“What The Butler Saw”, a hysterical British comedy at Westport Playhouse

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“What the Butler Saw” is now playing at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport Ct.  This historic theater which opened over 80 years ago has  hosted to a long list of amazing theatrical talent. Among the actors to grace the stage here over the years are Jane Fonda, Gene Wilder, Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Powell, Jerry Stiller and Paul Newman just to name a few.

The current production is a comedy written by Joe Orton back in the 1960s.  It is a classic British farce and the laughs are plentiful as the play(under 2 hours) really moves along.   It addresses such topics as marriage, infidelity, mental health, gender roles and gender definition, and of course the changing opinion of who in the cast is sane or insane.

The story is set in Britain in the office of a Doctor at a psychiatric clinic.  Dr. Prentice (Robert Stanton) interviews a young woman, Geraldine Barclay (Sarah Manton) who is seeking a job as his secretary.  His motives are quite clear wants to seduce the young woman and nearly does so when his nymphomaniac wife, Mrs. Prentice (Patricia Kalember) enters his office and the entire story goes quite mad from here. The audience has to hold on as we learn Mrs. Prentice is being blackmailed by a hotel bell hop (Chris Ghaffari) .The arrival of Dr Rance (brilliantly played by Paxton Whitehead) really shakes things up.  He is a psychiatrist sent by the British Government to inspect the clinic.  His arrival further turns the story on his head with his crazy misdiagnoses of everyone including Dr. Prentice.

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There is mistaken identity, false accusations and the local police (Julian Gamble) are involved try to resolve the whole mess.  The comedic timing of the actors is flawless. Direction by John Tillinger is fantastic and the cast really works together well.  Set design of the clinic office and its numerous doors (which are put to comedic use as the actors us them to great effect) is well done.

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The actors have a long list of impressive credentials.  Paxton Whitehead has made numerous appearances on Broadway  including, “My Fair Lady” , and many television and movie appearances including “Back to School” with Rodney Dangerfield.   Patricia Kalember has numerous Broadway and stage credits.  She has appeared in films and in television shows such as “Sisters” “Orange is the New Black” , “Law and Order” and many more. The whole cast is wonderful and the audience really enjoyed the performance.

“What the Butler Saw” has adult theme as is not suitable for children.

Don’t miss this hysterical comedy!

For tickets, show times and more information:

http://www.westportplayhouse.org/

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court  Westport Ct.

 

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Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest returns to Rhinebeck Sept. 10th&11th

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The 15th annual Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest will return once again to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck New York on September 10th and 11th 2016.   The fest is a celebration of wines from New York State, with an emphasis on some of the wonderful wines from the Hudson Valley.   Wines from all regions of New York will be available to sample and since the Fest is a farm market, visitors will be able to purchase bottles of wine from their favorite growers.

In 2015 there were 50 different vineyards in attendance.

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There are also wine seminars,including food and wine parings, and wine and cheese pairings.

 

Any foodie knows that there has been an explosion in the last few years in the craft beer industry and New York State has seen its share of new brewers open their doors.  There will be a Beer Pavillion at the Fest and last year there were 14 breweries present.  There is also local Hard Cider to sample as well as local Distilled spirits.

The event is not all liquids, as there are food vendors throughout the fest and many have samples for attendees to try.   There is also the Food Truck Court with several different food trucks serving pizza, Mexican dishes, and more.  There is outdoor seating as well under the tents for dining.

Tickets are $40 at the door.  Also available in advance for a small discount at their website below.  So come out to the Fest!

 

Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest

Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck New York

for tickets and much more info:   http://www.hudsonvalleywinefest.com/

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Taste of New Paltz returns September 18th 2016

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A Taste of New Paltz returns on September 18th 2016 to the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz NY.   A Taste of New Paltz is a yearly event presented by the New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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The event includes restaurants, craft beers, local Hudson Valley wineries and local businesses.

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Some of the participating restaurants will be the famous Mohonk Mountain House, Mexicali Blue, La Cabanita, Village Pizza and more.

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Local wineries will include Robibero, Whitecliff Vineyards, and Benmarl.

There is also entertainment during the day including bands and a magician.

For admission Ticket information and tasting ticket information please visit the website below.

After the event stop by the charming Village Of New Paltz for great shopping at unique shops, and of course more great dining.

