East End: an amazing new restaurant comes to Greenwich

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Greenwich Ct. has welcomed its newest restaurant to the area, and its opening seems to be a great success . Located in the heart of downtown Greenwich , East End has opened its doors right on Greenwich Avenue joining the busy dining scene.
The night we dined at East End it had only been open a few days and despite the fact it was a “soft opening”, the restaurant was full with every seat occupied, and diners milling around the bar waiting for a table. Even though the restaurant had just opened, the well trained and managed staff was running like a well tuned machine as orders flowed effortlessly from the kitchen to the tables.
The interior of the restaurant could be described as “Greenwich casual”. Upon entry is a modern design bar to one side and stepping past you enter into the dining room. The walls are adorned with large decorative framed mirrors on one side and a rural mural scene on the other. Wood floors, wood tables (no table cloths) and couches add to the ambiance of casual yet elegant. In sharp contrast is the lighting which is modern. The overall look is a fusion of industrial, modern, urban with Greenwich country overtones. It is quite pleasing.

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We started our meal with some of the house special drinks from the menu. The Round Hill Road Martini made with Grey Goose vodka, sparkling brut, St Germain elder flower liqueur and fresh pear was strong, tasty and visually interesting. Another delicious drink was the Flamingo Kid, with Orange and cranberry, overproof rum, Malibu coconut rum and an orange wheel, which was fruity and strong. For those with a taste for bubbly, try the Flowers and Pain which is a blend of French pavan Orange blossom,Champagne and fresh pomegranate.

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Round Hill Road Martini with Pear

With drinks on the table, we were ready for our first course. Our party of four ordered the bourbon glazed pork belly with popcorn grits which was cooked to perfection, the Steak tartare with waffle chips and red wine shallots which was excellent and a light way to start a meal.

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Glazed Pork Belly with popcorn grits

Our tables first course also include a Poached Shrimp cocktail which was prepared with charred tomatillo, cilantro and lime. All seafood is fresh that day and it was delicious. Staying with the seafood theme we also enjoyed the Crispy Calamari which was prepared with curry, celery root and a harissa vinaigrette. It was crispy and not chewy, just the way I like it prepared.

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Shrimp cocktail

Our main courses included Sea Scallops, expertly grilled with butternut, pomegranate and pistachio, Shrimp stuffed with crabmeat prepared with toasted garlic and lemon. Both dishes were excellent and so fresh.

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Sea Scallops ala plancha

Our table also enjoyed Braised short rib with mustard greens which did not need a knife to cut and melted in your mouth. As well one of our party thoroughly enjoyed the Pork tomahawk chop with brussels sprouts and apple mustard. It was tender and cooked to perfection. There are 8 different side dishes from which to order and we sampled the black beans and rice, and macaroni with Tillamook cheddar cheese .

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Beef Short ribs

Even though we were quite full we had to sample dessert. We enjoyed the Brooklyn Blackout cake with cherry and chocolate glaze. and the “adult” Root Beer Float which consists of ice cream, root beer alcohol and vanilla gelato. We also enjoyed the unique presentation of Carrot Cake in a ball of white chocolate, cream cheese frosting and pecans. Each dessert were quite delicious and the float was really unique, almost like having an after dinner cordial and dessert in one.

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Carrot cake with white chocolate and pecans

East End is the newest restaurant in the Z Hospitality Group which also includes Mediterraneo (also on Greenwich Avenue and in White Plains) and Aurora in Rye as well as other restaurants. From our dining experience, East End is on its way to becoming the go to restaurant in nearby Greenwich Ct.

 

Click here to see East End website

Address:

409 Greenwich Avenue Greenwich Ct
203-862-9200

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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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Fun and Unique Holiday Events

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December is a busy month with the holidays and shopping being foremost on everyone’s mind.  Here are some ideas to get you in the Holiday spirit  that is different from your trip to the local mall.

Winter Wonderland in Westchester- at the Kensico Dam Park in Valhalla  you will find over 2 million lights, holiday music, ice skating, visits from Santa, shopping and snacks.  Cost is $15 per person 5 and younger free.  See  http://www.wwinterwonderland.com

Christmas at Boscobel (Garrison NY) – experience how Christmas was celebrated in 19th century America at Boscobel.  Both the 1804-08 neoclassical mansion and surrounding grounds will be decorated with historically-inspired wreaths, garlands, fruits and sweet treats. Expert docents guide visitors through each elegant room and entertain daytime visitors with stories of early 19th century yuletide traditions, many of which are still followed ..  For tickets and information see http://www.boscobel.org

It’s a Wonderful Life- (on the big screen)-the 1946 Holiday classic starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed is being shown on the big screen at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville 12 pm on the following days December 19,20, 25-31 . http://www.burnsfilmcenter.org

Lasdon Park Holiday Show (Somers NY) – here you  will find a train show, holiday lights, a gingerbread house display and a  visit from St. Nick!  Weekends through the 20th of December.  Admission $5 adults, children are $3   For more info:  http://www.lasdonpark.org

Have fun and Happy Holidays !

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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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Two events to get you in the holiday spirit

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That time of year is here again, and if you are looking for something to get you into the Holiday spirit, then two events are coming up this weekend in nearby Connecticut.
Starting Friday evening December 4th from 6pm to 10pm is the 16th annual Ridgefield Holiday Stroll which takes place on Main Street in downtown Ridgefield Ct. The downtown is transformed with live ice sculptures, singing and strolling Toy soldiers, strolling carolers, music, a magic show (at town hall) and free horse drawn carriage rides. The stores will all be open for shopping and many will serving refreshments. A fun night and really sets the tone for the holiday season. The fun continues on Saturday December 5th from 10-4 pm with many of the same events and breakfast and photos with Santa at the Ridgefield Boys and Girls club from 8am to noon. Of course this gives you the opportunity to check out the many merchants in town.

Greenwich Connecticut will be hosting its 7th Annual Holiday Stroll on Saturday December 5th from 10-6pm and Sunday December from 12-5 pm on Greenwich Avenue in downtown Greenwich. There will be 100 merchants participating in the event as well as live music, letter writing to Santa, live Nativity scene, free horse drawn carriage rides,  ice sculptures, photo with Santa and live reindeer!
These are nice events to get you out of the mall and outside in the fresh air and enjoy some Holiday fun.
for more information :

http://www.downtownridgefield.com

http://www.greenwichreindeerfestival.com

 

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