The Golden Knives Challenge is a fun twist on dining out.
The Golden Knives Challenge, Westchester’s first cooking challenge featuring local chefs, started this Tuesday, May 7, and continues for the next 2 weeks. Located at a pop-up restaurant at The Lodge at Hudson Harbor in Tarrytown, an attractive space with floor to ceiling windows and barn doors, you can join the fun and pretend like you’re Padma and Tom! Each night two chefs battle it out with an appetizer, main course and dessert and at the end of the meal, votes are cast for the winner.
We had the pleasure of attending the first night with Chefs Alex Sze (Juniper in Hastings-on-Hudson) and Carl Van Dekker (Village Dog in Tarrytown). The meal was much more fun than the usual restaurant experience. We knew the chefs were on their game since this was a contest. Plus, there is something exciting about knowing that a chef is trying to impress. The courses were perfectly sized so you could enjoy all of them and the ingredients were varied so it was small plate heaven. We even tasted a vegetable for the first time – ramps, otherwise known as a spring onion or a wild leek. The ramps were especially tasty the way Carl Van Dekker prepared them: creamed with cotechino (sausage) and polenta and in a salad as part of his Trio of Peas. [...]
Our favorite local eateries and recipes from the past year.
Although we’re technically no longer Manhattanites, we’re pretty lucky to have an abundance of culinary delights to choose from right in our backyard. Whether looking for a romantic bistro for a date night, a quick spot to grab a salad with the girls in between carpool, or a friendly place where your five year old’s temper tantrum won’t make you banned for life, this Best of Yum feature highlights some of our favorite local restaurants — and at home recipes — that made our mouths water.
Let’s raise a glass to our sponsors below…thank you for filling our bellies with your delicious eats and for making us city transplants feel like we never left the big apple.
Suddenly, Scarsdale is a restaurant town.
People who live in Scarsdale have grown accustomed to driving to other towns for a good meal. Not anymore. In the last several months, a Middle Eastern wine bar has opened here. So has a smoothie spot and a popular farm-to-table Italian restaurant. Today, Scarsdale has everything you need for a weekend of delicious eats and family fun.
Savona proves that simple, rustic food can be the very best. I took my family for dinner and was expecting another good Italian restaurant. But as soon as I saw the farm-to-table menu, I was looking forward to a great meal and that’s what we had. Savona is the darling of Westchester Magazine — they recently featured it as one of the best new restaurants in the county.
Start you meal with a sampler of crostini. Our favorite had pancetta, caramelized onion, and pecorino topped with a fried egg. My girls shared the Pasta Bolognese with fresh pasta and it was so flavorful I found myself tasting it over and over. My grilled Branzino came with an olive and mixed peppers tapenade and perfectly cooked asparagus. My husband devoured his Osso Buco. Savona works fine for young kids because they serve pizza, but the decor is sexy and sophisticated. Next time, I’ll get a babysitter and enjoy my meal even more. 2 Chase Road, Scarsdale; 914-798-0550 Hours: lunch, Mon to Fri 11:30 am-2:30 pm, dinner, Sun to Thurs 5 pm-10 pm, Fri and Sat 5 pm-11 pm. [...]
They're good looking. They're sweet. They're every Westchester wife's dream.
It was a tough job pouring over the dozens of submissions we got for our Westchester’s Hottest Dads contest, but someone had to do it. We had one important criteria from the start. The Hottest Dads needed to be as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Moms know better than anyone: A pretty face that doesn’t bathe the kids or help put them to bed each night is worth nothing.
These three Westchester dads are as devoted to their kids as much as they are to their wives. While we’re not saying these three men are perfect, we are smitten with the way their wives described them. And they’re pretty easy on the eyes. See our picks after the jump. (And thanks to Elizabeth L.’s husband Steve Leach for taking these amazing photos!) [...]
At this waterfront tango, you can't help but get close to your partner.
Get ready to twirl. This Saturday, March 23 from 7pm to midnight, there’s a Tango Mouvance Milonga, or Argentine Tango dance, at Hudson Harbor Lodge in Tarrytown. Sound exotic? It is. Think of it as a social dance salon straight out of Buenos Aires. Men and women hold each other close, spinning and pivoting to a live Argentine Tango band.
“Live Tango musicians penetrate the soul on a deepened level,” says Victoria Wilde Langley, a local landscape and portrait photographer in Tarrytown and artistic director; she’s been dancing the Argentinian Tango for 14 years. “It makes it all the more voluptuous to move to, and just take in the delight of.” [...]
Both are kid-friendly with plenty of grown up fare.
Bonefish Grill, a new steak and seafood restaurant that opened on Monday at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, wasn’t what I expected. The chain started in Florida, so I figured that it was going to be a kitschy seafood house with fish nets and buoys on the walls, a place you’d stumble into on your way down to the Keys. Instead, I was met with sleek lines, dim lighting, white tablecloths — and really, really good food. There’s one heck of a drink list too. (I highly recommend the Black Cherry Guava Mojito — yum — or the Pomegranate Martini.)
