Christmas Inn: a musical to put you in the holiday spirit at the Westchester Broadway Theater

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A fun and light hearted holiday musical, “Christmas Inn” has come to the Westchester Broadway Theater for a limited engagement.   It is the story of a partnership and friendship of two entertainers who leave Ireland with the hopes of making it big in America.  The story fast forwards two generations to the grandsons of the two men who are also an musical entertainment act.  However the grandsons have split up and the only bond remaining is the fact that they both are partners in an inn in Sharon Connecticut called the Christmas Inn.

Bill Brewer (Kilty Reidy) arrives at the Inn with his son, Sam (Nick Varricchio) just before Christmas to stage the annual Christmas show at the Inn.  However the Inn has seen better days, and it is also about to host Buddy Baker (Jayson Elliot) the estranged partner of Bill.  The audience discovers that Buddy as majority partner has plans to sell the Inn to developers who intend to forever close its doors.   Will the Inn be saved and will the spirit of the holidays warm the heart of Buddy?

The cast includes Maxine the innkeeper (Ann-Ngaive Martin) who adds comedy to her scenes including her alcohol tinged performance of the “12 Daze of Christmas”.  Also impressive is Sara Cline (Linda Baker) who provides the evening with some of the best vocal performances.

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The rest of the talented ensemble of Holly Googe, Joel Pellini, Daniel Scott Walton and Gabriella Perez (prior on the WBT stage in Man of Lamancha and Showboat) sing and dance their way through the numerous Christmas songs that make up the musical.

The character of 10 year old Josie Evans (Molly Siena Culot/Ruby Griffin) is an important one in bridging the divide between the partners.  Her solo performance at the end of Act 1 was inspiring.

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The light hearted musical is filled with Christmas carols that are woven throughout the story.  At the finale, the cast invites the audience to sing a long in some Christmas tunes.

A fun evening and perfect to put you in the holiday spirit.

Ticket Prices Dinner & Show range between $56.00 and $84.00 PLUS TAX depending on the performances chosen. Beverage Service & Gratuities are not included in the ticket price. Discounts are available for children, students, and senior citizens at selected performances. Also check the website for on-going Special Offers! The show is playing through December 23rd  2016

for more information  and tickets

Westchester Broadway Theater    

  tel  914 592-2222

One Broadway Plaza  Elmsford NY

http://www.broadwaytheatre.com

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Organic Vegetable baskets for Thanksgiving at Hilltop Hanover Farm

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Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights is offering organic vegetable baskets for your Thanksgiving dinner!  If you are looking for organic locally grown produce for your Thanksgiving feast, then look no further.  Hilltop Hanover farm is offering prepackaged baskets that include farm grown, seasonal, all organic vegetables.  All baskets will feed four to 8 people and include recipes.   Each basket will be available for pick up at the farm stand on November 22nd 2016 from 10am to 5pm.  The cost is $60 per basket.

The farm stand at Hilltop Hanover Farm also sells maple syrup, pies, gift baskets, pasta and more.   You can also pre order pies and turkeys as well from the farm.

Support your local farming community by shopping at the farm stand this Thanksgiving.

for more information:

http://www.hilltophanoverfarm.org/

Hilltop Hanover Farm

1271 Hanover Street  Yorktown Heights NY   tel 914-963-2368

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Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Returns! November 1-13th 2016. Great time to try a new restaurant!

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Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, presented by Valley Table Magazine is back again starting November 1nd through November 13th 2016. This event involves over 200 restaurants in the mid and lower Hudson Valley which offer diners special three-course price fixe dinner menus for $29.95 (not including beverage, tax and gratuity). Many of these fine restaurants also offer 3-course price fixe lunches for $20.95 (not including beverage, tax and gratuity).

This year celebrates 10 years of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.


This is an amazing opportunity to try new restaurants, or some old favorites at a reasonable price. There are no tickets to buy and the process is easy ! Go to the Valley Table website and scroll down and view the participating restaurants, then choose a restaurant (or more), call them to make a reservation and then enjoy!
You really should not miss this special time get out and dine at some of the fantastic restaurants we have here in the Hudson Valley.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week presented by Valley Table Magazine

https://www.valleytable.com/hvrw

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Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze: A must see spectacular Hudson Valley event!

 

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This is a fantastic event that you must experience and will certainly get you in the Autumn spirit.  The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has returned to historic Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton On Hudson.  This is one of the country’s most extensive displays of lit Jack O’Lanterns.

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The grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor are transformed into a Halloween fantasy landscape with over 7000 lit and carved Jack O’Lanterns. Each one is hand carved  It is an extraordinary sight.

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Upon entering under the lit arch you follow along the Pumpkin Promenade, and over the “Pumpkin Zee” Bridge, a lit marvel of craftsmanship.   Under the bridge is a sea of underwater creatures all carved into pumpkins.  Everywhere you look there is some new detail to admire.  You pass an amazing sea serpent and enter the amazing “Pumpkin Planetarium” with its constantly changing light show.

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Your path wanders through such great creations as the circus train, Headless Horsemen display, witches and their cauldron, spiders, skeletons and so much more.  The tour ends back near the Manor House itself which has been transformed into a dramatic backdrop for a constantly changing light show.  This is really amazing and you must experience this event.   See slide show below !!

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There is also a tent serving drinks and snacks and a tent filled with Blaze related gifts.

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Tickets:  In advance only !!   $20 adults ($25 Saturdays), $16 Children (3-17) ($20 on Saturdays) Under 3 free   TICKETS ARE FOR SPECIFIC TIMES.  See website (Below) for dates and time availability.

