Arts Westchester’s Arts Birthday Bash: art, food and more comes to White Plains


ArtsWestchester has announced a special event to celebrate 20 years in its historic building in downtown White Plains.  The county’s leading arts advocacy nonprofit organization has put a new spin on its annual ArtsBash spring fundraiser this year by calling it Arts “Birthday” Bash. The event, which will feature food, fun and contemporary art, is scheduled for Thursday, May 17 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., followed by a Family ArtsBash celebration on Saturday, May 19.

At this year’s party, ArtsWestchester will be celebrating the transformation of the former People’s National Bank & Trust Building into a cultural hub of activity for artists and creative businesses.  Since the organization acquired 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains in 1998, it has been hard at work restoring and creatively adapting the use of the nine-story cultural treasure into an arts incubator and multi-use arts center, while preserving the landmark building.

This year’s Arts Birthday Bash on May 17th will feature delicious cuisine and cocktails from more than 30 prestigious restaurants, as well as the opportunity for guests to meet well-known artists in their open studios throughout the historic building.

In addition, ArtsWestchester’s newest gallery exhibit, the “ArtsWestchester Triennial,” will provide the backdrop of the event, featuring artwork by contemporary artists of the Hudson Valley nominated by top museum directors and gallerists.

Some of the restuarants participating in this year’s Thursday evening Arts Birthday Bash include:

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Baked by Susan ,Blockheads Brother, Jimmy’s BBQCafé of Love, Cambria Hotel & Suites, Coffee Labs Roasters, Coopers Mill @ Marriott, Crabtree’s Kittle House,Dan Rooney’s at Empire City Casino, Falafel-Taco, La Bocca, License2Grill, Lola’s , Mexican Kitchen, Mediterraneo, Meritage. Penny Lick Ice Cream Company, Sofrito, Texas de Brazil, The Briarcliff Manor, The Horse and Hound Inn, Tre Angelina

The 2018 Arts Birthday Bash is a fundraiser to support the programs and services of ArtsWestchester and will take place on Thursday, May 17 from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at ArtsWestchester located at 31 Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. This year’s Family ArtsBash will take place on Saturday, May 19 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tickets to the Thursday evening reception are $75 and are available online at or at the door Thursday evening.

For Family ArtsBash, there is a suggested family donation of $10 at the door. For more information, visit

Arts Westchester

31 Mamaroneck Avenue White Plains, NY

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Two Chefs, two nights, two locations: enjoy an evening of great food with the Chef’s Test Kitchen and the Chef’s Table, May 1st and 2nd

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A fun event for foodies is coming to Rockland County on May 1 and May 2, 2018.  The first event will be held May 1 at 8 North Broadway restaurant in Nyack NY and is called  the “Chef’s Test Kitchen” . The event is billed as an evening of ingredient tasting, playing around, and serious cooking. Sounds like fun!

On May 2nd another great evening to be held at Casa Hudson overlooking the Hudson River in Haverstraw New York.  It will be another fun evening with the same chefs and is billed as the “Chef’s Table” Come say ‘hello’ and meet your fellow Hudson Valley foodies and enjoy 3 hours of culinary bliss ,16 courses of tapas and the ambiance of Casa Hudson.  You can even bring your own bottle of wine.  Events presented by the South Nyack Supper Club.

The chefs:

Chef Constantine Kalandranis

Constantine Kalandranis grew up in Astoria, Queens with a love of food. From cooking alongside members of his Greek-American family to preparing for holiday gatherings, he learned the connection we all have to food.  He owns 8 North Broadway in Nyack as well as two additional Westchester restaurants, 273 Kitchen in Harrison, and Popojito in Scarsdale.

Chef Jose DeJesus

Jose DeJesus, the Trill Cooker, is an ingredient focused, eclectic-international trained chef. Jose designs an exclusive menu for each of his events that is focused around a theme that takes your taste buds on a journey. He makes everything from scratch and uses the freshest ingredients. All his creations and recipes are uniquely put together.

For more information, and tickets:

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City Wide Scavenger Hunt comes to Norwalk on Saturday April 28th


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A unique and fun event is coming to Norwalk Ct on Saturday April 28th.  Norwalk Now presents a fun day with its City Wide Scavenger Hunt for adults !  The event takes place in Norwalk and the hip destination of SoNo (South Norwalk) as participants group together in teams of no more than 4 solve clues around Norwalk to win.

The City Hunt begins at O’Neill’s Irish Pub at 93 North Main Street in SoNo and proceeds from there!   The event runs from 10:30 am to 1pm and is followed by an after party from 1 to 3pm for all participants.  Location for that event is to be revealed during the hunt.  Directions and clues will be provided on the app that will take you through the streets of downtown Norwalk and SoNo.   It sounds like a fun event and I can’t wait to participate.

Cost is $40 per person and includes event swag and the after party.

