Sabbia: a new rooftop restaurant at Eataly in NYC



Eataly has opened a new  roof top bar and restaurant in Manhattan on the 14th floor of Eataly at 200 5th Avenue in the Flatiron district.    Sabbia (“sand” in Italian) is Eataly’s new pop-up restaurant and is sure to be a hit.  Eataly is the amazing gourmet Italian marketplace and eatery that is part owned by Chef Mario Batali and Joe and Lydia Bastianich.  I had the opportunity to attend a press only launch party for this new hip restaurant.


Oyster Bar

The theme of Sabbia is the  beach and seaside resorts of the Italian coastline.   The rooftop bar and restaurant with its retractable glass roof creates an environment in which you are no longer in Manhattan, but rather you are at a hip seaside resort in sunny Italy.  The decor features, cabanas, beach chairs, palm trees, vintage travel posters, and more.   The atmosphere is casual and laid back as if you were on vacation.


Cabanas, Beach Chairs and more !

The menu consists of healthy, easy to eat  “coastal” foods from both  land and sea.  During the preview we were able to sample calamari, shrimp, scallops, and chicken as well as other dishes.  Eataly is also partnered with Island Creek Oysters of Massachusetts which has set up an oyster bar in a small boat right in the restaurant.

There is also a full bar which specializes in  12 unique and fresh cocktails , as well as a selection of wines and beers. Some of the cocktails that are available are “Hoppy Hour”, “Sorrento Spritz” and many more.


A flight of cocktails


Sabbia opens Friday April 29th and will be open through October.   Don’t miss out on this special coastal Italian experience on a rooftop in the heart of Manhattan. So grab your sunglasses and sandals and get ready for summer.

Sabbia  (at Eataly)

200 5th Avenue  New York New York     14th floor


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Greenwich Art Gala: a special art show to benefit Haiti


art gala

The First Annual Greenwich Art Gala is a special event in which attendees can view the art of over 20 artists. Art dealers Saya Ishii Velazquez, Suhayb Ibn M Zarroug in collaboration with Unik Ernest and Jen Danzi are bringing a world class selection of art to attract collectors from near and far. Greenwich Art Gala will be one of the first of its kind at this level to showcase art in this style with this caliber of exposure in Connecticut.  It will be held in a beautiful home in Greenwich, Ct.

The proceeds of the Gala will go to Endeyo a non-profit based in NYC that  is devoted to improving the future for children in Haiti through programs focused on education. Supporting the impoverished Bel-Air neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Edeyo’s primary school supplies life-changing opportunities through free education and the provision of desperately needed food, water, health care and social support to affected children. Since its grassroots beginning in 2007, Edeyo has grown to support a school of 300 elementary school students annually.

EVENT DAYS: May 6th- May 17th 2016

Tickets:  Bronze $25, Silver $100, Gold $500

Location:  35 Winding Lane Greenwich, Ct.

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Inn at Twaalfskill: a romantic Hudson Valley Inn


Do you need a couples escape for the weekend and don’t want to go too far?   A visit to The Inn at Twaalfskill may just be for you.  This charming, quaint and romantic Inn is located right in the heart of the Hudson Valley in Highland New York  and just an hour and change north of Westchester and two hours from Manhattan.    The Inn was built in 1905 has been transformed by the innkeepers into a wonderful and charming place to visit for a weekend or longer. IMG_0579

Driving up to the inn you cross a bridge over a stream which gives the inn its name.   The restored century old home has a wonderful  details and a pleasant front porch just in case you want to sit outside and take in the country air.  Entering the inn you pass by the sunlit breakfast room which is a perfect setting for breakfast.   The main floor common rooms of the Inn consist of the entrance area with fresh flowers,  a coffee bar with coffee ,tea, cookies and more,  a comfortable living room/parlor with a fireplace, television and comfortable furniture. A very cozy room.  There is also a small powder room.


Breakfast Room



Front Hall and stair

Upstairs there are only three well appointed guest rooms.  Each room has its own bathroom attached.  Even though the house that is now the Inn dates to 1905, the guest room baths have all been  renovated and are modern with marble or porcelain tile, updated fixtures and plenty of hot water.  Each room (as is the entire inn) with a mix of antique furniture and small antique accessories.  You can tell the Innkeepers went to great efforts to create a pleasant blend of authentic period pieces and modern conveniences.  Each room has televisions.   Wi-fi  is  provided if you must check your emails or texts, but you are in a romantic inn, so turn off your cell phone and enjoy  the quiet and the ambience.

