Digging the Desserts at the Mix, White Plains Crowne Plaza

by Katie Schlientz
white plains crowne plaza

Ladies and gents, there’s a new happy hour in White Plains. Well, it may not be “new” per se, but if it isn’t already on your radar, it should be!

When I was invited to check out the White Plains Crowne Plaza‘s restaurant, the Mix Cocktail Bar + Kitchen, it was originally focused to check out their dessert menus. But what I found was a whole host of delicious food, served in a hip bar paired with staff who are not only knowledgable about the food, but passionate about it too.

While you can visit the Mix anytime—and no, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel—the happy hour officially has my attention. The “hour” runs from 4 to 7 p.m. daily and hosts business professionals—a little bit different than the Mamaroneck Avenue neighborhood joints. Beverage deals, like their desserts, are pretty sweet; expect to pay $4 for draught beers, $5 for glasses of Caliterra wines, $6 for house brand mixed drinks (Tito’s, Jose Cuervo), and $8 for house brand cocktails including martinis, Manhattans and cosmos.

white plains crown plaza

The $9 dessert cocktail menu caught my eye, and while I’m a dirty martini kind of gal, I couldn’t resist some of the sweeter offerings Brett Bukofser, assistant restaurant manager, and team created. There’s a chocolate raspberry martini, Key Lime Pie-tini, Not Grandma’s Apply Pie (featuring a Fireball, Rumchata and Apple Pucker mix), and even a cocktail featuring everyone’s favorite cookie—the Oreo-tini. Pictured above is the result of my difficult decision—the “Nuts + Berries” with raspberry vodka and Frangelico mixed with half and half. Classic cocktails are also available and very reasonably priced.

The restaurant and bar area offer a variety of high top and low top tables, all with table sizes to accommodate both small and large groups. An intimate, one-on-one business meeting takes place in the corner (they seal the deal with cocktails as well), and just as my dinner date and I prepare to leave, we’re greeted with a large group of Samuel Adams employees, who are staying at the hotel for a meeting, and—of course!—ordering beer.

The menu is designed the same way—to support both small and large groups. While there’s plenty of more comprehensive dishes to fill you up for an evening meal (dinner crowd starts around 8 p.m.), happy hour is perfect for ordering tapas, and tapas are perfect for sharing.
white plains crowne plaza

After consulting with Bukofser on the menu, one of the first things we ordered were the crispy pork belly taco with corn tortillas ($12 for two). The portion size is generous, and with all of the fresh pico de gallo, avocado, Manchego cheese, and jalapeño cream, I’m glad Executive Chef James Shannon placed two tortillas under each taco.

white plains crowne plazaNext up (and one of my favorite dishes of the evening), were the sautéed local Littleneck clams with chorizo, leeks, and garlic ($9). After polishing off those clams pretty quickly, I found myself mopping up the white wine broth with the crusty, French bread.

Unlike some other restaurants located within hotel walls, the Mix is not part of the hospitality giant’s chain. It’s privately owned and operated. That gives Executive Chef James Shannon a lot of flexibility in the kitchen, from making his own yogurt in house to sourcing local, fresh ingredients.

white plains crowne plaza

Bukofser’s recommendation hit the ball out of the park, both in presentation and in flavor. The pistachio encrusted chicken fillets, served in a cute miniature fry basket, is paired with an incredible apple maple mustard ($10).

white plains crowne plazaOn to dessert, where the Mix has extended the tapas philosophy into the sugar category. This new dessert menu offers plenty of bite-size goodies, and all are priced at $3 a pop. If you’re like me, you just want a little something sweet at the end of the meal, and this both satisfies the sweet tooth and is completely on pastry trend. These smores pops spear a caramelized marshmallow with a stick, and then dipped in chocolate before they are rolled in crumbled graham crackers. An IntoxiKate fav, and if you love that signature summer sweet, go for it!

white plains crowne plaza

Miniature donuts come two ways—with cinnamon sugar (pictured here) or powdered sugar. They are freshly fried and pair perfectly with the post-meal cup of Joe.

crowne plaza white plains

Yes, smore dessert. I couldn’t help myself! I loved these mini smores shots as well.

{The Mix Cocktail Bar and Kitchen, Crowne Plaza White Plains-Downtown: 66 Hale AvenueWhite Plains,  914-682-0050, www.cpwestchester.com}
Big thank you to Sandra of FlashPepper for playing the role of IntoxiKate dinner date and contributing to the photos!


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