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Steak This Good Is Rare: Westchester Steakhouse Serves Hudson Valley Pride

Elvis Cutra, left, and Klevis Tana, right, owners of Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights.
Elvis Cutra, left, and Klevis Tana, right, owners of Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Photo Credit: Submitted
Putting finishing touches on a cocktail at Hudson Valley Steakhouse.
Putting finishing touches on a cocktail at Hudson Valley Steakhouse. Photo Credit: Submitted
Service with a smile at Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Co-Owner Elvis Cutra.
Service with a smile at Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Co-Owner Elvis Cutra. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
The bar at the Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights.
The bar at the Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Hudson Valley Steakhouse dining room.
Hudson Valley Steakhouse dining room. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
The bar is well stocked at the Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights.
The bar is well stocked at the Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
A hand-carved table at the Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights.
A hand-carved table at the Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Some of the offerings at Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights.
Some of the offerings at Hudson Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights. Photo Credit: Submitted

The name says it all: What had previously been Spark Valley Steakhouse in Yorktown Heights is now Hudson Valley Steakhouse .

It's the same owners. And the same great service and food -- just a new name.

Elvis Cutra, Klevis Tana and Timmy Prengjoni -- the first two are brothers-in-law; Prengjoni is their uncle-in-law -- say the revised moniker, which they changed two weeks ago, better reflects the heart and soul of their restaurant.

"We live here," said Cutra. "We are committed to the area, source locally where we can -- we get a lot of our produce from Wilkins Fruit Farm --  and believe it's high time northern Westchester had a steakhouse as polished as any you'd find in Manhattan."

Originally, he said, they called the seven-month-old Spark Steakhouse to let diners know they were bringing a "spark" to the region.

The new name, he said, better reflects their mission: to be the best steakhouse in the Hudson Valley.

Both he and Tana spent years in New York City working at the family's Italian restaurant  Acappella, in business 23 years (Prengioni was the longtime chef and general manager). They also worked at other iconic NYC establishments such as the Rainbow Room and Colicchio & Sons.

"We were both raised by chefs and farmers, so the love of growing fresh produce, creating wonderful meals and family experiences was our foundation," said Cutra.

After years commuting, they -- along with their uncle --  wanted something closer to home -- and saw a void in the market.

It took a year and a half (ish) for them to convert an old building into their dream eatery -- a 4,000 square foot dining room and bar with additional space for outdoor dining and space for private parties.

The two -- who are each married to Prengjoni's nieces -- (another story in itself: the sisters own the upscale VaZa Salon in Ossining) even traveled to Rochester to purchase reclaimed wood which they then lugged back on a flatbed truck and handcrafted into an elegant black walnut bar and bar tables.

As handsome as the decor is, it's the hospitality and thoughtful menu that's winning local accolades. Review after review on Yelp gives the staff stellar ratings on everything from knowing when to leave a table alone, to knowing when each water glass needed filling.

As for the food, USDA Prime premium cut meats are hand selected and stamped by Executive Chef Prengjoni. For non-meat eaters, there's plenty of fresh fish and seasonal dishes including a gorgeously prepared, perfectly grilled branzino.

Other recommended highlights include a 38 ounce 31-day dry aged Tomahawk steak for two, Colorado rack of lamb with aged port wine sauce and a three to five pound Maine lobster, cracked tableside.

Said Cutra of the new family venture: "Being mentored by some of the best prepared us for branching out on our own.

"We hope we have launched what will become a favorite place for many."

Hudson Valley Steakhouse at 3360 Old Crompound Rd., 914-930-8688, www.HudsonValleySteakhouse.com .

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