Don’t be fooled by Bonefish’s fancy face: You can still bring the kids. Bonefish Grill gets the balance just right. It’s sophisticated enough after 7pm to spend a date night, but they’ve got plenty of high chairs and great kids fish options ($8.95 for grilled tilapia kids meal) to beckon you in for lunch or an early dinner with the little ones. There are lots of big booths too, if you’ve got a few children to pile into a table. (Plus, you’re going to want a taste of the addictive Bang Bang shrimp, shown above.) [...]
What's new, and the best of what's already open.
With Bonefish Grill coming soon and a variety of additional restaurants already open, Ridge Hill is quickly becoming a destination for dining out. Plan on bringing the kids. All of the restaurants at the outdoor megamall in Yonkers are kid-friendly — if not in food, then in spirit. Plus, you can sneak in a little shopping before or after lunch, or take the kids to the soon-to-open Legoland! (One caveat: These restaurants are known to have long waits at peak times, so plan accordingly.)
Here’s the dish on where to eat, who has the best kids menu, and where you can get a great lunch for less than 8 bucks. [...]
Think: casual, fun and spontaneous.
Do you roll your eyes at Valentine’s Day just a little? Even if I love a restaurant, a prix fixe dinner on February 14 can feel… well, cheesy. For this Valentine’s Day I’m suggesting something different – a wine bar that serves small plates or tapas. I want delicious bites of food, fabulous wine and the love of my life sitting very close. Call ahead for reservations since this is a busy night!
Bar’Lees in Mamaroneck has a menu of luscious, seasonal small plates with suggested wine pairings plus an extensive wine and whiskey selection. Don’t miss their thin crust pizza with balsamic, caramelized Asian pear, ricotta cheese and arugula drizzled with honey. 157 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck; 914-630-7512
Dinner: A Love Story makes dinner fun again. In theory.
Dinner fatigue got you down? Don’t let it! Jenny Rosenstrach, a fellow Westchester mom extraordinaire, has a charming food blog called Dinner: A Love Story. It’s about the trials and tribulations of not just getting food on the table, but good food on the table. Jenny is talking at Stone Barns tonight too, so if you’re inspired, get tickets! She just launched a really awesome “Seven Days, Seven Meals” challenge where she’s encouraging her readers to cook new recipes all week long. But she’s making it easy — she’s offering a plan of recipes to choose from, and they’re not intimidating. Check out her post below. And get cooking!
I hope you are all PUMPED for Seven Days, Seven Meals challenge, a week of delicious, rut-busting dinners. (Repeat to self when small person protests occur: It’s an adventure, it’s an adventure, it’s an adventure.) The hardest part is over: Committing. From here, follow these five steps. [...]
It's simpler than you think, says marriage researchers.
I was putting Harper to bed when I got a text from a close friend of mine about her husband: “He cheated.” The two most dreaded words in the English language.
Why do so many marriages end in affairs these days? I’ve heard of so many people having the same things happen to them. How can you avoid the horror of something so awful? It’s simpler than you might think.
Pioneering marriage researcher John Gottman, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, says that a marriage needs to have the “magic ratio” to keep it healthy. Couples who have five positive interactions for every one negative one tends to have happier relationships. His theory has been tested. In 1992, Gottman invited 700 newlywed couples to have a 15 minute taped conversation. He recorded how many positive and negative interactions each couple had. Based on his 5 to 1 ratio, he recorded which couples he believed would stay together and which ones would divorce. During a follow-up study in 2002, he was found to have a 94 percent accuracy rate, which means he could predict marital happiness among strangers in less than 30 minutes.
Bottom line: Don’t take your partner for granted. Focus on the magic ratio. Let there be love.
I witnessed this "gastronomic perversion" and I'm seriously tempted.
We were having dinner at The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry recently and suddenly the lights flashed on and off. I looked over at the long table of about ten people and saw how they strained to see the arrival of… the pig. The Swine Dinner is described as “gastronomic perversion and barbarism” on The Cookery’s website and the star of the show is an entire pig, roasted with a honey glaze. From where I sat I could see the perfect browned and glistening pig. It looked incredible. And this is coming from a person who loves bacon, but not so much pork. Especially a whole pig.
The chef and owner, David DiBari, carved the pig at their table and I saw the plates being passed around. I heard someone say, “Who wants the ear?” and a woman received what looked like, from where I was sitting, an ear. She said “It’s crispy,” and chomped away. I was very happy with what I was eating (grilled Branzino fish and perfectly crispy potatoes), but I couldn’t help but stare at this group of laughing, reveling, feasting, diners. I looked back about 30 minutes later and they were all getting up and cutting into the pig themselves. It did look a little barbaric. But, in a good way. [...]
Don't just go out to dinner. Go out for an evening of live music.
Sometimes we’re looking for more than just dinner. We crave a little excitement. A real night out. The following restaurants provide live music, mouth watering bites and cocktails that might make you leave your babysitter an extra generous tip. Each place offers music on different nights. Try them all and see which ones become your favorites…
(Photo: John James Trio with Bernie Williams at Park143 Bistro)
Cedar Street Grill, a cozy pub-like restaurant on the main drag in Dobbs Ferry, offers music on Wednesdays from 8pm- 10pm plus American comfort food with a twist and yummy, artisanal beers. Don’t miss the beer battered pickles — they may just be better than the band. 23 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry; 914-674-0706