Village Beer Garden: Cheers to a fun addition to the Westchester food scene

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With summer in full swing, outdoor dining is a must. A  new restaurant, the Village Beer Garden  is a trendy alfresco spot located at the Port Chester Metro-North Train Station in Port Chester NY.  String lights hang in the open air and fireplaces flicker with flame. The space is filled with communal butcher block tables dotted with red patio umbrellas, and wrapped in steel-glass framing and green shrubbery. f

The restaurant/beer garden is right next to the Port Chester train station and contains two spaces, the indoor glass enclosed area and the spacious outdoor space decorated with string lights, outdoor fire place, ping pong table and dart board.  Both areas make for a great place to gather with friends and enjoy food and drink.  The night we visited we sat outside and enjoyed the warm summer evening as the sun slowly set.

This bustling location offers extensive local craft, imported beers and creative cocktails. We sampled their Sala Sangria, Garden Rum, Southern Lemonade and Montauk Driftwood Ale. Although all beverages were refreshing, the Garden Rum was our favorite. The Garden Rum is comprised of dark & light rum, velvet falernum, lime and pineapple.  Over 20 beers are available including European, domestic and craft offerings.

Bites and appetizers include homemade pretzel nuggets, house pickles honey (dill spears, sriracha carrots, and chili flake French beans), fried cheddar curds, German meatballs, and shrimp cocktail.  The menu is inspired by the fare you would expect at a German Beer Garden, but with innovation one expects from in a modern Westchester eatery.

While enjoying our beverages we munched on Belgian house fries, beer battered onion ring tower, German herb spaetzle (so good!)  and roasted Brussels sprouts & pistachios. The onion ring tower had the perfect crisp and had a sweet note with each crunch. The onion rings and Belgian house fries paired perfectly with a light refreshing  Montauk ale. Afterwards our waiter brought a German potato salad and tomato & cucumber salad to the table. On this warm and sunny day these salads were a great and light addition to the meal.

Sizzling Bratwurst and kielbasa sausages arrived with a tantalizing soft pretzel stick and homemade kraut. I also tasted the crispy chicken schnitzel sandwich. This was a nice and light sandwich on country toast and accompanied with a red cabbage slaw. Veggie burger and mini burger sliders were next on the menu. We raved how delicious the veggie burger sliders tasted. This slider consisted of black bean, mushroom, broccoli, onion, gruyere cheese and house sauce.   It was great to see that vegetarians or health conscious choices so everyone in your party can enjoy the great atmosphere of the Village Beer Garden.

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Sliders anyone?

The Village Beer Garden is the newest restaurant from the owners of Rye House (Port Chester), Rye House (NYC) and Sala One Nine (NYC), and is  worthy addition to the dining scene in Westchester.

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Village Beer Garden

3 Broad Street (at the Metro North Station)  Port Chester, NY     tel. 914.939.7500

web > https://www.villagebeergarden.com

 

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Annie: a fantastic family musical comes to the Westchester Broadway Theater

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A wonderful  musical for the whole family has opened at the Westchester Broadway Theater.  Annie,  the long running Tony award winning musical inspired by the comic strip Little Orphan Annie thrilled the opening night audience. As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the premier of the show on Broadway, this is the perfect time to see this performance.   The show runs at the WBT through September 10th.

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The orphans

Annie is the story of a little red haired orphan who was abandoned by her parents at an orphanage in New York City.  The play opens in 1933 during the depth of the Great Depression.   Despite the long years living at the orphanage under the harsh supervision of Miss Hannigan, Annie remains a cheery optimist who in her heart believes her parents will come back some day and they will be a family again. Her companion is her stray dog Sandy, who like herself is looking for a home.  The setting mirrors the era of the Great Depression where many people had given up hope that good times and prosperity would return.  But Annie embodies  the spirit of optimism and in her heart  she knows that tomorrow will bring a better day.   This is a wonderful inspirational  show and a true victory of the spirit over adversity.

