Osteria 57: a charming fish and vegetarian Italian eatery in the West Village

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The  West Village neighborhood of Manhattan is  a very unique and historic place.  Throughout the last centuries its streets have been the home to famous New Yorkers, artists, musicians and has a rich cultural history.  The area is quiet and intimate unlike so many other parts of the city. The streets are narrow and lined with wonderful antique homes and shops.  The West Village has been home to countless famous people as Aaron Burr (third Vice President of the U.S.), and even fictional characters such as Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City.   The area is also home to some interesting dining options.

In a space that is partially below sidewalk level, we dined recently at Osteria 57, an Italian restaurant that is unique in that its menu is seafood and vegetarian with no meat served.  This is a refreshing and very different take on traditional Italian fare.   The space occupies a former cellar in an antique building and it is instantly intimate and cozy.  Walls are of white washed brick, exposed 19th century wooden beams and wooden floors add to the comfortable ambiance. After being seated in our front corner table we felt as if we had been transported to Northern Italy.

The kitchen takes great pride in its menu selection, fresh ingredients, elegant presentation of each dish and the unique plating.  The observant diner is in for an evening of culinary excellence.

We started with the Crispy Cauliflower, a delightful dish of  lightly battered cauliflower and served in with smoked paprika sauce. An excellent veggie dish loaded with flavor and gluten free as well.

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Staying in the veggie mode we sampled the Burrata Primavera.  This blending of soft fresh burrata cheese, spring vegetables, salsa verde and pinenuts. A very innovative pairing of the ingredients to create a unique taste.

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Burrata Primavera

Another excellent app that could be a main dish was the Scallops, that was an elegant presentation.  Fresh sea scallops were seared and served with a delicious tower of English peas, fregola, pickled shallots and sprouts.

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Scallops

For main dishes there is seafood, pasta, and a vegetarian offering.   We tried the wonderful and tasty Mushrooms in a smooth vegetable puree.  The dish was hearty and was hard to  believe no cream was used in the rich puree.

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Mushrooms in a Vegetable Puree

The Black Cod was delicious and was this thick fillet was cooked to perfection and served with red bell pepper, romano beans, mustard seed and mashed potato.  The light cod matched with the zest of the red pepper made for a memorable dish.  Highly recommended.

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Black Cod

Though Osteria 57 does not have a cocktail menu at this time, in keeping with Italian tradition it offers a fine selection of wines and we enjoyed a glass of Gavi with our meal.  It was  selected by our host and was a perfect complement to our meal.

Osteria 57 is a wonderful restaurant.  It is where rustic Italy meets old New York.  It’s intimate setting is the perfect place for good food, great wine and friends to gather.

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Osteria 57

57 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011   tel. 212- 777-0057

web http://osteria57.com/

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Joe & Joe Nyack: traditional Italian menu with a modern twist

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The original Joe & Joe in the Bronx

There are so many exciting restaurants in our area and new eateries joining the dining scene each month.  Joe & Joe Nyack is a new dining destination that has deep family roots.  The original Joe and Joe was a mainstay on Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx from its opening in 1940.  The menu of Italian kitchen favorites  and family tradition continued with the opening of Joe and Joe Pearl River 18 years ago.  Now brothers, Anthony and Joe Longobardo have opened a restaurant which blends the traditional favorites with more modern dishes you would not expect.

The eatery is modern and airy with several distinct spaces.  There is the elegant bar and the brick pizza oven,  the large main dining room, another dining room which can handle overflow or a private party, as well as a outdoor dining space.  Wall art features a wonderful blend of family photos dating back decades as well as a large modern art painting of a woman enjoying a slice of pizza.

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A touch of modern art at Joe & Joe

Some of the food we sampled from the menu was Hollander Mussels from Maine served in a red tomato sauce.  These had to be some of the plumpest and tastiest mussels we have ever sampled.

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Hollander Mussels

Classic Burrata Caprese  was infused with fresh and a light twist.  The orange caprese was served with sun kissed blueberries, raw honey, sweet pistachio, baby arugula, orange, and fresh basil and mint.  A wonderful dish to have as a starter.

