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Chat American Grill « Westchester Breakfast Club
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Chat American Grill

25 Aug

:a_Top:

 

 

1 Christie Place 
Scarsdale, NY 10583 (Map)
(914) 722-4000
www.chatamericangrill.com
 
 

For the last morning meal of Summer 2012, the WBC heads over to Scarsdale. More than anything else we were happy to go to a place that doesn’t feel compelled to add an “e” to the end of the word “grill.”

 

Attendees: :jump_to_Shelley:, :jump_to_Sylvia:, :jump_to_Jeff:, :jump_to_Reid:, and guests

 

 

:a_Shelley:

Chat American Grill is, I think, a bit of an odd duck. First of all, I can’t figure out the name–it starts off French (“Chat”), but then throws you with the “American Grill” part. Is it French? Is it American? Is it Fremerican? Amerench? I’d say American, decidedly American, with standard American fare. So what’s with the “Chat”? What does it mean?

I don’t know. I’ll let you all ponder that one…or comment on this blog post if you have the answer.

Second, there’s the music. Chat American Grill strikes me as a place that wants to be a nouveau (hey, another French word!) upscale suburban restaurant. It’s plop in the middle of upscale Scarsdale. So it was surprising when the song “Final Countdown” came over the soundtrack. Yes, “Final Countdown” by Europe. We’re the WBC, so we were pleasantly surprised. Delightedly surprised. Especially because the song came on right in time for Reid to make a dramatic entrance. Plus, the song made us all think of “Arrested Development.” But as much as I personally love that musical selection, it didn’t really make sense in a place like Chat American Grill. Especially when you take the decor into account.

The decor. Wide open dining area, burgundy tones, exposed brick walls, and oversized black and white photographs of the big Hollywood stars from yesteryear. Again, it just didn’t really make sense to me. The old time Hollywood pictures. The French/American name. The “Final Countdown.” It was just a really odd mishmosh of stuff going on.

So, given all of that, how was my actual meal?

For a change, I decided to go for the -unch side of brunch. I had scouted ahead by looking at the online menu, and the turkey brie panini caught my eye. While I briefly considered the omelette, $14 for an omelette compared to $11.50 for the panini solidified my decision. I opted for sweet potato fries to accompany the sandwich (even though there was, I believe, an extra charge for these “special” fries. Side note: It seems to me that many establishments charge extra if you want sweet potato fries instead of regular fries. Since sweet potato fries are becoming so commonplace, though, I wonder why the extra charge is necessary. Is it really that much more difficult to get the bag of sweet potato fries from the freezer than the regular fries? Ponder that, readers.) The sandwich was good, nicely melted and flavorful thanks to the cranberry spread. The cranberry spread, thankfully, wasn’t overly mayonaissey, so the pleasant sweet/tart cranberry flavor really had a chance to shine through. The sweet potato fries were good. Jump to Reid’s review to get more details about them.

For dessert I selected the key lime tart. I guess I was expecting something a little more solid (which is what I think of from the word “tart”). But this was actually more of a lime mousse in a rather hard pastry shell, with what I thought were way too many berries added on top. I’m a purist, I want my key lime unadorned. Nevertheless, it was a refreshing and light end to the meal.

All in all a good experience, although the non-food factors kept me scratching my head.

:back_to_Top:

 

:a_Sylvia:

Chat American Grill is a rather classy establishment located in the classy town of Scarsdale.  The brunch menu leans heavily to the -unch part of brunch, with only a few more breakfast oriented choices to choose from.  After hemming and hawing over the few uninteresting choices, the specials were recited to us.  I decided on the omelette of the day, which had crabmeat, asparagus, and brie.

The lovely pastry basket provided to us was filled with croissants (eh), raisin scones (not much of a looker, but they were pretty tasty), and zucchini mini muffins (moist and good).  The pastries held me over until we got our food.

The omelette was actually pretty good.  I was a little hesitant about getting an omelette with brie in it again, given its tendancy to be a bit greasy when heated up and the not so fabulous experience I had in the past (where, though, I can’t remember).  But it all worked out relatively well here.  The crab meat was not fishy at all and while there wasn’t ample amounts (there wasn’t crab meat in every bite of omelette), I think in this case restraint was the better call.  The asparagus was cooked well and evenly distributed throughout the omelette.  There was enough brie to give it some flavor, but not so much where it got overly greasy.  Good job on the portion control there, Chat!

Coffee was good and plentiful!

The omelette came with a side salad of mesclun greens and some potatoes.  Not the best, but still a good way to round out the meal.

The czar says:  Not a bad place for a brunch to impress or brunch enjoyed by adult children and their parents.  I saw strollers and children, but it lacked that more homey family feel to it.

