Montauk Manor: experience an elegant hotel in the heart of beautiful Montauk

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Montauk, N.Y. is one of the most unique towns in New York State.  Located at the very tip of the south fork of Long Island, Montauk is a fantastic summer vacation spot, steeped in history, great beaches , scenery and surrounded by water.  It’s laid back atmosphere, beaches, surfing and fishing draws visitors each year to this area which is a bit more akin to New England than New York State.

Though there are many options for accommodations, we discovered one that is a quite different.  Montauk Manor is a grand condo/hotel situated on  Signal Hill overlooking Montauk.  Its  architecture  is of a fine English Manor and is in contrast to the rest of the design found here at the end of the island.


Built in 1927 the hotel was the grand vision of Carl Fisher who imagined a 5 star resort to rival no other in the country.  It would have the hotel, beach club, a boardwalk,  polo fields, and much more. The hotel and its restaurants would offer the finest of food and amenities. Though the hotel opened to much fanfare, the economic downturn of the Great Depression took its toll on Mr. Fisher’s ambitious plans.

Luckily, the Montauk Manor has survived the long decades and has been totally restored into a beautiful condo/hotel  and the fantastic views from the top of Signal Hill remain.

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Beautify view from the hotel

Rooms at the hotel are suite style and available in Studio, and One to Three Bedroom units.  Many have water views.  The two bedroom unit we stayed in (party of 4), included a full kitchen, kitchen table, living area, master bedroom with en suite bath, and loft bedroom with bath.  The suite was modern, updated and tastefully decorated.  Our stay was very comfortable, and the room was quiet.

The hotel does have one restaurant on site, La Fine.   There is an indoor pool and spa, outdoor pool, tennis, putting green , golf driving course, bocce court and  indoor fitness center.   The views from the lawn are beautiful as you can watch the sun set over Long Island Sound.

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The outdoor section of La FIne

The charming village of Montauk is two minutes by car and there are plenty of shops and dining options for the visitor.  The beach is just another short drive away depending on what beach you wish to visit.  The hotel also provides a shuttle to and from the beach for you.

If you are looking for an upscale resort experience with old world charm and elegance, then I encourage you to check out Montauk Manor in Montauk. We cannot wait to return!

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Montauk Manor

236 Edgemere Street, Montauk, NY

tel 631.668.4400




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A one night, three restaurant tour of SoNo (South Norwalk)

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Recently we were fortunate to be part of a media dinner tour of three eateries right in the heart of SoNo (South Norwalk).   Historic Washington Street is humming with a vibrant  energy as the street is line with restaurants, bars, shops and galleries.   Our tour guides were the wonderful people from Norwalk Now and MaxEx Public Relations.  Our three hour tour include newcomer Public Wine Bar, Cask Republic and Saltwater.

Public Wine Bar– a recent addition to SoNo is  Public Wine Bar.  The space is beautifully designed and has an air of casual elegance.   Starters include items running from a Steak Tartar to Grilled Octopus to Pear Argula Salad.    The menu can best be described as Meditterrean with an infusion of New England.   Our culinary tour started with a cocktail, the Public 88 which is the innovative infusion of orchid with Tito’s Vodka and topped with Brut Rose Cava.  A nice light delicious cocktail.

We sampled three delicious items including the Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad over a parmesan risotto cake with truffle vinaigrette which was fantastic.   The Spicy Salmon Tartar was a nice change from the usual Tuna Tartar menu offering and spiced up with a dash of jalapenos, and lemon sriracha vinaigrette.

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Salmon Tartare

Entrees included a delicious Chicken and Wild Mushroom Pappardelle, a dish crafted from organic chicken, fresh herbs, truffle oil and a dash of parmesan.  A delightful dish.   We finished with a seafood favorite, Salmon A La Plancha, a nicely grilled piece of fresh salmon served with smashed fingerling potatoes and with a zesty mustard beurre blanc sauce.  We were really impressed with our samplings of this new restaurant and hope to return soon to experience more of their menu and glasses from the wine list.

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Salmon A La Plancha

Cask Republic-  a staple in the middle of  Washington Street, Cask Republic has the warmth and charm of an upscale tavern, but is friendly and casual in its atmosphere.  Housed in a former bank building, the space is warm and has the appearance of a fine club.  The bank vault even remains at the back of the dining room.   Cask has been described as an “elevated tavern” as  cocktails are top notch and fun.  We sample the summery Blue Wave with rum, coconut rum, fresh lime, oj and blue curacao.  I want another right  now!  There is also an extensive wine list, and a rotating list of beers on tap.