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Annie is chosen to spend Christmas week at the home of the rich industrialist, Daddy Warbucks.  It is here that a bond is created by the cold business -like Warbucks, and the charming young orphan.  Warbucks’ assistant Grace, the staff and everyone who meets Annie is taken in by her charm and her spirit.  She even meets President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the two inspire each other despite the dark cloud of the depression hanging over the country.

When Daddy Warbucks offers a reward to find Annie’s real parents the intrigue begins when Miss Hannigan’s crooked brother Rooster hatches a plot to claim the award money.  The play comes to its conclusion with the unraveling of the plot and the realization that Annie has instead discovered a new family to call her own.

Opening night saw Payton Ella take on the role of Annie, a role originated on Broadway by Andrea McArdle.  Her young voice was clear and strong taking on the demanding lead role.  She charms the audience from  the very beginning of the show.  Kaylin Hedges plays Annie on Sunday performances.

Broadway actor Michael DeVries plays Daddy Warbucks  and has been in roles in Wicked and Hello, Dolly on Broadway.   Celeste Hudson last seen on the WBT stage in Show Boat plays the charming assistant Grace.  Susan Fletcher tackles the role of Miss Hannigan with comedic flair.  She was last seen at WBT in Always…Patsy Cline.    Rooster the con-man brother of Miss Hannigan is played by Adam Roberts who also appeared on  Broadway in Spiderman, Turn off the Dark and Pippin.

The ensemble cast including all the young ladies who play the orphans do a wonderful job in their roles and boosting the sound of the many memorable songs including “Tomorrow”, “It’s a Hard Knock Life” and “Easy Street”.

A fun and great show for the whole family, right here in Westchester!  The theater requests that children be at least 5 years old or older.  Dinner is served prior to the performance.  Free parking.  Luxury Boxes are available for larger groups.

Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan.  So come out and celebrate the joy of Annie, through September 10th at the Westchester Broadway Theater.

for tickets and information:  http://www.broadwaytheatre.com/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Annie&category=ANNIE

Westchester Broadway Theater

One Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York    tel. 914.592.2222

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Best of Westchester Party 2017 returns to Glen Island Harbor Club

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It’s that time of year ! The Best of Westchester Party 2017 presented by Westchester Magazine returns to the irene phone bogoldcoast 054beautiful  Glen Island Harbor Club on Wednesday July 26th.

The Best of Westchester Party is a celebration of Westchester’s best and finest and is held at the gorgeous water side setting of the Glen Island Harbor Club in New Rochelle.  Close to 150 award-winning businesses will be present and 2000 guests are expected to attend the event.  Party guests will be sampling food from the best Westchester restaurants, enjoy wine, beer and spirits sampling, wonderful sweets, and learn about the great spas, shops, boutiques and other services.  There will be live music, entertainment and dancing

.Each of the winners of the Best Of Westchester are chosen by readers and the editorial staff of Westchester Magazine.  There are numerous catagories including best American restaurant, pizza, bagels,  bakery, pastries, bar-b-que, bar food, bistro, brewery, Farm to table restaurant and many more!  There are also non-food categories such as best spa, salon, fitness, trainers, home garden, best shopping and much more.

 

There are two types of tickets available, VIP ($110) which allows entrance to the party at 5:30 pm and General Admission tickets ($85) in which the doors open at 7pm.  The  party runs until 10 pm.

For more info on the winners, pick up the latest issue of Westchester Magazine on your newsstand now.  So come out and celebrate the Best of Westchester.  Guests must be 21 and over.  See you there!

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for ticket info:   http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Westchester-Magazine/Best-of-Westchester/Tickets/

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An Evening of One Acts 2017 at the Ridgefield Theater Barn

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Now appearing at The Ridgefield Theater Barn  in Ridgefield Ct. is An Evening of One Acts 2017. The evening features 8 short one act plays that are written by local authors, and are acted and directed by talented local artists.  The plays are very funny and entertaining, and as always a great way to spend an evening.  An Evening of One Acts 2017 is a great showcase for the talent in our area and the evening  was a real success with much laughter and applause showered on the show on opening night.

