Hudson Social: Bruschetta Sampler

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Hudson Social in Dobby Ferry NY is a nice restaurant connected to the newly restored landmark Dobbs ferry train station, with an absolutely beautiful view of the Hudson River.

A review of my entree is coming, but the appetizer I chose, the Bruschetta Sampler, deserves a post of its own.

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The Bruschetta with fig, honey and goat cheese was quite interesting; the figs and the honey were both sweet, and mixed with the dry goat cheese and crunchy bread, it made for a nice experience.

But, my favorite of the two was the Prosciutto/ Mozzarella/ Tomato/ Basil concoction.

Laid out on a bed of smokey, crunchy bread, the prosciutto was salty and thin, and the tomato and mozzarella were both warm and sweet, which made for a delicious combination.

I would recommend this appetizer in a heart beat; up next, the Cowboy Burger!

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The Lazy Boy Saloon: New England Clam Chowder

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As an avid lover of New England Clam Chowder, I am always interested when someone claims to have a can’t miss chowder. For this reason, I had to try the one that Lazy Boy describes as “one of the BEST chowders you’ll ever have” due to their “homemade secret recipe.”

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This chowder was a bit different from the ones you are used to having, a good thing to be sure. The first thing I noticed is that Lazy Boy is not stingy when it comes to the amount of clams in their chowder; as this bowl is proverbially crawling with them. It is always nice to be able to get full mouthful of clams with every spoonful you take, and this serving doesn’t disappoint.

There are also quite a bit of vegetables as well as some nice, tender potatoes. This chowder had the staple trait of being nice and sweet, but also had a little bit of spice to it. Those contrasting elements of both sweetness and spice do well to counterbalance each other for a unique taste with every bite.

When you go to the Lazy Boy Saloon, you will be presented with a great selection of appetizers, one of the best being their New England Clam Chowder; its a chowder that you need to try, especially on a cold winter day in White Plains.

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Piper’s Kilt: Mac and Cheese

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It took me awhile but I finally made it back to the Kilt, and boy am I ever glad I did. Today’s review will focus on their Mac and Cheese appetizer, with their Steak Sandwich coming later this week.

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This Mac and Cheese is heavenly. It’s light and creamy consistency combines for both a great texture and a wonderful flavor combination. The cheese on top is akin to a a light comforter, the purpose of which is to keep you warm in bed, while not being too heavy as it covers you; this is what the cheese did for the macaroni.

Speaking of the Mac, it was soft and saturated in the creaminess of the cheese; combined together, this dish encompasses elements that make it the ultimate comfort food.

This is one of the best appetizers and certainly one of the best Mac and Cheese dishes in Westchester (or anywhere for that matter). If you are a fan of this dish, be sure to order it next time you visit Piper’s Kilt, you won’t regret it.

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Holy Smoke: Trash Rib Teasers

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For my second visit to Mahopac’s Holy Smoke BBQ, I ordered an appetizer of Trash Rib Teasers, and a main course of their Fried Buttermilk Chicken. This review will focus on the ribs, with the Fried Chicken review soon to follow. Without further ado, these are Holy Smoke’s Trash Rib Teasers:

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These ribs are absolutely fantastic. they are very thick and meaty, with moist flesh that has a nice, partially resistant tear off the bone. Each rib (there are four of them) is smoky in flavor, but is also doused with a good amount of sweet, (almost syrupy) BBQ sauce that fully enhances the flavor.

I cannot recommend these ribs enough; if you are going to spend a meal time at Holy Smoke, order these teasers as your appetizer, and enjoy this wonderful addition to a great BBQ restaurant.

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Lago: Speck

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Lago is a nice Italian restaurant (ristorante) in West Harrison that makes some pretty good, authentic Italian food. While there were many intriguing options on the menu, the appetizer that I decided to try was a meat dish known simply as “Speck.”

For those who don’t know (and I certainly didn’t), Speck is the name of a particular type of prosciutto, which the menu describes as “Smoked pork belly from Trentino region.”

