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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Inn at Twaalfskill: a romantic Hudson Valley Inn

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Do you need a couples escape for the weekend and don’t want to go too far?   A visit to The Inn at Twaalfskill may just be for you.  This charming, quaint and romantic Inn is located right in the heart of the Hudson Valley in Highland New York  and just an hour and change north of Westchester and two hours from Manhattan.    The Inn was built in 1905 has been transformed by the innkeepers into a wonderful and charming place to visit for a weekend or longer. IMG_0579

Driving up to the inn you cross a bridge over a stream which gives the inn its name.   The restored century old home has a wonderful  details and a pleasant front porch just in case you want to sit outside and take in the country air.  Entering the inn you pass by the sunlit breakfast room which is a perfect setting for breakfast.   The main floor common rooms of the Inn consist of the entrance area with fresh flowers,  a coffee bar with coffee ,tea, cookies and more,  a comfortable living room/parlor with a fireplace, television and comfortable furniture. A very cozy room.  There is also a small powder room.

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Breakfast Room

 

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Front Hall and stair

Upstairs there are only three well appointed guest rooms.  Each room has its own bathroom attached.  Even though the house that is now the Inn dates to 1905, the guest room baths have all been  renovated and are modern with marble or porcelain tile, updated fixtures and plenty of hot water.  Each room (as is the entire inn) with a mix of antique furniture and small antique accessories.  You can tell the Innkeepers went to great efforts to create a pleasant blend of authentic period pieces and modern conveniences.  Each room has televisions.   Wi-fi  is  provided if you must check your emails or texts, but you are in a romantic inn, so turn off your cell phone and enjoy  the quiet and the ambience.

The beds are queen size  and very comfortable with fresh  pillows and a comfy quilt.  I slept very well in my room that evening.  The inn provides newspapers and magazines for your reading pleasure .

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Breakfast in the morning was a pleasure with yogurt, juice, coffee or tea, and scones.  There was also a choice of a vegetable frittata or French toast served with Crown Maple Syrup (from the Hudson Valley).  It was a really delicious home made breakfast.  As a nice touch you can pick your time to have breakfast by advising the Innkeeper the night before on a sign in sheet  unlike some inns that just serve at a certain hour.

 

Outside the Inn has made cruiser type bicycles available for guest use.  This is fantastic as steps away from the inn is the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.  The rail trail connects with the Walkway across the Hudson, one of the premier attractions in the  Mid Hudson Valley and should be on your must visit list.

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Bikes provided by the Inn

The Inn located in Highland is the perfect home base for a weekend of exploring the area. Nearby is Hyde Park home of the Culinary Institute of America, FDR Historic Site and the Vanderbilt Mansion historic site.  There is biking or walking on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, or the nearby Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.  There is great hiking in a number of parks and preserves, apple picking, shopping and even wine tasting at some of the local wineries in the area.  The nearby village of New Paltz offers numerous dining options and is a fun town to browse and explore.

So if you are in need of a bit of an escape and don’t want to travel far, a stay at the Inn at Twaafskill is just what you need.

 

The Inn At Twaalfskill

144 Vineyard Avenue  Highland New York 

845-691-3605 

http://www.innattwaalfskill.com

for more info on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail:   http://www.hudsonvalleyrailtrail.net

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The Cheese Plate: A Touch of Europe with Locally Sourced Products in New Paltz

 

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For a unique meal with a touch of the French countryside, try The Cheese Plate located in the lovely Water Street Marketplace in New Paltz NY. New Paltz located in the heart of the Hudson Valley in Ulster County is a great destination town and the Water Street Market located on Main Street is a interesting assortment of shops and dining options in a village-like setting. On a recent visit I decided to stop into the Cheese Plate to taste some cheeses as the whole shop caters to New York dairy products. There is also a wide and fine selection of locally sourced food products and great selection of other products for the home which would make great holiday gifts of hostess gifts and they will gift wrap your selection. I saw a nice slate board from JK Adams of Dorset Vermont as well as other interesting items to give as presents.

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You can visit the shop and buy artisan cheeses to take home or to enjoy there. My family wanted to eat inside the shop which is part retail shop and part sit down eatery. The space is warm and friendly and has the feeling that you are in the French countryside. In the nicer weather there are tables outside to people watch and enjoy the air.