Most of the plays are comedies and range from being witty to downright hilarious.  One of our favorites was The Computer Lesson  written by Myles Gansfried and directed by Kay Mayr which tells the touching and funny tale of Morey (Larry Greeley), his son Alan (Rick Haylon) and Sammy the computer tech (Roberto Perez).   Alan insists that his elderly father Morey who lives alone move to assisted living and give up his apartment, or learn to use a computer and the internet so he can  stay connected to the world.  Morey has no interest in computers at all but accepts his son’s ultimatum rather than move into assisted living.   When the computer arrives, Morey is more than flustered, and calls the computer Tech in India to walk him through the set up and his intro to computers.   Though they are separated by oceans, age and knowledge, the lonely Morey begins to bond with Sammy over the phone and a friendship ensues .  Each man finds that they are able to assist each other in some way, and Alan’s hope of opening his father’s world has come to fruition.  A heart felt, funny and wonderfully acted and directed performance.

Our other favorite was The Drive written by Tracy James,  direction by Nick Kaye with Eileen Fickes, Pamme Jones, and Nicole Veach.  This story involves three women who travel to Ireland. As they stuff themselves and their luggage into a very tiny rental car, they start out on their adventure on the narrow windy lanes of the Irish countryside.    They rely on the GPS provided by the rental agency to guide them to their destination.  The GPS (named Lucy) who speaks in a proper English accent announces each turn in the road.   However the comedy start when the distracted women miss a turn and the GPS comes to life and begins to correct the women, and eventually start insulting them in a dry but hilarious manner. The women start talking back and arguing with Lucy the GPS (voiced by Anna Frankl-Duval) but they are no match for her wit.  The  audience was laughing the entire performance.

The Evening of One Acts 2017 is filled with fun and fine moments like this and should not be missed.  The performances run through  July 15th 2017 with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm.  There is a Sunday Matinee on July 9th at 5pm.

Tickets are $25 each.   Doors open one hour prior and most guests bring dinner, snacks or drinks to enjoy prior to the performance.  Seating is cabaret style at tables.  So grab some friends, or a date and enjoy a fun evening of one act plays.

for tickets and info: http://ridgefieldtheaterbarn.org/pages/special-events.php

Ridgefield Theater Barn

37 Halpin Lane Ridgefield Ct

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Tablao: the passion of Spanish Mediterranean cuisine

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Flamenco dancing at Tablao

An evening dining at Tablao is not just great dining it is a unique experience that will make you feel that you are in Spain.  Tablao is located on Washington Street in  South Norwalk  Ct. and is part of the exciting SONO dining and entertainment scene.   This urban chic restaurant evokes an intimate feel with its exposed brick walls, dark floors,  and the hostess stand crafted from wine barrels.  The decor creates a touch of Spain with modern  urban touches to create a comfortable dining venue.

The menu is a combination of Spanish Mediterranean influences of both land and sea offerings.  There are a nice assortment of tapas (small plates), entrees of fresh seafood and beef, as well as traditional family style paellas.   There is also a wine bar with an extensive selection of wines from around the globe with emphasis on wines from Spain and South America.  Cool cocktails and craft beers are also available.  Sangria both white and red is a favorite and can be ordered by the pitcher for your table.

I dined at Tablao on a Thursday evening and chose from a menu two starters, paella to share and a pitcher of white sangria.   I chose the white sangria which was refreshing and had delightful citrus notes.

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My first starter was the Gambas ala Plancha , grilled shrimp with chickpea puree and vegetables in a subtle vinaigrette .  A mouth-watering dish that  and a pleasant presentation as well.

