Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Returns ! March 6-19th

 

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Hudson Valley Restaurant week, presented by Valley Table Magazine is back again! Starting Monday March 6, 2017 and it runs  through Sunday March 19,2017.   This event involves over 200 participating restaurants in the Hudson Valley which offer diners special three-course price fixe dinner menus for $32.95 (not including beverage, tax and gratuity). Many of these fine restaurants also offer 3-course price fixe lunches for $22.95 (not including beverage, tax and gratuity).  There will be 115 restaurants participating in Westchester County alone.
This is an amazing opportunity to try new restaurants, or revisit some old favorites at a reasonable price. There are no tickets to buy and the process is easy ! Go to the Valley Table website and scroll down and view the participating restaurants, then choose a restaurant (or more), call the restaurant to make a reservation and then enjoy!
You really should not miss this special time get out and dine at some of the fantastic restaurants we have here in the Hudson Valley.
Website   http://www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com

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Fig and Olive: Mediterranean menu with a French flair

Fig and Olive in Scarsdale offers a traditional Mediterranean cuisine that is prepared from fresh and classic ingredients.  The cuisine while traditional is served in a contemporary style and presentation, free of heavy sauces or unnecessary carbs.

The interior of the restaurant  features modern and clean lines with a long bar and large dining area.  The feel is light and airy with stucco walls, warm and soft colors, potted olive trees,  and potted rosemary plants.  The design and use of plants help create a Mediterranean mood.   The walls are filled with shelves arranged that boxes that hold the restaurant’s large selection of wines as well as olive oil.

Fig and Olive’s menu has a focus on premium olive oil and  flavors from the French Riviera.  Many of the ingredients are from premier farms and local vendors in an attempt to provide the freshest taste and quality.

There is an innovative list of cocktails and we just had to sample the Fig and Walnut Julep, the Raspberry Mojito and “Summer in Provence”.  All were creative and refreshing selections.   There is also a extensive selection of wines and sparking wine.

We began with three types of unique olive oil that is brought to the table and served with fresh bread.  It is a fine way to sample the variety and taste of these signature olive oils.

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Our party of four decided to share some of the appetizers.  We began with the Signature Crostini which can be ordered in a plate of 3 ($11) or 6 ($20). There are 9 different choices.  We ordered the Kabocha Squash, Octopus with hummus, Mushroom with artichoke and truffle, Machengo with fig and almond, Burrata with tomato and pesto, and the Shrimp with avocado, cilantro and tomato.  A great and light selection that really gives the diner a sample of the delicious food that awaits.

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Signature Crostini

We also sampled from the appetizer menu the Burrata Heirloom Beet  served with red apple, hazelnut, dill  and apple cider dressing.  A nice healthy choice and attractive presentation.   The Sea Scallops was a chance to sample the seafood and it was presented with honey roasted carrot, orange segment citrus and charmoula and was very tasty.  Appetizers run from $5 to $17.  Flatbread pizza is also on the menu.

I also sampled a healthy salad, the Shrimp and Salmon salad.  This was served with fennel, arugula, avocado, tomato, citrus and cilantro olive oil dressing.  A very healthy selection that was full of flavor and very satisfying.

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Shrimp and Salmon Salad

Main Course:   Fig and Olive offers a number of selections including 5 different pasta selections.  We did not sample those but instead tried the Swordfish with roasted sunchoke, rapini, romesco-marscapone sauce and almond and hazelnut.   Delicious.  We also ordered the Rosemary Lamb Chops with goat cheese gnocchi, and braised honey eggplant that was cooked to perfection and was a generous portion.

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Swordfish

The Grilled Hickory Hanger Steak with roasted potato, garlic confit and almond and hazelnut was our last selection and was nicely prepared, although the shallow bowl in which it was served made it difficult to slice the meat.    Main courses are $25-36.

There is also a Price Fixe menu of four courses at $38 that is worthy of exploring.

Dessert:  with a little room left we shared the Apple Tart ( a generous portion) which was light and tasty.  We also ordered the Pot de Creme, which was rich and decadent, and though small it was satisfying.

The restaurant was filled the night we dined there which is testament to its high quality cuisine and service.  Reservations are recommended.

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Fig and Olive

696 Post Road (Rt 22)  Scarsdale New York     tel:  914.725.2500

http://www.figandolive.com

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The Orchid Show:Thailand opens at the New York Botanical Garden

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The spectacular natural beauty and color of Orchids is being celebrated once more as the New York Botanical Garden hosts its 15th Annual orchid show.   The show runs February 18th to April 9th 2017

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This year the show is entitled The Orchid Show: Thailand and is dedicated to the this region that is known for its great heritage of cultivating these amazing plants and is home to over 1200 orchid species. This year’s show will showcase thousands of orchids from Thailand and in a traditional Thai garden setting.  It is all set inside the beautiful Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.  (see slideshow)

The visitor will wander through the great glass conservatory past leafy palms, tropical plants and small ponds as they take in the fragrance and variety of beautiful colors of the orchids.  There are also Thai garden elements in the display including elephant topiaries,  sky lanterns, and Spirit Houses.   The exhibit is peaceful and enlightening as well.

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Spirit House

The Orchid Show also has special events including Orchid Evenings, Film Screenings of  “Vanilla, the Sacred Orchid” (two days only) , Dance Performances  of Thai dance, expert guide tours (Tuesday -Friday) , and Orchid Care Demonstrations.

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Thai Lanterns

On site is the gift shop where orchids, orchid books and related products can be purchased.  Dining is available on site at the Pine Tree Cafe or the Hudson Garden Grill.

For more information about the New York Botanical Garden, the Orchid Show and for tickets:

tickets and information: http://www.nybg.org

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New York Botanical Garden

2600 Southern Parkway   Bronx, New York

tickets by phone :  Tickets: 718.817.8716

 

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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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