KEE OYSTER HOUSE: Old New York Dining Experience comes to White Plains

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There is a new restaurant in White Plains that brings to the local dining scene a touch of old New York City with an elegant and urban vibe.  Three Westchester natives opened KEE Oyster House to bring New York’s famed oyster history back to life by serving a dazzling array of seafood items as well other menu options from the land.  The food is all super fresh (no frozen food) and prepared simple and pure to allow the taste and the freshness of the  food to really stand out.  Everything we sampled was top quality with ample portions.

Upon entering you know you are in a special restaurant.  The interior design uses painted dark wood, high ceilings and large tall windows, black and white tile floor in the bar area and Edison bulb lighting.  The effect is to replicate the feel of a New York City restaurant in the early 20th Century.  A beautiful long marble bar serves top notch specialty cocktails as well as a large wine menu and 20 types of single malt scotches and craft beer flows from seven taps.  Guests can eat at the bar and I witnessed some enjoying large plates of fresh oysters with their drinks.

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I sampled the Pomegranate Martini as well at the Oyster House Amigo.  I highly recommend these cocktails. Also at the bar diners can enjoy a bag of freshly made potato chips.

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If you enjoy the seafood, this the place for you.  A delightful menu with an emphasis on favorites as well as some unique and fresh options.  There are hot or cold Seafood Towers which are loaded with clams, oysters, crab meat shrimp and lobster. Any of the items in the Seafood Tower can also be ordered separately.  There is nice range of starters with salad, Roasted beets, Chowder and even ribs are available.

Starters: I tried the grilled oysters which were delicious and had a pure and lovely essence of the sea.  I was transported briefly to a seaside cafe.  Also fantastic was the Oysters Rockefeller with a light crust and creamy spinach filling.  A comforting and satisfying way to start the meal.

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Grilled Oysters

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Oysters Rockefeller

The Shrimp with grits was another tasty choice and the grits provided a nice contrast to the fresh shrimp.  The Fried Calamari was a little spicy with its chili aioli and crusty coating, and again was very tasty.

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Shrimp with Grits

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Calamari

Main Course:  There are 6 seafood selections  and 5 meat selections on the entree menu.  My entree was a 2 1/2 pound steamed lobster (sizes are 2 to 3 1/2 pounds) which is split and deshelled for you table side.  You can really taste the freshness of this classic dish.  My dish was so large, it really can be shared.

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Lobster

Another mouthwatering and healthy entree is the Roasted Halibut with a grape tomato stew. The halibut was perfectly prepared, light and delicious.  No frozen seafood is used and fresh seafood is sourced daily and it makes a  big difference in taste.  All dishes are a la carte with side dishes available at additional cost. I sampled the scrumptious Grilled Asparagus and the Roasted Cauliflower with brie cheese.  A nice complement to the entree.

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Halibut in a grape tomato stew

Dessert:  Don’t leave without trying the homemade and classic desserts.  We sampled the Apple Cobbler and the Key Lime pie and both were a nice sweet way to round out our meal.

KEE Oyster House is a special restaurant with the feel, atmosphere and high quality of a top restaurant in Manhattan.   Not feeling the trip into Manhattan to dine?  Then KEE delivers the NYC dining experience right in the heart of White Plains. A warm and lovely atmosphere with top notch service and great food is why this new gem should be on your list of spots to dine.

Both Lunch and Dinner served.  Reservations are suggested.  Private dining room available.

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KEE OYSTER HOUSE

126-128 East Post Road White Plains New York   tel: 914 437 8535

http://www.keeoysterhouse.com/

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Beekman Arms Inn: History lives at this charming historic inn

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There is something very unique about staying in a historic hotel or inn.  Each of these places are unique as they have hosted a part of our history. The Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck N.Y. is one of those special historic inns that has been a witness to the history of not only the Hudson Valley but America as well.

Located right on Rt 9 in the heart of Rhinebeck, the Beekman Arms has been in operation since 1766 and lays claim to the title of “America’s Oldest Inn”.   During the American Revolution the Inn hosted George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Benedict Arnold (who was a General in the Continental Army at the time).  In the 20th Century, President Franklin D. Roosevelt completed several of his major political campaigns with a speech from the front porch of the inn.