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The next appetizer I would recommend was the Hanger Steak in a green chimichurri sauce.  A nice flavorful dish as the sauce perfectly complimented the beef.   There are so many great choices on the menu it was hard to pick just two.

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The main entrée I selected was the Paella Mediterranean de Mariscos.  A large beautifully displayed dish of lobster, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, and fish of the day with rice.  This paella stays true to its Spanish roots and was a perfectly crafted dish with generous amounts of seafood.

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Seafood Paella

For a real treat, Thursday evenings include Spanish style entertainment with an authentic Flamenco dancer and Spanish guitarist.  This performance was a wonderful addition to our evening and really infuses Tablao with a true feel of passion.  For a moment I was not in South Norwalk, but was transported to a city in Spain or in South America.  For a magical of evening of great food and entertainment, please visit Tablao.

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Tablao   Wine Bar and Restaurant

86 Washington Street South Norwalk Ct

tel. 203.939.9602            website:    http://www.tablaosono.com

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Greenwich Concours D’Elegance: a recap of the car event of the Summer

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The 2017 Greenwich Concours D’Elegance  held on June 3rd and 4th was a wonderful event for the automotive fan.  Since its founding in 1996 by Bruce and Genia Wennerstrom the Greenwich Concours is one of the most important automotive collector events in the country.   The 2017 edition of the Concours was a wonderful weekend filled with great cars in the perfect setting.

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1959 Ford Skyliner with retractable hardtop

Saturday June 3rd featured cars from American manufactures as well as a special display of custom built cars which were very popular with the guests.  Also on the show field were classic motorcycles,  cars used in the actual Cannonball Run race back in the 1970s, and fantastic display of children’s cars.  There was something for everyone.  The setting for the Concours is right on Greenwich Harbor in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park and is the perfect backdrop for the display of fine automobiles.

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A fantastic display of vintage children’s cars including this 1958 Edsel

Custom built cars were recognized this year for the contribution to the hobby.  There were numerous entrants including the show stopping T-Bird custom which attracted a large crowd.  Also present was a hot rod built by Steve Moal and owned by Wayne Carrini of Chasing Classic Cars and was the subject of one of the shows episodes.

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Tango T-Bird by Rick Dore one of the many Custom creations at the concours

Bonhams auction house also runs a wonderful  automobile auction on Sunday in the auction tent, and viewing of the cars is open to the public on Saturday.   On Sunday there were an amazing assortment of vehicles at the auction from a 1973 Volkswagen Thing, to  a Ferrari Dino to a beautiful  1971 Alfa Romeo Montreal.  There were cars in all price ranges and something for everyone in the collecting hobby, not just high end cars.

On Sunday June 4th, the cars on display are from  international manufacturers and it was indeed a fantastic display of British, Italian, French and German cars.  There was also an impressive line up of vintage Bugatti’s on display along the waterfront.  Despite the threat of rain on Sunday, the show field was filled with impressive cars and guests.   The Auction kicked off under the tent at noon and there was a full house of bidders.

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1937 Delahaye roadster

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1964 Ferrari 275 GTB one of the most beautiful sports cars ever made

The Greenwich Concours is not just a car show.  It is an event that celebrates the finest in automobiles.  There are cars on the show field that you have probably never seen outside a magazine or book.  A truly impressive gathering that should not be missed.  Americares is the charity that benefits from the proceeds of the Concours.

The Concours is a yearly event and  one you should put on your calendar for next June.

Greenwich Concours D’Elegance

web:  http://www.greenwichconcours.com

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Lettice and Lovage: a brilliant British comedy at the Westport Country Playhouse

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A hysterical comedy  is now in production at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport Ct.  The play “Lettice and Lovage” is a witty British comedy that opened in Britain in 1987 and then on Broadway in 1990 where it was nominated for a Tony  and has been the recipient of much acclaim.

