The Seafood Grill: a new Armonk restaurant features “dock to dish” cuisine

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The Seafood Grill is a new restaurant that has come to Armonk, NY.   The eatery features fresh seafood with a Japanese influence in some of the dishes.  Their slogan is “Dock to Dish” and we can verify that the seafood is both fresh and delicious.  There are also menu items for the member of your dining party who wishes to order a dish other than seafood.

seafood grill

photo credit: Seafood Grill

The restaurant is right on Main Street and features two levels, the first floor with the dining room, spacious bar, and raw bar. The upstairs which houses the large airy space which is great for events or private parties.    There is an outdoor patio which was not open on our visit, but will be as warm weather arrives.   The interior follows the theme of the sea with soft blue walls, white trim and decorations made from seashells which give the interior a soothing , beachy, seaside feel.   A nice contrast is the tablecloths on the tables which is an item that is being left out of many newly opened restaurants.  The overall feel is casual, but elegant.

We started with the Colossal Shrimp from the raw bar.  These shrimp were the largest shrimp I have ever had, and were delicious.   The raw bar also features East and West Coast Oysters, clams, and King Crab legs.

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Colossal Shrimp

The Jumbo Lump Crab Cake was next  and was served with a kewpie (Japanese mayo) remoulade.   The crab cake was all fresh crab meat, no filler or bread crumbs inside.  This appetizer was filling on its own and would be perfect to share as well.   I can say I have never enjoyed a crab cake as good as this one.

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Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

An interesting appetizer is the Maine Lobster and Buratta Salad served with cherry tomato and basil.  Normally seafood and cheese is not something I would order, but this dish was outstanding.  Fresh lobster meat including a claw, over a soft serving of buratta cheese with basil seeds, olive oil and cherry tomato.  This  proved to be a great comfort food and a dish I would order again.

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Maine Lobster and Buratta Salad

On special that evening and not on menu was the Clam Casino served with double smoked bacon, and roasted peppers was a nice spicy dish and perfect for those who desire their shell fish cooked.

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Clams Casino

Our entree was the Pan Seared Salmon served over a cauliflower fried rice with a ginger, saki mirin, glaze made for a healthy and delectable choice.  The Japanese influence again is seen in this dish and it adds just a little something special to what would be an ordinary average salmon dish.

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Pan Seared Salmon

Desserts:  we sampled two desserts.  One was not on the menu on the day we were there and was unique and tasty.  It was Peanut Butter and Jelly Wontons, served with vanilla gelato.  A creative dessert.   The other was the Apple Blossom, a pasty with apple and served with vanilla ice cream and cinnamon.  A nice way to conclude our meal.

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Apple Blossom

There is a cocktail menu worth exploring , a selection of 8 craft beers,   11 types of wine by the glass, and an extensive list of wine by the bottle.

There is a kids menu as well, Express lunch M-F 11:30-2:30pm. and Happy Hour M-F 4-6pm.

Price range is as follows:  Soups: $10,   Small Plates:  $16-19.,  Appetizers: $11-20  Sides: $7-9  Entrees: $16-37.

The Seafood Grill is a great way to escape to a seaside restaurant without needing to drive to the ocean.  Fresh seafood , relaxed atmosphere, and good service make this eatery a winner.

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The Seafood Grill  Armonk

465 Main Street Armonk, NY                tel. 914.730-1122

web: http://theseafoodgrillarmonk.com

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Pour Wine Bar: Great wine and food in a unique charming setting

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There are few places to dine and drink that you can truly call unique.  Pour Wine Bar in Mt. Kisco is a truly a special place and I have yet to find a place quite like it in the area.   Housed in a Victorian house complete with side porch, Pour is located on Main Street in Mt Kisco,  and unlike other businesses  it is set back from the road.  It could be easy to drive right by Pour, but you would be missing the wonderful experience that awaits inside.

Inside Pour, the guest will immediately realize that they are in a special place.  The atmosphere is dark with subdued period Victorian era lighting, leather seating, beautiful wood molding, wooden floors and small copper clad cocktail tables which are lit by candle.   The walls are adorned with mirrors and framed covers from antique sheet music.   There are 4 separate spaces all on the first floor , the intimate and cozy front parlor with its romantic window seat, the main room with regular tables, the friendly comfortable bar, and the back room which is also a small intimate space to gather. There is also seating on the porch.  With soft jazz music playing in the background you could easily imagine yourself in a lounge in New Orleans in another era.  It is really a unique  and intimate space and is perfect for date night, girls night out, or a gathering of close friends.

