O Mandarin: Authentic Mandarin cuisine in the heart of Westchester

Irene pix 1663We have been planning to visit O Mandarin in Hartsdale for since its 2017 opening  the restaurant has been receiving very positive reviews.  We were very happy to dine here on a recent Saturday evening. Even though our reservation was for 8 pm the restaurant was full with patrons, and more were waiting at the bar.

The interior of the eatery is set in warm tones with both tables and elevated booths.  There is generous use of wood and the chairs are carved wood inspired by Ming Dynasty design.  The effect is soothing, comfortable  and sets the mood for an evening of dining.

O Mandarin does not serve cocktails, but there is a list of beer, wine, and saki available from the bar.   Our party of four decided to order and share different appetizers so that we may sample some of the many dishes from the menu.  O Mandarin’s menu philosophy is to provide diners with fine authentic Mandarin cuisine using the freshest ingredients.  The food includes an infusion of spices that gives each dish a unique flavor.   There is plenty to choose from with beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and vegetarian options available.

We sampled such favorites as the Mandarin Glazed Short Rib which was sweet and tender.  We also enjoyed the Cucumber Honey Shrimp, and unique dish of cooked shrimp laced with organic honey and covered in sesame seeds.  Very delicious.

 

The Home Made Dumplings can be steamed or pan fried and these dough filled delights (shrimp or pork) were served in a ceramic rowboat with soy sauce on the side.    Shrimp and Chicken  Lettuce wraps came next.  Prepared with scallion and onion and served with lettuce wraps, this is a nice light healthy dish that can be an appetizer or a main dish.

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 Dumplings

Our main dishes consisted of the hearty and delicious Beef Short Rib with two ribs served in a red wine reduction with ginger and anise.  The meat was soft and tender and fell off the bone.  The red wine and spiced reduction was the perfect complement to the beef.

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Pineapple Fried Rice

Our other main was the Garlic Pepper Shrimp with bell peppers and leeks, and we also enjoyed the Pineapple Mixed Fried rice which was served in a hollowed out half pineapple.  The fried rice was delicious and light and filled with beef, chicken and veggies.  A really great dish.   We were impressed with the variety of the menu, the presentation of the dishes, and the healthy way we felt at the end of the meal.   The use of fresh spices  instead of salt and soy sauce really sets O Mandarin apart.

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Garlic Pepper Shrimp

We learned the owner is constantly bringing in guest chefs from China to infuse fresh ideas into the menu.  With this kind of innovation, we look forward to returning again to O Mandarin.

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O Mandarin

361 North Central Avenue Hartsdale NY

https://www.omandarin.com

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Next Stop: Exit 4 In Mount Kisco

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Food halls are undeniably one of the latest trends in dining. While prominent in New York City, food halls are starting to make their way into the Hudson Valley. Exit 4 Food Hall is the first one to open in Westchester County. Take a trip to Mount Kisco to taste the amazing local and fresh flavors at Exit 4.

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This dining venue offers 9 food stations for customers to try. The restaurant prides itself in serving fresh and local food. Mt. Kisco Seafood, wood fired pizza made from scratch, homemade pasta, and even Myong Salad are the participating local food providers. The restaurant even offers beverages from local breweries and coffee purveyors. Stations include Rotiss-A-Q, Panini/ Sandwich/ Wrap Station, Dirty Roots (salads and smoothies), Fuoco Wood Fired Pizza, Inno Sushi, Piacci Pasta Bar, X4 on Tap, Charcuterie, and Rawsome Seafood Bar.

With 9 stations available, there is always something new and exciting to try. If you come with a group there is a dining option for everyone.

You can meet and converse with new people by sitting at one of Exit 4’s communal tables. Following the theme of sustainability, glass bottles with filtered water is also provided.

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We started our meal with a Bok Choi salad from Dirty Roots (Myong). This healthy yet dynamic salad was comprised of sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried mango, cranberries, and crunchy noodles drizzled in a light red chili vinaigrette.

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Bok Choi Salad

 

We then devoured brussles sprouts pasta from Piacci. The linguini is homemade and prepared daily at Exit 4. This certainly was the perfect summer dish; a very light pasta incorporated with brussles sprouts and butternut squash. The sprinkled pancetta made for a flavorsome topping.

