Valentines’s Day: Dining ideas for a romantic evening

With Valentine’s Day  quickly approaching I am offering suggestions for different restaurants for that special day. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, you can use any of these suggestions for a weekend date night.   I have dined at all these restaurants in the last year and you can read my reviews in detail at the I On The Valley blog site.  You can also go to the I on The Valley facebook page which will link you to the different reviews and many photos.

1.Kee Oyster House– White Plains: Great cocktails and fresh fantastic seafood is only the start at this great restaurant. Its vintage Old New York City feel will set the mood for a great evening

Kee Oyster House :  128 East Post Road White Plains   http://www.keeoysterhouse.com

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Key Oyster House White Plains

2. Ramiro’s 954 Mahopac: Latin fusion menu, fun cocktails and a warm Latin inspired motif makes Ramiro’s a fine choice.

Ramiro’s 954-  954 Route 6 Mahopac NY     http://www.ramiros954.com

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Ramiro’s 954

 

3.Tredici North– Purchase:  A  innovative Italian menu from a top chef and a stylish hip interior make this a must dine location.  There are some amazing cocktails as well !

Tredici North -578 Anderson Hill Road Purchase NY    http://www.tredicinorth.com

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Tredici North

4.The National-Greenwich: Celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has produced a wonderful restaurant with an award winning menu, classy cocktails and a swanky decor.

The National- 376 Greenwich Avenue Greenwich Ct.   http://www.national-ct.com

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The National

5.Kisco River Eatery- Mt Kisco one of the newest restaurants in Mt.Kisco, Kisco River Eatery  brings an American menu with an Italian twist.  The warm comfortable interior is the perfect setting.

Kisco River Eatery- 222 East Main Street Mt Kisco NY   http://www.kiscoriver.com

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Kisco River Eatery

6.Mediterraneo  -White Plains:   a  dramatic modern restaurant from Z Hospitality Group that has transformed this unique space in White Plains into a dining hot spot.   Chef Albert DeAngelis has developed a Coastal Mediterranean menu that is fantastic.

Mediterraneo -189  Main Street White Plains NY    http://www.zhospitalitygroup.com

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Mediterraneo

7. Sixty 5 On Main Nyack- three unique dining areas, fantastic cocktails a stylish bar and a wide variety of delicious small plate menu choices make this restaurant the perfect evening out.

Sixty 5 On Main:   65 Main Street Nyack NY    http://www.sixty5onmain.com

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Sixty 5 on Main

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Surf’s up! The Bikinis bring their beach party to the Westchester Broadway Theater

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Mix the appeal of mid 1960s beach music with the harmonies of girl groups of the era and you have the fun and lighthearted story of “The Bikinis”.  Based on a true story about a one hit wonder singing group  whose members reunite for a concert years later.

The musical follows four teenage girls who  start on a musical career on the Jersey Shore in 1964 and start playing concerts and dream of making enough money to record a single and appear on American Bandstand.   Flash forward to New Years Eve 1999 and the ladies reunite for the first time in over 20 years at the town of Sandy Shores in New Jersey.

The four friends (two of whom are sisters) tell their tale of meeting, their first concerts,  and following their musical dreams of making the big time.  Their story is interwoven through the music which starts with the lighthearted sounds of more innocent era of the mid 1960s, with songs like “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” , “Where the Boys Are”, “Heat Wave”, “The Twist” and “Under the Boardwalk” which are a few of the 19 songs that comprise Act one.  The first Act is not only where we learn about the girls and their story, but it is an all out rocking beach party.

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Act Two takes the band in a different direction as the music and the culture of the late 1960s changes, so do the girls and their sound.  The beach party now reflects a more complex time with songs from the era including “Time of the Season”, “Incense and Peppermints”, Dedicated to the one I Love” and “Look What You’ve Done to my Song”.   The band takes us briefly though the 1970s and into the disco era before returning us to the fun and lighthearted beach sound.

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This is a light story of friends and music and times at the Jersey Shore.  There have been parallels drawn to “Jersey Boys”, but this is its own story and its full of fun.

The cast of Katy Blake (Annie), Anne Fraser Thomas (Barbara), Joanna Young (Jodi), and Karyn Quackenbush (Karla)  are  wonderful with terrific vocals and harmonies.  After the show when I was able to interview some of the cast I found they had two weeks in rehearsals to learn their parts and the 35 songs in the performance.  These ladies performed like they had been doing this for years. Very impressive and the audience on opening night was very enthusiastic.  All the actors have years of experience including regional theater and Broadway.

The co creators  Ray Roderick (also Director) and James Hindman  have delivered a evening of fun, nostalgia and music.