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Lots of gifts and local products for sale

Our meal began with a cheese platter which was beautifully arranged. We chose three different cheeses for the platter, a Walton Umber which is semi soft with a creamy taste. This cheese comes from nearby Walton NY. The second was type of cheese was St Stephen cheese from Four Fat Fowl Creamery in Stephentown NY . This tasty cheese was decadent and buttery and oh so soft. Our last pick was a dulcinea cheese from Fonda NY. I loved this firm sheepsmilk cheese which can be compared to a manchego. The platter also contained a Mediterranean olive mix, sausage from the Molinari family of San Francisco and chocolate from Oliver Kita a hand made chocolate company from the Hudson Valley that focuses on fair trade and organic ingredients. The chocolate was 70% dark cacao and was a great addition to the cheese. We also enjoyed local fresh pressed cider with our meal.

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Cheese Platter

After the platter we ordered a cold cheese sandwich called the Mohonk (named after the mountain that overlooks New Paltz) that I loved. The sandwich was made with local cow cheese from Beechers cheese company and also sausage and a fruit chutney. The bread was from Bread Alone, a Hudson Valley baker.

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Mohonk sandwich

Our other selection was a grilled gouda sandwich had a tangy, buttery and creamy edge and topped with a fig and black tea chutney. A delicious must have sandwich.

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Grilled Gouda sandwich

Everyone in the shop is very friendly and helpful and they have great knowledge about all the cheeses and can help you with your selection. Teresa the owner of Cheese Plate is a lovely local woman who shows passion in her commitment to locally sourced products and her eclectic and interesting gift items on display in the shop.
New Paltz is a great town for a day trip with plenty to do and see. It is right in the heart of the Hudson Valley, and right off the New York State Thruway. For a different twist on the farm to market scene, combined with a French country feel,  you should try The Cheese Plate.

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The Cheese Plate (at Water Street Market)
10 Main Street Suite 302 New Paltz, New York
855-255-2444

The Cheese Plate’s Website

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Wreck the Halls, A Hilarious Holiday Musical at the Ridgefield Theater Barn

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Wreck The Halls is the latest production at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield CT. The production is a satirical musical look at the holiday season that is one part a critique of the holidays, one part brash and mostly hysterical.
The production is not a typical musical but rather a musical revue with one separate musical number after the other and no spoken parts. Act One (approximately one hour) contains 14 songs that poke fun at the madness that can be the holiday season. From “Starting to look like Christmas” which ridicules the starting of the retail push of Christmas (its only Labor Day!), to “Grandmas House”, a send up of the dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner with relatives, and ” Black Friday” which pokes fun at the madness of the sales that seem to overshadow the holiday season. The all original score is accented with sharp wit and clever lyrics which had the audience laughing the entire time
Act Two (about 35 minutes) keeps the humor rolling with a spoof on political correctness, “Happy Kwanzaramahanumas”, the silly but funny “The Nutcrackers Lament”, the sexy “That Yule Log” with its thinly veiled sexual references, and the “Boys in Brown” a salute to the late working package delivery men which was reminiscent of a scene from the musical, Legally Blonde. Act Two is composed of 11 songs in addition to the reprise of the opening number “Wreck the Halls”.
Wreck the Halls is the creation of Bradford Blake who is the composer, lyricist and director of this very funny musical. He is also a member of the cast as well. The lyrics are witty and creative and the score is memorable. The cast is hilarious and works well together with standout performances from Mr. Blake and Carey Van Hollen who has the best vocal performances of the evening. The balance of the talented cast includes Priscilla Squires, Diana Matson, Duane Lanham and Alexis Vournazos.

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Please note there is some adult language and adult subject matter in the performance so I would not recommend this performance for children. Doors open at 7 and you can bring your own food and dine before the show which starts at 8pm. Seating is at tables, cabaret style. There is a short intermission.
Need a break from the holidays? A trip to “Wreck the Halls” may be just the ticket you need for some holiday laughs. Performances run through January 2, 2016.

For tickets and more information:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Ln, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Ridgefield Theater Barn

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I ON The Valley Is A Year Old!

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Looking Back On Our First Year of Celebrating the Hudson Valley

This December marks one year since I On The Valley was created. Since then I On The Valley has published a multitude of reviews and covered numerous events in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas.

