Mission Taqueria: A modern, healthy Mexican eatery comes to Pleasantville

IMG_9958 (1)We had heard a lot of buzz about a new Mexican restaurant that had opened recently in Pleasantville. The owners of the successful 105Ten in Briarcliff Manor have launched Mission Taqueria, a new style of Mexican kitchen.  The food is basic in its heritage and roots, but the execution and presentation is thoroughly modern.   A great deal of time was spent developing a menu that is light, clean and healthy, yet full of taste.

The space is in an older building that has been transformed by designer Andrew Kotchen into a clean, uncluttered,  modern, and urban space.  The effect of this  design is to create a space where  the food and craft cocktails take center stage. Booths line the walls, pub tables are placed in the middle of the restaurant and two cozy tables for four reside by the front windows.  The bar is a colorful area with a honeycomb backsplash in blue which is repeated in tile on the bar front and floor.  The taps are unique and bring a touch of old Mexico into the modern design language of the interior.

The menu of traditional Mexican dishes has been updated to reflect the notions of lighter, cleanand healthy fare.  The usual heavy cheeses and sauces are thankfully missing and replaced with  a menu with an emphasis on blending fresh ingredients in a healthy manner.  The effect for us is that we left the restaurant satisfied and not weighed down.

We enjoyed some unique and fresh dishes such as the Guacamole served with a light topping of queso fresco, house made chips, pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds.  Very interesting take on the classic guacamole staple.

The Mexican Street Corn was another nice opener and is lightly grilled ear of corn (cut in two) and served with a lime aioli, and chili powder.    The Pumpkin seed hummus was a unique dish in taste and presentation and instead of chips was served with a fresh cut veggie crudite.

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Tuna Poke Tostadas

For our mains we enjoyed the Tuna Poke Tostadas, a healthy dish with Hawaiian poke (tuna) served on small tostadas,  and topped off with a fresh slice of avocado.  Loved this dish!

 

 

While there are main entrees including chicken and steak, we opted to check out the Taco menu with seafood, meat and veggie options.  We enjoyed the California Dreamin’  Brussel Sprout Tacos ($14) (great for healthy eaters and vegetarians),  The Shrimp($17), fresh grilled shrimp served with a mango salsa.  The Lobster Frites ($19)  were also a must try with poached lobster, and a pepper and chipotle aioli and topped with potato threads .  All healthy, light and delicious and devoid of the heaviness so frequently seen in Mexican restaurants.

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The Shrmip (tacos) and Lobster Frites

While dining you would be remiss not to mention the list of craft cocktails, and wide range of beers available on tap.

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Mission Taqueria has brought to the Westchester dining scene an eatery merging the best of authentic Mexican foods in a modern and healthy fashion

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Mexican Taqueria

472 Bedford Road Pleasantville, NY     tel. 914.741.5285

https://www.missionpleasantville.com

 

 

 

A Flea in Her Ear: a hilarious comedy at Westport Country Playhouse

flea in her ear

A hysterical comedy has come to the stage at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport Ct.  ” A Flea in Her Ear” is a brilliant and hilarious play about the subjects of marriage, suspicion, infidelity, and mistaken identity.   This high energy production had the audience laughing the entire performance.

 

The play was written by Georges Feydeau in the early 20th Century and adapted by David Ives from the original book and wonderfully directed by Mark Lamos, the artistic director of the Playhouse.   Set in Paris in 1907 the play is about a Parisian wife (Elizabeth Heflin) whose faithful husband a well to do owner of an insurance company has suddenly lost his romantic appetite for his wife.   Along with her good friend, Lucienne(Antoinette Robinson), they devise a plot to see if her husband is cheating on her.  They send him a scented note from a female admirer and ask him to meet her at a local hotel of ill repute.

While her husband, Victor (Lee E. Ernst) is intrigued by the letter and the amorous advances of this mystery woman, he passes on the offer and sends his friend  Tournel (Stephen Pelinski) to meet her instead.  The high energy and physical comedy that is Flea in Hear Ear is about to unfold in Act Two of this three act play.  Act Two moves from the home of Victor and his wife to the hotel with its many doors and passages.  Lee E. Ernst assumes another role as the drunken Bell Hop Poche, whose appearance turns the play upside down.  Calamity ensues as the ladies plans become unglued and Lucienne finds herself being pursued by her angry husband Don Carlos (Michael Gotch), an eccentric and mad Spainiard.  The play finally returns to the apartment in Paris of Victor and his wife Raymonde, where the crazy mixed up events of the evening are finally resolved.