In the play we meet  Lettice Douffet who is a tour guide at a historic English manor run by the Historical Trust.   Lettice finds that the tourists who visit the site are bored as the home was never the scene of anything of real historic interest.  She embarks on embellishing the history of the manor with grand stories and details that are from her fertile imagination.      Her  boss at the trust Lotte Schoen gets wind of her historical inaccuracies and fires her.  After a change of heart Lotte visits Lettice at her flat where they enjoy an potent beverage called Lovage.  During this meeting the strict Lotte lets down her guard and reveals that under the dull trappings of a civil servant she is really a devoted lover of British culture and architecture that she feels is being destroyed by modern society.   An unusual friendship is formed  as they embrace Lettice’s creed of Enlarge, Enlighten, and Enliven!

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The play is clever, funny and a real delight.  The actors are wonderful and the direction is fantastic as the audience learns about the Lettice and Lotte and how their unusual relationship has enriched both their lives.  Set design is particularly good with three separate sets used during the performance.

There are excellent performances from the entire cast with Kandis Chappell as Lettice , Mia Dillon as Lotte , Sarah Manton  as Ms Framer (last seen in “What the Butler Saw at the WCP) and Paxton Whitehead the veteran actor who played the part of Mr. Bardoff on Broadway.  Mr. Whitehead has a long and distinguished career of stage and screen performances.

The play was written by Sir Peter Shaffer who has  written such classics as Equus and Amadeus.  Direction is by Mark Lamos who has directed many plays at the Playhouse and is himself a Tony award winner.

The play runs through June 17th

 

For Tickets and information:   http://www.westportplayhouse.org

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court  Westport Ct     tel.   (888) 927-7529

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Viceroy Publik House: A hip English Ale House with Indian roots opens in Stamford

 

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A new restaurant, pub and music venue has joined the restaurant scene in downtown Stamford Ct.  Viceroy Publik House is a unique  new addition to Summer Street and offers a two level townhouse where you can discover the fusion of Indian and English cuisine along with the energy and vibe of an upscale English pub.

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The theme recalls the British Raj era of Colonial Rule over India from 1858 to 1947.  Decor features vintage photographs and maps on the walls in the intimate and more formal downstairs dining room.  Upstairs is the Tiger Room which creates a hip and more modern atmosphere with its modern prints (including one of the Beatles in India), curved banquettes , bar with wine cabinet that looks like an English Telephone booth . A British Triumph motorcycle serves as a backdrop for the stage area which hosts different musical artists.

 

There is a list of interesting and creative cocktails including House of Victoria and the Bengal Tiger (gin based),  and  Sun City, an interesting take on the Mule with Bourbon and Ginger Beer.  All are interesting combinations that will have you sampling more than one from the bar.

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The menu that we sampled was classic English Pub Fare, elevated to a finer level and filled with Indian influences.  The Spicy Vindaloo Wings were tasty but I must caution as the hot spice will linger on your lips!  The Bombay burger is made from spiced lamb and served on a toasted brioche roll with fried egg and mint aioli.  A more modern version of the burger not found in your average pub and an example of the innovative way in which the Chef has developed the menu.

The Faroe Island Salmon was excellent and was served with an orange soy ginger glaze that gave this British favorite a bit more flavor.  The pub standard of Fish and Chips was great with tender sustainable cod prepared in a Heineken beer batter and served with Viceroy curry ketchup.

Also on the menu are items such as the Lamb Madras with lamb served in a madras curry and coconut cream with  rice pilaf.   The Bisto Steak is another good choice  and fits well in the overall British pub theme.

Music promoter and Stamford restaurateur Eric Monte is your host and can be seen moving about the restaurant mingling with guests, or introducing the band as it begins it set in the Tiger Room upstairs.

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photo credit: Viceroy Publik House

The Viceroy is certainly a very unique and lively restaurant  experience for our area and is one you will want to check out.

