Enjoy Freshness, Creativity–and even some Mom-Inspired Recipes
Mentor’s Mediterranean Steakhouse is a steakhouse like no other. Located right on King St. in Chappaqua, walking through the French doors into Mentor’s is like walking through a portal to Europe. All the normal steakhouse fare is there like the New York sirloin steak and the potatoes au gratin, but Mentor’s also boasts a vibrant seafood and salad menu. The branzino, for instance, is imported from Greece.
“We use the exact same distributors as the top Mediterranean restaurants in Manhattan,” said Mentor’s owner and namesake, Mentor Berisha. As you can imagine, city quality with local convenience has proven to be a great recipe for success.
The grass-fed beef comes from the Piedemonte region of Italy. Steaks from Piedemonte are considered among the best in the world, much like Kobe beef from Japan. Chefs dry-age the already beautiful cuts of meat from 35 to 41 days, ensuring the highest possible level of quality. Domestic cuts like their lamb chops and veal chops come from the heartland, like Nebraska and Colorado. “I’ve been in business with my vendor for 20 years,” said Berisha. Ensuring the highest possible quality product is tantamount for Berisha.
There is no rule for the perfect meal at Mentor’s because the truth is that you really can’t go wrong, but a perfect meal at Mentor’s certainly might contain some of the following:
Mentor’s Mediterranean Chips, Octopus, Caprese Salad, and the Spanakopita Rolls to start. One of the great things about the restaurant is that even the dishes that might seem on the heavier side are light and refreshing. None of the appetizers will ruin your appetite before the main event.
The Cacio e Pepe or the Bucatini each make for wonderful middle courses. The Cacio e Pepe, Mentor’s speciality, is prepared tableside utilizing a gigantic wheel of Romano cheese. The flavor alone is worth the price, but the added bonus of the show makes this item a must for any first timers at Mentor’s.
Like every great steakhouse, Mentor’s has every side dish imaginable. From creamed spinach to truffle fries to brussel sprouts, Berisha made sure that no customer would ever be refused a steakhouse favorite.
And finally, going with a dry-aged NY Sirloin is a can’t-miss for the main course. The only problem with Mentor’s is that you’ll almost certainly be tempted with other options like the Chilean Sea Bass or the Whole Branzino.
When Berisha opened Mentor’s in June, there weren’t really any restaurants trying to do what he had in mind: combine a traditional Mediterranean restaurant with a traditional American steakhouse. “Folks get bored really quickly with the same items on the menu,” said Berisha. He wanted a restaurant where a group of people could go out for dinner and everyone could actually find something that they wanted – not simply settle for the same old dishes. Berisha admitted there were challenges trying to make this new concept work, but at the end of the day everything clearly worked out. “I wanted to bring these folks something different, and I think I’ve achieved it,” said Berisha.
Berisha’s love for seafood and Mediterranean cuisine is in his blood. He was born in Croatia but grew up in Kosovo. “A lot of the dishes came from my mother’s cooking and my grandmother’s cooking,” said Berisha. Growing up, Berisha’s mother had to get to stretch a budget. “She always found the freshest ingredients and seasoned everything beautifully but simply, with salt and pepper and homemade olive oil,” said Berisha. This approach was not only essential, but also forms the core of Mentor’s Steakhouse and the Mediterranean palette in general. Mentor’s food is delicious in large part because the fresh ingredients are allowed to speak for themselves.
Berisha isn’t just passionate about the food; he’s equally enthusiastic about the community. “It’s my privilege to welcome people at the door and to make the Cacio e Pepe tableside when I can,” said Berisha. “I fell in love with Chappaqua. It’s a beautiful, beautiful town.” Berisha appreciates all the love and support he and his staff have received since opening their doors earlier this year and he is eager to pay it forward. “I will be nothing but supportive for everyone in this great town,” Berisha said.