The beds are queen size  and very comfortable with fresh  pillows and a comfy quilt.  I slept very well in my room that evening.  The inn provides newspapers and magazines for your reading pleasure .


Breakfast in the morning was a pleasure with yogurt, juice, coffee or tea, and scones.  There was also a choice of a vegetable frittata or French toast served with Crown Maple Syrup (from the Hudson Valley).  It was a really delicious home made breakfast.  As a nice touch you can pick your time to have breakfast by advising the Innkeeper the night before on a sign in sheet  unlike some inns that just serve at a certain hour.


Outside the Inn has made cruiser type bicycles available for guest use.  This is fantastic as steps away from the inn is the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.  The rail trail connects with the Walkway across the Hudson, one of the premier attractions in the  Mid Hudson Valley and should be on your must visit list.


Bikes provided by the Inn

The Inn located in Highland is the perfect home base for a weekend of exploring the area. Nearby is Hyde Park home of the Culinary Institute of America, FDR Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion historic site.  There is biking or walking on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, or the nearby Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.  There is great hiking in a number of parks and preserves, apple picking, shopping and even wine tasting at some of the local wineries in the area.  The nearby village of New Paltz offers numerous dining options and is a fun town to browse and explore.

So if you are in need of a bit of an escape and don’t want to travel far, a stay at the Inn at Twaafskill is just what you need.


The Inn At Twaalfskill

144 Vineyard Avenue  Highland New York 


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Garvan’s: A new American restaurant with an Irish twist




As you drive along historic Huguenot Street  and into the pastoral setting of the New Paltz Golf course you will come upon a charming building (circa 1759) which is the home to the newest restaurant to join the busy New Paltz dining scene, Garvan’s.

This lovely gastro pub and fine restaurant  offers the diner several  delightful options.   The pub area with its low ceiling, white washed stone and original wood beams evokes the image of an authentic Irish pub.  Here you can find tavern fare as you gather with friends or family in this charming and inviting space.


Pub area

The other two dining rooms on the first floor have a more formal and romantic feel and beautiful touches.  Each room features fireplaces, ornate molding, soft lighting and white linen covered tables.  There is tranquil Celtic music drifting through the dining rooms which is fitting as the restaurateur,  Garvan McCloskey comes from Ireland.  There is another dining room on the second floor as well as dining on the covered porch. Each of the dining rooms is named after a place in Ireland.


Dining Room


Garvan immediately came to say hello and his warmth and charm made me feel right at home.  He is a wonderful example of hospitality at its best.   Garvan then explained our waiter would be bringing us some bread to start our meal that a special homemade recipe (made by his wife) consisting of imported Irish flour and Guinness stout.  It was a very hearty bread indeed.   Our waiter, Robert was quite attentive and helpful with suggestions and helping us choose from the menu.


Home made Irish Brown Bread

The menu is best described as American classic cuisine with an Irish influence.  Ingredients are locally sourced when possible (such as meat from local New York State farms) and you can taste the quality.

Starters:  I began with pan seared Sea Scallops with a lemon beurre blanc sauce and served over parmesan risotto.  This appetizer was so light and fresh, I could have had this as my entree.  I also sampled the Lump Crab cake served with a red pepper sauce.  It was excellent and another creation from head Chef Josh Paige.


Crab Cake


Sea Scallops

Entree:  The menu features classic traditional American fare served in a modern fashion.  The Wild Grilled Salmon with an herb crust  was as fresh as it gets.  Tender and light and served with a leek fondue and a creamy parmesan risotto.    I strongly recommend this entree.  My dining companion ordered the Braised Short Rib which was fork tender beef with a Guinness stout demi glace and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  A perfect choice for the meat lover.


Wild caught Grilled Salmon


Beef short rib

Dessert:  Don’t leave without trying the homemade apple pie.  This is an unique version prepared by Garvan’s wife and is an upside down apple pie made with sweet candied apples and served with ice cream. Yum!


Upside down Apple Pie

Garvan’s is a special place.  Its warmth and charm is present from the moment you walk into this historic building and the classic cuisine with a hint of Ireland will satisfy your appetite.  The service was excellent with an old fashion hospitality not often found in modern restaurants.    Don’t miss this new gem in New Paltz.