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The Window seat is an intimate seating space

The food at Pour can best be described as Tapas (small plates) and great for sharing which of course is perfect with the intimate atmosphere.  We sampled some of the food that evening and it was delicious.  We started with the Flatbreads and sampled the Drunken Shroom which consisted of stout braised mushrooms, Fontina cheese and drizzle of white truffle oil.  Crispy and full of flavor.  We followed that up with  the Braised Shortribs flatbread was a great choice with Sicilian cheese, arugula and horseradish cream.

We sampled a few items from the Tastes/Shares menu including the Sicilian Meatballs which were soft and served in red sauce with Fontina cheese and a side of grilled country bread.  A real appetizing item.

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Sicilian Meatballs with grilled bread

We moved on to the Buratta which was one of the freshest and softest creme filled mozzarella I have tasted.  Served with sliced tri-colored tomatoes and grilled bread, it was one of my favorites of the evening.

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Buratta with tomato and grilled bread

We completed our small plate sharing with the Chickpea Bites, which were a complete delight.  Crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside, I have never had this dish before and it was delightful.

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Chickpea Bites

There are other menu items for you to enjoy including Bits and Pieces (Bruschetta, Warm Almonds, Hot Pretzel Sticks and the like) and you can even create your own Cheese Board or Charcuterie from a list on the menu.

I would be remiss if we did not discuss the wonderful selection of libations that await at Pour.  We sampled some excellent cocktails from the bar including the Dark and Stormy and a straight Daquiri.  Both were delicious.  Pour has quite the  menu of wines from which to choose and are available by the glass and by the bottle including selections from Italy, France, domestic  and South Africa.   There are 12 varieties of wine by the glass, and at least 50 available by the bottle in all price ranges.

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Outside its fine cocktails, Pour has an outstanding selection of bourbon, whiskey and rye.  It may be one of the most extensive in the area.   There are at least 25 different bourbons, 16 whiskeys and 10 ryes.  You can even enjoy a Flight of Whiskey and enjoy several different varieties.

Pour has also special event evenings including wine tastings, wine bingo, and once a month themed dinners (reservations required for the dinner).

We did get to sample a dessert before leaving and enjoyed the Nutella and Marshmallow Flatbread, which was a sweet way to end the  evening.

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Nutella and Marshmallow flatbread

Flat breads: $14, Tastes and Shares: $9-$14,  Cheeseboard or Charcuterie $25-$30

Pour Wine Bar is a special and intimate place and is unique to the area.  I cannot wait to go back and experience it once  again.

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Pour Wine Bar

241 East Main Street Mt.Kisco New York 

tel.  914.846.0606   web :  http://www.pourmtkisco.com

 

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Food For All 2017: a great event that helps hungry families at Abigail Kirsch at the Loading Dock

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A great event is coming Wednesday April 26th 2017 to The Loading Dock in Stamford.  Food for All 2017: An evening to End Hunger presented by Whole Foods Market is an event  that will help end local hunger.  The guests at the event will have the opportunity to enjoy  food tastings from 15 chefs from Fairfield County.   Guests will also be able to sample beer, wine and fabulous craft cocktails.   The proceeds will benefit Food Rescue US and their mission to feed hungry families.

With every dollar donated to Food Rescue US, 20 meals can be provided to hungry families.  So this is a great cause in which to get involved.

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Some of the participating restaurants at the event are as follows:

Abigail Kirsch ,Bareburger, Broken Symmetry,  The Cottage,  Eggz, Fjord Fish Market Fleisher’s Craft Kitchen, Fortina .HAPA Food Truck, Harlan Publick, INDIA, Killer B, Mecha Noodle Bar, South End, Village Tavern, Whole Foods Market.

Beer, Wine and cocktails supplied by:

Cask Republic, Match, Room 112, Half Full Brewery.

 

So come out and support a great cause and enjoy some great food and drink.

