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Winston Restaurant Debuts New Fall Menu

Winston Restaurant debuts new fall menu.

(I was invited to a tasting of the new fall menu at Winston Restaurant. As always, all opinions are my own.)

 

Winston Restaurant has been a welcome addition to Mount Kisco since 2014.  Named after the dog owned by Executive Chef Michael Williams, the restaurant serves New American cuisine using fresh, high-quality ingredients. I dined at Winston back in December of 2014, during the restaurant’s inaugural year.  Even then, my husband and I were impressed with the quality and flavors of the food.  It appears that Winston has maintained that high standard of food and service to bring you a memorable dining experience.

Executive Chef Michael Williams recently debuted a new fall menu that I was fortunate enough to get a preview tasting of.  Believe me readers, you will not be disappointed!  The dishes featured below will be replacing some of the summer-type dishes off the restaurant’s a la carte menu.

Six of the delicious signature cocktails on the Winston Restaurant fall menu.

 

Your first decision will be which tasty cocktail to order.  And let me tell you, it won’t be an easy one!  While Winston has a full service bar and extensive wine list, you will want to try one of their signature cocktails.  The fall menu includes (pictured clockwise from top left) a Spiced Apple Margarita, Blueberry Dash, Ginger Redemption, Passion Fruit Bellini, The Herbed Pear and a Pumpkin Mojito.  The only other drink, not pictured, is the Gentleman Fig.   I love sweet drinks and the Passion Fruit Bellini was right up my alley.  Since I had to drive home (and I might be a lightweight) I didn’t try any of the other cocktails. They all have such interesting combinations of flavors and ingredients, and appeared to be well-liked by my fellow diners.

The starters on the new fall menu at Winston Restaurant in Mount Kisco.

The fall menu includes four new starters (pictured above clockwise) Vegetable Spring Rolls, Beef Negimaki, Beef Carpaccio and Gruyere Potato Dumplings.  They were all delicious but I highly recommend the potato dumplings and the carpaccio.  The beef carpaccio is topped with an arugula salad and is a nice light dish to start your meal.  The potato dumplings are small, fluffy pillows of deliciousness.  Accompanied by butternut squash, corn and asparagus, this dish embodies the goodness of fall. The portions are large enough for sharing so why not get both?!

The four new entrees on the fall menu at Winston Restaurant in Mount Kisco.

Chef Williams knocked it out of the ballpark with the new entrees on the fall menu!  The four entrees (pictured above clockwise) include Pan-Seared Diver Scallops with Cannelini Beans, Chipotle Encrusted Cod atop a Butternut Squash, Corn and Brussels Sprout Leaves medley, Hudson Valley Magret Duck Breast with a Moroccan Honey Glaze served with a potato gratin and roasted cauliflower and Asian Braised Pork Shank atop a combo of Fingerling Potatoes and Savoy Cabbage.  Honestly, they are all delicious and I can’t pick a favorite.  I think it really depends on what you’re in the mood for.  The cod has a bit of a kick from the chipotle crust, but isn’t overly spicy.  The braised pork is so tender it falls off the bone.  I love duck and the Moroccan Glaze is on point.  And look at the perfect sear on those scallops!  Again, I recommend ordering different entrees than your dining companions and sharing.

The desserts from the new fall menu at Winston Restaurant in Mt. Kisco.

Finally, we can’t forget about dessert.  No matter how stuffed I am, I always take a peek at the dessert menu…..just in case there’s something that I have to try. Apple Tart served with vanilla ice cream is the new addition to the fall dessert menu.  The nine piece assorted Cookie Plate and The Dirty Winston, a chocolate hazelnut layer cake served with raspberry sorbet are mainstays on Winston’s dessert menu.  My advice: skip the cookie plate.  If you’re going to splurge on dessert, really splurge!  Depending on your sweet preferences both the apple tart and Dirty Winston are really good.  However, if you love creme brulee, like I do, you must order the creme brulee trio. While I didn’t sample this dessert during my most recent visit, speaking from my prior dining experience, they are really good! The flavors change seasonally.

Are you salivating yet?! Winston will still be serving their new fall menu from now until the spring.  Sunday through Thursday they also have a Prix Fixe Menu.  I had never thought of Winston as a “family” restaurant.  However, they have a kids menu featuring favorites like a cheeseburger, chicken fingers and pasta.  The whole family can enjoy a great dinner out!