So warm yourself up this winter and get down to the beach party at the Westchester Broadway Theater through March 19th 2017.

for tickets and information   (remember your ticket includes the show and dinner!)

Westchester Broadway Theater

1 Broadway Plaza Elmsford NY      tel: 914.592.2222

http://www.broadwaytheater.com

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Sixty 5 on Main: a unique restaurant, lounge and music venue in Nyack

Sixty 5 on Main in Nyack is a fantastic addition to  the dining scene in this lively riverfront village.  The large restaurant feature a multi ethnic  small plate cuisine and features innovative cocktails and fresh desserts with a Caribbean influence.  As an additional bonus live jazz and blues bands play on Friday and Saturday evenings. The atmosphere is lively and vibrant.

Upon entering with friends recently  I noticed the restaurant is divided into separate and unique dining spaces including the bar/main dining room, a second dining room with rich paneled walls and ceiling which looked like the library in a fine home, and finally the room where we sat with its sloping ceiling and stone walls.  There is also an outside dining patio during the warmer seasons.  The jazz band was set up in the main dining room.

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We started at the bar with its blue lights and Moroccan style lamps which set the atmosphere for some special cocktails.

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Some of the unique cocktails we sampled was The Hudson, with vodka (or gin), pear ginger tea, lemon juice, ginger syrup, St Germain, pear bitters and elderflower foam which was a sweet and smooth concoction. The Club 65 is a fine cocktail of gin (or vodka) fresh lemon juice, fresh berry syrup and vermouth which makes for nice starter to the evening.

The small plate menu encourages guest to order various items and share if they want with the guests at their table.  Our table of 6 was seated in a curved banquette in the corner and the couch was covered in a soft aqua  suede.  The space was intimate and perfect for our party.

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Here are some of the items we ordered to start:  Beet Salad with arugula, roasted beets, crispy beets and soft goat cheese in a hazelnut vinaigrette. Fresh and healthy and great to share.   The Octopus Carpaccio was an interesting selection and served cold with thin sliced octopus with olives, capers and pine nuts in herb infused olive oil.  Delicious and a nice presentation.

 

Our group also ordered the dozen East coast oysters from the raw bar ( all served with three different sauces),  Fish Tacos  which are tortilla “cups”  avocado and pico de gallo and really hit the spot. Smaller than a traditional taco but full of flavor.

Other dishes sampled were the Tuna Crudo, served in orange and lemon and snow peas,  Fried Calamari, and healthy selection of Maple winter Vegetables with brussel sprouts, sweet potato, cashew creme, and apple vinaigrette.

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Octopus Carpaccio

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Maple Winter Vegetables

Seafood dishes we enjoyed was the Fish of the day which was Grouper and the Scottish Salmon.  The salmon was a creative blend of Scottish Salmon, Asian Broth,,shitake mushrooms,lemon grass, ginger and bok choy which really emphasized the multi ethnic origins of the very creative menu.

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Scottish Salmon in Asian Broth

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Grouper

Rounding out our small plates were the excellent Shrimp Matbucha,  in a salted puff pastry with peppers, olives , yogurt and extra virgin olive oil.  A real delight.  Showing the variety of dishes available for all tastes we enjoyed the Chicken Steam buns, a soft doughy bun with chicken in a ginger soy sauce with peanuts, red peppers and slice pickles.  The sweetness of the pickle and the strong flavors of the ginger soy sauce made for an interesting taste.

 

Chef Moshe Gundman formerly of Oceana has really developed an innovative small plates menu with something for everyone and includes many locally sourced ingredients.  Pasty Chef Choya Hodge who worked under Chef Gordon Ramsay offered up some wonderful desserts with a Caribbean influence including the  delightful Mango Sorbet.

Sixty5 on Main is a welcome recent addition to the Hudson Valley dining scene and from the full dining room  on the evening we attended, it seems it has already gained many new admirers

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Sixty 5 on Main

Sixty Five Main Street, Nyack New York

Tel:  845.358.5200

http://sixty5onmain.com/

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Greenwich Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100th Anniversary

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The Greenwich Chamber of Commerce held its Centennial Party on Thursday January 26th 2017 at Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich.  The celebration of the 100 years of serving the community was highlighted by a lovely band playing throwback music, great appetizers by Plum Caterers, Wine by Val’s and signature cocktails by The National.

 

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The red carpet event was a wonderful party and a good time was had by all.  Please see the slideshow below for  more photos from the event.

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Happy 100 years to the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce !

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Taste of Ridgefield returns on Sunday January 29th

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Returning to the  Lounsbury House on Main Street in Ridgefield  will be the 18th annual Taste of Ridgefield which is organized and run by the Ridgefield Rotary Club.  It will be held on Sunday January 29th. 

