by Guy Cheli
Two of the finest dining establishments in Northern Westchester are Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights and The Traveler’s Rest in Millwood. A visit to these restaurants is truly like stepping back in time.
Peter Pratt’s Inn dates back to 1780, and retains it’s original design and construction. The dining area was at one time the stone foundation of a huge barn, as evidenced by the thick overhead beams and granite boulder walls. In 1823, the center section of the building was constructed in the Colonial design. By 1861, the two Victorian era wings were added which completed the house as it is today. The Inn changed hands several times in the ensuing years. In the early 1920’s it was used by the Bowery Mission to house men who worked at a nearby sawmill. In July 1926, Halsey Wilson opened the building for lodging calling it the Croton Heights Inn. A Russian Count by the name of Kotschoubey purchased the inn around 1945 and catered to his wealthy friends; the Vanderbilts, Gettys and Duncan Hines. The Inn was leased briefly as a French restaurant in the late 1950’s. Peter and Janet Pratt became owners in 1965, and it has operated as the family’s restaurant ever since. Today, Peter Pratt’s serves American Reginal cuisine nightly. This elegant building is surrounded by a 200- year old pine forest. Outdoor dining is available during the warmer months or you can sit by the roaring fireplace on the cold winter nights.
The main structure that houses the Traveler’s Rest dates back to 1876. Located on Sawmill Road, or Route 100 as it is known as today, it was at one time a popular stop along the stagecoach route to New York City. It was operated by several owners from that date until 1961, when Gerhardt Langer purchased the property and opened his restaurant. Throughout the years Gerhardt built elaborate stonework and gardens outside. He used his old- world carpentry skills to create extensive wood paneled walls inside. He finally built a huge addition in 1974. Today Gerhardt’s son Gary, and his wife Tina manage the restaurant along with their son Gary Jr. They continue Gerhardt’s commitment to quality food and service that began more than five decades ago. The Traveler’s Rest serves German favorites, in addition to Seafood, and traditional Continental fare.