Spring is officially here! If like me, you became inspired to do some major cleaning out and purging of your belongings, but now have piles of “stuff” all over your house, then this post is for you. Please do not just throw your gently used goods out. There are plenty of places that will take your unwanted items and you avoid having these items sit in a landfill for years. Check out our guide on where to give, donate and sell your unused items in Westchester County. Please check with the organizations for the most up-to-date information. With COVID, many places have changed their donation process and times.
If you want to get rid of your things quickly to local members of your community and/or the surrounding towns.
Buy Nothing groups FB: Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook are set up by locations throughout Westchester County. If you are interested in giving your unwanted items to local neighbors who you don’t mind coming to your house to pickup, then this may be an option for you.
Freecycle.org: This network has over 9 million members worldwide with a mission of keeping good stuff out of landfills. It’s a grassroots movement of people giving and getting stuff for free.
There are several local and national organizations that accept donations of gently used items.
(914) Cares: (White Plains) (914) Cares mission is “to support neighbors in our community who struggle to meet basic human needs.” They have a Kids Clothing Bank where you can donate seasonally appropriate, clean clothing.
The Back Door Thrift Shop: (White Plains) The Back Door Thrift Shop run by The Hebrew Institute of White Plains is currently closed due to COVID. When open, they accept donations of costume jewelry, gently used clothing, shoes and housewares.
The Cherry Door Thrift Shop: (Tarrytown) *Please note, donations are not being accepted without prior approval at this time. The thrift shop has been closed and reopens March 25th.
The Cherry Door accepts furniture, antiques, art, jewelry, books in good condition, stereo equipment and more. Check here for a full list of what they do and do not accept.
Furniture Sharehouse: (West Harrison) The Furniture Warehouse provides furniture to economically disadvantaged Westchester County families and individuals at no cost. They are currently only accepting drop off donations on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM. They are resuming furniture pick-ups for a fee, beginning the week of April 19th. Please check this list for furniture items accepted.
Goodwill: (Baldwin Place – Store & Donation Center, Chappaqua – Donation Bins, Eastchester – Donation Center, Elmsford – Store & Donation Center) There are two Goodwill stores in Westchester County that sell items as well as take donations. There are also donation bins in Westchester County where items can be dropped off. Goodwill accepts clothing, electronics, furniture and housewares.
Katonah Thrift Shop: (Katonah) The proceeds from this shop support the Women’s Civic Club. Donations can be scheduled by calling 232-3010.
Midnight Run: (Dobbs Ferry) This organization is mostly in need of casual men’s clothing, especially coats, pants and larger sizes. They also collect food items, toiletries and blankets. Call to arrange a drop-off or stop during office hours (contact info and details here).
Salvation Army: The Salvation Army accepts donated items including clothing, furniture, automobiles, household goods, appliances Drop Boxes located in Tarrytown, Yonkers Community Centers located in New Rochelle, Peekskill, Port Chester, Tarrytown, White Plains and Yonkers Family Stores located in Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Port Chester
The Sharing Shelf: (Port Chester) The Sharing Shelf provides clothing, backpacks, toiletries, diapers and more to children in need via nonprofits, schools and government agencies in Westchester County. They accept clothing donations of all sizes from infant through adult. Check this list for items they do and don’t collect.
Twigs Thriftree Thrift Shop: (Mount Kisco) The Thriftree Boutique is run by Twigs of Northern Westchester County. All profits benefit Northern Westchester Hospital. Donations of clothing, jewelry and small household items are are currently accepted by appointment. Yorktown Love in Action: (Yorktown Heights) *Please note during COVID the donation times and the items they are accepting have changed. Read here for the changes.
This local non-profit organization serves Westchester and Putnam county communities. Donations are accepted at the donation center everyday during their normal business hours. They accept furniture, clothing, footwear, jewelry, books, decorative items, bedding, rugs, DVDs, mattresses, cars. Check this list of what they do and do not accept.
If you are interested in making some money off your unwanted items try these places.
Home Again Consignments: (Dobbs Ferry) Home Again Consignments is a place for you to sell your slightly used furniture, gifts, lighting and home decor items. They carry antiques, mid-century and modern pieces. The consignment period is 60 days and they work with you to set the asking prices of your items. Consignors receive 50% of the final sale price.
Penny Pincher Boutique: (Bedford Hills) Penny Pincher Boutique is a women’s luxury consignment shop in Bedford Hills. Appointments are necessary to consign. They consign luxury designer brand items including clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, small leather accessories and more.