215 Huguenot Street New Paltz New York


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Classic Harbor Line: An elegant adventure around Manhattan Island



Manhattan is an island of many neighborhoods and numerous flavors that it is hard to take in all the city has to offer in one day.  But a recent Sunday out on the water revealed  to me that you can see this amazing island and its many facets from the comfort and luxury of a classic motor yacht.   Classic Harbor Line provides a wonderful three hours of comfortable cruising on the waters around Manhattan.  This is not the typical tourist sightseeing cruise.  A few hours on the motor yacht, Manhattan II was a throwback to a more elegant era of boating and taking in the sights of New York City.


The Manhattan II, based out of Pier 62 in Chelsea is a beautiful modern vessel  inspired by luxury motor yachts of the 1920s.  It is 100 feet long and 22 feet wide, with plenty of polished teak and mahogany that evokes the era of elegant cruising yachts.  But this vessel has plenty of glass on all sides and the roof for an uninterrupted view of the scenery all around.  Seating is at tables with  comfortable couches that wrap around the table on three sides.  There is also an outside area to stand or sit on the bow of the boat.

Classic Harbor Cruises offers many different types of cruise themes that are open to the public as well as private charters.  Some of the many cruise offerings are Brunch, Architecture, Fall Foliage, Sunset, and Wine cruises just to name a few.   We opted for a Sunday brunch cruise that started at 10am.  Although it was quite cold the morning we arrived at the pier, our 2 3/4 hour cruise was quite comfortable in the glass enclosed cabin.   A full multi course brunch was served and included bagels, muffins, fresh made waffles, fruit, eggs, sliced ham, veggies and much more.  The food was fresh and everything was delicious. Mimosas were served and there is a small bar on board.

The sun was shining into the cabin as we slipped away from our pier and started down the Hudson River.  The only thing you could hear other than the other guests was the light hum of the engine as we glided down river.   We sailed passed  the gleaming Freedom Tower and lower Manhattan and turned toward the Statue of Liberty.  The ship then slowly turned and made our way through New York Harbor.  We soon passed into the East River and observed the Financial District.  As you take in the panorama that is the city, I was struck by the quietness of being on the river.  It was serene.  On the island of Manhattan it is noisy and busy, but here on the water the observer has a quiet and unobstructed view of the skyline.  It was quite the contrast to cruise along quietly as the boat passed under the Brooklyn Bridge and the many other bridges along the East and Harlem Rivers .  The boat provided a unique prospective of the city not available on land all while you dine in comfort.


Along the way the captain pointed out some of the sites and provided some background that enhanced the overall experience.   We circled Manhattan island, and turned back into the Hudson River across from the Palisades and passed under the George Washington Bridge.  IMG_0246

As we headed down river it was hard to believe our cruise was over so quickly.  What a great time.  To experience New York City from the water on a beautiful and elegant yacht is a an experience not to be missed.  Classic Harbor Cruises also has cruise offerings  originating in Newport Rhode Island , Brooklyn, Hoboken, Boston and Key West, Florida.



For more information on the many cruises and the different types of boats and  for Tickets:


Havana Central:The Cuban experience close to home



Would you like to dine in an atmosphere where you feel as if you drifted off to a tropical locale? Then pay a visit to Havana Central.  I was immediately drawn in as I focused on the palm tree outside the entrance and the display of colorful tropical drinks.  I had a feeling an adventure awaited inside the doors.   Once inside Cuban music floated through the air that immediately calmed my mind and transported me to a different place


The interior space is incredibly beautiful with great attention to detail.  Moldings, lighting, art prints, photographs, plants, and dark hardwood doors and trim all add to an elegant tropical environment.  The overall effect creates the mood that you are in fact in a Cuban restaurant in some other time.

I started with a Blackberry Mojito,  a variation of the classic Cuban cocktail, and it was refreshing and fantastic.  It was served in a tall glass with fresh blackberries, fresh mint leaves, and a stalk of cut sugar cane.  They have several different flavors including mango and you should not pass up trying one.


Since I had felt I had drifted off  to a Havana dining destination I had to choose foods typical of Cuban cuisine.

Starters: I started with the stuffed plantain baskets,  (Tostones Relleno) which were beautifully prepared and consisted of beef,chicken  and pork filled in a basket made from mashed plantain and served with  a light sauce.  This was a great start to the meal.


Stuffed Plantain Baskets

Since the restaurant is known for the empanadas, I sampled the beef, pork and shrimp empanadas.  They were fresh and delicious with a light crispy crust.  Not at all greasy like some restaurants might serve.  Another great choice was the Lobster Stuffed avocado (Agucate Rellano De Langosta)  This was a healthy choice for an appetizer and really hit the spot.