There will be numerous food and beverage providers from the Ridgefield area and attendees to the event can enjoy samples  from each. Taste food and desserts from local restaurants and caterers and enjoy wine tasting as well.

The Taste of Ridgefield  benefits local charity and 100% of the proceeds from the event will be donated to charity.  The event is held in two sessions,  12:30 to 2:30 pm or 4 to 6 pm.  Tickets to this event are $45 in advance or $50 at the door.   You can purchase advance tickets at Deborah Ann’s (381 Main Street Ridgefield)  or Squash (389 Main Street Ridgefield)  or online at http://www.ridgefieldrotary.org.

 

The Lounsbury House at the Ridgefield Community Center

316 Main Street Ridgefield Ct.

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Winfield’s: fine dining in a elegant tropical atmosphere

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It was a cold and damp January evening outside, but inside Winfield’s at the Greenwich Hyatt, I felt as if I was on vacation in a tropical locale.  Was I in Miami? The Caribbean or Mexico?  I was in fact inside a restaurant that is a tranquil tropical oasis filled with tall palm trees, tropical plants, garden umbrellas, a waterfall and running stream, a gazebo bar, and soaring Mayan pillars that support the glass roof.  It is a very special indoor space and is located inside the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich Ct. The restaurant has just launched a new menu which were eager to try.

I felt I was in a tropical paradise and dining on delectable food and sipping classic cocktails. There are many nice dinner selections and plates to share with a broad assortment for all tastes.  There is also healthy options by creating your own entree by selecting the meat/fish/tofu and then choosing the sauce and the sides.

Starters:  We shared some of the appetizers in order to get a sample of what Winfield’s has to offer. We tried the Poached Shrimp with grilled lemon , the Mediterranean trio of roasted red pepper hummus, baba ghanoush, egg plant caponata and grilled pita bread.  Both were delicious with nice presentations and great choices for the vegetarian in your party.

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Poached Shrimp with grilled lemon

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Mediterranean Trio

We so sampled  the Maryland Crabcake with roasted butternut squash and brussel sprout relish with lemon pepper aioli.  The crabcake was perfectly cooked and the compliment of squash and spices made for an interesting taste treat.  A very nice presentation on a unique plate.

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Maryland Crabcake

If pizza is your favorite try one of  the several flatbreads offered. The margarita pizza flatbread with fire roasted red and yellow tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella is a sure winner.

Main Course:   I  selected the Pan Seared Salmon with asparagus and Mediterranean couscous.  This was a light healthy choice and so delicious.

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Pan Seared Salmon

If pasta is your favorite, try the Pumpkin ravioli, with shaved brussel sprouts, and dried cherries in a butternut squash sage cream sauce.  A real satisfying dish with an interesting combo of ingredients, though I wish the cream sauce was a little lighter.  A real comfort food.  For steak lovers, we tried and enjoyed the NY Strip Steak with potatoes and roasted asparagus.  The steak was cooked as ordered and was delicious.

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Pumpkin Ravioli

Desserts:  You will want to try one of the excellent desserts. We sampled two including  the Marquis Chocolate cake (yum!), and the interesting Croissant with pumpkin spice ice cream.  Both were great and a fun way to round out an excellent dining experience.

Need to get away but can’t make it to the islands?  Then have dinner and drinks in the tropical oasis at Winfields .

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Winfield’s  at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich

1800 East Putnam Ave  Old Greenwich  Ct.

tel:   203.637.1234

web:  https://greenwich.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/Winfields.html

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Chazz Palminteri: spend the evening with the Bronx Tale star and author

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Local resident and star of stage and screen, Chazz Palminteri will be appearing at the Saw Mill Club in Mt Kisco February 2nd from 7-9pm for a very special evening.  Chazz will be telling his own tale about his career and his talk will be followed by an audience Q & A as well as a meet and greet following the talk.    Wine and refreshments will be available.

Chazz Palminteri has starred  in numerous motion pictures including Bronx Tale, Analyze This, Yonkers Joe, Bullets over Broadway, and many more.  He has also had numerous roles in television over his career.   His play Bronx Tale was made into a movie starring himself and Robert DeNiro.  Bronx Tale has recently opened as a musical on Broadway.

The evening is  a benefit for the renovation of the Bedford Playhouse in Bedford New York which will reopen as a theater and a focal point for the community.

For tickets to this event and more information:

http://www.bedfordplayhouse.org/events/

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Room 112: a hip new urban cocktail lounge comes to SoNo in Norwalk

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Room 112 is the latest edition to the growing and vibrant nightlife scene on Washington Street in Norwalk.  This new SoNo lounge joins the cool landscape of SoNo’s restaurants, bars and art galleries.