Trilogy Consignment: (Tarrytown) Current consignment sellers must do so virtually, as March and April walk-in appointments are filled. Trilogy accepts both women and men’s based on style and quality, not brand name. Sellers get 40% of the amount the item sells for, or 50% of items priced $100 or more. Items are listed for two months and there is an online tracking system where you can track your items in real time.
Once Upon a Child: (Somers/Scarsdale) Currently buying by appointment only, these franchises purchase gently used children’s clothes, shoes, toys and baby gear.
We are bringing back our “5 Questions With…..” series, but focusing on spotlighting local Hudson Valley businesses and people. Kicking off our local series is 5 Questions with Hudson Green. Hudson Green is a local Westchester County family owned and operated business. This plant-based food company is run by Maria Rama and her son Will Reiter. Launched in 2018, Hudson Green currently sells two plant-based sauces, Meatless Bolognese and Velvet Vodka.
Maria grew up in the restaurant business and has extensive experience in the food industry. Not only does she and her son make and sell their sauces, but she creates recipes, found on the Hudson Green website, that incorporate the sauces.
1. I know starting a business is not a quick and easy endeavor.What was the inspiration behind Hudson Green and how long did it take for you to go from the concept to creating your first sauce, the Bolognese?
I’ve worked in the food business as a cookbook author, account executive for Sunkist Growers, Tabasco Pepper Sauce, Korbel Champaign, and served as a consumer advocate and food spokesperson for nearly my entire professional life. After my dear husband Mark nearly suffered a heart attack, he made the life-saving decision to become a vegan. As the head chef in our household, and even though I was proficient in the kitchen, I had to learn how to make satisfying and delicious plant-based dishes, that were also fat free or at least had very little fat, including vegetable oils. This undertaking was tricky, even with my cooking skills. Prior to his illness, I’d just released my sixth cookbook, Bacon Nation, which gives you an idea of my cooking experience and my prejudices for using flavorful, umami rich fats in all of my cooking. Like so many others, we thought we were eating well and healthfully, but we weren’t. To save Mark’s life, I had to completely relearn how to cook.
One of the most delicious and useful dishes I created was a recipe for a Meatless 6-Vegetable Bolognese. It was a basket of vegetables in a pot, caramelized in very little oil, seasoned with spices like fennel, nutmeg, nutritional yeast and sun-dried tomatoes, and I added walnuts for a little protein and to give it a meat-like “bite.” It was so thick and delicious, and I used it to stuff peppers, make vegetable chilis, even lentil burgers. I had kind of a “eureka” moment in my kitchen. I thought, “This sauce is so good and so unique, maybe others looking for healthy and delicious plant-based sauces might want to buy it.” That began my journey to create a recipe that could be scaled up, manufactured and safely jarred. I had no experience as a product developer and it took me the better part of a year to complete this part of my journey. I was helped by Cornell Food Venture Center, the New York State institute that approves all shelf-stable jarred goods before they can be sold in the U.S.
2. Hudson Green is a family business. What is it like working with your son?
This is an interesting question. I love working with my son, Will, and believe we’ve gotten to know each other much better through this business. It’s good that we bring different skill sets that can tackle and solve different problems. I focus on recipe and product development and manufacturing. I’m also a people person and love connecting with our customers. But my computer skills are limited, and so Will manages all the back office work, including our online Amazon sales. Also, he’s a lawyer, and he reads and amends all our contracts with the people and companies we work with, such as our broker, our co-packer, our vendors, our distributors. I very much admire how he’s trained to think more cautiously than I am. I’ll say let’s do this, and he’ll give me the smart and practical reasons that temper my enthusiasm. I think we make a good team.
3. You are a best selling cookbook author, have trained as a pastry chef, worked as a food stylist and as an account executive for major food brands. Who/what influenced you to enter the food industry and how has your diverse background in the industry helped you in creating your sauces?
I grew up in a large, boisterous Italian family, dominated by women who lived to cook. They owned a successful grocery and meat market in Bedford Hills, Briccetti’s Bedford Market, for more than 50 years, and cooked for this store many of the most amazing and unique dishes I’ve ever tasted in my life, still to this day. I worked often in the store and in their home kitchen, absorbing all their secrets and also all the joys of creating food that was pure, delicious, nutritious, and that brought us all to an extended family table at Grandma’s house every Sunday. After graduating from college, I went right back into making food. My first real job was working in Boston as a pastry chef and then I was hired by a major New York Food Public Relations Firm to create recipes and products for different food companies. It’s a classic tale of how what you do as a child, if you love doing it, is very often what you seek to do professionally as an adult.
