Next Stop: Exit 4 In Mount Kisco


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Skillet Cookie

For a fun and different dining alternative, make sure you stop at Exit 4 Dining Hall in Mt. Kisco.


Exit 4 Food Hall

153 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549

(914) 241-1200


We’re on social media check us out!

twitter @i_on_the_valley

Char:New American cuisine in a rustic chic setting

Irene Phone 049 revise


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.

Irene Phone 027

Grilled Octopus with Farro

Irene Phone 022



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.

Irene Phone 037

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


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!



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

203-900- 1100

Like I on the Valley on facebook  for events and dining tips :

Instagram:  I_ON_THE_VALLEY

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

rooneys 8

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.

rooneys 3

BBQ Pork Sliders

rooneys 2

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.

rooneys 6

Dan Rooney Burger


rooneys 5

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.

rooneys 1

Dan Rooney’s Cafe and Bar

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

Like I On the Valley on Facebook !

instagram:  I_ON_THE_VALLEY

Havana Central:The Cuban experience close to home



Would you like to dine in an atmosphere where you feel as if you drifted off to a tropical locale? Then pay a visit to Havana Central.  I was immediately drawn in as I focused on the palm tree outside the entrance and the display of colorful tropical drinks.  I had a feeling an adventure awaited inside the doors.   Once inside Cuban music floated through the air that immediately calmed my mind and transported me to a different place


The interior space is incredibly beautiful with great attention to detail.  Moldings, lighting, art prints, photographs, plants, and dark hardwood doors and trim all add to an elegant tropical environment.  The overall effect creates the mood that you are in fact in a Cuban restaurant in some other time.

I started with a Blackberry Mojito,  a variation of the classic Cuban cocktail, and it was refreshing and fantastic.  It was served in a tall glass with fresh blackberries, fresh mint leaves, and a stalk of cut sugar cane.  They have several different flavors including mango and you should not pass up trying one.


Since I had felt I had drifted off  to a Havana dining destination I had to choose foods typical of Cuban cuisine.

Starters: I started with the stuffed plantain baskets,  (Tostones Relleno) which were beautifully prepared and consisted of beef,chicken  and pork filled in a basket made from mashed plantain and served with  a light sauce.  This was a great start to the meal.


Stuffed Plantain Baskets

Since the restaurant is known for the empanadas, I sampled the beef, pork and shrimp empanadas.  They were fresh and delicious with a light crispy crust.  Not at all greasy like some restaurants might serve.  Another great choice was the Lobster Stuffed avocado (Agucate Rellano De Langosta)  This was a healthy choice for an appetizer and really hit the spot.





Lobster Stuffed Avocado

Main Course:  Although the menu is quite large and varied, I just had to go with one of my favorites, Seafood Paellla.  This dish of rice and seafood was beautifully presented in a cast iron pot and was filled with scallops, mussels, clams, shrimp, and rice.   Truly this was one of the best paellas I have had and I have had paella in the Dominican Republic and in Spain!


Seafood Paella

Another selection for a main course was the Pineapple Chicken (Pollo con Pina).  A nice chicken breast served with pineapple and both grilled and brushed with a citrus marinade.  It was served with Moro which is rice mixed with black beans and wine, garlic and bacon.  Both were excellent choices.


Chicken with Pineapple 

There is live music Thursday to Sunday and Happy Hour Monday- Friday  4-7 pm with great drink specials.   There are also beautiful appointed rooms for private parties.  There are many events here such as salsa dancing night, and even painting classes.   When warmer days arrive, there is even outdoor seating.

With excellent and attentive service and wonderful traditional Cuban cuisine,  all presented in a cool tropical atmosphere, Havana Central is the place to be.  I can’t wait to go back !

havana central

Havana Central

One Ridge Hill Blvd   (Ridge Hill Shopping Center)

Yonkers ,  New York      


Like I on the Valley on Facebook!

Twitter:  @ I_ON _THE_VALLEY

Follow me on Instagram:  I_ON _THE_ VALLEY




Whitby Castle: elegant dining in a true castle


How often do you get to dine in a magnificent castle?    I had the opportunity recently to have brunch at Whitby Castle located at the Rye Country Club in Rye NY.   Whitby is located on the grounds of the Rye Country Club, but is open to the public and not just for club members.

whitby castle

The picturesque castle was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis one of the premier architects of the 19th century and has designed many buildings in the Hudson Valley including Lyndhurst in Tarrytown.  Dining here is to experience the elegance of a bygone era and as a bonus you can enjoy the gorgeous water view toward Milton Harbor and Long Island Sound.


As you enter the castle you cannot help but admire the old world craftsmanship, high ceilings and the fine architectural  details in each room.  The main dining room is sun lit  with a large windows facing out over the patio, the green lawns of the golf course and then the tranquil waters of Milton Harbor.


View from the Dining Room

We dined for Sunday brunch on Easter and had a wonderful meal.  Brunch included a wide assortment of food including traditional breakfast favorites of bagels, muffins, scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict , sausage and bacon.   There were also salad, shrimp cocktail, and a variety of hot dishes including  Chicken Picatta, Sole, and pasta.  If that was not enough, there was a carving station with prime rib, turkey breast and lamb.  To end the meal (if you have room), there is a delicious spread of desserts and fresh fruit, coffee and tea.  Even though it is a buffet, the service from our waiter was attentive and friendly.    Certainly a wonderful place to dine.

