Mediterraneo: Kobe Beef & Spinach Ravioli

v1

Relatively newly opened, Mediterraneo in White Plains is a high quality restaurant with a few very unique menu items, including today’s review, house made Kobe Beef and Spinach Ravioli with Marsala Wine, Wild Mushrooms and Calabrian Chili.

DSC01078

This was one of the better house made style pastas I’ve had, particularly in recent memory. The pasta itself was slightly Al dente, and had a sweet flavor with a slight heat. The inside contained Kobe beef that was rich and flavorful, s a small about of really good spinach, and was accompanied by a few meaty mushrooms that I was actually able to eat (when in general I am not a fan of mushrooms), and was washed in a delicious sauce.

I would definitely recommend trying this dish, and am planning on getting it again; and at a reasonable price of $21, this is a meal that will not break the bank.

 

 

Doubleday’s Restaurant and Bar: Penne Vodka

187044_orig

I have mentioned previously that the best location for Penne ala Vodka, Luca Bella, had shut down, making Sal’s pizza in White Plains the default best Penne ala Vodka in the county (having previously held a close number two spot). That being said I am always on the lookout for great Penne Vodka, not only because I love the dish, but also because I want to see if anyone else can even come close; well, Doubleday’s in Dobbs Ferry most certainly does.

16145

This Penne Vodka is very good. The serving size is quite large and could easily last you multiple meals if thats what you desire.

In terms of flavor and texture, the pasta is tender and has a decent amount of sauce on it. The sauce is creamy and carries a flavor of savory-sweet, not very salty in comparison with other Penne Vodka dishes, and interspersed in the pasta and sauce are some pretty nice pieces of pancetta.

All in all Doubleday’s serves a very good Penne Vodka and I have no qualms with recommending it to anyone who loves this dish.

Luca Bella: Penne Alla Vodka

2417

For my final review of 2015, I am happy to bring everyone’s attention to one of the best Pasta dishes you can get in Westchester (or, anywhere for that matter): Penne Alla Vodka from Luca Bella.

LucaBella2

This dish is made with the same vodka sauce that Luca Bella makes their Vodka Sauce Pizza with, so you know its going to be good.

A good sign of a great meal is that along with lasting flavor, it can remain hot for the duration of the meal, and this did.

The sauce was divine; creamy, smooth, and sweet. It is the same rich sauce that my friend described as being a 9.5, when he was expecting a 9.0. It is the best vodka sauce I have ever had, and its one that everyone needs to try.

The pasta was soft and plentiful; the regular, single-person serving is enough for two full meals, and will leave you craving more. This is the epitome of a must eat.

Well folks, that’s it for singular reviews in 2015; I’ve had a great time reviewing food this year, and look forward to even more in 2016. Before its all said and done however, be sure to check out the First Annual Pristine Awards, where we name the best foods in each category from this year.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

Sal’s Pizza: Penne Alla Vodka (White Plains)

k

Today we visit a second Sal’s Pizza restaurant (to my knowledge there is no relation to the one in Mamaroneck) for a delicious and sizable helping of one of the best pasta dishes known to man, Penne Alla Vodka.

20151115_140228

This dish contains some of the best Vodka sauce I’ve ever had. The sauce is sweet and creamy, and is made with prosciutto, there is a nice amount of salty bacon inside, as well as a slight cheese element and a smattering of onions. The flavors mix together well, making this dish just so rich. The pasta was also nice and soft, which is great for soaking up the flavor of the sauce.

But we have to talk about the size of this dish. The portion that Sal’s gives you is massive. I’m no lightweight when it comes to eating, but I was able to eat my fill and then come back later to a plateful of leftovers. The fact that you can conceivably get two full meals out of this dish makes it all the more a must eat.

20151115_140538

I wholeheartedly recommend this dish to everyone; the richness alone is worth it. Whether you are Italian, or otherwise, this dish is something everyone should try at least once; but I have the feeling that after trying it the first time, once will not be enough.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

 

Lago: Linguine and Clams

lago

Growing up, Linguine with Clam Sauce was one of my favorite dishes, and it still is to this day; its for that reason that I am a very hard critic when it comes to this dish. I have found, sadly, that so many people simply fail at making a proper Linguine with Clam Sauce, and no one comes close to making it like my mom does.