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The Speck was thinly sliced with a smooth and polished texture; in terms of flavor it was sweet, but with a nice accompaniment of saltiness. It was moist, while also having the tiniest bit of hardness on the edges.

I happened to show this picture to a foodie friend of mine, and he opined that this was possibly one of the best cuts of this particular meat that he had ever seen, and he may very well be right, as this smoked pork belly was quite tasty.

Lago’s Speck was a good start to my meal, the entree of which will be covered at a later date. One thing is for certain; Lago definitely deserves respect as an Italian restaurant, and has earned a future return visit from yours truly; I hope that it will gain your business as well.

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Prohibition River: Bacon Meatballs

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For the second time this year I get to cover a meatball unlike any I’ve ever had, although this one is located much closer to home in Nyack NY.

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These bacon meatballs are a staple appetizer at Prohibition River, and are very unique in texture and flavor. I have never had a meatball this tender. Whereas most meatballs provide some sort of resistance when cutting through them, my fork went through these like a knife in butter; but in this case, surprisingly, it worked.

The texture of the outside of the meatballs was nice, differing slightly from a normal rough, gravy covered ball; and there where small bits of bacon inside whose flavor spread throughout the meat. Another great flavor included is the slightly spicy tomato chutney, and the garnish of greens and Parmesan cheese slices were a nice touch.

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Prohibition River’s Bacon Meatballs are a wonderful appetizer, and a great way to start off your meal there. You can also do what I did and make your meal a pair of appetizers (Chicken Fried Steak Bites and Bacon Meatballs) and be satisfied in your choice; either way, you will always be a winner at Prohibition River.

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Prohibition River: Chicken Fried Steak Bites

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Picture courtesy of http://www.boozyburbs.com

Prohibition River is a cool Speak Easy themed bar and restaurant in Nyack NY, and along with the decor, the food is most excellent.

I had previously been to Prohibition River once before (when it was just opening up), and only afterwards did I come to the realization that there was one menu item that I needed to try: Chicken Fried Steak Bites w/ Country Gravy.

To be clear, these aren’t any old steak bites, these are Chicken Fried Filet Mignon steak bites. Sound good? Well they look and taste even better.

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The plating of this appetizer was great, with the bites resting in a shallow pool of country gravy, with the rest of the gravy poured lightly over the top and garnished with green.

The gravy provided more than just a good look, it also brought great flavor; a combination of sweet and salty seasoning mixed in with the creamy consistency makes this a tasty and comforting addition to the meat of the dish.

But what of the meat? Its coating was fried so as to have a perfectly slight crunch, and the “skin” was garnished and flavored quite well. The steak beneath was tender, flavorful, and chewed like a dream; not too tough and very easy to consume, which is a mastication must.

Once the coating was gone, the gravy seemed to penetrate and permeate the meat itself, assuring there were always multiple flavor combinations and profiles for the consumer to enjoy.

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This is by far one of the best appetizers I have ever had; the flavors were simply unbelievable and undeniably hard to beat. Everyone should try this at least once, though it is my belief that if you try it, you will certainly come back for more (Honestly, this could easily be an entree in terms of the quality of the food).

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Massachusetts: Grazie: Dueling Meatballs

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Grazie is a wonderful Italian restaurant located in Four Oaks Country Club in Dracut Mass.; the food here is really good which is why this is the first of two reviews to come out of this location. This review is of the Dueling Meatballs, an appetizer that simply put, could be a main course if so desired.

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The size of these meatballs is astounding, as both of them are roughly the size of a fist; they are so big that I was comfortable stopping after only one as I wanted to save room for my main course.

Resting in a bath of delicious sauce, these boulders of meat are unlike any I have ever had; the meat itself was thick, smooth, and moist, differing from the ground beef taste and consistency you usually get with a dish like this. The melted mozzarella cheese was delicious, and the generous dollop of ricotta on top was cold, smooth, and flavorful.

The combination of the sauce, meat, and two cheeses were such a welcome break from the norm, and will make you want meatballs like this every single time you see them on a menu.

If you are in Massachusetts, go to Grazie and order the Dueling Meatballs, you can’t go wrong if you do.

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