From Inno Sushi, we tried the crispy rice sushi special. Even my-non seafood lover buddy couldn’t get enough of this delish fare. Spicy tuna and jalapeños were delicately topped on firm crispy rice. The contrast between crunch of the rice and zest of the sushi made for a party in my mouth. Inno Sushi devotes themselves to emulating the most popular and newest sushi trends. This includes the trendy sushi burrito and poke bowls.

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Our group then ordered a chicken bowl and brisket burrito from Rotiss-A-Q. In a crispy taco bowl were pieces of rotisserie chicken layered with guacamole, pico de gallo, rice, beans, cheddar, lettuce and roasted veggies.   The brisket burrito included rice, beans, corn, and lettuce. It was fresh and delicious.

I could not pass up trying the high quality fish tacos. These appetizing tacos constituted of tantalizing pico de gallo, luscious avocado and other tasty spices.

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Fish Tacos

We then noshed on a very flavorful and unique wood-fired fig pizza. This unconventional pizza included fig, prosciutto, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella and Italian parsley. There are a variety of pizzas to choose: from traditional pizza to unique pies. Try the Stracciatella or Pistachio for something new and exciting.

To finish this spectacular meal, we unanimously decided to order the skillet cookie. A warm gooey cookie with large chocolate chunks was brought to the table. A scoop of refreshing vanilla ice cream laid perfectly on top of this marvelous creation.

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Skillet Cookie

For a fun and different dining alternative, make sure you stop at Exit 4 Dining Hall in Mt. Kisco.

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Exit 4 Food Hall

http://exit4foodhall.com/

153 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549

(914) 241-1200

 

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Chinese dining like you remember (only better) at Imperial Wok

Many of us grew up going to a Chinese restaurant and they seemed to be everywhere. In the last 15 years or more there has been a culinary shift toward sushi, Asian Fusion, and other forms of Asian restaurants. And while take-out places still offer the classic Chinese-American favorites there are however those of us who still desire a sit down Chinese restaurant that serves the standards as well as some interesting newer dishes.
A recent visit to Imperial Wok in Somers, NY confirmed that this cuisine is still in demand. Imperial Wok offers all the traditional favorites as well as sushi, tempura, Teriyaki and house specials. Vegetarians are welcome as almost 20 veggie and tofu dishes are offered. The waitress explained that dishes can be modified to taste, amount or type of sauce, substitute different vegetables, spices or more . Every dish is made fresh and can be modified to order.

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Seafood Soup for two

Our party of four came for lunch and tried a number of delicious items on the menu. As it was a cold winter day, we started with soup. Wonton soup (a traditional favorite) was fresh, not salty and prepared with thin wrapped wontons that melted in your mouth unlike the thick chewy wontons often seen in wonton soup. We also ordered Seafood Tofu Soup for two which was hearty but light, and featured egg white, peas and seafood. A real winner.

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Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

We followed up our soup with Steamed Vegetable Dumplings a tasty dish for those looking to keep it light. Each steamed dumpling was filled with finely chopped veggies. Very healthy choice. We also sampled a new dish for us, a Chicken Vegetable Wrap. This plate involved the diner taking a leaf of lettuce, adding chicken cooked in a brown sauce with pine nuts and spooning it onto the lettuce leaf and then rolling it up like a wrap.

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Chicken Vegetable Wrap

The contrast of crispy lettuce with the chicken and pine nuts was quite satisfying. A hoisin sauce on the side was also provided.
We moved on to main dishes with an old favorite and some new (for us) dishes as well. Sesame Chicken which is a Chinese restaurant staple was crispy, perfectly cooked and delicious. Also ordered was the Korean BBQ Beef, which was wok sauteed, then served with fresh mushrooms on a hot sizzling plate.

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Korean BBQ Beef

 

 

A third dish, Mango Chicken was a real interesting and flavorful choice as the chicken was prepared with fresh sliced mango, pea pods and bell pepper. Lastly was Club Seafood a dish of mixed seafood (Lobster,shrimp,scallops,and shrimp) served with veggies in a white sauce. A seafood lovers delight.

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Mango Chicken

 

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Club Seafood

For Sushi lovers there is a sushi bar (which I understand will be expanded) and there are numerous rolls available including the standards and a long list of Special rolls.

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for  that traditional sit down Chinese restaurant with special dishes and an emphasis on fresh ingredients and preparation, you should visit Imperial Wok in Somers.

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Imperial Wok
13 Heritage Hills 202 Center Somers, NY
914-277-8900
www. IWSOMERS.com

 

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