Doubleday’s Restaurant and Bar: Penne Vodka

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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.

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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.

Tuscan Market: New Hampshire

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Tuscan Market is an authentic and fantastic Italian Market in Salem New Hampshire that makes hands down some of the best breakfast I’ve ever had. For your consideration I will be briefly reviewing three of their (many) menu items: Orange Juice,  Prosciutto di Parma, and Ricotta Semolina Pancakes.

Orange Juice

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Tuscan Market makes some of the best Orange Juice I have ever had; their OJ is freshly pressed to order and tastes like you are literally eating an orange. It is lite, thin, and has minimal pulp; absolutely fantastic stuff.

Prosciutto di Parma

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With rich, thinly sliced and flavorful prosciutto that is both sweet and salty, this dish makes it off the charcuterie alone, add in the roasted tomatoes which, while not really  my thing, were still good, and you have yourself quite a nice breakfast appetizer.

Ricotta Semolina Pancakes

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Do you like Pancakes? If so, you most certainly will like Tuscan Market’s version. Decked out with thick and freshly made whipped cream, thin delicious maple syrup and warmed sweet strawberries, these pancakes were fluffy and had the ricotta baked right in, which in and of itself provided a great texture change along with a nice sweet and cool filling.  Absolutely Divine.

As I mentioned before, this is some of the best breakfast I’ve ever had and I encourage everyone to try it; I know I will be back as soon as possible.

 

Chama Grill: Massachusetts

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Located in North Andover, Massachusetts, Chama Grill is a fantastic Brazilian restaurant with a great premise; you give us thirty dollars, and we will give you perfectly prepare all you can eat meat served on swords…oh, and there is all you can eat side dishes as well. You interested? You should be.

Meat One: Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon 

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Cooked to perfection, the filet itself is tender and juicy, and carries with it the sweetness that only properly seasoned steak can obtain; the bacon adds a texture change and saltiness to the dish. Cut into nice, small sizes, you could eat a crap ton of these.If this was the only dish they served, I would have been thrilled, but wait, there’s more!

Meat Two: Rib Eye

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Such a great piece of meat, this rib eye is rich, flavorful and very tender, as well as extremely easy to both cut and chew. I can only imagine what a full sized one would be like to eat.

Meat Three: Garlic Steak

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Easily in the top three meats of the night, this Garlic Steak was another masterful piece of culinary art. Sweet, tender and very juicy this steak has a very nice addition in the garlic flavor on it and is seasoned to perfection.

Meat Four: Lamb

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What I love so much about this Lamb was not only how well it was made, but by definition it provided a welcome flavor shock after eating the rest of the read meat. Thick and sweet, the lamb is juicy and stood unique to everything else because it comes from a different animal so it has different texture and natural flavor.

Meat Five: Pork Sausage 

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By far the smallest meat, it was by no means the least. Another welcome flavor change, the sausage is a very good dish, with a nice two-bite size portion; thick, with a nice crispy skin, flavorful meat and a nice salty exterior.

Final Meat: House Steak

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Admittedly my least favorite of the meats served, the House Steak was still quite good; tender and fatty, it is still enjoyable to eat, but pales when compared to some of the other steaks previously mentioned.

All in all this was a fantastic experience that i feel everyone should seek out. Believe me, you will not be sorry, and you will indeed eat more than thirty dollars worth of meat, making this an unbelievable deal.

Hudson Social: Cowboy Burger

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After having reviewed the Bruschetta Sampler, its time to see what Hudson Social’s burger menu has in store with the Cowboy Burger.

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Nestled in between a soft brioche and lathered in tangy BBQ sauce, this burger is quite delicious. The patty is very tender and juicy, the pepper-jack cheese carrying with it a slight heat, and the sauteed onions mixing well with the nice, crispy bacon.

Hudson Social definitely makes a really good burger, and I will gladly return for another in the future.

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!

Silver Lake Pizza: French Fry Slice

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Specialty pizza is an amazing thing, and as I’ve said before, once Luca Bella shut down I needed a new home for good specialty pizza; fortunately I found it in my own home town. The interesting thing is that they created a pizza that even I’ve never heard of: the french fry slice.

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This tastes unlike anything you’ve ever had before and hits you with a flavor you just do not expect.

The crust is light and buttery, the bacon is fried perfectly and spread around the slice quite nicely, and the chives provided a good little crunch.

The ranch dressing is a nice moist topping, and the fries add a thick, starchy component that is hard to beat.

This slice is absolutely delicious and very filling. One is enough to satisfy you, and if you have two, you’ll feel like you won’t have to eat for the rest of the day.So the next time you crave pizza, try something new and order the french fry slice at Silver Lake Pizza.

KEE Oyster House: Baked Clam and Rack of Lamb

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KEE Oyster house is a recently opened sea-food joint in White Plains dedicated to honoring and reviving New York’s great oyster legacy; having heard about it through work, I decided to check the place out when my friend came down from New Hampshire to visit.

I must note that I am not really a sea-food guy at all, so in most cases I would avoid a place like this – but fortunately, they also have a good, albeit rather expensive land menu as well. Another note I must make is that my friend did try out their oyster selection and he loved it, so take from that what you will.

Side Dish: Roasted Cauliflower & Brie

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This was everything a roasted cauliflower should be; it was flavorful, had a healthy crunch and the Brie cheese was sweet and thick where it needed to be. Not much else need be said about it except that you should try it on your next visit.

Appetizer: Baked Clams

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As I said at the outset, I am not that big a fan of sea-food, but baked clams is one noticeable exception.