The Hudson Valley is truly a wondrous place, there are a multitude of phenomenal towns, exquisite restaurants, and sensational events that happen in this dynamic area. We thank you all for following and reading our blog as we have grown throughout the year!  In the future we hope to discover and write more about the Hudson Valley. I ON The Valley strives to show how remarkable the Hudson Valley is and highlight our love of the area by continuing to write articles about the area.

Stay tuned for more our upcoming posts!

In the spirit of blogs and endorsing the Hudson Valley, here are new blogs that share our love of this place we call home!

Click below to see these cool blogs

Innovators of the Valley Blog                                 Explore With Emily Blog

 

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Just in time for the Holidays! “Tim and Scrooge” at the Westchester Broadway Theatre

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Tim and Scrooge is a continuation of the story of “ A Christmas Carol” and this production is a musical sequel to the famous Charles Dickens story. In this tale, 12 years have elapsed since Ebenezer Scrooge underwent his transformation from a horrible miserly man to the kindly and generous benefactor Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchit family. The story opens with Scrooge taking on a new role. Now he is a ghost and has left his fortune and accounting business to Tim (now 20 years old). Tim is now attending University where he is following his passion to become a teacher and has fallen love with Allison.
The story is set during the 19th century around Christmas time. We follow Tim as he is caught in the dilemma of following in his father’s footsteps at the accounting firm and, pleasing his family or follow his passion for teaching and his love for Allison. Tim is terribly conflicted by his choices, and ironically it is the ghost of Scrooge who comes to guide him in the right direction. It is a wonderful story of love, family, and the choices we make that influence the direction of our lives.
The play was composed by Neil Berg and lyrics by Nick Meglin. The musical premiered at the NYMF festival in New York City and garnered rave reviews. It was staged in London and has toured the U.S. for 5 years. It now comes to Westchester and it a perfect show for the holiday season.
The fantastic cast includes George Lee Andrews as Scrooge (credits include original cast member of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Sweeney Todd (2014) and Evita (2012) also on Broadway and many other credits). There were so many excellent performers in this production but special mention should be noted for Justin Scott Brown as Tim who was cast in the National Tour of Les Miserables, and has numerous theatrical credits. Rita Harvey shines as Allison and has appeared on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera and the National Tour or Phantom. Her vocal performances are not to be missed
Tim and Scrooge is a great holiday show and will be at the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford through December 27. Dinner is included with the price of your ticket and you eat  right before the show. There is an intermission of one half hour between Act One and Two.

Parking is free.
For more information on this great show
Westchester Broadway Theatre
One Broadway Plaza Elmsford, New York 914-592-2222
http://www.broadwaytheatre.com

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Support the Wolf Conservation Center at the Annual Wine and Wolves event

 

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On Thursday December 3, 2015 at 7pm to 10pm the Wolf Conservation Center will be hosting its annual Wine and Wolves Holiday Celebration. This years celebration will be held at the Waccabuc Country Club (Carriage House) located at 90 Mead Street, Waccabuc New York . The Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem will be celebrating its 16th year of educating and the conservation of wolves.

The center, founded by world-famous concert pianist Helene Grimaud, conducts environmental education programs, shelters and breeds two species of endangered wolves.
The Wine and Wolves event involves local restaurants and merchants from northern Westchester and Fairfield counties, who come together to help raise money for the center by providing food, wine, gifts for sale or auction and entertainment.
To purchase tickets,please visit http://www.nywolf.org  to see the events calendar and register. Tickets are $100, and attendance is limited to 130 persons. In the past this event has sold out. For more information, call 914-763-2373.
Ambassador wolf Atka will be making a special appearance to welcome guests! Please come out for this special event and show your support. See you there!

for more information: http://www.nywolf.org

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Brothers Trattoria: A classic family Italian eatery in the heart of Beacon

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Beacon NY on the Hudson River in Dutchess County is a hip town which has been undergoing a renaissance in the last decade or so. With a train station on Metro North’s Hudson line, and close proximity to Interstate 84 and NY Rt 9, the town has become a destination stop for people from New York City and the Hudson Valley seeking a great place to spend the day. Main Street in Beacon is an oasis of shops, antiques, art galleries, coffee houses, and restaurants all located in an architecturally interesting street of late 19th century brick buildings.