The Details:

Winston Restaurant
130 East Main Street
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
(914) 244-9780

Hours: 
Closed Mondays
Tuesday – Thursday:  5 PM – 9 PM
Friday & Saturday:  5 PM – 10 PM
Sunday:  5 PM – 9 PM

Parking:  Street parking available in front of the restaurant.  Village Center Parking Lot is located behind the restaurant.  Meters enforced 8 AM – 6 PM Monday through Saturday.  Free parking Sundays and holidays.

Price:  $$ (small plate/starters average $15, most entrees priced between $25 – $35, most desserts are $10 and under)

Reservations can be made via phone or through OpenTable.

Brunching at Calle Dao {Chelsea}

 

{I was invited to a tasting of the everyday brunch menu. All opinions are my own.}

Just hearing the restaurant name Calle Dao, you know you are going to get a global dining experience. Calle Dao serves Cuban-Chinese cuisine, paying tribute to the heyday of Havana’s Chinatown. Located at 461 West 23rd street, the new Chelsea location opened in the beginning of September. This is the second Calle Dao location (the first one is located in Bryant Park).

Owner of Calle Dao Marco Britti.

Owner Marco Britti, a musician by trade, has traveled the world as a drummer.  He has spent a good amount of time in Cuba, playing music and studying the culture and food. Calle Dao Chelsea is his seventh restaurant.

The Dining Space at Calle Dao in Chelsea.

The restaurant’s decor reflects more of a Cuban vibe. The white-washed walls lighten the space and each table has its own overhead light.  The abundance of potted green leafy plants, Chinese prints and neon lit signs add pops of color.  The beats of the Latin music playing will have you tapping your toes and make you want to get up and dance.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Bradley Warner helped create the menu at Calle Dao.

The restaurant serves brunch seven days a week.  From 11 AM to 4 PM, you can enjoy all the deliciousness they offer!  Appetizers are in the $9-$10 range, with options like these Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls and Shrimp Empanadas.  I highly recommend the spring rolls that are served with a Mojo Lime Mustard.  They really showcase the fusion of the Cuban and Asian cuisines.

Calle Dao's tasty version of the classic Beef and Broccoli. One of the entrees offered on their seven day a week brunch menu.

Main entrees are priced from $15-$23.  I was most impressed with the restaurant’s take on Beef & Broccoli.  Tender pieces of smoked short ribs are served with Chinese broccoli and noodles in a garlic hoisin sauce.  I just wish there was more than three small pieces of meat.  They also serve a vegetarian, mushroom and broccoli version of this dish.

An entree served on the seven day a week brunch menu at Calle Dao.

Another one of my favorite entrees was the Chorizo and Garbanzo Hash.  The chorizo and garbanzo beans are mixed with sweet potatoes, peppers and onions and topped with sunny-side up eggs.  This was a very flavorful dish with a great combo of flavors.

Other dishes I tried were a Lamb Picadillo & Corn Congee, topped with poached eggs and Huevos Al Horno (eggs baked in a white bean stew with Chinese sausage).  The picadillo was an interesting fusion of the two cuisines.  The Huevos Al Horno was a hearty dish.  However, this was one of the few dishes that I felt that I could make myself at home.  When I dine out I try to order dishes that I wouldn’t make at home due to the complex ingredients, flavors, or cooking methods.

A classic Cuban sandwich served on the everyday brunch menu at Calle Dao.

The menu has a couple of classic dishes like this Cubano sandwich with Mojo glazed pork, cured ham, salami, pickles and Gruyere cheese.

Besides the Mushroom and Broccoli noodle bowl, Calle Dao offers several other vegetarian-friendly options.  They make a Black Bean and Mushroom Burger, Shiitake Spring Rolls and two different salads. More breakfast-y options include a vegetarian omelette, Maduro & Eggs (fried rice topped with eggs), Avocado Toast and a strawberry jam and cream cheese filled french toast.

One of the delicious cocktails served at Calle Dao. I enjoyed a brunch tasting at the newest Chelsea location.