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Taste of New Paltz

Ulster County Fairgrounds  Libertyville Road  New Paltz NY

Tickets and information:  http://www.tasteofnewpaltz.com/

 

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A star studded event to support the Bedford Playhouse on Friday August 26th

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The Bedford Playhouse, a fixture in Bedford Village for decades was saved last year from being converted from a cinema to retail space.  The historic theater is undergoing renovations but donations are still needed to bring the vision of the theater as a vibrant community hub to life.

On Friday August 26, 2016  The Bedford Playhouse will host an wonderful star studded evening with local performers including Glenn Close, Paul Shaffer, Chevy Chase, Robert Klein, Jeffrey Tambor and Chazz Palminteri.    There will also be a musical performance by singer Marissa Mc Gowan who will be introduced by the widow of the late Marvin Hamlisch.

The newly renovated and transformed Bedford Playhouse will now have three separate theaters.  The main theater will be a 250 seat state of the art theater, the second will be a smaller intimate theater for screening independent, family, and foreign films and a third space which will be for screenings, education, and small theatrical performances.   There will also be a small cafe.

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So help the Playhouse in its final fundraising push and enjoy an evening out with some local celebrities.

When:  August 26, 2016

Where: Harvey School Walker Center for the  Arts   260 Jay Street Katonah NY

Cost : $300   to purchase  http://www.bedfordplayhouse.org/events

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Rosemary and Vine in Rye: A new Mediterranean restaurant offering a healthy flavorful menu

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Rosemary and Vine is a wonderful new restaurant that opened earlier this year in Rye New York.   The cuisine of this newcomer to the Westchester restaurant scene is Mediterranean vegetarian with an emphasis on healthy organic ingredients.

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The concept of the owners is for diners to try new foods and eat a different and healthy cuisine culled from regions around the  Mediterranean and the Middle East.  All the food is fresh and prepared in-house in the open style kitchen.  Family recipes are incorporated in the menu and are perfectly seasoned to bring out the most of the unique dishes.

 

The restaurant is housed in a mid 19th century building on Purchase Street in downtown Rye.  The interior space has been renovated and is light filled and casual with minimal decor yet artistic touches.  The floor echoes the Mediterranean theme with its handmade Moroccan tile floor, interesting lighting, original tin ceiling and bistro style seating.  There is a small bar, and a chalk board which informs diners of the particular farm fresh organic ingredients being used in the restaurant that week.

Starters:  There are many fun appetizers to sample.  I tried ‘The Tasting”, a nice selection of homemade dips that consist of a unique hummus, a Chipotle hummus, mohjamara( a dip with fire roasted peppers, pureed with toasted walnuts, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and pomegranate), and  a family recipe Babaganoush (smoky fire roasted eggplant with tahini, garlic and lemon).  The tasting is served with oven toasted Lebanese Pita chips.  This is a great choice as a starter as it has many interesting flavors to please the senses.

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The Tasting

The avocado crostini is another healthy starter and a delightful dish.  Avocado is blended with Moroccan pesto (parsley, cilantro, cumen, coriander and garlic) and the combined with feta, peas and mint over toasted bread. The blend of spices in this appetizer are a delight.  A light and summery dish and so healthy too.

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Avocado Crustini

Rosemary and Vine also offers many salads with certified organic offerings and cheese boards.  The cheeses are sourced from a creamery in Vermont.

The Main course: 

There are also grilled flatbreads made with 100% organic flour.   We enjoyed “The Sarah’ a flatbread pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and basil.  A crispy and light crust with robust flavor.  This was a hit and a great choice for kids or someone in your party who is not adventuresome or into vegetarian dishes.

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“The Sarah”  flatbread pizza

My favorite entree is the saffron scented Moroccan Tagine, a  nice medley of chick peas, zucchini, butternut squash with toasted almonds and Moroccan pesto. A unique and flavorful dish that is so healthy as well.

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Tagine

Dessert:  The desserts are all homemade and dairy free.  The dark chocolate pudding is smooth as silk with 70% dark Valrhona chocolate, coconut milk and bourbon vanilla beans.  Delicious!

I also recommend the warm chocolate cake served with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream.  A light and fun way to wrap up your meal.

