HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Juniper restaurant in Hastings operates on two principles – simplicity and attention to the seasons – and judging by the packed dining area most days, Hastings residents can’t get enough.
“We usually cook with the seasons,” said Alex Sze, owner and chef. “In the summer, we use a bunch of corn and tomatoes, and in fall we use pumpkins, and in spring asparagus. It just makes more sense.”
Sze opened Juniper 2 ½ years ago after many years as a chef in various restaurants in New York City. He said he wanted to move to the River Towns area and open a small restaurant that focused on good food. Juniper’s menu changes about once a month to keep up with what is fresh and abundant at the time. One thing patrons won’t see on the menu is a signature dish, Sze said. Having a signature dish would not make sense with the restaurant’s varied, seasonably dependant menu, Sze said.
“The menu changes all the time,” Sze said. “We use different vegetables paired with the same meats and fish.”
Because Hastings is such a small village, Sze said, there are only a few restaurants, which allows residents to dine at all local restaurants frequently.
“All of the restaurants are good in the area. We’re all just trying to make good food,” Sze said. “We just try to make food that’s tasty, and hopefully people like it and they come back.”
Juniper offers soup, salad, sandwiches and French American-inspired entrees. Sze said a new menu will be created in August. Juniper is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, for brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and for dinner from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. It is closed Monday and Tuesday.