The Rhythm is going to get you at “On Your Feet, The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan” now at the Westchester Broadway Theater

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When you have a musical that is fun, high energy, and filled with a great and familiar score, you have an instant hit.   All those elements and so much more are present in Westchester Broadway Theater’s current production of “On Your Feet, The Story of Emilo and Gloria Estefan.    As the title states, you will be  On Your Feet because this dazzling musical will lift you up from your chair and have you dancing and swaying your hips as you leave the theater.

Those of you who remember the 1980s  will remember Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine (whose leader Emilio Estefan she married in 1978).  Their style of music merged Cuban based sounds with pop to create an infectious blend that thrilled the crowd at the WBT.   And if you are not familiar with their music  once the band and talented cast start rocking, you will be hooked.

The story uses a series of flashbacks we see Gloria as a girl (Isabella Preston) in Cuba, singing and dancing because that was in her spirit and heart. Her family fled to Miami after the overthrow of the Batista  government.  Due to their flight from Cuba, Gloria’s mother (Karmine Alers) abandoned her own dream of performing.  As Gloria (Maria  Bilbao) grows up she wants to follow her dreams of singing, but her mother does not support her dream.  We find that Gloria encounters Emilio Estefan (Jose Luaces) who invites her to join his band the “Miami Latin Boys”.  As Gloria emerges as the face of the band and its lead singer, the band changes its name to the Miami Sound Machine.  This also signals a change in creative direction.

Though the band  has a large following on the Spanish speaking music charts, they yearn to cross over and expand their appeal.  They break out of their niche in the 1980s with such hits as “Conga” “1-2-3”, “Get on Your Feet” and more.   Many of their hits are present in the two hour performance and are woven throughout the story.

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Maria Bilbao as Gloria Estefan

The musical also covers the near tragic tour bus accident that almost ended her career.  Gloria over comes this obstacle and returns to the stage.  The show wraps up with a rousing medley of high energy hits including ” Rhythm Is Gonna Get You” ,“Oye”,  “Turn the Beat Around” , “Get On Your Feet!”

The performances of the cast are first rate and what we have come to expect from the WBT.  Maria Bilbao really has you convinced during the performance that you are seeing Gloria Estefan live.  Brilliant.  Dance and choreography is essential to the show and the ensemble cast delivers a lively performance that transports the audience to a Miami club.

So get on your feet and get to the Westchester Broadway Theater.  The show runs through August 4th 2019

tickets: https://www.broadwaytheatre.com/

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York

 

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Kanopi: high above Westchester, an evening of culinary artistry awaits

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Perched high above Westchester on the 42nd floor of the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains awaits a dining experience unlike any other in  our area.  Kanopi is a restaurant and event space like that is quite unique.  From the ground level of the hotel guests are escorted to a scenic elevator which whisks its occupants to lofty heights. Here breathtaking views and finely crafted food combine to make a memorable evening.

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The space at Kanopi (the former 42 The Restaurant) has stunning views of  Westchester, the Hudson Valley, Long Island Sound and New York City.   There is a lounge, a long narrow dining area with floor to ceiling windows, a much larger event space, and an intimate private dining table inside the kitchen itself.   We were seated at a table with a view over Long Island Sound.  As dusk approached we witnessed the lights of the shore towns of Long Island illuminate the night.  It was quite the setting.

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And while the views may be the reason to consider Kanopi, it is the kitchen and its chef, Anthony Goncalves.  The diner can expect a very special evening of culinary magic.  Chef Goncalves is not just a chef, but a true artist as each dish is carefully prepared and beautifully presented.

Kanopi  features a 13 course tasting menu which is available with wine pairing.  Chef Goncalves who is from Portugal, has developed a menu of Portuguese and Mediterrean dishes along with Asian influences. At one time Portugal had colonies in Asia including Macau, and the  foods and spices of that region are present in the menu.