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Summer Cocktails at Cask Republic SoNo

We sampled the Stir Fried Cauliflower with sesame seeds and a sesame ginger aioli which was a hit at our table.  The Pesto Mac and Cheese was also a big hit with its combo of pasta, aged Amish cheddar and pesto.  A real nice variation of this comfort food.   Beef empanadas were spicy and delish with a bit of kick from the red chimichurri and the pepper aioli which provided just a bit of heat.

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Stir Fried Cauliflower

We concluded with the Cask Republic Burger.  Though we rarely order burgers when dining this award winning dish was full of taste thanks to its blend of short rib, brisket and sirloin.  Cask Republic is one of our favorites in SoNo and thanks to their constant updating of the cocktails and menu, it is always fun to return again and again.

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Pesto Mac and Cheese

Saltwater- We really looked forward to visiting this seafood eatery.  Saltwater has a Nantucket inspired beach feel about it from its beautiful bar area, casual outdoor seating, to its more intimate dining spaces in the back of the restaurant.   The entire interior design of the cool eatery transports you the beach. We started our visit here with a Coconut Mojito, this Cuban classic cocktail set the mood for our last stop on our culinary tour.


Cocktails at Saltwater

PEI Mussels are always a favorite with us and these fresh mussels are purchased daily (as is all the seafood) and served in ver jus ( a juice from unripe grapes) and garlic toast.    The Kale Salad was light and healthy and included beets, carrots, goat cheese, nuts, in a sweet orange vinaigrette dressing.  A nice break in the menu for additional seafood to follow.

Fried Calamari is always a solid staple at many Italian and seafood restaurants, and this calamari served with marinara was light and crispy.   We concluded with Fish and Chips,  with fresh cod beer  battered and served with fries.   Saltwater has a an extensive menu including seafood, pasta and land options.  Since we just had a sampling, we are really looking  forward to visiting again soon

Our three hour culinary tour was a fun and food filled evening, and hopefully will get you motivated to investigate the great dining scene in SoNo.  The area also has the Maritime Aquarium, bike rentals, the Wall Street Theater and more!

Public Wine Bar

Cask Republic SoNo


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All Aboard! “Anything Goes” now playing on the Westchester Broadway Theater stage

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The classic Cole Porter musical Anything Goes has arrived in high style at the Westchester Broadway stage.  This 1934 classic is cast in the traditional Broadway musical mold including a memorable score, numerous dance numbers, great costumes and an elaborate set.   All of these elements are here on the WBT stage and few theaters outside of Broadway can produce a musical of this quality like WBT.  The theater has built a solid reputation by staging productions of classic musicals.  In the past few years, WBT has staged South Pacific, Man Of LaMancha, Show Boat and Annie Get Your Gun.  They are also adept at weaving in to their schedule more modern shows such as Mamma Mia! and Sister Act.   WBT also draws top acting talent with actors who have credits on and off Broadway as well as national tours.

The musical is set on a passenger ship sailing from New York to London.   Here we meet a cast including a nightclub singer, Reno Sweeney (Stacia Fernandez),  a young woman about to be married to save her family from financial ruin, Hope Harcourt (Jackie Raye), her much older British fiancé Lord Oakleigh (Kevin Pariseau) and Hope’s real love interest and ship stowaway, Billy Crocker (Zach Trimmer).  Add to this group, is a gangster on the run and his girlfriend, the mother of the bride to be,  a wall street banker who is a guest at the wedding and the ship’s crew.    A wild ride ensues as the crew seeks out the stowaway and the gangster, Billy tries to win back Hope and stop the wedding, and  Reno steps in to help Billy win back Hope.

The story though written in the 1930s has been updated and altered during the various revivals over the years.    Written in a simpler time, the musical has a simple plot following the boy meets girl/boy loses girl/boy gets girl back formula that is common in literature.

The score by Cole Porter including “Anything Goes” and “I Get a Kick Out of You”  is memorable.  The evening is filled with fine acting and vocal performances from Stacia Fernandez as Reno,  Zach Trimmer as Billy, and a wonderful solo performance of “Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye” by Jackie Raye as Hope that was  quite impressive.

What makes Anything Goes shine is the fantastic tap dancing by the ensemble.  Every inch of the square WBT stage is alive with carefully choreographed  tap and dance numbers that liven up the tempo of the show to the delight of the audience.  Credit to Richard Stafford for his fine work with the cast as director and choreographer.

Set design which is always strong at WBT is on display again with a steam ship with several doors, decks and smoke stacks dominating the stage and setting the mood.  Well done by Steve Loftus and his crew.