For tickets:   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-for-all-2017-tickets-31423030129

FOOD FOR ALL 2017

At:   Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock

375 Fairfield Avenue  Stamford Ct

http://www.loadingdockevents.com/

April 26th, 2017   6:30-9:00pm

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Vega: Modern Mexican cuisine in Hartsdale

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Upon entering Vega you will immediately be drawn to the modern edge design and chic interior which is unlike any average Mexican restaurant.  There are no sombreros on the wall or Mexican blankets.  Instead you will find a interesting orange and purple color palette, white tree branches lit with lights, a sheer waterfall, and interesting custom lighting.  The modern look applies to the menu as well which takes a new look at Mexican cuisine.

There are quite a large selection of cocktails to kick off your meal.  I felt compelled to order the Mango Margarita and the Passion Fruit Mojito.  Both were perfectly blended sweet and fruity libations.

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There is something on the menu for everyone.  Small plates offer an interesting selection of classic Mexican dishes for everyone to share.  The tableside guacamole is freshly made and a delicious start to the meal.

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For a perfect and beautifully prepared starter, order the traditional Shrimp Cerviche.  Served in a martini glass with shrimp, lime, cilantro, corn tomatoes and fried plantain.  It is a beautiful presentation as it is delicious.

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Cerviche

The Flautas are another   classic Mexican dish consisting of crispy rolled corn tortillas pulled steak, cream, queso fresco and tomatillo avocado salsa.   For a fun twist try the Cancun Calamari which is chipolte battered, jimama greens, and mango with a delicious passion fruit vinagrette.  A fruity and spicy take on a restaurant staple.

What was so refreshing is the menu is not the usual heavy cheese and sauce Mexican fare.  The classics are here but the chef has really breathed new life into these dishes.  The  Shrimp Quesadilla with a side of rice and beans was a great choice.  The crispy quesadilla complimented the shrimp, soft avocado and tomatillo  salsa.

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Shrimp Quesadilla

There are also interesting menu items uniquely prepared by Vega’s innovative chef.   I especially enjoyed the Pescada Yucatan which is pan seared salmon with a fresh avocado salsa.  Healthy and delicious.

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Pescada Yucatan

The Carnitas are also a delightful pick.  Slow roasted citrus glazed pork, salsa verde with pineapples and oranges.    I also loved the grilled seasonal vegetables as an extra side dish.

Desserts are all made in house.  Don’t leave without trying the Churros or the Apple Taco with ice cream.

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Vega is certainly a very unique, modern and innovative Mexican restaurant, and one I want to experience again soon.

Appetizers:  $ 10-14   Soups and Salads: $7-$16   Entrees: $13-30

Vega

189 East Hartsdale Avenue Hartsdale NY

tel. 914.723.0100

web: http://www.vegamexican.com

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New York International Auto Show Returns through April 23rd

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Ford GT

The New York International Auto Show 2017 is at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan through April 23rd.  The center is once again filled with cars from every major manufacturer and even some smaller names.  On display for your inspection are new models, future models and even fabulous concept cars.

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Star Wars themed Nissan display

There is something for everyone even if you are not a car person.  There are interactive displays, racing simulations, a Star Wars themed video dance simulator and more!.   On the main level there are fantastic car   displays from all the major manufacturers.  On the lower level there are trucks and SUVs.  The lower level even displays an impressive display of vintage New York City Police Department vehicles and outside make sure to check out the Camp Jeep event!

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Dodge Challenger Demon

In the North Wing there are more cars and even a display of mobile Tiny Houses!

Under the glass at the Javits Center there is even  a display of vintage automobiles.   Some of the highlights of the event are the impressive Ford GT supercar, the incredible Dodge Challenger Demon with 840 horsepower, the Volvo exhibit with its mixture of historic models and its latest offerings.  The Subaru display even has a model of the first Subaru imported to the United States back in 1968.

If you are coming from the northern suburbs or from Connecticut by train, getting to the show is easier than ever.  Take Metro North to Grand Central Terminal and then go downstairs and take the 7 Train to the new Hudson Yards Station.  The Javits center is only one half block from the station.

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2018 Lincoln Navigator

Tickets are $17 for adults and $7 for children under 12.