We recently had the opportunity to stay an evening in the inn while visiting the charming village of Rhinebeck.  Upon opening the door you know you are in a special place.  The ceilings are low, the floors are clad in wide plank hardwood  and the public rooms on the first floor are intimate.  There is the reception area and a comfortable parlor with fireplace and next to that is  a cozy room that looks part sitting room, part library with its wood paneling and wing back chairs.

The main floor also houses the Tap Room which is the original part of the inn  which dates back to its origins as a tavern.  The room is clad in wood paneling, wide plank wood floors, a long bar and wooden chairs and tables. The large hearth dates from 1704.  The Tap room is the meeting place in Rhinebeck for locals and visitors to enjoy an ale or a cocktail with friends.  The walls are adorned with historic photos and prints which remind one of the history that has taken place within these walls.

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The historic Tap Room

Also on the first floor is a several small dining areas, the main dining room, and the garden greenhouse where we enjoyed our continental breakfast. The greenhouse was a charming spot to enjoy coffee overlooking the garden.

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The Greenhouse overlooking the garden and front lawn

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Our room was on the second floor, up the charming but steep staircase.  The room was very charming, clean and comfortable. It had a poster bed with quilts,  2 chairs for sitting and reading, a small desk, a non working fireplace, a Keurig coffee maker, and a small television.  The ceiling is low at just about 7 feet which reminds you that you are in an antique building.  The bath was modern and updated.  The floors are over 200 years old and they will creak, but that is just part of the charm of the hotel.  The room was air conditioned. A decanter of sherry and two glasses are also provided.

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Down the street the Beekman Arms also owns the Delamater House and Conference center which is a collection of seven guest house buildings.  The Delamater House dates back to 1844 and was designed by the famous 19th century architect, Alexander Jackson Davis whose designs dot the Hudson Valley and was responsible for such famous buildings as Lyndhurst in Tarrytown.

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The beautiful Delamater House (1844)

The village of Rhinebeck has a charm of its own with its Antique barn, farmers market, cool shops and great restaurants.  It is also a great place to stay and explore this area of the Hudson Valley with its wineries, farms,  hiking, and historic venues.  If you love history and unique properties, than check out the Beekman Arms.

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Beekman Arms

Route 9 Rhinebeck NY       tel:  845-876-7080

http://beekmandelamaterinn.com

 

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Tredici North: a stylish new restaurant serving innovative Italian fare

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There is a new Italian restaurant in Purchase NY.  that is not to be missed.  Tredici North has a swanky and creative edge combined with modern elegance.  The beautiful space has three distinct areas, a first floor dining room,  a beautiful and uniquely designed bar area, and a second floor which houses an intimate dining space.

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Modern and elegant dining area

The bar provides a striking focal point with its earthy wood counter, copper bar stools, and a wall behind the bar that uses reclaimed tiles from a roof in Italy to create a large striking fan pattern.

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Bar area

Upstairs, the 13 step under lit stairway leads you to the second dining room and creates the feel that an exclusive dining space awaits.

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Tredici North won “Best Of Westchester” 2016  by Westchester Magazine for their Italian dishes and for the culinary talents of executive chef Giuseppe Fanelli.   Chef Fanelli has perfected his craft while working in many top Manhattan restaurants, and has been featured on such television programs as the Travel Channel’s “Man Finds Food” with Adam Richman and he was culinary champion on Food Network’s hit series “Chopped”.

I had the pleasure of dining at this cutting edge restaurant recently and I foudnd out what all the buzz was about.

Cocktails:  Tredici North has an extensive wine list from which to choose, but the cocktails have an appeal of their own.   The “Flaming Scorpion” is sweet libation of juices, rum and vodka that is potent as it  is tasty.  It is served in a tiki style tall glass.  The cocktail is served tableside and the waiter  actually lights the drink on fire. Very cool ! It is quite the show and a great drink.  Some of the other interesting drinks sampled at our table was the “Sun’s out/Guns out”, and the smooth and delicious “Gin Joint”.

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The Flaming Scorpion

Appetizers:  The Angry Lobster is a fantastic presentation with a 1 pound Maine lobster pan fried with meyer lemon, white wine, roasted garlic, red chili flakes, and a grilled corn on the cob as a side.  Can you say decadent?  A great dish that can be shared as well.

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The Angry Lobster !