For more information :

Norwalk City-Wide Scavenger Hunt
Solve the Clue – Complete the Challenge – Repeat!

Hallelujah! Sister Act now at the Westchester Broadway Theater


Sister Act the musical has arrived at the Westchester Broadway Theater stage. The musical which is based on the 1992 film of the same name and starred Whoopi Goldberg, has been staged as a musical in London’s West End and on Broadway in 2011.  The musical score was written by Tony and Oscar winning composer Alan Menken. This production features direction and choreography by Donna Drake who has been involved in numerous Broadway shows including A Chorus Line, Woman of the Year and  many others.

The story opens in the late 1970s in Philadelphia where we meat Deloris Van Cartier (Zuri Washington) who is an aspiring disco singer who is looking for an opportunity to be discovered.  Unfortunately she is the witness to a murder by a local gangster and is forced into hiding for her own protection.  The police want to keep her nearby as they prepare their case, so they hide her in a local Catholic convent run by Monsignor O’Hara (Ken Jennings) and Mother Superior (Mary Jo McConnell).  Mother Superior has no tolerance for the flamboyant Deloris and Deloris finds the restrictive life in the convent too hard to bear.

Deloris however begins to bond with some of the sisters, and soon joins their chorus which she discovers is in dire need of  her musical talent.  With an injection of funk, fun and lots of soul, the nuns find the declining attendance at church has been turned around by their choir.   The pews begin to fill to listen to their music, and with their celebrity brings media attention.  It is this attention is how the gangster finds where Deloris is hiding. I won’t give up the rest, but leave it you to enjoy at the theater.


Sister Act is a fun filled and fast moving evening of music and dance.   There are wonderful performances from the large cast and I would be remiss if I did not mention the charming performance of Lani Corson as Sister Mary Robert, the youngest of the nuns.  Despite her petite size she takes over the stage and lifts the audience with her tremendous vocal range.

Sister Act is a night of musical delight as it blends the uplifting revival of a church choir with the funky, soul sounds of the 1970s.  The mainstage production runs through July 1, 2018.  Dinner is included in your ticket price and is served prior to the show.

For more information and tickets

Westchester Broadway Theater

1 Broadway Plaza  Elmsford New York

tel. 914.592.2222 


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Flinders Lane: A multi cultural menu with down under roots comes to downtown Stamford

A new eatery has opened in the heart of Stamford right on Summer Street.  Flinders Lane has opened its doors and has created an urban space that features craft cocktails, a large selection of wines and an interesting cuisine featuring the flavors of inspired by the multi cultural neighborhood of Flinders Lane in Melbourne, Australia.

This is my first foray into this type of cuisine and I found it to be interesting and loaded with flavor.  The space for Flinders Lane is located on Summer Street on the bottom floor of the Summer House apartments.  The decor is sleek, clean and urban.   A small bar is in one corner, tables fill up the rest of the space, and the kitchen is open to the diners so that they can see the chefs work their magic.

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We started the evening with some cocktails from their unique list and enjoyed the Torquay Tonic (Bacardi Rum, The Kraken black spiced rum, combier,  passion fruit, and bubbles) and the Melbourne CBD a delish concoction of Strawberry infused vodka, elderflower, and pressed lemon.  Both very refreshing.  Cocktails run $12-$14.   Our table sampled some of the appetizers on the menu.  We started with Tuna Tartare, along with Arancini Balls rice balls made with mushrooms, and black garlic mayo. Both a nice light way to begin the meal, yet infused with flavor.

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The Diver Caught Scallops was a delicious offering with grilled scallops, with chili, cashew relish, hijiki and pea shoots.

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Diver Caught Scallops

I soon learned from the Chef Brad Stewart that Australia has many immigrants from Vietnam, Singapore and other countries of South East Asia that have brought some of their spicy filled dishes down under. They have influenced traditional Australian cuisine by infusing those dishes with the spices of their home countries.  You may want to alter your amount of spice to your taste.   Chicken San Cho Bau was next and continued the Asian influence with this dish of sliced chicken with Bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts and served in a lettuce cup.  Light and tasty.  Appetizers run $7-$17.

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Chicken San Cho Bau

The entree portion of the menu continues the dining adventure. The menu has only 7 main selections which include seafood, lamb, pasta, steak, and kangaroo.  Yes, you read that right.  We did not sample the kangaroo, though members of our party did and they seemed to enjoy the dish.  We sampled the Branzino which was light and delicious and a new addition to the menu.   We look forward to an expansion of this part of the menu and a vegetarian option would be great to see.   Main dishes run  $21-$34.

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Flinders Lane (which also has a location in NYC) is a welcome and interesting addition to the Stamford dining scene, and should you feel a sense of adventure, then this is the spot for you.