The Auto Show runs through  April 23rd  Monday-Saturday 10am-10 pm   Sunday 10am-7 pm

The New York International Auto Show

Javits Convention Center

755 West 34th Street New York,N.Y. 

web;      http://www.autoshowny.com/

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The Village Tavern in Ridgefield: American cuisine kissed by an Italian chef

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The charming town of Ridgefield Ct. is home to a new and classic restaurant and bar serving elevated tavern fare and craft cocktails.  The Village Tavern opened in January 2017.   The 19th Century facade of the Main Street building invites the patron into a warm and instantly comfortable interior space.  A handsome dark wood bar, leather seating, exposed brick walls, extensive wood trim and white and black tile floor create a space that is both familiar yet modern. A large mural of the “abondanza” woman reminds you of the Italian influence of the menu and pays homage to a former tenant of the space, Brunetti’s Market.   There are intimate spaces upfront, the main dining room in the rear and a smaller dining room up 1/2 flight from the main floor.  There will be outdoor dining during warm weather.

village tavern

The menu is described as American with a “kiss of Italian”.  Chef  Germano Minin is a winner on the Food Networks hit show “Chopped”.   He has worked at restaurants from Washington D.C. to Scottsdale, Arizona and was partner in a restaurant in Santa Monica California.  He now his brings his talents and Italian roots to Main Street in Ridgefield.

Recently we were able to sample some of the delicious from the menu.  There is really something for everyone.  The King Napolean was unique dish with king crab meat, herbed cheese and crisps beurre blanc.  An interesting blend of soft crab and crispy wonton, that was  tasty and an interesting presentation.

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King Napolean

Salads were creative and delicious.  “In the Tin” is bibb and iceberg lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, blue crumbles and herb dressing is presented in a metal can which the server then slowly raises to reveal the delicious contents.

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In The Tin

The “Ribbons” is another salad dish that is unique and colorful. It is composed of shaved cucumber, carrot , fennel, radish, in a parsnip vinaigrette.  Each veggie has been thinly sliced into long ribbons and make a healthy dish for everyone.

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Ribbons

The Gnocchi was a fantastic dish served with Maine Lobster in a zucchini busera sauce.  The gnocchi which was filled with potato was soft, and melted in your mouth.  A great choice

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Gnocchi with Maine Lobster

The VT Burger is great for the burger lover in your party and is served on a wooden board that is the shape of the State of Connecticut. Very creative.  The large burger is served with aged cheddar, and a compliment of other toppings on the board so you can load up your burger as you wish.

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V.T. Burger

The menu also offers such items NY Strip, Fish and Chips, Root Beer Lamb Shank, and Black Cod Fillet. There is something for everyone.   The bar serves some creative cocktails which you should investigate.

Prices are as follows:  Appetizers-$11-15, Salads- $11-$12, Main course-$16-$33.

The Village Tavern is a much needed addition to the dining scene in Ridgefield Ct. and with its ambiance and great food it should be a success.

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The VillageTavern

378 Main Street Ridgefield Ct

tel.  202.403.3400

web.   http://www.vtridgefield.com

 

End of the Rainbow: The final come back of Judy Garland comes to the Music Theater Of CT

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End of the Rainbow has come to the Music Theater of Connecticut in Norwalk.  The play chronicles the final comeback of screen and singing icon Judy Garland.   The play written by Peter Quilter opened in the West End of London in 2010 and was the winner of several Olivier Awards.  It opened on Broadway in 2012 and also was the recipient of several Tony nominations as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.  MTC is now proud to stage the first New England production of this play.

The setting of the play is in London in 1968 as Judy Garland  and her fiance and soon to be fifth husband Mickey Deans, arrive for  a five week run of shows that they hope will pull Judy’s career out of its spiral of bad press and her  battles with addiction.  The play is staged in her suite at the Ritz Hotel in London and onstage at the Talk of the Town where the audience is entertained by a number of standards including,  “For Me and My Gal”, “You Made Me Love You (I didn’t want to do it)” and “Over the Rainbow”.   Joining Judy for her tour is her adoring pianist and arranger, Anthony who despite his sexuality is in love with Judy and wants to take her away from her young fiance whom he perceives to be an opportunist.