Another great dish is the fried Calamari (with a twist!) .  This dish is firecracker hot  and served with celery and gorgonzola cheese.  It was hot and spicy, crispy (not soggy of chewy) and scrumptious.

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Calamari

The “Inside Out  Meatballs” are a specialty and very popular and are panko encrusted beef, pork and veal meatballs that are stuffed with fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese and served in a homemade marinara sauce.  Delicious.irene-075

Another top starter is the grilled Polpo.  Tender Portuguese octopus grilled and served over frisse salad, grilled peaches, fennel, balsamic glazed pork belly and pesto.  This dish clicked all the boxes, savory, sweet, smoky and so fresh. A great combination of ingredients.

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Polpo

All the pastas are made fresh in house, so we just had to sample some.  The Pasutice is a triangle shaped pasta with Maine lobster, tarragon, shaved asparagus, roasted grape tomatoes and a touch of cream. This dish is true comfort food at its very best.  Order a dish and have everyone at the table have a taste.

Main Course:   The main courses we enjoyed continued to impress everyone at our table.  Try the Organic Salmon, lightly smoked with olives, tomatoes, feta and a banyuls (wine)  vinaigrette. Fresh, healthy and so Mediterranean.   Another choice was a special menu item that evening, the Veal Valdostana. An enormous slice of veal served on the bone with a superb sauce and spinach.

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Organic Salmon, lightly smoked

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Veal Valdostana

The last entree choice was the Kobe Beef Ravioli which again was made with homemade pasta and filled with braised Kobe beef, caramelized onions and fontina in a brown butter and thyme reduction.   A wonderful dish that is full of flavor but not too filling.

 Dessert:   Save room for the imaginative desserts.  I can vouch for the “Drunken Monkey”, which is walnuts bananas served with flamed dark rum and poured over banana and chocolate gelato. Fire and Ice was another hit with berries and Longford vanilla ice cream.  Eat this soon after serving as it will begin to melt on you!   The “Nutella Lasagna” is a special dessert as well  and is composed of hazelnut and chocolate whipped cream in between layers of chocolate wafers and  chopped hazelnuts.  So good!   Also sample the fresh Carrot cake and Coconut cake.

Tredici North has combined innovative cooking, beautiful interior design and a friendly and attentive wait staff .  The combination made for a evening of great dining.  Tredici means “thirteen” in Italian and there is nothing unlucky about this newest dining treasure in Westchester. Enjoy!

Tredici North

578 Anderson Hill Road  Purchase, New York      tel:  914-997-4113

http://www.tredicinorth.com

 

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Johnny Utah’s: Southwest food and fun comes to South Norwalk

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The South Norwalk, Ct. (SoNo) scene is known for its dining, shops and galleries. Along Washington Street which is the epicenter of the SoNo revival is an interesting spot that is quite different from the rest of its neighbors. Johnny Utah’s is a new bar and restaurant featuring barbeque, fun drinks, a mechanical bull, country music and even line dancing on the weekends.

The menu features an affordable barbeque and southwestern inspired menu.  Amazing burgers (10 oz)start as low as $5.00, alluring cocktails, unique chicken wings, and over the top milk shakes are some of the items that will draw your attention to this fun dining experience.

Starters:  try the Philly Egg rolls with shaved Philly steak onions and cheese served with Johnny’s Barbeque sauce.  It was crispy and full of flavor.  We followed that up with Pickle Chips, which are lightly battered and fried and served with a chipotle mayo on the side.  It is an interesting combo of flavor and texture.

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Philly Steak Eggrolls

We also tried a sampler of chicken wings, a staple in many bars today.  There are several types available and we sampled the BBQ, a very hot and spicy sriracha, and the unusual peanut butter and jelly wings served with fluff as a dipping sauce.  The wings were crispy and not soaked with grease and were quite tasty.

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Pickle Chips

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Chicken wing sampler with the PB and J Wings

Main:  Burgers are a mainstay here and the big 10 oz beef patty served on a brioche bun is both large and filling.  Prices start at a bargain price of $5 for a naked burger and then go up as you add toppings.  To build your own burger you have the choice of adding an assortment of cheeses, onions, mushroom, peppers, fried egg, and much more. Fries are extra.  We sampled a burger with swiss and a slice of fresh avocado which was delish.    Ribs are also a favorite on the menu and despite the lack of an on site smoker the ribs were soft and tender. They are available in 1/4 ,1/2,3/4 and full racks.

