Are you looking for a casual, family-friendly restaurant in Northern Westchester? Umami Cafe in Croton-on-Hudson fits the bill. Umami Cafe is aptly named after the fifth primary taste (umami translated from Japanese meaning “pleasant savory taste”), as the restaurant offers a menu of dishes featuring flavors from all over the world.
Umami Cafe opened in 2002. Owners Jonathan Pratt and Craig Purdy also own Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights and Tagine Restaurant & Wine Bar, also located in Croton-on-Hudson. The restaurant is conveniently located on South Riverside Avenue and has its own parking lot.
I mentioned that the restaurant is family-friendly and they really make an effort to cater to children. Near the entrance sits a shelf of toys that kids can grab and bring to the table to play with. The children’s menus are seen via a Viewmaster, bringing back fond childhood memories! We prefer to have our kids not order from children’s menus whenever possible. Even though the kid’s menu is cool to view, it still offers the usual chicken fingers, mac and cheese, pasta with butter or tomato sauce and grilled cheese. The most interesting items are a Fluffernutter (Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter) or Fluffer-Nutella sandwich, both which can be easily made at home.
In contrast, the adult menu offers many interesting dishes. Main entrees include Grilled Salmon with Yuzu Ponzu, a Lobster Roll, Grilled Marinated Shrimp Siracha, Curry Wurst, a Bahn Mi Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Vietnamese Pork Chop, Evil Jungle Prince (spicy chicken curry), Barbecued St. Louis Ribs and more!
They sell a variety of wines by the glass and bottle. If you prefer, you can bring your own bottle and pay a $10 corkage fee. There are a limited number of draft and bottle beers on their menu as well.
We especially like going to Umami Cafe for their Thursday, $5 appetizer nights. We make a tapas-like meal by ordering a bunch of appetizers for dinner. On our most recent visit it was just me, my husband and our son. The three of us enjoyed a meal out of the following appetizers:
Peking Duck Quesadillas
Gnocchi with Duck Confit
Cubano Spring Rolls
Truffled Mac and Cheese
Seared Ahi Tuna Mini Won Ton Tacos
These appetizers are normally priced between $6.75 and $8.95 each but on Thursday nights, they are only $5 each. We’ve eaten here several times and had tried all the appetizers before except the Gnocchi with Duck Confit and the Seared Ahi Tuna Mini Won Ton Tacos. Everything was delicious! My son found the wasabi sour cream to be a bit too spicy on the tacos but my husband enjoyed them. We were satiated with our appetizers for dinner but didn’t leave stuffed. We didn’t even look at the dessert menu, as we planned on making a stop at the nearby Hot Dippity Donuts!
The restaurant does not take reservations, so we always make sure to arrive close to opening. They are open daily from 5 PM to 9:30 PM Sunday through Thursday and from 5 PM to 10 PM on Friday and Saturdays. In addition to their $5 appetizer night on Thursdays, Umami Cafe also has a $10 burger night on Tuesdays. Yet another reason for us to return!