Whitby Castle is open to the public for Dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Lunch is served daily except for Monday.  The menu changes often so there is no menu online.

whitby castle 2

Outside dining

The castle is host for private events and is a desirable location for weddings.   The next event coming up is Mother’s Day Brunch on May 8th 2016.   Brunch will be in two seatings, 10:30am  and 2:30pm.  The cost for brunch is $49.95 per person and children under 12 are $19.95 each.


for more information:

Whitby Castle  

30 Boston Post Road
Rye, NY 10580
Tel:  914.777.2053

Like I on the Valley on Facebook!

Twitter:  @ I_ON _THE_VALLEY

Follow me on Instagram:  I_ON _THE_ VALLEY


Lilly’s – an upscale new eatery and bar in White Plains

fw 067As I walked into Lilly’s I felt that I had stepped into a retro Victorian restaurant and bar. I immediately was drawn in to focus on the beautiful French fireplace, crystal chandeliers, red couches and exposed brick walls.  fw 068The lighting is soft and the large bar area is covered by a pretty white marble counter top and Roman statue can be seen as you look up. The space is very inviting , friendly and feels very comfortable.

fw 069

The menu consists of many tapas, small plates, but also has interesting salads, homemade artisan pizzas and some larger dishes (entrees) as well. There is also a nice selection of fresh cheese and meat plates to share. Coming in with a group of four, we decided to try many different selections.    fw 081

Shrimp with lemon and tarragon

Shrimp with lemon and tarragon

We started with a wonderful and creamy homemade gnocchi with shitake mushrooms ,sage and apple. This dish was delicious. Other must have are the oysters with a prosecco citrus topping,



the meatballs, a tasty grilled skirt steak with an herb citrus aioli, the shrimp with lemon and tarragon, and the brussel sprouts with parmesan and “caesar ” dressing. I also enjoyed the kale salad with cider vinaigrette, apples, strawberries, bacon and almonds. A perfect light and balanced salad.

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

We then shared two pizzas. The  first was the quattro formaggio with ricotta, taleggio, mozzarella, pecorino and roasted garlic. This thin crusted delight is a must try and absolutely delicious.We also chose the “Lilly’s” pizza which contained tomato, homemade meatballs, mozzarella and chilies. If you want something a little different and a bit “hot” then this one is for you.

Lilly' Pizza (top) and 4 cheese pizza (below)

Lilly’ Pizza (top) and 4 cheese pizza (below)

The drink menu has quite a selection of beers, wine and artisan cocktails.Don’t leave without trying the chocolate lave cake with chocolate mint ice cream or the olive oil cake with rhubarb -strawberry compote and mascapone cheese.

Olive Oil cake with fruit compote and marscapone

Olive Oil cake with fruit compote and marscapone

This upscale new restaurant and bar in White Plains is a true gem and is sure to be a hit. A great place to go for date night or fun with a group of friends.   There is also outside seating on the back patio which will be fantastic with the warm weather approaching.

fw 071

Bar detail

Bar detail


169 Mamaroneck Avenue White Plains NY


Follow me on Facebook

Instagram: I_ON_THE_VALLEY



A NYC Steakhouse in the heart of Westchester County

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Benjamin Steakhouse on a lovely winter evening. I dined with my husband and another couple and even though it was a Sunday night the place was quite busy. We were seated next to a roaring fireplace that brought instant warmth and charm to this top notch and beautiful restaurant. From the moment you walk in the door you are greeted in such a way that it feels like home. Everyone is genuinely nice and wants you to have an amazing meal and dining experience.

frank phone nov dec 063         irene phone 092

The four of my party decided to share a lot of dishes so that we can figure out what specialties we liked best. There were so many items it was hard to choose. I had to try a lot of seafood appetizers as it is my favorite thing to eat. We had clams oreganato, oysters, lump crab meat salad , crab cakes, shrimp cocktail and lobster bisque soup for everyone.

frank phone nov dec 061 We couldn’t believe how delicious and fresh everything was. The lobster bisque is amazing and really hits the spot. I tasting everything and have to say I felt like I was in a specialty seafood restaurant. I almost forgot the restaurant is called Benjamin Steakhouse which leads me to the next part of my meal- the amazing entrees. I had to choose surf and turf which included a nice size filet mignon and a lobster tail. The steak melted in your mouth and the lobster tail was so juicy and luscious that the drawn butter given on the side was not needed. I ordered spinach and potatoes for the four of us to share. Everyone else ordered different cuts of beef and we loved it all. The porterhouse was amazing I was told. frank phone nov dec 065
If all this food wasn’t enough we had to order different desserts to sample. Cheesecake, fruit platter, red velvet cake frank phone nov dec 068and key lime pie. A great ending to a perfect meal.
What I took away from this wonderful dining experience besides culinary excellence was a staff that works so hard at trying to please in every way and making sure everything is perfect from start to finish. It is no wonder that this restaurant was named best steakhouse by Westchester Magazine. Don’t miss this special place!  irene phone 096

Location  610 West Hartsdale Avenue White Plains, New York

  914-428-6868 for reservations

irene phone 105

Like me on facebook

Instagram:  I_ON_THE_VALLEY