Flinders Lane

184 Summer Street Stamford Ct.                          tel.203.323.3137


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Monteverde at Oldstone: a classic Hudson Valley restaurant is reborn

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We are fortunate to live in the beautiful Hudson Valley.  One of the most scenic areas of the valley is the Hudson Highlands, that stretch of river from Bear Mountain in the south reaching up  to Mt. Beacon a few miles to the north. This region is not only filled with great scenic beauty and vistas, but rich history as well.  The Hudson Highlands once home to Native American tribes was then  settled by the Dutch, and then the English.  Here Dutch captains sailed through the narrow turns of the river, the Americans built forts during the Revolution, and later great estates would be built along the shore to take advantage of the natural beauty.

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It is at the south end of the Hudson Highlands in the town of Cortland Manor sits Monteverde at Oldstone.  Monteverde is a fine dining restaurant and is situated in a historic mansion built by the Van Cortlandt family in the 1700s.  The mansion would remain in the family for decades and during the 20th century it would serve a new purpose under new owners  as an inn, a restaurant, and later as  a catering facility.  The current owners have fully renovated the mansion and have returned it to its glory.


The Grand Dining Room  ( photo credit Monteverde)

On a recent visit we dined at Monteverde.  The restaurant is located on a high bluff overlooking the Hudson.  Vast  green lawns reach out from the mansion toward the river.  On the late afternoon we visited ,the rays of  setting sun danced on the surface of the river.  To the west, the mountains of Bear Mt. State Park  create the perfect scenic backdrop for our evening of dining.  The mansion has several different dining rooms all with their own atmosphere including The Grand Dining Room, The Veranda Dining Room and The Governors’ Dining Room each with river views. There is also a warm and charming bar room with rich dark wood paneling and fireplace.  In warmer weather there are outdoor dining areas as well.

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The Veranda Dining Room and the view

We started with cocktails as we sat at our table in the Veranda Dining room.  A curving bank of large windows framed the fantastic scenery.  We enjoyed the Monteverde Martini  and the Hope Latham and both cocktails were a fine way to start our meal.

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Monteverde Martini

For  appetizers we selected the Baby Clams which were prepared with  black garlic, bacon  and Fresno Chilis.  The effect  was smoky from the bacon and very flavorful and I have never had clams prepared this way.  Very innovative and a worthy selection.

We also sampled the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes prepared with preserved lemon ailoli and grilled endive.  The crab was fresh and unlike many crab cakes which lose their taste with the addition of too many ingredients and filler, this cake was the perfect balance of seafood flavor which was accented by the lemon ailoli.   We paired our dishes with a glass of Savignon Blanc which was selected by our waitress who made excellent suggestions for us throughout the meal.   The menu has just 6 appetizers on the menu ($14-17)  and it would be nice to see a expansion of this part of the menu to include additional items including more seafood and vegetarian options.

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Lump Crab Cake

Our entrees for the evening were the Braised Short Ribs, served in a citrus Hoisin sauce.  The short ribs are slow cooked for almost a day and can easily be enjoyed with just a fork as the meat is so soft and tender.  The Hoisin sauce gives the ribs an interesting Asian influence as it enhances the flavor.  A fine dish and a nice presentation though some diners may feel the portion could be larger.

We also selected the Scottish Trout (on the Specials menu) which was prepared as a filet and sauteed.  The trout was more mild than expected and was more akin to salmon in taste and appearance.  A really excellent selection and presentation.   We also shared the Lobster Tagliatelle one of three pasta choices and the lobster dish included mussels ,clams in a saffron sauce served with pasta.  The pasta was cooked al dente which gave the pasta a more substantial feel and perfectly complimented the fresh seafood.  A really great dish.  Entrees on the menu range from $18-$26.  The dishes do not come with sides and we ordered several which complimented our meal including the polenta, and the roasted garlic potato souffle.

With just a bit of room left we shared the Blackberry Teacake with Mango sauce, a sweet confection that was a  perfect way to cap an evening of fine dining.   Chef Eric Korn has crafted a menu of both classic and innovative dishes that raise the level of fine dining in the region.  The bread and butter is made in house as are all the desserts.  The staff was first rate and attentive and our waitress Stephanie was both knowledgeable and professional.   I am looking forward to returning to Monteverde at Oldstone with the return of warmer weather to experience the seasonal update to the menu and of course the panoramic vistas that are a real treasure.

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Blackberry Teacake in Mango Sauce

Arlene and Brent Perrott are the current owners of this historic mansion and purchased the property in 2011.  At the time it had been abandoned and they saved the mansion from destruction.  With modern restaurant design focusing on a sparse post-industrial motif, it is such a pleasure to dine in a historic structure that his been lovingly restored with great attention to authentic detail and craftmanship. Their efforts and vision in bringing this Hudson Valley gem back to life is something to experience.

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Monteverde at Oldstone

28 Bear Mountain Bridge Road
Cortlandt Manor, New York 10567 
Restaurant: 914-737-6500


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