Friday, September 4, 2009

Emma's Ale House

A very happy pre-Labor Day Weekend to you all! I’m off today. (My job offers two four-day holiday weekends that most other companies do not. In exchange, we work two days during the year while most other places are kicking back. Sometimes I like this arrangement (ie, now); sometimes I do not (the holidays I work)).

To celebrate the start of our four-day holiday, some co-workers and I went to Emma’s Ale House in White Plains yesterday. It was my first visit, but I had been hearing good things. Heather, Ana and I arrived around the same time, shortly followed by Nichole. We were promptly seated in the dining room to the left of Emma’s bar area, and ordered drinks while we waited for the last member of our party, Suzanne.

We sipped beer and chatted, while our stomachs growled. Fifteen minutes went by. “Did Suzanne ditch us?” Heather wondered, glancing at her watch. We had hit some traffic on the way to Emma’s, but this was excessive. We sipped more beer. After about a half hour, Ana fished her cell phone out of her bag to check in with Suze. “Uh oh,” she said, frowning as she looked at her cell. She began to read aloud.

Text number one from Suzanne: “Hey! Where are you guys?”

Text number two from Suzanne: “Did you get stuck in traffic?”

Ana’s eyes widened and she giggled as she read the last text:

“I have a table for us all.”

We looked around the casual dining room. Owner Casey Egan’s Yellow Labrador Emma stared back at us via colorful, illustrated pictures on the walls, but no Suzanne. I craned my neck to peer into the separate bar room. Sitting at a big table was four empty seats, was a very lonely Suzanne, nursing a drink and texting furiously. She looked up at me with surprise.


Here are complimentary soft pretzel sticks:
When I reached in for a pretzel, pretty much all of them fell out, littering the table. But they were warm and yeasty, and a nice change from bread.

For appetizers:

Crispy Calamari with Kalamata Olives, Basil, Parmesan, Angry Tomato Sauce ($10):
I don’t know why the tomato sauce was “angry,” but it was a fine sauce. The calamari were also prepared nicely. Light batter, tender calamari. The Kalamata olives were an excellent addition, adding a salty kick. Basil, parmesan added complexity and freshness.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Crispy Pita Chips ($8):
The dip was more or less like other spinach dips I’ve had, maybe a little less salty, which I appreciated. The chips were soft and thick, with a slight crunch on the outside.

For entrees, we were all enamored with the 3 Slider option (pick three sliders for $10) under the Burger Bar menu:

I chose the pulled pork with BBQ, meatball parmesan, and filet mignon with gorgonzola and onions (medium rare):
Sadly, the sliders fell short of expectations. Maybe I still had Locanda Verde’s lamb sliders on my mind, but these were disappointing. The filet was properly cooked and very tender, but the hunk of gorgonzola was so overpowering, I didn’t taste the filet. The meatball parm slider had some sort of spice in it—bay leaf?—that completely overwhelmed the meat, and the pulled pork had a sloppy joe thing going on that wasn’t working for me. The buns were a bit too toasted as well; I would’ve preferred them softer.

We ordered two more appetizers to accompany our sliders:

Gedney Chips with Maytag Bleu Cheese, and Truffle Oil ($8):
While the gorgonzola was overpowering in the filet mignon slider, here the blue cheese married nicely with house-made barbecue potato chips. I thought this was a nice dish, yet $8 for potato chips seemed high.

Mac & Cheese with Smoked Bacon, Peas ($9):
Awwww yeah, Emma. Now you’re hittin your stride. This was a crowd pleaser. The cheese was creamy and rich, and not too sharp. Saltiness came from the hunks of smoked bacon, and baked breadcrumbs on top. A surefire winner, with a home-cooked taste.

Finally, for dessert:

A Chocolate Chip Cookie Soufflé:
I only had a bite of this dish. The cookie was a little too dry for me. But maybe I just wasn’t wasting my time or my calories with this when I was completely, over-the-moon in love with…

Krispy Kreme Donut Bread Pudding:
Sinfully sweet and moist, this is potentially one of the best desserts I’ve eaten this year. Wow. You’re basically improving upon an already perfect Krispy Kreme donut, and then adding eggs, heavy cream, brown sugar…all the stuff that makes Sharon happy. The first couple bites are out-of-this-world. Then, the sweetness kind of gets to you, so it’s a nice dish to share.

Overall, this was a nice pub. The food seemed above-par from pubs on Mamaroneck Avenue, and there were some real winners on the menu. I’d be eager to come back and sample some entrees. (I’ve heard the Porcini and Truffle Ravioli is amazing.)

I’d also like to add that I love going out with my co-workers. They are wonderful women who also happen to be teeny tiny. They take a couple bites, and then they say they are full.

... guess who reaps the benefits? muhuhahahahaha.

Emma’s Ale House
68 Gedney Way
White Plains, NY 10605
(914) 683-3662


  1. Funny - that last part is what I was thinking at Locanda Verde when I was eating two bites for every one of yours. Methinks your coworkers would be scandalized if they ever saw me eat!

  2. I love your pictures. The sliders look yimmy