Tarrytown House Estate
Located in quaint Tarrytown, New York, in the Hudson Valley about 45 minutes out of Grand Central, you’ll find the Tarrytown House Estate, a Destination Hotel, which has been a refuge from the city since the mid-1960s, when it opened as the country’s first commercial conference center. Since then, many new buildings have been added, as well as a sports center, indoor and outdoor pools, a wedding venue, and a restaurant called Cellar 49, and we were recently invited by the hotel to spend a weekend experiencing it.
The estate is a quick 10-minute drive from the Tarrytown train station, and comfortable rooms are divided among several buildings, including the circa-1840 King mansion, which contains 10 Georgian-style guest rooms (a fair amount of walking is required to get from the lobby to many of the rooms). The property’s other mansion, the also-circa-1840 Biddle Mansion, is home to the resort’s wedding venue as well as its restaurant.
Cellar 49 is accessed via stairs leading to the Biddle mansion’s basement, and it’s divided into a large lounge with leather sofas, a game room with a pool table and shuffleboard, a comfortable bar, and a dining room that seats about 40. The dining room itself is comfortable (notice a trend?), reasonably priced, and decorated with historic photos of Tarrytown, like many of the estate’s hallways. Service is professional and knowledgeable, and the menu changes seasonally. Standouts on the summer menu include small plates like a crab cake and an entire large burrata with heirloom tomato; and soups and salads include a rich onion soup, tomato gazpacho, and chopped salad. Large plates encompass nicely seared scallops with bacon, potato, and sweet corn purée; a tender and huge veal chop with mashed potatoes and asparagus; a smoked pork chop from a local smokehouse, served with grits, chard, and peach preserve; and lamb chops. The dishes aren’t too complicated, which is a good thing; every component is thoughtfully prepared and cooked perfectly. There’s also a less expensive “Lighter Plates” section, with casual fare including a bacon Cheddar burger, a pulled pork po’boy, and macaroni and cheese. The dining room is presided over by general manager John McGuirk, who worked tirelessly during our visit to make sure that every guest was happy with their food. On Sundays a three-course brunch is also on offer.
After your meal, be sure to tour the grounds; there’s a sculpture garden, a patio on a hill overlooking the pool area complete with Adirondack chairs, and ample outdoor walkways. And while the estate may seem isolated, it’s a 10-minute cab ride from charming downtown Tarrytown and right across the street from the famed Lyndhurst Mansion.
While the Tarrytown House Estate is most popular for being a great wedding venue and conference center, it’s also an ideal place to go as an escape from the city. While it’s not the kind of resort you’d want to bring small children to (it’s a quiet place and the outdoor pool is adults-only), for a couple looking to spend a weekend in upscale surroundings in one of the most charming towns in the state, it’s definitely a wise choice.