My last experience with this restaurant bought dish ended pretty badly, so I was worried that Lago’s might turn out to be a let down; could it live up to my expectations?

20150708_142216

I must admit that the first couple of bites had me worried that this would be just another failed attempt at one of my favorite foods, but with each and every bite thereafter, I found myself liking it more and more.

The linguine was soft, but slightly more al dente than I’m used to; a feature that was different, but added to the overall experience with its uniqueness. The clams were as they should be, salty and bite sized, with just enough chewiness to where they neither melted in your mouth nor stayed around for too long.

Mixed into the pasta were small, crunchy garlic cloves, and the Parmesan sprinkled on top was another new and welcome element; the final touch was a nice buttery sauce that the pasta and clams rested in until there was none left to be had.

All in all this was the best Linguine and Clams I’ve ever had in a restaurant, and I would give it a big thumbs up; I still think my mom’s version is better, but hey, its hard to beat home cooking right?

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

Massachusetts: Grazie: Spinach Ricotta Pillows

logo

We return to Grazie for our pasta Entree; Spinach Ricotta Pillows. For those wondering, the “Pillow” is Grazie’s take on ravioli, and what a unique and delicious take it is.

20150621_194448

This work of culinary art is comprised of Grazie’s “housemade ravioli, spinach, fresh ricotta in a mascarpone cream sauce”; it is unlike any ravioli i have ever tasted, as the pasta itself was thicker than usual, almost tortellini-esque. Interestingly the tortellini thickness of the pasta, while a technique I had never heard or thought of before, was a great addition to the dish. In the clash and melding of two distinct pastas, we the consumer are the winner.

The inside of the pillows was filled with a light and fluffy combination of ricotta and spinach, which was joined well with the thickness of the pasta; the creamy mascarpone sauce was the perfect dressing for each pillow.

On top of the pillows was a combination of spinach and chopped cooked tomatoes; the vegetables were a nice colorful addition to the dish, with the tomatoes providing a slight acidity to the meal.

As I mentioned in the Dueling Meatball review, Grazie is a must attend for anyone who is in the Massachusetts/New Hampshire area; everything I have had there (these two reviews plus a couple samples from other dishes) has been delicious, and the service and scenery is great.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

New Hampshire: Mr Mac’s: Deluxe Cheeseburger and Philly Cheese Steak Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Mr-Mac_logo

Almost every kid in America (or Adult who was previously a kid) has had some kind of prolonged experience with Macaroni and Cheese; it is the consummate kids meal. Mr. Mac’s in Manchester New Hampshire has taken this kids meal and upgraded it into a truly phenomenal gourmet dish.

Mr. Mac’s offers many different choices and directions you can take with your Mac ‘N’ Cheese, I have chosen to cover their Deluxe Cheeseburger and Philly Cheese Steak Macs.

This is the Deluxe Cheeseburger Mac:

20150102_163334

Served in a piping hot skillet, this is the perfect mixture of “Seasoned Ground Beef, Cabot Cheddar, American Cheeses, Bacon, Onions, Pickles, and Thousand Island dressing topped with Breadcrumbs.”

As promised, the ground beef is seasoned well and the bacon provides that nice salty crunch; sweet onions and potent pickles each provided an additional, albeit different kind of crunch and flavor, and the thousand island dressing mixed in with the smooth and gooey mixture of cheese and perfectly cooked pasta presents a wonderful assortment of flavors in your mouth. The addition of bread crumbs as the light, crunchy topping is the best possible choice they could have made, and is the perfect topper to this dish.

And now for the Philly Cheese Steak Mac:

20141122_115849

The Philly Cheese Steak Mac is made up of “Shaved steak, American and Provolone Cheeses, Onions and Peppers”; and as promised tastes like an authentic Philly (with the addition of pasta).

The steak was rich and plentiful, the pasta cooked to perfection, and the thick, smooth cheese throughout provided amazing taste; the onions and peppers were flavorful and added their own brand of crunch to the Mac. The frizzled onions on top added even more crunch to the dish, especially when mixed in with the other ingredients.

Half a skillet full is enough to satisfy your hunger, and the reheat value in each of these dishes is not to be underestimated; both make for very delicious first tastings, and leftovers. Mr. Mac’s is true gourmet Macaroni and Cheese and is the perfect meal for kids of all ages; both the young, and the kids at heart.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com