ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Few pleasures compare to a crackling fire on a cold winter's night. Add a crisp, white tablecloth to the equation accompanied by a glass of wine, a meaty slab of steak and you’re in restaurant nirvana.
The fire doesn’t have to be wood-burning to entice; all kinds of fireplaces up the ambiance factor, adding warmth and romance to what normally would be a simple meal. Ready to turn up the heat? A sampling of Rockland eateries follow. Feel free to add to our list by commenting on our Facebook pages.
- Bella Gianna's, Congers: A (gas) fireplace adds to the atmosphere of this Italian eatery, know for catering to big groups. Get Toasty: 77 NY-303, (845) 268-3770.
- Catch on the Hudson, Haverstraw: It's a toss up between what to look at -- the water view or the roaring fireplace -- at this Rockland newcomer which is winning rave reviews for its gourmet fare. Get Toasty: 16 Front St., (845) 942-1616.
- Characters Bar & Restaurant, Sloatsburg: Belly up to the bar -- and relish in the flickering flames of the (wood) fireplace. Folks rave about the casual atmosphere, Irish specialties and friendly service. Get Toasty: 94 Orange Turnpike, (845) 753-5200.
- D & D's Restaurant and Pub, New City: There's something for everyone at this all-American pub where a gas fireplace cozies up the room. Get Toasty: 191 S Main St., (845) 639-0178.
- Fireside Steak Pub, Stony Point: You almost want it to snow just to sit by the (gas) fireplace in the dining room where a down to earth atmosphere and affordable dishes make for a nice break from the cold. Get Toasty: 84 N Liberty Dr., (845) 429-0484.
- 14 & Hudson Kitchen and Bar, Piermont: The (gas) fireplace is in the entryway but it sets the tone for what is always an enjoyable meal. 14 & Hudson, it should be noted, was a DVlicious 2016 "Best Brunch" winner. Get Toasty : 457 Piermont Ave., (845) 680-0014.
- Il Fresco, Orangeburg: With six dining rooms and four (gas) fireplaces, your odds of getting a seat by the picturesque embers are pretty good. Get Toasty: 15 Kings Hwy., (845) 398-0200.
- Italiana's, New City: Embrace the tastes of "Little Italy" along with thin-crust pizza and a lovely (gas) fireplace. Get Toasty: 253 S Little Tor Rd., (845) 708-7500.
- La Terrazza, New City : Get cozy at this New City staple -- complete with fireplace -- known for its elegant Italian cuisine. Get Toasty: 291 S Main St., (845) 638-0757.
- Louie's On the Avenue, Pearl River: The double sided (wood) fireplace ups the charm so those on the bar side get a bit of warmth at the same time as those in the dining room. Get Toasty : 160 E Central Ave., (845) 735-4344.
- Pier 701, Piermont: Pick your spot: the bar or the dining room. Each has a (gas) fireplace, which casts a warm glow, allowing winter's chill to melt away, making you forget -- at least for the duration of your meal -- about Old Man Winter. Get Toasty: 701 Piermont Ave., (845) 848-2550.
- The '76 House, Tappan: This 300-year-old-plus structure is chock full of history -- and atmosphere -- thanks to three (gas) fireplaces and tons of rifles, copper pots, soldier uniforms and other artifacts from the eatery's long use as a meeting place for Revolutionary War patriots. Get Toasty: 110 Main St., (845) 359-5476.