When you think of "kid's menus," chicken fingers and french fries probably come to mind. But what about grilled salmon? Asian grilled chicken?
These items are on the "Young Diner's Menu," recently created by Doug Crossett and his partner Scott Pires for their newest venture, Oliver's, which occupies the space formerly known as The Katonah Grill, at 128 Bedford Road.
"We talked to our customers, and this is what they wanted," said Crossett.
Through informal conversations with his customers, Crossett found that his patron base was increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable about international cuisine and eating locally and seasonally.
"Some of the kids visiting here have traveled the world. We wanted to offer something beyond the basic fare for kids, and some healthier options, too," said Crossett.
Not to worry, though, the chicken fingers are still there. Crossett, along with Pires, who now runs the kitchen at Oliver's, maintained about 80 percent of the old menu, including their old standbys like gourmet angus burgers and 12 varieties of hot and cold wraps.
Another new section of the menu is "Chef Pires Seasonal Offerings." For March, it lists "winter holdovers with early spring items," in the form of a Beet and Mandarin Orange Salad, Ginger Orange Chicken and Endive Salad, to name a few.
The interior received a major style upgrade. Everything is new, from the luxurious dark blue carpeting, to dark mahogany tables and chairs, to the floral arrangements hanging in wall-mounted iron vases. The elegant white dinnerware has a contemporary feel.
Crossett was quick to point out that the new look, designed primarily by his wife Nancy, co-exists with the same family-friendly spirit for which they've always been known.
"With our new adult pub room, we'll actually do a better job now of keeping our families with young children happy, as well as the adults who've gotten a babysitter for a night out," he said. The arcade room still offers a videogamer's paradise for kids to keep busy while awaiting their meal.
The bar area, now dubbed "The Pub Room," allows diners 13 and older to eat with their families.
Other additions include refurbished bathrooms with blue wainscoted walls and country-club like accessories such as lotion and hairspray (full disclosure: Patch was only able to visit the ladies room), as well as a selection of well-priced wines.
"My daughter Kelly Crossett created the wine list, building upon the success we've had at our other restaurants (McArthur's American Grill and Michael's Tavern, both in Pleasantville)," said Crossett. The wines are priced a bit below their competitors and are given a generous pour, he said.
Crossett, who lives with his family in Katonah, and Pires, who lives in nearby Somers operate a family-oriented business, from the customers they serve to the way the business is run.
Oliver's is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Visit their Web site for more information.