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Burger with swiss and avocado on a brioche bun

Cocktails: along with the regular assortment of beer there are some interesting cocktails.  Try the Johnny Utah, a blend of Bacardi rum, coconut rum, Captain Morgan spiced rum with pineapple and cranberry juice.  This drink was sweet, tropical and quite potent without being overpowering.   For the real adventurous try the signature “bull bowl”. The Buckin’ Berry is a real crowd pleaser as it served in a huge oversized cocktail glass with Smirnoff vodka, sourberry lemon vodka, homemade lemonade, blueberry vodka and blue curacao.  The drink is then garnished with a popsicle!  As the bartender pours the drink you watch it bubble and steam rises from the glass!   It is very sweet and served with 4 straws for you and your friends to enjoy.

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Dessert:  Johnny Utah’s offers some amazing milk shakes to cool down the barbeque and hot wings you may have eaten.  There are several to choose from and we shared the decadent chocolate milkshake with a huge brownie on top.

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The interior is composed of dark wood, and two rooms with two full bars, a small elevated stage, tables for dining, and of course the mechanical bull ring.   If you are going to dine, they are open for lunch and we dined at 6pm and the restaurant was lightly occupied.  I understand later in the evening Johnny Utah’s draws quite a crowd looking to enjoy the cocktails, line dancing and music.  A fun place to sample a southwestern cuisine and atmosphere not usually found in our area.

 

Johnny Utah’s

80 Washington St Norwalk Ct.        203 299 0711

http://www.johnnyutahssono.com/

 

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Rosemary and Vine in Rye: A new Mediterranean restaurant offering a healthy flavorful menu

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Rosemary and Vine is a wonderful new restaurant that opened earlier this year in Rye New York.   The cuisine of this newcomer to the Westchester restaurant scene is Mediterranean vegetarian with an emphasis on healthy organic ingredients.

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The concept of the owners is for diners to try new foods and eat a different and healthy cuisine culled from regions around the  Mediterranean and the Middle East.  All the food is fresh and prepared in-house in the open style kitchen.  Family recipes are incorporated in the menu and are perfectly seasoned to bring out the most of the unique dishes.

 

The restaurant is housed in a mid 19th century building on Purchase Street in downtown Rye.  The interior space has been renovated and is light filled and casual with minimal decor yet artistic touches.  The floor echoes the Mediterranean theme with its handmade Moroccan tile floor, interesting lighting, original tin ceiling and bistro style seating.  There is a small bar, and a chalk board which informs diners of the particular farm fresh organic ingredients being used in the restaurant that week.

Starters:  There are many fun appetizers to sample.  I tried ‘The Tasting”, a nice selection of homemade dips that consist of a unique hummus, a Chipotle hummus, mohjamara( a dip with fire roasted peppers, pureed with toasted walnuts, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and pomegranate), and  a family recipe Babaganoush (smoky fire roasted eggplant with tahini, garlic and lemon).  The tasting is served with oven toasted Lebanese Pita chips.  This is a great choice as a starter as it has many interesting flavors to please the senses.

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The Tasting

The avocado crostini is another healthy starter and a delightful dish.  Avocado is blended with Moroccan pesto (parsley, cilantro, cumen, coriander and garlic) and the combined with feta, peas and mint over toasted bread. The blend of spices in this appetizer are a delight.  A light and summery dish and so healthy too.

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Avocado Crustini

Rosemary and Vine also offers many salads with certified organic offerings and cheese boards.  The cheeses are sourced from a creamery in Vermont.

The Main course: 

There are also grilled flatbreads made with 100% organic flour.   We enjoyed “The Sarah’ a flatbread pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil.  A crispy and light crust with robust flavor.  This was a hit and a great choice for kids or someone in your party who is not adventuresome or into vegetarian dishes.

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“The Sarah”  flatbread pizza

My favorite entree is the saffron scented Moroccan Tagine, a  nice medley of chick peas, zucchini, butternut squash with toasted almonds and Moroccan pesto. A unique and flavorful dish that is so healthy as well.

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Tagine

Dessert:  The desserts are all homemade and dairy free.  The dark chocolate pudding is smooth as silk with 70% dark Valrhona chocolate, coconut milk and bourbon vanilla beans.  Delicious!