There are also many local craft beers and wines available on the menus and many of the wines are sourced from family owned Mediterranean vineyards.   A fun and light cocktail I samples was The Americana, a fun version of the classic white wine spritzer served with orange peel.  For a non alcohol alternative try the Persian Nectar ice tea with black tea and peaches.

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Rosemary and Vine is  healthy Mediterranean style gem of a restaurant and the perfect option for anyone looking for a new and fun option for dining.  For healthy eaters who are concerned with the ingredients in your meal, this restaurant is a must visit.  The small plates allow you to sample a  number of dishes and enjoy the wonderful combination of spices and flavors.  Try Rosemary and Vine and pick out something you have never tried before,  and you will be in for a pleasant and healthy surprise.

 

Rosemary and Vine

29 Purchase Street Rye New York

914 481 8660

http://www.rosemaryandvine.com

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WUJI: A unique Chinese dining experience like no other.

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The newly opened Wuji in Greenwich Ct  provides Chinese cuisine that is sure to please the eyes,  the taste buds as well as all the senses.

This is the first Connecticut opening of the Wuji group  with successful restaurants in nearby Rye and Scarsdale.  The whole menu concept at Wuji is fresh, organic, chemical free and made to order Chinese food.   All the  produce and meat is locally sourced and no MSG is added to any of the dishes.  The taste is pure and mouthwatering.  Wuji brings the farm-to table concept of dining to Chinese cuisine.   Wuji Founder, Jody Pennette  does an amazing job of combining great design  with authentic cuisine to this 71 seat restaurant.  The chefs are from outstanding restaurants in  China and are carefully selected by Mr. Pennette himself for their culinary talents. Complimenting the menu is the outstanding decor and level of design in the restaurant interior.  It is a very special dining space.

 

There is a beautiful custom bar in the front of WUJI  with a magnificent  antique wood frame mirror and large ceramic urns from China.  The bar serves a delicious  variety of cocktails  that you must try, such as the Blood Orange Mojito, Broken Heart Margarita, and the Lychee Martini.

Starters:  The spicy beef  Bao Bao Buns are a stand out appetizer featuring natural grass fed beef, crispy onions, and wasabi mayonnaise served on a soft fresh bao bao bun.  We sampled the fresh crab rangoons which were crispy and decadent with shredded crab meat and cream cheese dumpling served with a sweet and spicy sauce.

The Chinese Heritage spare ribs are a classic favorite and these are a delightful fusion of honey plum glaze over organic Berkshire pork ribs.  Very tasty.   For a light and authentic dim sum, try the Shanghai Soup Dumplings with  a fluffy dough filled with local organic vegetables.  A house favorite would seem to be the chilled peanut sesame noodles with cucumber and sesame vinaigrette.

 

The Main Course:  There are many stand out entrees on the menu including the Classic Peking Duck which is free range duck served with green onion, cucumber, and pancakes.   Tangerine beef another standard features grass fed organic beef in a tangy sauce with organic bok choi.    Another favorite was the Cantonese Roast Chicken , served with the skin with shallots and garlic.

The master chefs at WUJI have some unusual sides such as the spicy fired rice topped with organic fried egg , green chili and jalapeno (Spicy!!) and the Lobster Fried Rice with fresh poached lobster, egg , cilantro and kim chee.

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Spicy Fried Rice

For dessert try the Banana Spring Rolls with chocolate ice cream on the side.  Innovative and fun ! Our dinner ended with a sweet and unexpected surprise, green apple cotton candy !  An unexpected ending to a great meal.

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Banana Spring Roll

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Cotton Candy!

The meal and the entire experience at WUJI will take you on a magical food journey.  From the edgy modern music in the background, to the custom wooden furniture and accents, the creative lighting, outstanding decor and design,and slow spinning ceiling fans all combine to create a sexy, romantic feel to go along with the fine, fresh food.  Quite the dining experience.

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If you love locally sourced ingredients, organic foods, and a fresh and authentic take on Chinese dishes , then you should make it a point to try WUJI in Greenwich.

 

WUJI

68 East Putnam Ave Greenwich Ct

http://www.wujirestaurant.com

203-869-1940
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Next Stop: Exit 4 In Mount Kisco

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Skillet Cookie

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

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Exit 4 Food Hall

http://exit4foodhall.com/

153 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549

(914) 241-1200

 

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