Isaac Patrick Camoro is the owner and visionary  behind this new hot spot and he brings his 20 years of expertise in blending unique and exciting cocktails and is considered by many to be on the cutting edge of the cocktail craft.

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The bar is a real hip urban space and there is a blend of styles.  The soft lighting, pool table, eclectic mix of soft couches, and faux fire place  give the atmosphere of underground lounge converging with a cool rock influenced decor including posters of Mick Jagger and Prince on the exposed brick walls.There is a swirling light show, a dj booth and a raised stage(more like a perch)  for live music.  The bar is interesting and custom made and is bathed in violet light which creates a special ambiance.

Downstairs is a separate party space with another bar, seating area, games and darts.  It can be rented out for special parties.

The mixologists and the cocktails are the star of the show with some fascinating concoctions which blend top liquors, aromatics, mixers and herbs.   The results are quite remarkable and visually interesting.    Some of our favorites were the Pinacita, the Havana and the Casa de Amor.  Check out their website for all the ingredients that go into their special cocktails.  They will even blend a cocktail of your own choosing if you cannot find one on the menu.

 

Small plates will be available through Room 112s partners Harbor Harvest.  If you are looking for a fun and unique place to hang with friends or a date and sip great cocktails, check out Room 112 in SoNo.

 

Room 112

112 Washington St  Norwalk ,Ct.   tel> 203.939.1347

web: room112sono.com

 

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5 Spices: an excellent new Asian restaurant comes to Mt. Kisco

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5 Spices Tea House and Restaurant is a new Asian fusion restaurant that has just opened in Mt. Kisco and features a menu featuring cuisine from China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The eatery also features a wide range of teas that compliment the menu. The interior is modern with Asian design influences.

Starters:  We sampled a few of the items from the Starters menu including some of the soups.   We ordered the Udon Noodle Soup with chicken which is quite large and could be a meal in itself or shared.  The broth was light and not salty like so many  Asian soups.  The dish was filled with chicken and noodles and was quite satisfying.  It is also available in Wonton and Shrimp.

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Another starter we tried was Satay Chicken and Satay Beef which is a Malaysian dish that features grilled meat cooked on a wood skewer. It was cooked to perfection and was very tasty. A nice portion that again can be enjoyed alone or shared.

Our last starter was a light and delicious choice of the Lettuce Wrap with Chicken.  The fresh crisp lettuce leaf  cradles the tasty soft chicken to create a nice light appetizer.  The dish also can be ordered with Roast Pork or Duck.

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Lettuce Wrap with Chicken

Main Course:  To get a feel for the menu we sampled a variety of items from Chinese classics to some items we have never had before.    The Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken was a great choice with soft spicy noodles, veggies and a slice of fresh lime.  This was an interesting interpretation of the classic Thai dish that was pleasantly not too spicy, so feel free to indulge.

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Pad Thai Noodles

Another interesting choice was the Tofu Clay Pot  with fried tofu and mixed veggies that is cooked and served in a clay pot.  The dish was bubbling and quite hot as it was placed on the table.  It was delicious with the tofu being mild yet flavorful and soft with a light crispy edge.

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Tofu Clay Pot

As a seafood lover I could not resist trying the Seafood Delight a wonderful dish of fresh scallops, prawns,squid and stir fried with asparagus, green beans, mushrooms and carrots.  A nice healthy dish that will satisfy the seafood lover.

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Seafood Delight.

For the traditional Chinese cuisine lover, many of your favorites are here including Sesame Chicken served in a brown sauce with broccoli and LoMein.   LoMein, Fried Rice and Stir Fried Udon is all available with a choice of veggies, chicken, beef, or shrimp.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the wonderful selection of teas available.  We sampled the Jasmine green tea with a soft bouquet and smooth healthy taste.  We also tried the Mango green tea which was sweet and flavorful and did not require a sweetener. There is a variety of wonderful teas and juices on the menu to sample.

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The menu is full of fresh, healthy choices including salads, steamed veggies, and of course a full menu of classic dishes from various areas of Asia.   5 Spices is a nice addition to the dining scene in downtown Mt. Kisco.

5 Spice Tea House and Restaurant

11A South Moger Avenue  Mount Kisco, New York

tel; 914-666-8883

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Centennial Cocktail Celebration celebrates 100 years of Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, January 26th

 

The Greenwich Ct. Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 100th Anniversary and is hosting a very special Centennial Cocktail Celebration.  The party will be held on Thursday January 26th from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Betteridge located at 239 Greenwich Avenue.

This will be a red carpet event with food provided by Plum, wine by Val’s and vintage cocktails provided by the mixologists at The National.   There will be live throwback music and you can even mingle with local celebrities.  This is an event not to miss!

Space is limited for this event.   Tickets are $100

See you there!

To register :

greenwichchamber.com

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