Lobster Stuffed Avocado

Main Course:  Although the menu is quite large and varied, I just had to go with one of my favorites, Seafood Paellla.  This dish of rice and seafood was beautifully presented in a cast iron pot and was filled with scallops, mussels, clams, shrimp, and rice.   Truly this was one of the best paellas I have had and I have had paella in the Dominican Republic and in Spain!


Seafood Paella

Another selection for a main course was the Pineapple Chicken (Pollo con Pina).  A nice chicken breast served with pineapple and both grilled and brushed with a citrus marinade.  It was served with Moro which is rice mixed with black beans and wine, garlic and bacon.  Both were excellent choices.


Chicken with Pineapple 

There is live music Thursday to Sunday and Happy Hour Monday- Friday  4-7 pm with great drink specials.   There are also beautiful appointed rooms for private parties.  There are many events here such as salsa dancing night, and even painting classes.   When warmer days arrive, there is even outdoor seating.

With excellent and attentive service and wonderful traditional Cuban cuisine,  all presented in a cool tropical atmosphere, Havana Central is the place to be.  I can’t wait to go back !

havana central

Havana Central

One Ridge Hill Blvd   (Ridge Hill Shopping Center)

Yonkers ,  New York      


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Whitby Castle: elegant dining in a true castle


How often do you get to dine in a magnificent castle?    I had the opportunity recently to have brunch at Whitby Castle located at the Rye Country Club in Rye NY.   Whitby is located on the grounds of the Rye Country Club, but is open to the public and not just for club members.

whitby castle

The picturesque castle was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis one of the premier architects of the 19th century and has designed many buildings in the Hudson Valley including Lyndhurst in Tarrytown.  Dining here is to experience the elegance of a bygone era and as a bonus you can enjoy the gorgeous water view toward Milton Harbor and Long Island Sound.


As you enter the castle you cannot help but admire the old world craftsmanship, high ceilings and the fine architectural  details in each room.  The main dining room is sun lit  with a large windows facing out over the patio, the green lawns of the golf course and then the tranquil waters of Milton Harbor.


View from the Dining Room

We dined for Sunday brunch on Easter and had a wonderful meal.  Brunch included a wide assortment of food including traditional breakfast favorites of bagels, muffins, scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict , sausage and bacon.   There were also salad, shrimp cocktail, and a variety of hot dishes including  Chicken Picatta, Sole, and pasta.  If that was not enough, there was a carving station with prime rib, turkey breast and lamb.  To end the meal (if you have room), there is a delicious spread of desserts and fresh fruit, coffee and tea.  Even though it is a buffet, the service from our waiter was attentive and friendly.    Certainly a wonderful place to dine.

Whitby Castle is open to the public for Dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Lunch is served daily except for Monday.  The menu changes often so there is no menu online.

whitby castle 2

Outside dining

The castle is host for private events and is a desirable location for weddings.   The next event coming up is Mother’s Day Brunch on May 8th 2016.   Brunch will be in two seatings, 10:30am  and 2:30pm.  The cost for brunch is $49.95 per person and children under 12 are $19.95 each.


for more information:

Whitby Castle  

30 Boston Post Road
Rye, NY 10580
Tel:  914.777.2053

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Great evening of food and wine tasting at the Bedford Post Inn


On April 8th , The Bedford Post Inn and Vine and Co. of Bedford Hills hosted a wine and food event to benefit The Boys and Girls Club of Mt. Kisco and their  many programs.

The night was a success with attendees tasting from 40 different wines, as well there was a table of single malt scotches and craft beer was available to taste courtesy of Two Roads Brewing Company.


A delicious variety of food in small plates  was provided by Campagna, the restaurant at the Bedford Post Inn including homemade pastas, beef and lobster.  The event was held in the beautiful Barn at the Bedford Post Inn.  We are looking forward to future events at the inn in the coming year as it is a very special place.

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Hudson Grille: Contemporary American Dining in White Plains

 hudson grille

 Hudson Grill is located in the popular restaurant /bar scene on Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains.   Unlike some of its neighbors, Hudson Grille really stands out with its casual but upscale decor , excellent food and its five star service.