With 13 courses on the menu, the evening is refined and each course evenly spaced. Each serving is more or less a sample tasting and not a full portion.  As we relaxed at our table, each dish was served with artistry as it arrived.  It was much like witnessing a well choreographed dance of culinary delights.  Each course is presented with different plates, and is  unique and beautiful as the panoramic views.  It was quite evident the passion for food that is present in the kitchen.

With so many courses,  we will discuss a few of our favorites from the evening.   The Hamachi is yellow tail tuna, with Monterosa olive oil, a touch of lime and pomelo.  Monterosa olive oil is from Portugal is rated one of the finest in the world.  A delicious dish.

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Hamachi

The Kona Kompachi followed and is a flavorful yet light yellowtail served in with a light brushing of roasted seaweed vinaigrette.  The plating of this dish was pure art and was one of our favorites.

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Kona Kompachi

The Small Game Tamale was an interesting dish, with chicken wrapped in a banana leaf.  Opening the leaf like an envelope allows the aroma of the chicken, raisins and prunes to escape.  A fun presentation and delightful course.

The Polvo was a carefully crafted dish and was composed or poached octopus, with a dash of coriander, paprika oil, black olive and pickled serrano chili pepper for that extra boost of flavor. The dish was artfully crafted and the carefully placed  garnish appeared as it was growing from the octopus itself.

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Polvo

Served in an Asian style plate, the Robalo was a portion of light and mild sea bass, truffles and served with Osetra caviar.  The blending of the mild sea bass with the more flavorful caviar was quite a treat.

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Robalo with caviar

Pekin Duck was another interesting dish and a very artistic presentation.  The duck was lightly grilled and place on a black plate with a celery root puree that when viewed from above appeared to be two flowers.

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Dessert is also included with four samples provided.  The Devil Dog was a tasty chocolate concoction but the Fruit Roll-Ups were our favorite.  This is not the snack,  but rather compressed fruits (including grape and pineapple) which are thinly sliced to produce one of the most fun and creative desserts we have enjoyed in some time.

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Fruit Roll Ups

As the scenic elevator slowly pulled away from the 42nd floor and returned us to the lobby, the magnificent vistas we witnessed remained in our minds.  But long after those visions fade, the culinary experience that is Kanopi will linger with us for a long time.

 

Kanopi    (at the Ritz Carlton)

3 Renaissance Square

White Plains New York   

website >>> https://www.kanopievents.com

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JAZZ BRUNCH With Up and Coming NYC Musicians Comes to Mediterraneo in White Plains

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The sounds of jazz music filled the air last Sunday, August 27th,  at Mediterraneo in White Plains. If you missed their jazz brunch last Sunday, no need to worry! Since this launch, guests can enjoy bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for $18 every Sunday between 11:00-4:00 pm while being entertained by live Jazz.

Executive Chef, Albert DeAngelis has created an innovative brunch menu consistent with his authentic coastal Mediterranean and Northern Italian offerings which all offer ingredients inspired by local, seasonal and fresh foods.This brunch will feature exciting brunch items such as: lump crab cakes with poached eggs and black truffle zucchini in a citrus hollandaise, lemon avocado toast with smoked salmon and sliced red onion, sliced strip steak and scrambled eggs with mozzarella toast, an egg white frittata with mushrooms, cauliflower and goat cheese, brioche French toast with fresh berries, grand marnier and whipped cream dressed with New York State maple syrup and, a wood-oven fired breakfast pizza made with prosciutto ham, mozzarella, chopped tomato and a sunny side egg.

Patrons’ favorites will also be featured such as: grilled seafood salad, breast of chicken “Milanese” tomato and baby arugula salad, grilled bronzino with sweet and sour eggplant, Calabrian chili and a mint salsa verde, spicy lobster spaghetti with roasted cherry tomatoes and baby arugula.
Reservations are suggested for large parties of 8 or more. To make reservations you may call: (914) 448-8800.

Mediterraneo

189 Main St, White Plains, NY 10601

tel 914.448.8800

web http://www.zhospitalitygroup.com/mediterraneowhiteplains

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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