The two act play which moves back and forth between the theater and the hotel room reveals to the audience Judy Garland’s struggles with alcohol, pills, and the reality that her shining star is not as bright as it had been.  As Judy spirals out of control during the 5 week run  of her stage comeback, she manages to upright herself and finish her performance.  The play is an emotional roller coaster for the audience as we see the struggles and successes  of such a famous star.

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The production features Colleen Sexton as Judy Garland and she delivers an emotional performance which captures the spirited and spunky character of Judy Garland.  Her vocal performances were outstanding and did not attempt to mimic Judy, but instead capture the raw energy and vitality of her style.  The audience was thrilled and rose to a standing ovation.

Luke Darnell portrays Mickey Deans her fiance, and delivers a fine performance as the character tries desperately to keep Judy on track and away from her addictions.   Thomas Conroy who plays Anthony her pianist is impressive as he has dual roles as her pianist and as her friend and adoring fan. A complex role which he handles well.   He brought heartfelt emotion to the role.   Matt Densky  has the task of three roles including Hotel Porter, BBC Radio Interviewer, and Stage manager and he shines especially in the role of interviewer.

The director (and co-founder) is Kevin Connors, who has brought to the area a memorable production that stays with the audience long after the curtain call.   The set design (Jordan Janota) is effective in using the small intimate stage to effectively convey the feeling that you are in two separate locations.

Please don’t miss this show.   End of the Rainbow runs  April 7-23, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm & 8pm, Sundays at 2pm.

Note: Adult content and language.   Running time is approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Tickets are $30-$55. Reservations suggested.

http://www.musictheatreofct.com      tel.  203.454.3883

Music Theater of Connecticut

509 Westport Avenue  Norwalk Ct.

photo credits:  Music Theater of Connecticut

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Mamma Mia! The night is young and the music is high at the Westchester Broadway Theater

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Mamma Mia! the long running Broadway and international musical hit has opened at the Westchester Broadway Theater.   The musical based on the songs by the famous 1970s European pop group ABBA, was written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and opened in London in 1999 where it was a huge hit.  The musical opened on Broadway in 2001 where it ran for an astonishing 14 years making it the 8th longest running production in Broadway history.  The Broadway production earned numerous Tony and Drama Desk awards.   The current production is fun, upbeat and lively and the audience was singing and swaying  to the music during the performance.  This is the 200th Main stage performance at the Westchester Broadway Theater.

The story:  Mamma Mia! takes place on a Greek island where we meet Donna Sheridan (Michelle Dawson) who runs a taverna and lives with her daughter Sophie (Mariah McFarland) who is about to get married to her fiance Sky (Nathan Cockroft).  Sophie plans to leave her mother and the island behind and start  a new life.  To celebrate the wedding , Donna invites her old friends  Tanya and Rosie who were part of her back band “Donna and the Dynamos” back when they were young.

mama

Sophie who has never known who her father is, finds her mother’s diary and discovers the names of three men who could be her father.  She secretly invites all of them to her wedding to finally find  the truth. As the guests arrive and the story further unfolds, the cast learns more about each other, lost loves and lost opportunities.  In all this chaos, the bride-to-be Sophie finds she has some thinking to do in light of all these revelations.  The pop infused and catchy songs keep the story light and the evening moves effortlessly to its concert like conclusion.

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The cast is excellent with Michelle Dawson returning again to the WBT stage as Donna.  We really loved her performance last year as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.  Other WBT vets include Xander Chauncey (Sam) and Kilty Reidy (Harry Bright) who we last enjoyed on stage in Christmas Inn this past December at the WBT.  The cast is large with 20 cast members filling the stage.   Other notable performances were by Elise Kinnon (Tanya), Jennifer Swiderski (Rosie),and  Brent Batemen (Bill Austin).  Directed by Mark Martino.

If you are looking for a fun night out with dinner and a great show performed by accomplished actors (many who are members of Actors Equity), then by all means see Mamma Mia!   The show runs through June 25th 2017.