The restaurant has a fully stocked bar and also serves wine and beer.  Master mixologist Joy Daniel has created several unique Cuban-Asian cocktails to accompany Calle Dao’s menu.  I prefer my drinks on the sweeter side and sampled the “Flor de Oro”. Made with vodka, rose and vanilla infused dry vermouth, cherry jam and fresh lemon juice, this cocktail did not disappoint.

Calle Dao serves some amazing desserts like these Bunuelos and Matcha Tres Leches.

You have to leave room for dessert!  I tried both the Bunuelos (fried dough balls, rolled in Chinese Five Spice Sugar and served with a chocolate coconut sauce) and Matcha Tres Leches.  Both were amazing, but if I had to recommend only one, I’d vote the Tres Leches.

Whether you are in Chelsea to visit an art gallery, see a show or to shop, take a brunch break at Calle Dao.  You are in for a great dining experience!

Conveyor Belt Sushi at east Japanese Restaurant {Updated}

Conveyor belt sushi used to be a rare dining experience that I only saw on television.  Luckily, it’s becoming more popular and now, even us suburbanites can partake in the conveyor belt sushi experience.  If you are shopping at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, New York and are looking for a family-friendly, non-chain, unique dining experience, east Japanese Restaurant is the place to go.

Guests are seated in booths around the sushi chefs, who have their prep stations located in the center of the dining space. As they prepare different rolls and sushi, they cover and place them on the conveyor belt.  The labeled plates travel around the restaurant, and diners take the items they want.

The different patterned and colored plates are priced differently.  White plates cost $1.75 each while the gold plates cost $8.00 each.  Most plates include two pieces of sushi or three pieces of roll.  There are many types of sushi available from the California roll to the specialty Big Thunder Mountain roll. Non-sushi dishes like seaweed salad and fried chicken are also offered.  If you do not see what you want or prefer not to go the sushi route, the restaurant offers a full Japanese menu including teriyaki and tempura dishes.  At the end of your meal, your plates are collected and you are charged accordingly.

What we love about this restaurant is that we are able to try new dishes without a huge commitment.  For a couple of dollars a plate, if we like it, we’ll take another plate of it.  If we didn’t like it we at least tried something new!  This is a great way to introduce your kids to different types of sushi.  Plus, like our kids, they will most likely enjoy grabbing the dishes off the conveyor belt.  It definitely makes for a unique and fun dining experience, which we highly recommend! Unfortunately, the only conveyor belt sushi restaurants that we are aware of that are not located in the city are this one and YO! Sushi at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

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Republic Restaurant (New York City)

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On a recent trip to New York City, we had to revise our lunch plan, when eating at Eataly was not a viable option.  See this post for details.  We were with the Mr.’s brother, who lives in New York City and suggested that we go to Republic.  He frequents the place and thought that we would enjoy it.  The restaurant is located in Union Square, convenient to the subway.  When you enter the restaurant, there are a few tables in the front and a long bar to the left.  The majority of the eating area is in the rear of the restaurant space and consists of long picnic style tables and benches.  It is likely that you will be sharing your table with another party.

Republic can best be described as an Asian Fusion restaurant.  They serve small dishes including dumplings, green papaya-mango salad,  and crispy tofu.  They serve many different varieties of broth noodles, which many people were eating, including spicy beef, curry chicken, lime chicken, and spicy seafood.  These small dishes range in price from $5 to $8.  Republic serves a variety of noodle dishes as well including pad thai, glass noodles, and peanut noodle salad.  Plus, they serve rice dishes including grilled chicken pesto over black rice, seared marinated salmon over curried rice with raisins, and chicken and mushrooms with broken rice and Asian vegetables.  These main dishes range between $12 and $15.  We visited on a weekday during lunch time and were able to take advantage of their special lunch bento boxes.  The Mr., the Mrs. and the kids each chose a different bento box, so we were able to sample three out of the five that they offer.  Each came with three different things so it was great that we got to try a variety of their menu items.   The Mr.’s brother ordered the Sauteed Curry Chicken, which he had before and enjoyed.  There is a small children’s menu that we didn’t really spend too much time looking at.  We figured the kids would get more food and variety by sharing an adult bento box.  Overall, we enjoyed everything that we ate.  The kids especially loved the sautéed mini dumplings and the peanut noodles.  The Mrs. really enjoyed the glass noodles and the Asian chopped veggie salad.