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Dates available:   Nov. 3-6, 10-13, 19-20, 25-26

http://www.hudsonvalley.org/

Hilltop Hanover Farm:Come to a special Farm to Table Dinner at the farm

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A very special evening awaits! On October 19th at 6pm to 10 pm, The Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights present a Farm to Table Dinner at the farm.    The evening will feature Westchester and area farmers and chefs in a rustic small plate Farm to Table dinner under a tent at Hilltop Hanover Farm.

Broken Bow Brewery of Tuckahoe N. Y. will be providing local craft beer and guests will be able to taste foods and small plates from the following restaurants and farms:

Farmer and The Fish, Peter Pratt’s Inn, Birdsall House, L’Inizio, Bella Cucina Maria, Ladle of Love, Cafe of Love, Suzanne’s Table, Sweet Grass Grill and Tomatillo, Pound Ridge Organics, The Mill, Red Barn Bakery, Baked By Susan, Campbell Meats, Hudson Milk Company,  Fishkill Farm, Glynwood Farm, Sprout Creek Farm Cheese, and Harvest Moon and Orchard. 

The proceeds from this event will support the Brett Alcaro farmer scholarship fund for young farmers trained at Hilltop Hanover  and a college fund for his two small children.  There will also be a silent auction.

So come out and have a great meal, a unique dining experience, and support a good cause.

Tickets are $75

for tickets and more information: 

 http://www.hilltophanoverfarm.org/event/brett-alcaro-memorial-farm-to-table-dinner/

or tickets can be purchased at the main office at the farm.

Hilltop Hanover Farm

1271 Hanover Street  Yorktown Heights, NY

 

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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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You should be Dancing! Saturday Night Fever comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage

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Saturday Night Fever,the musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater stage.  This musical adaption of the 1977 movie which starred John Travolta was adapted for the stage and premiered in London in 1998 and on Broadway in 2000.  It has enjoyed numerous tours, and revivals around the world.  It now comes to Westchester and runs through January 29, 2017.

The story (inspired by  a 1975 article in New York Magazine by Nik Cohn) follows the life of 19 year old Tony Manero (Jacob Tischler) of Brooklyn, who lives with his family in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  He is stuck in a job with no future and is caught up in the economic malaise that was the late 1970s.  With his father laid off from his job and his brother questioning his path into the priesthood, Tony and his friends turn to dancing as their escape.

We follow Tony’s exploits as he displays his talents on the floor of the 2001 Odyssey club where he absorbs the admiration of his fellow club goers.  Here he meets Stephanie Mangano (Alexandra Matteo) a 20 year old dancer who has moved away from the neighborhood to Manhattan where she is looking to transform herself.  Tony is intrigued by her dancing ability and her boldness in leaving Brooklyn and her old life behind.  They find as they practice for a dance contest that they have more in common then they originally thought.

 

Tony’s gang of friends and his family are all woven into the story as well as Tony discovers he really is “going nowhere” and must make decisions about his future.

The musical score including all the Bee Gees hits (“Staying Alive”, “Jive Talking”, “You should be Dancing”, Night Fever” ) are all here including songs not in the movie.  The arrangements of some of the songs have been changed which makes them fresh and more interesting and in some cases the lyrics have more impact in the context of the story.

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Set design by Michael Bottari makes full use of the WBT stage and included are a bridge which spans the back of the stage and frames the story, the Manero’s kitchen which appears from below and then disappears below stage, the disco, and other locals from the story.

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The cast is large with both main players and ensemble singer/dancers.  Michelle Dawson who last appeared in Man of La Mancha returns to the WBT stage  lends her vocal talents to several musical numbers including “Nights on Broadway”.  Lead actors Jacob Tischler and Alexandra Matteo are excellent in every aspect of their performance and the chemistry between them is quite convincing.  Directed by Richard Stafford who does an excellent job bring the characters to life.

All in all a fun musical that is family friendly and is a treat not just for fans of the film but anyone who enjoys a story of struggle,self discovery  and of course great dancing.

Get out your dancing shoes and boogie over to the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford.

(all photos provided by Westchester Broadway Theater)

Tickets (includes dinner) run from $56 to $84 depending on performance date chosen.

For tickets:  

tel:  914 592-2222

http://www.broadwaytheater.com

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza  Elmsford New York

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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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Go Grape Stomping At Robibero Family Vineyards! Sept. 24 -25th

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Looking for a really fun and unique event?  Then go grape stomping at Robibero Family Vineyards in New Paltz at their annual Grape Stomping Festival.  This years festival will take place on Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th 2016 .  The winery is open from 11 am to 6 pm.

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At the event you will be able to take off your shoes and climb into a barrel filled with grapes and stomp away.  It is a great photo opportunity and something you will always remember.  No worries as there will be a station to wash off your feet after your stomping.

Your ticket price in addition to the stomping, a wine tasting of their fabulous wines in the tasting room or you may choose instead of the tasting to have a glass of wine and take home one logo glass.

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Tasting Room

Robibero produces premium artisan wines that are handcrafted in small batches.  Some of the wines available are Chardonnay, Reisling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and some delightful hybrid blends.  All the wine is made on site.  Bottles or cases are available for sale at the tasting room.

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Enjoy your wine on the deck overlooking the vineyard

There will be live music from 2pm to 5 pm both days.   Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the winery, but space is limited.

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Enjoy a beautiful day in the Hudson Valley and after the winery check out the cool shops and great restaurants in downtown New Paltz.

See you there!

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Robibero Family Winery

714 Albany Post Road  New Paltz New York           tel:  845-255-9463

http://www.robiberofamilyvineyards.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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