A special credit goes out to costume designer Keith Nielsen for the fantastic job on all the costumes which capture the period of the 1930s correctly.  The large ensemble of actors (over 20) have multiple costume changes during the performance.

So don’t miss the ship as this show sets sail from the theater on  September  9th (last performance).

For more info and tickets (dinner included in your ticket price)

Westchester Broadway Theater

1 Broadway Plaza Elmsford NY     tel.914.592.2222

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Mission Taqueria: A modern, healthy Mexican eatery comes to Pleasantville

IMG_9958 (1)We had heard a lot of buzz about a new Mexican restaurant that had opened recently in Pleasantville. The owners of the successful 105Ten in Briarcliff Manor have launched Mission Taqueria, a new style of Mexican kitchen.  The food is basic in its heritage and roots, but the execution and presentation is thoroughly modern.   A great deal of time was spent developing a menu that is light, clean and healthy, yet full of taste.

The space is in an older building that has been transformed by designer Andrew Kotchen into a clean, uncluttered,  modern, and urban space.  The effect of this  design is to create a space where  the food and craft cocktails take center stage. Booths line the walls, pub tables are placed in the middle of the restaurant and two cozy tables for four reside by the front windows.  The bar is a colorful area with a honeycomb backsplash in blue which is repeated in tile on the bar front and floor.  The taps are unique and bring a touch of old Mexico into the modern design language of the interior.

The menu of traditional Mexican dishes has been updated to reflect the notions of lighter, cleanand healthy fare.  The usual heavy cheeses and sauces are thankfully missing and replaced with  a menu with an emphasis on blending fresh ingredients in a healthy manner.  The effect for us is that we left the restaurant satisfied and not weighed down.

We enjoyed some unique and fresh dishes such as the Guacamole served with a light topping of queso fresco, house made chips, pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds.  Very interesting take on the classic guacamole staple.

The Mexican Street Corn was another nice opener and is lightly grilled ear of corn (cut in two) and served with a lime aioli, and chili powder.    The Pumpkin seed hummus was a unique dish in taste and presentation and instead of chips was served with a fresh cut veggie crudite.

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Tuna Poke Tostadas

For our mains we enjoyed the Tuna Poke Tostadas, a healthy dish with Hawaiian poke (tuna) served on small tostadas,  and topped off with a fresh slice of avocado.  Loved this dish!



While there are main entrees including chicken and steak, we opted to check out the Taco menu with seafood, meat and veggie options.  We enjoyed the California Dreamin’  Brussel Sprout Tacos ($14) (great for healthy eaters and vegetarians),  The Shrimp($17), fresh grilled shrimp served with a mango salsa.  The Lobster Frites ($19)  were also a must try with poached lobster, and a pepper and chipotle aioli and topped with potato threads .  All healthy, light and delicious and devoid of the heaviness so frequently seen in Mexican restaurants.

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While dining you would be remiss not to mention the list of craft cocktails, and wide range of beers available on tap.

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Mission Taqueria has brought to the Westchester dining scene an eatery merging the best of authentic Mexican foods in a modern and healthy fashion

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Mission Taqueria

472 Bedford Road Pleasantville, NY     tel. 914.741.5285

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A Flea in Her Ear: a hilarious comedy at Westport Country Playhouse

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A hysterical comedy has come to the stage at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport Ct.  ” A Flea in Her Ear” is a brilliant and hilarious play about the subjects of marriage, suspicion, infidelity, and mistaken identity.   This high energy production had the audience laughing the entire performance.


The play was written by Georges Feydeau in the early 20th Century and adapted by David Ives from the original book and wonderfully directed by Mark Lamos, the artistic director of the Playhouse.   Set in Paris in 1907 the play is about a Parisian wife (Elizabeth Heflin) whose faithful husband a well to do owner of an insurance company has suddenly lost his romantic appetite for his wife.   Along with her good friend, Lucienne(Antoinette Robinson), they devise a plot to see if her husband is cheating on her.  They send him a scented note from a female admirer and ask him to meet her at a local hotel of ill repute.

While her husband, Victor (Lee E. Ernst) is intrigued by the letter and the amorous advances of this mystery woman, he passes on the offer and sends his friend  Tournel (Stephen Pelinski) to meet her instead.  The high energy and physical comedy that is Flea in Hear Ear is about to unfold in Act Two of this three act play.  Act Two moves from the home of Victor and his wife to the hotel with its many doors and passages.  Lee E. Ernst assumes another role as the drunken Bell Hop Poche, whose appearance turns the play upside down.  Calamity ensues as the ladies plans become unglued and Lucienne finds herself being pursued by her angry husband Don Carlos (Michael Gotch), an eccentric and mad Spainiard.  The play finally returns to the apartment in Paris of Victor and his wife Raymonde, where the crazy mixed up events of the evening are finally resolved.