IMG_0448[1] The kids shared this!

 IMG_0449[1] The Mrs.  had this Vegetarian bento box

They have a large non-alcoholic specialty beverage menu  as well as a full bar menu including a selection of sakes and Asian beers. While the Mr. opted for a diet Coke, the Mrs. tried the non-alcoholic Asian Basil Lemonade and the kids had a Coconut Lime Cooler and a Pineapple Coconut Cooler.  The drinks weren’t too pricey at $4 each.

IMG_0452[1]  Asian Basil Lemonade 

    IMG_0450[1]  Coconut Lime Cooler

 

We had already eaten gelato before coming here for lunch, so we skipped dessert.  The dessert menu didn’t look that interesting with a couple of ice cream flavors (green tea and black sesame) sorbet, coconut tapioca and taro-coconut cake.  After lunch we strolled the Union Square farmer’s market, located right across the street from the restaurant.

We were very happy with our lunch at Republic.  While we, as a rule, tend not to frequent the same restaurants twice in New York City, we would recommend this for a family-friendly lunch or dinner.

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Gelato in Eataly (New York City)

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We took a recent trip down to New York City to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.  After seeing the tree, taking the mandatory photos, and visiting the Nintendo Store, we took a trip down to Eataly.  We had never been and I had heard so much about it.

According to their website, Eataly is “an original “marketplace” model inviting consumers to be active participants in an innovative food and beverage experience where they shop, taste and savor high quality traditional Italian food products and beverages along with local produce and artisanal products; a multifunctional marketplace that includes a premier retail center for Italian delicacies and wine, a culinary educational center, and a diverse slate of seven boutique eateries.” The 50,000 square foot entity opened in 2010 and is owned by Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich.

It is an Italian food lover’s dream.  As soon as you walk through the doors your senses are bombarded with various sights, sounds and smells. And yes, there are plenty of crowds in Eataly…especially over the holiday break.  From our understanding, if you were interested in eating fish, you would go to the fish area and try to get a table at Il Pesce.  If you wanted, you could stand and nibble on wine and cheese in La Piazza.  They cook with fresh ingredients that they sell in the marketplace.  You can also purchase most of the food products to take home with you, including one of the 200 different types of cheese and over 30 types of baked bread.  We saw cooked lobster pieces in a plastic take-out container that were going for $70/lb.

As I mentioned, the place was super crowded.  We didn’t get to see them making homemade mozzarella, or hand-made pasta.  We didn’t get to see them rolling out the dough at the bakery.  These are things that the kids would have enjoyed seeing.  We found the demarcations of one eating area from another weren’t very clear, and there were people everywhere. We weren’t going to be able to get a table at any of the seven restaurants without a huge wait time.  With two young children and no clear waiting areas we decided to skip eating lunch there.  Unfortunately, because it was so crowded, you couldn’t really stop and just take it all in.  The below pastry shots were taken on the fly as we were pushed along with the crowds.  But you can’t leave Eataly without some type of treat!
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We passed bakery cases showcasing all kinds of delectable looking treats but decided on gelato.  My husband and I honeymooned in Italy and have fond memories of gelato.
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The chalk drawn menu listed several gelato flavors including chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and some fruit sorbets, including raspberry.  We ended up getting a large cup to share, with up to three different gelato selections, for $6.90.  I chose Salted Caramel, my daughter chose Stracciatella (sweet cream with chocolate chips), and my son chose Coconut.  My husband is not picky and was happy enough with our choices.  The gelato was cold, creamy, and delicious and we all voted the Salted Caramel as our favorite.  The Coconut gelato, which we were originally trying to dissuade our son from choosing, was actually really tasty, with shreds of real coconut.

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Overall, the crowds of the place really detracted from our enjoyment.  I felt rushed and was more worried about losing my kids in the crowd than really enjoying the place.  While Eataly has restaurants that serve food very kid-friendly food, like pizza and pasta, the long waits were not child-friendly.  We would prefer to go again when the crowds aren’t so heavy. Unfortunately, since we make family trips into the city so infrequently, it is highly unlikely that we will be returning to Eataly anytime soon.

Have any of you been to Eataly? Please share your experiences in the comments section.