I also recommend the warm chocolate cake served with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.  A light and fun way to wrap up your meal.

There are also many local craft beers and wines available on the menus and many of the wines are sourced from family owned Mediterranean vineyards.   A fun and light cocktail I samples was The Americana, a fun version of the classic white wine spritzer served with orange peel.  For a non alcohol alternative try the Persian Nectar ice tea with black tea and peaches.

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Rosemary and Vine is  healthy Mediterranean style gem of a restaurant and the perfect option for anyone looking for a new and fun option for dining.  For healthy eaters who are concerned with the ingredients in your meal, this restaurant is a must visit.  The small plates allow you to sample a  number of dishes and enjoy the wonderful combination of spices and flavors.  Try Rosemary and Vine and pick out something you have never tried before,  and you will be in for a pleasant and healthy surprise.

 

Rosemary and Vine

29 Purchase Street Rye New York

914 481 8660

http://www.rosemaryandvine.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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Arezzo Ristorante: fine waterfront Italian dining in Westport

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If you want a Tuscany inspired dining experience then you must try Arezzo Ristorante in Westport Connecticut.  The restaurant is set alongside the Saugatuck River  with gorgeous waterfront views.  Diners can choose to eat inside in the covered sun deck, or on the open air patio complete with umbrellas and an outdoor bar.

There is a newly renovated interior with stone archways, stucco walls and charming dark wood beams.  The bar inside is also inviting with dark leather accents and rich wood details.

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Fun and innovative cocktails

 

The menu has quite a selection with dishes finished in the high heat of the wood burning oven.  There are delicious homemade pastas, unique pizza selections and fresh fish, chicken and meat dishes from which to choose.  For the salad lover there are many choices from seasonal produce and fun creations such as roasted beets, pistachios and shaved artichokes.

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Pasta Tasting:  Orecchettie with sausage, Gnocchi, and Seafood Risotto

 

 

Entree selections include dishes for all tastes such as Filet Mignon, Melanzane al forno (Eggplant), various chicken and veal dishes, as well as seafood delights such as Branzino, Fisherman’s Stew (scallops, shrimp, and calamari in a tomato broth with fennel) and more.

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Halibut aqua pazza with clams, mussels in a cherry tomato broth

There is also an delightful selection of desserts including fruit tarts, brulees , tiramisu and gelato.

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Tiramisu

The view from the outdoor patio is fantastic and the overall ambiance is perfect for dining al fresco on a warm summer evening.   For a real Italian restaurant experience,  check out Arezzo Ristorante in downtown Westport.  Delicioso!

Arezzo Ristorante/Bar

5 Riverside Ave  Westport Ct      203-557-9375

http://www.arezzowestport.com

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Char:New American cuisine in a rustic chic setting

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Char is a contemporary American restaurant with an emphasis on fresh seafood dishes.  Char is located just over the Westchester County border in the Byram section of Greenwich, Ct.

The menu changes seasonally and is enhanced with daily specials that offer the freshest and finest ingredients which are locally sourced when possible.

The interior of Char can be described as rustic elegance with wood beams, a fireplace, a beautiful red oak bar and ship lap siding which uses reclaimed lumber throughout the dining area.  The metal ceiling, brass lighting fixtures and wood floor  finish the subdued look of this casual yet upscale dining  destination.

Starters:  I visited Char for Dinner with friends and started with their signature dish, grilled octopus with farro and roasted tomatoes in a lemon -oregano dressing.  This starter was a great choice on a warm summer day as it was light and refreshing.  The fried calamari with a side of marinara  was crispy and not soggy and the coating was  a perfect blend of spices.   Lastly we chose a Deconstructed Lobster Roll which was  a twist on the traditional lobster roll and was not only tasty but displayed culinary artistry as well.

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Grilled Octopus with Farro

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Calamari

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Deconstructed Lobster Roll

Main course:  My favorite entree was the special of the day, Zuppa de Pesce.  A large bowl  containing lobster tail, mussels, shrimp, clams and scallops over linguini.  A seafood lovers dream dish and a satisfying portion.  I was quite happy and full after this wonderful dish.

