Summer’s just around the corner, and there’s no better place to relax and enjoy both food and sun than Dolphin in Yonkers. A restaurant, bar, and lounge all in one, Dolphin is situated adjacent to the Hudson River, providing a beautiful backdrop for every meal. With doors and windows wide open (weather permitting), this inviting spot is a must visit for locals and visitors alike.
The menu skews towards seafood, which might be expected given the restaurant’s name. I tasted possibly my favorite-ever rendition of tuna tartar: the mouthwatering dish mixed in soba noodles and was topped with seaweed salad, two welcome modifications on the dish in its purest form. Crab nachos, another unique menu staple, were fantastic. The huge portion of tortilla chips with crabmeat, shredded jack, cheddar, jalapeños, and salsa would make for a great starter to share. Instead, I devoured most of it all by myself.
I would order both standout appetizers again in a heartbeat, but what came next was also worth noting. General Manager Jimmy Rugova’s personal favorite, the squid ink linguine with shrimp, clams, and mussels steamed in a light tomato sauce, was a winner, mostly because of the flavorful fresh pasta used. The hearty “Seafood Bruschette,” his brother Dean Rugova’s favorite, features a plethora of shellfish and veggies topped with house scampi sauce over rice. If forced to decide between the two, you can’t go wrong.
I washed everything down with a Dolphintini, the restaurant’s signature cocktail. Comprised of 3 Olives cherry vodka, frozen blue Curacao, and sour mix, this drink in its martini glass was as cool and refreshing as it was pretty. If hard liquor doesn’t grab you, come take advantage of “Winesday” Wednesdays, when bottles are half off.
No booze at all? Dolphin is also family-friendly: they have a small kid’s menu, featuring favorites like chicken fingers and mac n cheese. I was told the restaurant was packed with families for Father’s Day, with over four hundred people! For this occasion, a menu was created with Dad in mind (think meat and potatoes).
Dolphin’s sister restaurant, Café Hudson, is virtually attached to Dolphin and boasts more outdoor seating. Café diners can enjoy a cool breeze off the water and soak in the views of the George Washington and Tappan Zee bridges. Friday evenings throughout the summer are particularly special: whether dining at Dolphin or Café Hudson, you can enjoy live jazz, courtesy of the city of Yonkers. The eighth annual Jazz & Blues at Dusk summer concert series is held right in the Yonkers Waterfront Amphitheater, just steps away from the restaurants.
Celebrating its four-year anniversary in July, Dolphin is a casual, fun place I look forward to revisiting this summer. I was impressed by both the food and the atmosphere—not that I had any doubts about the Rugova restaurant after my wonderful experience at Char in Greenwich last week. Summer is Dolphin’s busiest season, though, so hurry up and make a reservation!