These clams were very good, the meat was sweet and juicy, and the breading provided a nice, slightly rough texture. Along with a buttery sauce, these clams left me wanting more.

Entree: Rack of Lamb

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This lamb was simply beautiful – the meat was cooked to perfection, an amazingly tender, juicy and rare consistency – unlike any lamb I or my friend had ever seen. Just look at how beautifully red the meat is.

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It’s flavor was very good, sweet and delectable. But one of the most interesting things about it was the coating that was applied to it – reminiscent of a citrus infused panko crust that was delicious and unlike anything I’ve ever had before.

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This meal was truly fantastic, and assuredly worth the price for the food and the experience – make no mistake that KEE is a high class restaurant and the food does not come cheaply, but they for sure make some of the best tasting food in Westchester County (which is saying a lot).

The Cobble Stone: 5 Napkin 14 Spice Stuffed Burger

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Our next food excursion takes us to The Cobble Stone in Purchase New York, where I got to try the 5 Napkin, 14 Spice Stuffed Burger. Now that name is a mouthful and so is the burger, but before we get to the main course, we need to talk about the appetizer – Cobble Stone’s Jalapeno-chedder poppers.

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As an aside, my friends had the Bocconcini Balls appetizer (pictured above), which was very good (they let me try it); with fresh mozzarella, fried coating and marinara sauce its hard to go wrong.

As for my poppers, they were coated with a nice and crunchy breading, had a good creamy cheddar filling, and a mildly hot pepper, all of which coalesced into a great flavor combination. On the side was a sweet black cherry sauce, unlike anything I’ve ever had before, and the perfect sweet counter to the peppers’ spice. I urge everyone to try this – its that good.

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This burger is huge. Housed in a traditional hamburger role and coated in 14 spices, Cobble Stone stuffs the inside of their burger with juicy onions, cheese and chili. The burger itself is thick, tender, and very juicy; the chili was spicy and added even more flair to the 14 spices that were infused into the meat.

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This burger certainly gives you your moneys worth; the meat itself was good and the chili, cheese and onions that it was stuffed with were the perfect combination for this particular concoction. If you are worried you can’t finish it, don’t worry, I couldn’t either and duly discovered that this burger has a great reheat value.

My advice is to go to Cobble Stone, get this burger, and enjoy the heck out of it. I know I will be returning eventually, and I’m looking forward to it immensely.

 

Restaurant Week: Le Provençal Bistro

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For the third and sadly final Restaurant Week review (until its next iteration), I return to a fantastic French Bistro located in Mamaroneck, NY – Le Provençal Bistro.

Appetizer: Duck Confit Tacos

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I knew going in that Le Provençal’s Duck Confit was excellent, so I was interested to see how it tasted in a taco. The duck meat was tender and juicy, truly fitting for the steak of birds, and was topped with a semi sweet cheese and some salsa verde that leaves a slight spice in the back of your throat.

Joining the meat inside the shell of the thin tortilla were some slightly crunchy mushrooms, and some lentils; overall it was a very light and tasty appetizer that I would have again for sure.

Entree: Beef Bourguignonne

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This dish was somewhere between a pot roast and a stew (though easily more pot roast in nature). Everything on this plate is tender, and I mean everything; the fact that they gave me a knife is ironic, because I had no use of it at all.

The beef was cooked to perfection, and was very easy to chew; mixed in with the meat were soft carrots, mushrooms of medium thickness, and some supple oranges. The mashed potatoes and string beans were a nice accompaniment to the dish as well.

Dessert: Crème Caramel 

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This dessert was quite tasty, and tasted almost like a caramel gelatin; its sweet caramel flavor mixing perfectly with its light and jiggly texture.

I love Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. Its one of the only times you can get a three course meal of delicious food from quality establishments for an affordable price; and thats exactly what you get at Le Provençal Bistro.

Restaurant Week: Birdsall House

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This second Hudson Valley Restaurant Week review is coming a little late because I’ve been sick all week, but I am on the mend and am happy to bring you a review of dinner at Birdsall House in Peekskill NY.

Appetizer: Charcuterie – Duck Prosciutto 

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Duck is a great tasting fowl, I have previously called it “the steak of birds”, but it never ceases to amaze me in its flavor. Prosciutto is a meat that is usually ham, so to have it in duck form is a sweet delight.

The meat was thick, and had a great salty sweet flavor combination; and as is seen in the above photo, carried with it a perfectly manicured fat content. I didn’t want to stop eating this, so much so that I just leaned back, closed my eyes, and kept chewing until I could no longer; its that good.

Entree: Fried Chicken

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This chicken was served with strips of ham over a bed of rice and greens; it was served piping hot and had a nice crunchy skin that seemed to have some type of corn element to it. The meat was tender and juicy, very easy to get down, and one piece even had a lemon glaze spread on it.

The pieces of ham were smoky and even a bit spicy, and the rice and greens were pretty decent, although truth be told I’m not a fan of either in general.

Dessert: Maple Bacon Ice Cream

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Ice cream that tastes like maple syrup and bacon while resting on a waffle? Sign me up! The ice cream was sweet and sat in a scrumptious maple syrup sauce, along with a slight bacon flavor and some nuts on the side. The waffle was soft and rather easy to cut; the mixture of all these flavors and textures in your mouth at once is a nice feeling.

I would recommend hitting up the Restaurant Week dinner at Birdsall House; all in all it makes for a nice meal, especially the appetizer, and its one that everyone should try at some point in their lives.