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A successful comedy depends on a great script, comedic timing, excellent actors and of course a director who can bring all these elements together. This production of A Flea in Her Ear has all those elements.   The set design was fantastic and the high artistic quality we expect from Westport.  Kristen Robinson did a wonderful job with capturing the feel of  early 20th Century Paris.  Costume Designer Sara Jean Tosetti crafted a wonderful array of period costumes for the actors.  This is a play you cannot miss!

This very comical play will grace the Westport stage until July 28, 2018.  Tickets start at $30.

For more information and tickets.

Westport Country Playhouse

25 Powers Court  Westport Ct.  tel.203.227.4177

https://www.westportplayhouse.org     

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Tredici North: a fresh approach to classic Italian dishes by an award winning Chef

 

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Tredici North in Purchase is a fine restaurant with a top chef who has crafted a “modern Italian” menu that is both innovative and delicious.  The decor of the restaurant follows that theme with a hip and modern design .  No red and white checkerboard table cloths here.  The look is upscale and modern and the menu though classic Italian is presented with a modern flair.

On a recent Friday evening we visited Tredici North for dinner.  The bar features a full list of craft cocktails and wines from several regions of the world. The talented bar staff can also blend a cocktail of your choice not on the menu.

The dinner menu  is designed  and wonderfully executed by Chef Giuseppi Fanelli.  The chef has appeared on several cooking shows on television, and was the winner of “Chopped” on the Food Network.  His resume includes chef at Baldoria (sister eatery to Rao’s) in Manhattan, as well as Felidia (Lydia Bastianich’s  restaurant) as well as Tredici in Chelsea.  The menu is classic Italian with a fresh and innovative approach to these familiar dishes.

Starters include dishes such seafood, two salads and one meatball dish. We enjoyed the wonderful and filling Angry Lobster,  a deconstructed  1 ¼ LB Lobster that is pan fried in the shell with evoo. meyer lemon and roasted garilc.  A seafood lover’s dream dish.

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Angry Lobster

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We also enjoyed the Grilled Polpo,  a tasty slice of Portugese octopus, grilled and served over endive salad with and finished with a light citrus vinaigrette and bloomed mustard seeds. The light flavors of the vinaigrette combined with the grilled texture of the seafood was quite a refreshing take on this classic dish.    From the specials menu  that evening we enjoyed a classic bowl for fresh mussels that was light and excellent.

 

Main dishes  include seven different delicious homemade pasta options as well as land and sea options. The homemade Ravioli Zucca with ricotta, buratta and asiago with served in a light pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash crema was a favorite with pasta being both house made and just melted in your mouth.

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A fresh grilled Halibut dish was also enjoyed from the specials menu and was fresh and delicious and shows the Chef’s willingness to introduce new items to the menu.  Another great choice is the fresh approach to Organic Salmon.  This staple gets a fresh outlook  by being prepared with pistachio and mustard seed crust (for a nutty flavor) with parsnip puree with a medley of green lentils, pomegranate and served in a light burnt blood orange reduction.  So innovative and delicious.

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Halibut

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Pistachio Semifreddo

 

If you have room desserts are available and try the fresh Coconut Dream cake of the Pistachio Semifreddo, a frozen mousse with a hard chocolate shell and  chopped pistachio that was the perfect cap to a great meal.   Tredici North ticks all the boxes for a evening of great dining.d

Tredici North

578 Anderson Hill Road  Purchase NY

tel.  914.997.4113  web >>https://www.tredicinorth.com

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Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar: a new eatery embraces Katonah’s history

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Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar is a recent addition to the dining options available in the Village of Katonah.  This eatery though new to the area has embraced the rich history of Katonah.   The history of this charming Northern Westchester village has been influenced by the construction of a NYC reservoir.  This construction forced the village to move to its current location, where the carefully laid out and planned village is a real treasure.

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Katonah Woods remodeled interior embraces that history with a mix of rustic decor and clean modern lines. Brick walls, a metal ceiling and Edison bulb lighting blend with modern materials and interior design.  The walls are adorned with historic photos of the village.  The effect is warm and inviting.

 

The menu is a mix of New American items.  Appetizers ($12-$20), include both land and sea options.  We sampled the excellent Wild Mushroom Truffle Mac and Cheese, a filling blend of shell pasta, baked in a mushroom beschamel and topped with bread crumbs.  A real comfort dish for one or two diners.