After an afternoon of exploring Main Street and its many attractions, we decided to dine at Brothers Trattoria located in a beautiful brick building built in 1889. The restaurant has three separate dining areas, the casual front dining room (great for pizza with the family), the more formal main dining room with its white table cloths and soft warm colors which create an elegant atmosphere, and the comfortable tavern room with its

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Main Dining room

fireplace,  brick walls, tables with couches and intimate bar. No televisions in this bar as this room is for dining and conversation with family and friends.

 

Being in such a warm and inviting space we eagerly awaited the to dine. The menu is traditional Italian, with a large variety of dishes and daily specials. For appetizer we ordered Pasta Fagioli soup which was warm, delicious and tasted so fresh. I was told all soups are made to order and not prepared hours in advance.

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Pasta Fagioli

My husband ordered Shrimp pesto gnocchi in a creamy basil sauce . This gnocchi was fresh, and full of flavor and could make a wonderful entree of its own.

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Gnocchi

For our entree I ordered the Frutta di Mare which included shrimp, clams, scallops and muscles in a garlic white wine sauce. On the side I had a dish of broccoli rabe but pasta is what the dish normally is prepared. The portion was large, fresh and fantastic.

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Frutta di mare

My husband ordered Chicken Darden which is a delightful dish of chicken breast and shrimp sauteed with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms in a garlic white wine sauce. The dish was excellent and the portion was large and very filling. My husband decided to take the rest home for another meal. A generous salad is also provided with each meal, which is a nice touch and is missing in so many restaurants today which charge you extra for a salad.  Service was amazing from start to finish.

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Chicken Darden

We were so full from our great meal that we unfortunately had to miss dessert. We did cap off our meal with a cappuccino which like the rest of our meal was great. Brothers Trattoria is a family owned business with several members of the same family led by owner Ken Barisha working together to create a warm family atmosphere with great Italian food. This is a place you will want to bring your family to dine and enjoy all that Beacon has to offer. We will be returning and after this meal, we truly  feel like we are part of the family.

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Brothers Trattoria

465 Main Street Beacon New York   845-838-3300

web: http://www.brotherstrattoria.com

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Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen: Farm to Table dining in a rustic chic setting

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The rivertowns of Westchester County have been undergoing a revival in recent years and part of that renaissance is the exciting new restaurants opening in the villages lining the riverfront. It was my pleasure to dine at Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen in Tarrytown. Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen is located in the Hudson Harbor development between the Tarrytown rail station and the Hudson River, a beautiful parcel of land with sweeping views of the river. The restaurant is situated on the first floor of a building known as the Stonehouse, the building reminds one of a fine mountain lodge with its extensive use of stone and wood timbers. Upon entering the restaurant that natural feel is continued with extensive use of natural and reclaimed materials. Indeed much of the wood used in the flooring and bar was reclaimed from an old building in Albany. IMG_5761
The natural environment is part of the overall kitchen philosophy of the restaurant , which strongly believes in sourcing fresh ingredients from farmers who grow and raise their products in a natural, humane, and sustainable fashion. This is indeed the core of the farm to table movement which Rivermarket does so well. There is also a small market near the entrance which sells many New York State products from local farmers and producers. Rivermarket is a 2014 Best of Westchester winner for best new restaurant.

Market featuring local products

Market featuring local products

We came for lunch during Hudson Valley Restaurant week and our meal included three courses. We ordered for our first course the Puree of Butternut Squash which was prepared with a spiced local apple compote and creme fraiche which was rich and delicious. Perfect for a fall day. We also ordered the Gnocchi prepared with local grass fed beef and mushrooms. The taste was delightful.

Butternut Squash soup

Butternut Squash soup

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

Since the restaurant has a wood fired brick oven, we deviated from the menu to taste one of their fresh pizzas which came hot from the oven and was fantastic. It would make a great appetizer on its own or as a main course.

Wood fired brick oven pizza

Wood fired brick oven pizza

Our main courses were the Chicken Sandwich which was cooked with locally sourced chicken, bacon, avocado on a potato roll which was fresh and filling. It was served with fries. I opted for the Pan Roasted Salmon with wilted local spinach, french lentils in a beurre blanc . It was excellent. The presentation of the dishes as well as the service from our waitress was first rate.