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Viceroy Publik House

211 Summer Street Stamford Ct

web http://www.viceroystamford.com      tel.  (203) 658-8423

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Westchester Magazine’s Wine And Food Festival returns June 6th-11th 2017 !

 

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Westchester Magazine, the premier lifestyle magazine of Westchester County will be hosting its annual Wine and Food Festival from June  6-11th 2017.  This is an event for foodies from all over and is not to be missed !

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The signature event of the Wine & Food Festival, is the Grand Tasting Village that takes place at the beautiful Kensico Dam Park in Valhalla.   The Grand Tasting Village features tastings from 50+ local restaurants and more than 200 wines & spirits. Chef demonstrations will be presented during the day from great local chefs. There will also be various food trucks from area vendors as well.

 

2017 Grand Tasting Village Participating Restaurants (partial list)
Amore Cucina & Bar ,Bar Sugo, Basta ,Benjamin Steakhouse,Blue Moon Mexican Café
Blue Tulip Chocolates, Cathy’s Biscotti ,Cedar Street Grill ,Chutney Masala Indian Bistro
Coffee Lab Roasters, Cooper’s Mill ,Dan Rooney’s, Dolphin Restaurant, Equus
Fantasy Cuisine G.E. Brown La Bocca Ristorante,Mason Sandwich Co.
Mediterraneo, Mighty Quinn’s, Mima Restaurant,Nonno’s
Poppy’s Cheesecake,Posh Pretzels, Quenas Restaurant, Raasa Indian Cuisine
Rita’s of Elmsford, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Serafina
Small Cakes, Sofrito, Sonora, Spark Valley Steakhouse.The Bayou
The Taco Project,The Twisted Oak  The Turk
The Westchester, Tomato & Co., Tredici North, Village Social – Rye
Westchester Milk, Winston,  Zero Otto Nove

Tickets for the event are $85 in advance,  $90 at the door.

for more information on all the Westchester Magazine Wine and Food events and ticket purchases see their website:

http://winefood.westchestermagazine.com/

Westchester Magazine Wine and Food Festival 

Grand Tasting Village event      June 10th  12-5 pm

Kensico Dam Park    Valhalla New York 

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Sun Raven: A center for wellness and a community organic farm in Bedford

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Sun Raven in Bedford NY is a healing and wellness center that is situated in a lovely setting that truly soothes the soul and mind.  This is a very special space for those seeking to experience, study and live a whole being vision of health and wellness.  Sun Raven is home to Slow Medicine, a holistic approach to living created and founded by Dr. Michael Finkelstein and Therapist Robin Queen Finkelstein.

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The philosophy of Slow Medicine is to look at life through a whole systems approach.  Understanding that everything is interconnected in life including food, the physical body, mental, community, life purpose, work, and our relationships with others, the natural world and the divine.

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Slow Medicine teaches one to relax and slow down by returning the body and mind to balance by learning about essential nutrients,connectivity to friends and spending thoughtful time in a tranquil pastoral setting that is Sun Raven.  The lovely grounds, gardens and animals such as horses, a llama and a peacock create this relaxes atmosphere.   There are interesting workshops available from farm-to-table meals featuring food grown at Sun Raven, special events, and a unique CSA (community supported agriculture)  vegetable program where you actively help maintain the vegetable crops.   Here the whole family can participate in coming together and grow their own organic food.  This is a fun an unique way to strengthen family ties and is part of the balance to the Slow Medicine approach, including food, community and connecting with others and the natural world.

Dr. Finkelstein and his wife Robin are present onsite to offer an array of services, programs, therapy and counseling.   The grounds are maintained by master gardener Xenia D’Ambrosi who educates and assists the garden and CSA members.  This special CSA is a hands-on farming experience and creates a wonderful sense of community while helping one in connecting back to the natural world.

Visit the Sun Raven website for additional information.

Sun Raven

Bedford NY      tel. 914-218-3113

web  http://slowmedicine.org

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