Tickets:  $56 to $84 plus tax (price depends on performance time) includes dinner. Luxury boxes for groups  are also available.  Discounts for children, students and seniors.  For information:

The Westchester Broadway Theater

1 Broadway Plaza Elmsford New York     tel.   914.592.2222

http://www.broadwaytheatre.com/

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Madison Kitchen: small plates menu, homemade ice cream and more prepared by a celebrity chef

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I had to pleasure to recently dine at Madison Kitchen in Larchmont.  The restaurant is owned by Nick Di Bona, a young, energetic and creative chef who was a winner on the Food Network’ s TV show “Chopped”.    The restaurant menu  can be best described as New American  small plates with Italian influences.  The menu changes seasonally. Dishes are carefully and imaginatively crafted using only fresh  ingredients, many of which  Mr. Di Bona sources himself from local farms and purveyors.

The emphasis of the restaurant is on small plates which allow the diner to choose from many wonderful selections and you can share them with family and friends.  This allows for an intimate and friendly dining experience as members of your table can all partake in the interesting dishes available.  The front of the restaurant is a small lounge where guests can mingle and enjoy from a selection of wines, craft beers and some interesting cocktails.  We sampled two of the creative drinks including the colorful Sangria Sunset, and the fresh fruit infused Strawberry Bliss.

The dining room  is  small but comfortable space with a soft earth tone color scheme, wood tables and leather back chairs. The look is comfortable,modern and hip.  A key spot in the dining room is the curved banquette of leather in the back of the restaurant  and perfect for our party of four.

For starters we dove into the  Beet and Goat Cheese salad served in a metal bowl with beets, goat cheese, macadamia nuts, baby greens in a passionfruit vinaigrette.  Beet salads are showing up on more menus we have noticed and this was one of our favorites.  We also sampled the fresh Kale salad a healthy blend of kale, black quinoa, butternut squash ,pomegranate seeds in a maple-apple cider vinaigrette.

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Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

We moved on to the Ricotta Crostini, though a small dish was full of flavor with house made focaccia and ricotta that melted in your mouth.     The Polenta Fries, served like a stack of Jenga pieces were prepared  with honey, parmesan and pistachio and was a sweet variation of polenta.     Perhaps one of our favorite dishes at the table was the Eggplant Meatballs, a great veggie dish of roasted eggplant “meatballs” in  a house made red sauce which was just fantastic and spoiled us for regular meatballs.

 

For cheese lovers we recommend the Truffle Gnocchi and Cheese featuring a mouth watering blend of gnocchi, parmesan cream sauce and crispy panko crumbs.  So good!.  The Chicken and Waffle Skewers seemed interesting so we decided to give it a try.  The chicken served with hot sauce (Buffalo style) and the blue cheese Belgian waffle was an interesting take on the famous Western  New York favorite.   For you meat lovers, try pairing a craft beer with the Sir Madison Burger Sliders featuring 30 day aged beef, cheddar, bacon onion jam and MK sauce on a soft pretzel bun.  Great to have on its own, or to share.

Seafood fans are not overlooked as we sampled the Grilled Octopus with salad, squid ink black hummus, and a lemon vinaigrette.    The octopus was nicely grilled and the rest of the ingredients were a perfect compliment.    The Pan Seared Salmon was another favorite, though small it packed flavor with house made honey mustard sauce.  A nice presentation as well.

There are two pastas on the menu which are not on the small plates menu and are quite large by comparison and great for sharing.  We sampled the Roasted Red Beet Pesto pasta  with walnuts, lemon and parmesan.  A filling dish for sure.  I can honestly say I have never had Red Beet pasta before, and it was an interesting and creative dish that we all enjoyed.

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Red Beet Table Pasta

With some room left, we would be remiss if we did not sample the ice cream.  Chef Di Bona is becoming known for his home made ice cream and his desserts inspired by his own ice cream truck, Bona Bona.  We sampled some amazing flavors including Cadbury egg (wow), pistachio, nutella and a chocolate sorbet.  The  mint was truly fresh and was a blend of fresh spearmint and peppermint.    Their milkshakes  are really fun and we had to sample the Over-The Rainbow Milk Shake which featured  rainbow cookie ice cream, house made frosting and whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and rainbow cookies.   This was very creative, unique and a perfect way to cap off a great dining experience.

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Tapas:  $7-$16     Desserts: $8 and up   Table Pastas $22

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Madison Kitchen

7 Madison Avenue  Larchmont New York      tel.  914.732.3024  web  http://www.mklarchmont.com

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