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Wild Mushroom Truffle Mac and Cheese

We also sampled the tasty Lobster Quesadilla ($16) with Fresh Maine lobster, spicy goat cheese, Vermont Cheddar, house made chips, served with avocado salad.  A real satisfying dish that again can be enjoyed alone or shared.   From the specials menu we also tried the Sauteed Veggies with fresh Burrata,  (delicious) and Mussels Marinara.   Oysters and Mussels are not menu items and we learned are added as specials when management has sourced the freshest seafood available.

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Some starters at Katonah Woods

Main dishes include pasta, seafood, meat and one veggie dish.  There are burgers, several different salads available and sides.  We sampled the Vegetable Giardino ($20) a filling blend of local fresh vegetables and herbs, served over soba noodles with garlic and olive oil.  The Braised Short Ribs ($32) are delighful and  served  over a creamy soft white polenta and steamed asparagus,with a natural au jus braising sauce.

Another favorite was the Lobster and Shrimp Risotto($30) a pleasant presentation of fresh seafood, baby spinach, light lemon and garlic sauce. A nice light and healthy dish.

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Lobster and Shrimp Risotto

Desserts are available if you have the room and are made in house. We suggest the Expresso Crème Brule, The Banana Bread Pudding (great for summer) and the Tartufo.

There is a nice cocktail menu and we advise you try the Painted Lady Martini, or the Whitlockville. Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar is a welcome addition to the village and should be your next dining destination.

Katonah Woods Kitchen and Bar

128 Bedford Road Katonah NY    914.401.9600

http://www.katonahwoods.com

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Next stop, the fresh and innovative dishes of Pubstreet in Pleasantville

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Pubstreet located in the former passenger train station in the village of Pleasantville is a wonderful addition to the Westchester dining scene.  Joining its partner restaurants, the successful Village Social (Mt.Kisco and Rye) and Locali (New Canaan), Pubstreet has arrived with its own style and menu.  Pubstreet blends fresh seafood, land and plant based dishes and all include fresh local ingredients.  The atmosphere is casual, yet elevated.   The main dining room has tasteful  painted woodwork, high ceilings and windows seating at wooden tables and banquettes along the walls.  There is a small bistro tables outside for seasonal outdoor dining.

The bar occupies one end of the room including what would have been the station masters office of the rail station and the ticket office.  This vibrant space is also the site of the raw bar which dishes up fresh oysters and clams daily.

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Beverages including a nice list of craft cocktails ($10-13), beer ($6-$8) including a rotating selection of draft brew ($8) and wines by the glass ($9-$13) with varieties from Spain, Italy, France, and California.

Appetizers abound and range from Wings to Oysters to Shishito Peppers.   We sampled the Salmon Poke “Sushi Fritter” and delightful combo of fish, avocado, tamari glaze and scallions. This is  a must try.   From the raw bar a selection of fresh Wellfleet Oysters fit the bill and was served over ice with lemon and was the perfect way to start the meal.  The raw bar has several fresh oyster selections as well as clams, lobster cocktail, shrimp cocktail and cerviche.  We noted  that the bar was a popular spot for  patrons  to enjoy the raw bar selections with their drinks.

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Wellfleet Oysters from the Raw bar

Also as a starter we tried the Grilled Mushroom Rice bowl, a super healthy dish and a great choice for the vegetarian in your party.  A healthy bowl with spinach, pickles, tempura crisp, aioli, and with a kabayaki glaze. Interesting use of this Japanese sauce that is usually served on fish.  Delicious.  There are 4 salads and two rice bowls on the menu as well as 2 pasta dishes.

 

Main dishes include seafood, beef and chicken dishes. Burgers include the classic, a tuna burger and even for vegetarians  (or anyone), the Impossible Burger.   We sampled one of our favorites, the classic Lobster Roll.  Soft fresh cooked lobster on a roll with lobster butter, fine herbs and a side of fries ($21) . Perfect!

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Lobster Roll

The Broiled Black Cod ($29) was our last selection  and was wonderfully presented with chili, nishiki rice, pear and shiso (a Japanese plant that is pungent and full of flavor).   An excellent and unique dish filled with flavor.  If you desire more flavor, try the Coconut rice for spicy twist on this side dish.

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Broiled Black Cod

Pubstreet  much like Village Social has mainstream dishes, but the preparation and blend of ingredients is innovative and unique.  There is an underlying yet subtle Asian influence to many of the dishes that set Pubstreet apart from other restaurants.

 

 

Pubstreet

20 Wheeler Avenue  Pleasantville NY

tel. 914.909.5408

web:   https://www.pubstreet.com

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