Upon entering Hudson Grille for dinner, I was pleasantly surprised how architecturally beautiful the interior presents itself.  Classic dark wood floors and bar, leather seating, stone walls in the dining area, a red velvet drapes that can separate the dining area from the rest of the restaurant.  The walls are adorned with photos and prints depicting scenes of the Hudson River . The overall effect is both elegant and swanky, and is reminiscent of a top notch eatery you would find in Manhattan.   Hudson Grille has occupied this space in downtown White Plains since June 2010 and has built a loyal following.

The menu is large and there is something for everyone.  Small plates, sharable dishes, and full entrees can be ordered.   Our very professional waiter Adrian informed me as we mulled over the menu that they have a large variety of wines including a “flight of wine” which allows the diner to sample three types of wine.  Your wine glasses are held in a sort of wine glass tree.  Quite interesting. I love sweet wines so I thought the Flight of Wines would be a great way to try their selections.    All my choices were thoroughly  explained before tasting.   Such a fun and unique way to start off your meal.

flight of wine

Flight of wine









We also sampled the Lychee Martini which was unique and tasty.


Lychee Martini






Starters:  With its expansive menu, many items were chosen to be shared among our party of 4.   The Steamed Bao Bao buns with pulled BBQ pork with cilantro and pickled cucumber was right on the mark.  This dish was sweet and savory and perfect for sharing.

Fish Tacos were another perfect choice with amazing freshness, crunch and a pleasant blend of spices.


Fish Tacos

The Moo Shu Chicken BBQ lettuce wraps with peanuts, hoison sauce and vegetables were a light and delicious sharable plate. Creative  presentation with the little Chinese take-out box holding the chicken.


Moo Shu

The menu is quite broad and draws influences from many culinary regions. A top choice for an appetizer was the Filet Mignon Kebobs in Teriyaki Sauce.  It was a nice portion and cooked to perfection.


Filet Mignon Kebobs

Main Course:   Moving on the main course we selected the Braised Short Rib with Yukon Gold potatoes puree, roasted root veggies in a Madeira cream sauce.  I had a taste and have to say this is a delicious dish.


Braised Short Rib

I had the Norwegian Salmon on a Cedar Plank as my main dish.  The presentation was quite pleasing with baby bok choi and stir fried jasmine rice.  The mizo glaze and toasted sesame brought a sweetness to this healthy choice.


Norwegian Salmon on Cedar Plank


The last selection for our table was the Lobster Roll with Fries and was highly recommended by the waiter.  We were not disappointed.  The roll was filled with delicious fresh lobster meat and the crispy fries came served in a small metal bucket.   It was delightful.



Lobster Roll

Dessert:  Please don’t leave Hudson Grille without trying one(or more!) of the in-house chef made desserts.     Three desserts not to miss:  Almond coconut ice cream cake with crispy chocolate ganache caramel and mango sauce.   A superb confection.

Banoffee pie with ripe bananas creamy toffee, puff pastry, creme fraiche and chocolate sauce with chocolate sauce.  So creative and special.

Warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel chocolate sauce sweet and luscious.

The Hudson Grille changes its  menu every season and uses only the freshest ingredients that are expertly prepared to create a real dining experience.  There is a patio outside in the back for al fresco dining and there is also a room for private events.  There is a DJ on Thursday and Saturday nights.

Top service, a great and varied menu,  with outstanding presentation are reasons for you to put Hudson Grille in White Plains on your dining list.


 Hudson Grille

165 Mamaroneck Avenue  White Plains NY


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Wine,Scotch and food event to benefit Charity at the Bedford Post Inn on April 8th

Taste of Spring Bedford


Vine and Co. of Bedford Hills has announced a tasting event with part of the proceeds going to a local charity.  Vine and Co. will be hosting its  Taste of Spring on Friday April 8th 2016 from 7pm to 9:30 pm and it will be held at Campagna at the Bedford Post Inn. 

The event will feature a wine tasting featuring 40 different wines from around the world, beer tasting from local breweries, and a Scotch tasting featuring a selection of  different premium single malt Scotch. Food and dessert will be provided by the restaurant, Campagna at the Bedford Post Inn.

bedford post inn

Part of the proceeds of the event will go directly to The Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester.  So make plans to be part of a special evening of tasting at the beautiful Bedford Post Inn.  Tickets are $100 per person for this event.   See you there!

For More information:

Vine and Co.

Tickets:  914-234-7800  ext 109

or buy tickets online at:

Bedford Post Inn    

954 Old Post Road Bedford NY

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