Amazing selection of wine

Amazing selection of wine

Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Sandwich

Pan seared Salmon

Pan seared Salmon

We rounded out our meal with a Panna Cotta which was prepared as a special pumpkin mousse, white chocolate foam and pumpkin chips. A perfect dessert on a sunny late fall afternoon. We also shared a Chocolate mousse with a cocoa nib crumble, caramel gelee and milk sourbet. The presentation of the dish was as nice as the dessert itself.

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

There is also a nice bar in the restaurant with 12 beers and cider on tap, and another 25 or more available in bottles. The wine list is quite extensive with close to 150 selections of wine and sparkling wine available

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Beers on Tap

Beers on Tap

Co-owner and manager, Glenn Vogt has done a wonderful job transforming this space into an inviting restaurant to dine. The message of fresh local and sustainable products even extends to their logo “Naturally Raised”.
If you are a fan of fresh locally produced ingredients, expertly prepared and served, then Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen must be on your list of restaurants to try.

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Rivermarket Bar and Kitchen

127 West Main Street Tarrytown, New York   914-631-3100

Website: http://rivermarketbarandkitchen.com

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Dolphin Restaurant: Classic cuisine with an amazing waterfront setting

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Dolphin Restaurant on the Hudson River waterfront is a restaurant I have been eager to try for some time. There is a cool hip vibe as you first arrive at the beautiful river front location of Dolphin in Yonkers. The parking valet is right out front and is waiting so there is no need to concern yourself with trying to find a parking spot.
If you are lucky enough to arrive at Dolphin in the daylight you will notice its spectacular spot, situated on the banks of the Hudson River with a view of the Palisades cliffs across the river.IMG_5672

Looking down river you can see the George Washington Bridge and the twinkling lights of Manhattan. It is quite a site and on warm days there are tables outside for diners to take in the million dollar view.

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Dolphin is a family owned business and I learned that the father of the family originally owned a restaurant in Manhattan with the same name. I would categorize the food as traditional classic with an emphasis on seafood which is perfect considering its waterfront location. There are menu options including steak, chicken and pasta outside of the numerous seafood offerings. There is also a wonderful metro chic bar with fun and interesting drink choices .
This casual fine dining spot could not have been a better choice for a dinner out with friends on a lovely warm Autumn evening. We all admired the cool, fun atmosphere and the modern edge of the interior decor of Dolphin. The large round windows reminded me of being on a ship.
We began our meal with a round of appetizers. The large portion of baked clams were perfectly seasoned with garlic herbs and breadcrumbs.

Baked Clams

Baked Clams

We all enjoyed this tasty start to our meal. A wonderful and not to be missed dish is the Lobster Mac and Cheese with three cheeses, creamy lobster béchamel and large chunks of fresh lobster meat.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese

We also shared fried calamari served with a smoked tomato dipping sauce . We also shared the Fish Tacos which were fantastic with a topping of house cole slaw.

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

For my entree I ordered the Shrimp stuffed Crab. The dish was so tasty with lump crab and shrimp oven baked over saffron rice . I really loved this dish. I also enjoyed a side of roasted root vegetables which complemented my main dish.

Shrimp Stuffed Crab

Shrimp Stuffed Crab

Another dish enjoyed at our table was the paella with mussels, clams and jumbo shrimp, chorizo, saffron rice, peas and olives in a tomato comfit.

Paella with Mussels

Paella with Mussels

I was told this was an amazing entree. My other friend picked the Argentinean skirt steak with fries served in a chimachurra pesto sauce. The last entree at our table was Shrimp with grits. The Shrimp as sautéed in a spicy Louisiana entoufee sauce with creamy parmesean grits. This was a unique dish that combined classic ingredients to create a wonderful taste.

After this filling and wonderful meal we saved a little room for dessert. A sweet bourbon bread pudding and pumpkin cheesecake were ordered and both were fresh and made for an excellent conclusion to our meal.

Pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin cheesecake

I found Dolphin to be a great place to dine with classic dishes, great service and located on a fantastic spot overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades. Please do your self a favor and put Dolphin on your list of restaurants to try.

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Dolphin Restaurant

1 Van Der Donck St  Yonkers NY

914-751-8270   website:http://www.dolphinrbl.com

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