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:a_Jeff:

Scarsdale eh?  This small little town has its own train stop on the Metro North (Editor’s Note: Um…most towns have their own stop on the Metro North) and has easy access to the Bronx River Parkway. So, does that justify the town of Scarsdale to charge 25 cents for only 15 minutes of parking?  That’s just outrageous!  And the time limit was 90 minutes!  Our breakfasts can and usually do take longer then an hour and a half, particularly when we have a larger group.  Scaredale, your parking situation is terrible. You should be ashamed of yourself.  Let’s hope that the Chat American Grill has good food to negate the smack in the face caused by the municipality that calls itself Scaredale (yes, that was intentional).

The inside of the place is rather nice. There’s a bar on the left as you walk in and what I can only assume is a lounge on the other end.  I think there was a birthday celebration down there when we were leaving.  To the right of the bar is the dining area with high ceilings, and outside there’s a nice outdoor seating area.  It was a little too warm to enjoy an outdoor breakfast.  The air conditioning seemed like a good idea.  Taking a look at the menu, jaws dropped to find that the prices were higher than on the online menu. I think I remember griping about the use of an online menu once before in an older post, but I think it deserves repeating.  Seriously restaurants, if you have an online menu, you should keep it updated with the prices and choices available at your establishment.  Don’t just post something and forget about it for a long time. With the current state of how the world is right now, with everyone owning a smartphone (except for Shelley), people depend on the accuracy of the Internet and expect establishments to keep things up to date. Forgetting to update the website may have been acceptable in the 90’s and early 00’s.  Back then, people didn’t really know how the itnernet worked or how to edit websites. Now, anyone with a rudimentary education can update a website. It’s even possible for a group of idiots to come up with some cocamamie cause and update a website site weekly about what they ate and where they ate it. If that’s possible, then a restaurant should be able to keep its website up to date and be held accountable for what is published online.

So, yes, the prices were higher.  Even if the prices weren’t higher, I still feel like 13 dollars (14 printed in the menu at the restaurant) is way too high for a build-your-own-omelette that has three ingredients in it.  That’s a bit much for just a few eggs and some chopped up ingredients. I know it’s Scaredale, but it’s still ridiculous. For that price I expect coffee and a mimosa to be included.  Granted, the coffee was good.  It was rather strong and kept me awake throughout the day.  I had quite a busy day, but I’ll give my honorable mention later. Back to the food.

I ended up not getting the omelette because of the outlandish price.  Instead, I got the Eggs Benedict, which I believe, were cheaper than the omelette.  CHEAPER!  Seriously. More ingredients and harder to make, and it’s cheaper than the omelette!  Redonkeylessness.

The food quality wasn’t bad.  It was actually quite good.  But it didn’t justify the terriblely high price or cockamamie pricing scheme.  On top of all this was the aforementioned out of this world parking cost and restricting time limit.  Nonsense is what it amounted to.

In closing, was the food good? Yes. Was the price fair? No. Was the food worth the price? In my honest opinion, no.  There are many other breakfast/brunch options that have both free parking and more modest prices.

 

Honorable mention time!  After breakfast, a coworker of mine, Angelique, and I ventured out to New Paltz for a Wine Stock 2012.  Another coworker of ours, Raquel, is the niece of the owner of the Robibero Family Vinyard where the event was.  We got a chance to do the white wine tasting, which is actually my first time doing a wine tasting.  The wines were really good!  I don’t really remember which one I liked more, but that’s probably because I know nothing about wine.  It was a really good time!  There was a bouncy castle for the kids and more than enough room to lay down a blanket on the grass and just chill.  This is a definite to-do for next year!

 

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:a_Reid:

The Case: Chat American Grill v. The Westchester Breakfast Club (+ reinforcements)

The Venue: The Block-Length Edifice known as 1 Christie Place

The Facts:  I can’t remember why, but for some reason I was not in a very hungry or breakfasty mood.  Even if I were in a breakfasty mood, the menu screamed “we’re not really a breakfast place but we serve bloody marys, so, whatever.” So instead of a big sandwich or blueberry pancakes, I opted for some lighter fare, namely a bowl of French onion soup and a side of sweet potato fries.  I chose these, in part, because they are items that are seemingly simple though very easy to get very wrong.  Overall, I’d say they were one-for-two.  While the onion soup was not very bad by any stretch of the imagination, the amount of melted cheese was underwhelming.  The broth itself was a bit thin; more of a saline than the hearty, savory onion flavor you hope for.  I will give credit for the crouton, however, as it was firm, yet spoon-cuttable.    The sweet potato fries were quite good.  They were crisp without being crunchy, and sweet without being cloying.  Those are necessary qualities for good sweet potato fries, qualities which I see all too rarely.  (Editor’s note: Reid also had iced tea. A very, very large jar of iced tea. This seemed worth mentioning. Really, it was giant. Take a look.)

The Verdict:  I’d come back, but maybe not for breakfast.

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  1. Judy

    September 29, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    The original Chat is in Larchmont and the restaurant gets the name from the street name “Chatsworth” on which the original restaurant is.