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Zuppa De Pesce

Also ordered was the Scottish Salmon Wellington, a unique dish featuring Salmon in a flaky pastry and served over lentils and watercress.  It was delicious.  Another entree was the Branzino  (European Sea Bass) which was served whole and I was told was fresh and a great selection.    There is a nice wide selection of dishes on the menu including the seafood delights we sampled.  There is a kids menu as well

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Salmon Wellington

There is some interesting specialty drinks including the Twisted Peach which was a delicious combo of vodka, peach puree, ice tea and lemonade. There is a nice wine list as well, after dinner drinks and dessert which I will have to sample on a return visit.

Char is a beautiful space with character  and a great for high quality dining. Check their website for price fixe lunch and dinner specials and more!

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Char

2 South Water Street Greenwich Ct   (just over the border with Port Chester)

203-900- 1100

http://www.charct.com

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Looking back at a fabulous week at Westchester Food and Wine Week

 

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June 8th-12 was a great time for foodies in our area.  Westchester Magazine’s  Wine and Food Week was a smashing success.    Events held at Bloomingdales in White Plains, Kensico Dam Park in Valhalla and at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains were all well attended and featured fabulous food wine and beer.

Thursday June 9th was the Burger and Beer Blast with burger offerings from 30 different local restaurants competing for the title of best burger in Westchester.  Also served was beer, wine and spirits.  Food trucks with pizza, hot dogs and soft serve ice cream were also on hand.

Friday June 10th was a special night at the Ritz Carlton in White Plains as 20 of the best chefs from the county served up food for guests at this special event.  There was plenty of  wine available for tasting as well.

Saturday rounded out the week at the Grand Tasting Village at Kensico Dam in Valhalla.  Here there were chef cooking demonstrations and two large tents filled with  tastings from 43 restauants.  More than 100 wines were available for tasting as well as samples of gin, whisky, tequila and vodka.

Here  are some scenes from the parties.  The next big event for Westchester Magazine will be its annual Best Of Westchester Party to be held on July 27th at the Glen Island Harbor Club in New Rochelle. Don’t miss it !

Scenes from Burger and Beer Blast:

 

Evening with the Tastemakers:

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Celebrity Chefs from top restaurants

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Grand Tasting Village:

 

See you next June at the Westchester Wine and Food Week 2017 events.   For more information and tickets to the Best of Westchester Party coming in July please see:

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Dan Rooney’s Cafe and Bar: Eat, drink and catch a game

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I  was attending an event  held at Empire City Casino in Yonkers which gave me the perfect opportunity to check out Dan Rooney’s Cafe and Bar.   The atmosphere is one of sports pub blended with an Irish-American pub with tavern food, a large selection of beers and an Irish whiskey menu.  The room is trimmed in dark wood, and  more than 40 flat screen TVs ensure that patrons do not miss a second of action.

For a cocktail I tried the Coconut and Raspberry mojito  as suggested by our waiter, John.    A  great selection that was very refreshing and complimented the menu items I would be sampling.rooneys 4

There are many appetizers from which to choose.  My table picked a number of items including  BBQ Pork Sliders, Buffalo Chicken Wings, Loaded Nachos and homemade Soft Pretzels.  All were great picks and my favorite was the pretzels with the side of beer/cheese sauce and the delicious sliders.  The wings were good but could have been prepared with a little less hot sauce.

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BBQ Pork Sliders

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Soft Pretzels

For our main course selections we chose the Dan Rooney Burger, 8 ounces of beef with brie, water cress, onions  and honey mustard on a brioche roll.  Very tasty.   It was served with fries.

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Dan Rooney Burger

 

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Blackened Salmon

My selection  was the Blackened Salmon  with glazed carrots in a herb sauce.  A nicely prepared and delicious dish.   This was a healthy selection and very enjoyable.  Another selection was the rib eye steak which was excellent and cooked to perfection.

My waiter told us we had to try some of the homemade desserts.  I was surprised how interesting  and unique they were.    We all shared a home made peanut and chocolate Candy Bar (wow!), and amazing Brownie Sundae with ice cream made with a hint of Guinness stout, walnuts and whipped cream.  Unique and decadent.

Dan Rooney’s was an unexpected treat and if you find yourself at Empire City Casino, or in the area it is a great place to have a cocktail and grab a bite.  And of course, with plenty of TVs, catch a game.

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Dan Rooney’s Cafe and Bar

810 Yonkers Ave  Yonkers, New York   (at Empire City Casino)

http://www.danrooneyscafeandbar.com

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