratory occasions in life, starting with rehearsal dinners.


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