An Upstate Brunch at Juniper

Tucked away in the quiet little town of Hastings-on-Hudson is a tiny restaurant with some really big flavor- Juniper. Chef Alex Sze opened the place about two years ago and the place has been packed ever since.

The daily specials are written on the chalkboard to the side and the open kitchen is alive with excitement.

I stuck to the regular menu items that day and ordered the Brisket Burger with Gruyere Cheese, Roasted Tomato, Grilled Onion and Mustard Aioli. I have to tell you thing is all about that aioli. The brisket was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it was a little overcooked. I requested a medium rare and it came out closer to well so it lost some of its flavor. Luckily the creamy, garlicky mustard was there to spice it up a bit and give it a little more moisture. The Gruyere and Grilled Onion completely worked as well. This was a delicious, albeit overcooked, gourmet burger.

The fries were no joke either. They were long and skinny with a satisfying crunch after each bite. The side salad was right up there with the fries. I’m a Bibb lettuce fan and this had a wonderfully light vinaigrette on top that really gave a nice acidity to the entire plate.

One of the best parts about our meal,other than the fabulous food, was watching the staff. Chef Alex has both his parents working in the restaurant. So while he was working with the cooks, his father was busing tables and his Mom was helping at the front. It was such a family orientated little business. The second best part, it’s BYOB! We brought a fabulous bottle of wine and happily paid a $6 corking fee. The total bill for two came to about $30. This place truly is a gem. Their dinner menu looks fabulous with Roast Pork Loin, Duck Breast and a somewhat consistent Sweetbread special. If you live in the neighborhood consider yourself lucky- this is a place to return to again and again.

Juniper Restaurant