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Burrata Caprese

Another interesting dish and certainly something we did not expect was the Feisty Fritto Shrimp which includes nicely grilled shrimp in a housemade spicy hot sauce.  A really nice and unique appetizer.

The “Impossible Meatballs” Parmagiana is a modern take on the Italian kitchen classic.  These meatless meatballs taste just like real meat, and are topped with fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella, pecorino, and fresh basil.  A fantastic dish for anyone in your party and perfect for vegetarians.  It can be served with a side of spaghetti squash or penne.

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Impossible Meatballs

The pizza oven on site offers a number of favorites but we opted to try something new.  Gluten-Free, Low Carb Cauliflower Crust Pizza was fantastic and is topped with shredded baby spinanch, heirloom tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, evoo and chili flakes.  It was topped with an edible flower and made for a beautiful presentation. This non traditional pizza was delicious as it was healthy and low carb.

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Joe & Joe’s “Famous” Shrimp a la Anthony is a house favorite.   This dish features stuffed jumbo shrimp. prosciutto di parma, fresh mozzarella, fresh seasonal veggies, Joe& Joe crispy croquettes in a white wine sauce.  One bite of this dish and we understood why it is such a standout on the menu.

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Lasagna, “Famous” Shrimp a la Anthony,  Fresh Market Special and more

Joe & Joe Nyack  has brought to our area a menu that is a fantastic fusion of Italian favorites, along with some very innovative and modern dishes.  The inclusion of gluten free and vegetarian options is a great way of allowing all guests to come and enjoy the warm family atmosphere of this fine new restaurant. History and tradition are important. When you take those values and blend new culinary ideas, you have the makings of a very special dining experience.

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Rich in family history, Joe & Joe celebrates its roots

 

 Joe & Joe Nyack

173 Main Street Nyack NY     tel. 845-535-3888

web https://joejoenyack.business.site/

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Fishkill Farms: pick your own fruit, organic veggies, farmstand and fun events all in a beautiful setting

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With the cool air of autumn just around the corner, our thoughts here in the Hudson Valley turn to afternoons of fruit picking, hay rides, harvest dinners, and pumpkin picking.  The region is filled with wonderful farms where one can back in touch with nature even if it is only for a short time.   Fishkill Farms in East Fishkill NY is a special farm that you want to visit soon.  It is   a 30 minute drive from Northern Westchester and 45 minutes  from mid Westchester.

I was fortunate to visit Fishkill Farms a few weeks back when they held their Peachtopia Fest.   The farm has been a family farm in the Morgenthau family for more than 100 years and now run by 2nd and 3rd generation family members.  The farm was an apple orchard which has now expanded its operations to included fruit growing (peaches, nectarines, apples, pumpkins, blackberries, blueberries) , a wide range of  organic vegetables (pick your own or CSA), a full service farm stand, and cidery.  They also have pasture raised hens that provide the farm with fresh eggs.

The mission of the farm is to produce healthy farm products without the use of man made pesticides or fertilizers.  This is something we can all appreciate and should support.

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Pick Your Own organic vegetables and flowers

The farm itself is set in a valley and as you look out from the farm stand you see the fields gently roll out before you.  It is quite the idyllic scene.  You can pick your own fruits or vegetables, or shop at the fully stocked farm stand which features their own products, home made donuts, and locally made items.

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The farm also holds numerous events throughout the year.  I attended  “Peachtopia” which was a fun event. I was able to enjoy a hayride out to the peach tree orchard to pick peaches and nectarines (they were amazing!)   There was food for sale, a band playing with a picnic area, and a tent was set up for adults to enjoy samples of Treasury Cider.   The cider is named in honor of Henry Morgenthau Jr., the founder of Fishkill Farm and former  Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.   The cider is smooth, dry and very refreshing.

With its beautiful scenery, fun activities, and fresh produce, Fishkill Farms is a great place to spend  a Fall day, or any day.  It is easy to locate right off Interstate 84.   Check out their website for more info, picking information, and upcoming events.

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Fishkill Farms

Fishkill Farm Road  Hopewell Junction NY 

tel. 845-897-4377

http://www.fishkillfarms.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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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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