BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – At the top of Studio Hill Road sits a white mansion with colossal columns and a circular fountain resembling a smaller version of Tara, the plantation from “Gone With the Wind.”
The mansion, formerly the French restaurant Maison Lafitte, reopened in April with a new look, a new menu and a new name – the Hudson at Haymount House.
The Haymount House was built in 1910 as a summer home for North Carolina lawyer William Fuller. After a long run as Maison Lafitte, current owners David Breschel, David Darmonovic, Joseph LaRosa and William Gray gave the mansion a yearlong renovation that included replacing old drop ceilings, adding a bar, hardwood floors and painting softer hues on the walls.
“Structurally, it was good,” said Breschel. “But it was dated. We wanted everything pristine.”
In addition to the the restaurant’s new look, a farm-to-table cuisine replaced Maisson Lafitte’s French menu. Farm-to-table uses products from local and regional farms: Nettle Meadow Farm in Warrensburg, Shady Tree Farm in Yorktown, Hemlock Hills in Cortlandt Manor and Amba Farms in Bedford Hills, N.Y. as well as Eckerton Hill Farm in Pennsylvania and Pell Farms in Somers, Conn.
“Local farmers provide high-quality natural products,” said Breschel. “The eggs used are from a farm in Yorktown. The free-range eggs have a nice flavor.”
Chef Scott Riesenberger, who has worked at Cru and Corton in Manhattan, prepares such dishes as grilled swordfish, beet salad and risotto.
Breschel and his co-owners have created weekly events to attract customers on weeknights: Tuesday nights feature half-off entrees; Wednesdays, residents of Ossining and Briarcliff get 15 percent off their entire meal; Thursday is Ladies Night; and there is live music from Luigi & Arlette on Fridays.
“I’ve noticed that Tuesdays have become one of our most popular nights,” said Breschel.
Locals have also noticed Friday and Saturday nights to be popular and crowded.
“We were wait-listed on Saturday so we decided to come here during the week,” first-time Haymount House diner Francine Brostowicz said.
The New York Times reviewed Hudson at Haymount House earlier this month and gave it four stars, its highest honor.
“The customers told us how rare it was to receive four stars,” said Breschel. “We were so excited about this.”