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A successful comedy depends on a great script, comedic timing, excellent actors and of course a director who can bring all these elements together. This production of A Flea in Her Ear has all those elements.   The set design was fantastic and the high artistic quality we expect from Westport.  Kristen Robinson did a wonderful job with capturing the feel of  early 20th Century Paris.  Costume Designer Sara Jean Tosetti crafted a wonderful array of period costumes for the actors.  This is a play you cannot miss!

This very comical play will grace the Westport stage until July 28, 2018.  Tickets start at $30.

For more information and tickets.

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court  Westport Ct.  tel.203.227.4177     

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Tredici North: a fresh approach to classic Italian dishes by an award winning Chef


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Tredici North in Purchase is a fine restaurant with a top chef who has crafted a “modern Italian” menu that is both innovative and delicious.  The decor of the restaurant follows that theme with a hip and modern design .  No red and white checkerboard table cloths here.  The look is upscale and modern and the menu though classic Italian is presented with a modern flair.

On a recent Friday evening we visited Tredici North for dinner.  The bar features a full list of craft cocktails and wines from several regions of the world. The talented bar staff can also blend a cocktail of your choice not on the menu.

The dinner menu  is designed  and wonderfully executed by Chef Giuseppi Fanelli.  The chef has appeared on several cooking shows on television, and was the winner of “Chopped” on the Food Network.  His resume includes chef at Baldoria (sister eatery to Rao’s) in Manhattan, as well as Felidia (Lydia Bastianich’s  restaurant) as well as Tredici in Chelsea.  The menu is classic Italian with a fresh and innovative approach to these familiar dishes.

Starters include dishes such seafood, two salads and one meatball dish. We enjoyed the wonderful and filling Angry Lobster,  a deconstructed  1 ¼ LB Lobster that is pan fried in the shell with evoo. meyer lemon and roasted garilc.  A seafood lover’s dream dish.

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Angry Lobster

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We also enjoyed the Grilled Polpo,  a tasty slice of Portugese octopus, grilled and served over endive salad with and finished with a light citrus vinaigrette and bloomed mustard seeds. The light flavors of the vinaigrette combined with the grilled texture of the seafood was quite a refreshing take on this classic dish.    From the specials menu  that evening we enjoyed a classic bowl for fresh mussels that was light and excellent.


Main dishes  include seven different delicious homemade pasta options as well as land and sea options. The homemade Ravioli Zucca with ricotta, buratta and asiago with served in a light pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash crema was a favorite with pasta being both house made and just melted in your mouth.

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A fresh grilled Halibut dish was also enjoyed from the specials menu and was fresh and delicious and shows the Chef’s willingness to introduce new items to the menu.  Another great choice is the fresh approach to Organic Salmon.  This staple gets a fresh outlook  by being prepared with pistachio and mustard seed crust (for a nutty flavor) with parsnip puree with a medley of green lentils, pomegranate and served in a light burnt blood orange reduction.  So innovative and delicious.

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Pistachio Semifreddo


If you have room desserts are available and try the fresh Coconut Dream cake of the Pistachio Semifreddo, a frozen mousse with a hard chocolate shell and  chopped pistachio that was the perfect cap to a great meal.   Tredici North ticks all the boxes for a evening of great dining.d

Tredici North

578 Anderson Hill Road  Purchase NY

tel.  914.997.4113  web >>

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Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar: a new eatery embraces Katonah’s history

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Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar is a recent addition to the dining options available in the Village of Katonah.  This eatery though new to the area has embraced the rich history of Katonah.   The history of this charming Northern Westchester village has been influenced by the construction of a NYC reservoir.  This construction forced the village to move to its current location, where the carefully laid out and planned village is a real treasure.

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Katonah Woods remodeled interior embraces that history with a mix of rustic decor and clean modern lines. Brick walls, a metal ceiling and Edison bulb lighting blend with modern materials and interior design.  The walls are adorned with historic photos of the village.  The effect is warm and inviting.


The menu is a mix of New American items.  Appetizers ($12-$20), include both land and sea options.  We sampled the excellent Wild Mushroom Truffle Mac and Cheese, a filling blend of shell pasta, baked in a mushroom beschamel and topped with bread crumbs.  A real comfort dish for one or two diners.


Wild Mushroom Truffle Mac and Cheese

We also sampled the tasty Lobster Quesadilla ($16) with Fresh Maine lobster, spicy goat cheese, Vermont Cheddar, house made chips, served with avocado salad.  A real satisfying dish that again can be enjoyed alone or shared.   From the specials menu we also tried the Sauteed Veggies with fresh Burrata,  (delicious) and Mussels Marinara.   Oysters and Mussels are not menu items and we learned are added as specials when management has sourced the freshest seafood available.


Some starters at Katonah Woods

Main dishes include pasta, seafood, meat and one veggie dish.  There are burgers, several different salads available and sides.  We sampled the Vegetable Giardino ($20) a filling blend of local fresh vegetables and herbs, served over soba noodles with garlic and olive oil.  The Braised Short Ribs ($32) are delighful and  served  over a creamy soft white polenta and steamed asparagus,with a natural au jus braising sauce.

Another favorite was the Lobster and Shrimp Risotto($30) a pleasant presentation of fresh seafood, baby spinach, light lemon and garlic sauce. A nice light and healthy dish.

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Lobster and Shrimp Risotto

Desserts are available if you have the room and are made in house. We suggest the Expresso Crème Brule, The Banana Bread Pudding (great for summer) and the Tartufo.

There is a nice cocktail menu and we advise you try the Painted Lady Martini, or the Whitlockville. Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar is a welcome addition to the village and should be your next dining destination.

Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar

128 Bedford Road Katonah NY    914.401.9600

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Next stop, the fresh and innovative dishes of Pubstreet in Pleasantville

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Pubstreet located in the former passenger train station in the village of Pleasantville is a wonderful addition to the Westchester dining scene.  Joining its partner restaurants, the successful Village Social (Mt.Kisco and Rye) and Locali (New Canaan), Pubstreet has arrived with its own style and menu.  Pubstreet blends fresh seafood, land and plant based dishes and all include fresh local ingredients.  The atmosphere is casual, yet elevated.   The main dining room has tasteful  painted woodwork, high ceilings and windows seating at wooden tables and banquettes along the walls.  There is a small bistro tables outside for seasonal outdoor dining.

The bar occupies one end of the room including what would have been the station masters office of the rail station and the ticket office.  This vibrant space is also the site of the raw bar which dishes up fresh oysters and clams daily.

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Beverages including a nice list of craft cocktails ($10-13), beer ($6-$8) including a rotating selection of draft brew ($8) and wines by the glass ($9-$13) with varieties from Spain, Italy, France, and California.

Appetizers abound and range from Wings to Oysters to Shishito Peppers.   We sampled the Salmon Poke “Sushi Fritter” and delightful combo of fish, avocado, tamari glaze and scallions. This is  a must try.   From the raw bar a selection of fresh Wellfleet Oysters fit the bill and was served over ice with lemon and was the perfect way to start the meal.  The raw bar has several fresh oyster selections as well as clams, lobster cocktail, shrimp cocktail and cerviche.  We noted  that the bar was a popular spot for  patrons  to enjoy the raw bar selections with their drinks.

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Wellfleet Oysters from the Raw bar

Also as a starter we tried the Grilled Mushroom Rice bowl, a super healthy dish and a great choice for the vegetarian in your party.  A healthy bowl with spinach, pickles, tempura crisp, aioli, and with a kabayaki glaze. Interesting use of this Japanese sauce that is usually served on fish.  Delicious.  There are 4 salads and two rice bowls on the menu as well as 2 pasta dishes.


Main dishes include seafood, beef and chicken dishes. Burgers include the classic, a tuna burger and even for vegetarians  (or anyone), the Impossible Burger.   We sampled one of our favorites, the classic Lobster Roll.  Soft fresh cooked lobster on a roll with lobster butter, fine herbs and a side of fries ($21) . Perfect!

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Lobster Roll

The Broiled Black Cod ($29) was our last selection  and was wonderfully presented with chili, nishiki rice, pear and shiso (a Japanese plant that is pungent and full of flavor).   An excellent and unique dish filled with flavor.  If you desire more flavor, try the Coconut rice for spicy twist on this side dish.

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Broiled Black Cod

Pubstreet  much like Village Social has mainstream dishes, but the preparation and blend of ingredients is innovative and unique.  There is an underlying yet subtle Asian influence to many of the dishes that set Pubstreet apart from other restaurants.




20 Wheeler Avenue  Pleasantville NY

tel. 914.909.5408


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