4. My family followed a vegan diet for 6 months and now 3 out of the 4 of us are vegetarians. Your two sauces are both plant-based and meat and dairy-free. We love pasta and sauce, but I love that you have created recipes like risotto, stuffed peppers and a shepherd(less) pie, that incorporate your sauces. They really showcase how versatile the Bolognese and Velvet Vodka sauces are. Do you have any tips or advice for readers who are looking to adopt a more plant-based diet?
Cooking delicious plant-based foods is not as difficult as many people think. Meat, poultry, eggs, fish and dairy products all have different kinds of fat, and fat is filled with flavor. So, the trick is to impart flavor to your plant-based dishes without using any of these fat-rich foods. You can do it with either a technique or an ingredient. Here’s a few tricks I practice:
1.) Roast your vegetables! Use a little oil or substitute vegetable broth for oil in your roasting pan to roast veggies like red peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, eggplant, hard-shelled squash, etc. Roasting caramelizes the vegetables, to bring out their natural sweetness, and aside from the chopping, there’s little work to roasting!
2.) These are a few of the seasoning ingredients that I am never without in my vegan kitchen. They bring bland vegetable dishes to life.
Fresh Ginger Root — It’s slightly spicy, intense, slightly nutty, slightly sweet. Add it generously to your soups, vegetable stir-fries, stuffings, and pasta dishes.
Garlic — Like onions, it’s a must kitchen helper, but don’t ever burn garlic when you sauté it. Tease out it’s flavor by adding garlic to the pan after other vegetables have been fully sautéed and softened. Sauté garlic only about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Or wrap a whole head of garlic in tin foil and bake until very soft. Perfect for hummus dips!
Jalapeno Peppers — They not only add spice, but also lots of peppery flavor to vegetable sautés and soups.
Substitute cooked and pureed cauliflower for cream and other dairy to make creamy soups and vegetable purees.
Curry powders are instant flavor enhancers, even if you don’t care much for curry! Yellow curries have a different profile than spicy Thai red curries. Try different ones to flavor soups, vegetable stews, stir-fries, dips, sauces. A little sprinkle or a large spoonful of curry powder perks up the flavor of just about any vegetable dish.
We all focus on eating fresh vegetables, but don’t ignore frozen veggies. Stock them conveniently in your freezer for quick side dishes. We always buy and freeze a supply of shelled edamame, corn, and green peas, and add them to mixed greens for quick and nutritious salads.
Olives, capers, roasted and pickled peppers, pickles — With their intense saltiness, these make great seasoners. Add them to salads or serving as satisfying garnishes to all kinds of vegan dishes.
Good quality sea salt, kosher salt, truffle salt, etc. Salt can elevate the taste of a bland and forgettable vegan dish to something wonderful. Experiment with different salts to find a few you really like.
Good quality white and red balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over roasted veggies, onto your favorite salad, onto avocado toast, etc.
Fresh herbs, especially thyme, tarragon, parsley.
Good quality vegetable broth. If you need to reduce the amount of oil in your diet, use a good quality vegetable broth instead to sautéed and roast vegetables. Oil does work to impart flavor, but vegetable broth will also impart some flavor and more importantly it will keep your veggies from burning while sautéing or roasting.
3.) We’re all eating more pasta dishes these days. To avoid putting on COVID pasta pounds, make the sauce the center of the dish, not the pasta. In other words, do as the Italians do, who eat pasta every day and never gain weight. Use less pasta and more sauce and fill your sauce with an assortment of vegetables. Your pasta sauce can become a vegetable delivery system. Indeed, this is the way we look at our Organic 6-Vegetable Meatless Bolognese. It brings to your pasta plate cauliflower, carrots, onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts. Use 3 to 4 ounces of pasta per serving, not 6 to 8, with our sauce for a truly satisfying dinner that won’t add unwanted pasta pounds.
4.) Think outside the pasta box! Use our plant-based Hudson Green sauces not only to make great pasta dishes but also to make soups, veggie stews, to stuff peppers, to make a veggie chili, a lentil burger, or a cream-free, dairy-free mac ‘n cheese. Our sauces are not for pasta only! Check out our many Hudson Green recipes on our website.
5. What are your future plans and goals for Hudson Green?
We’d like to extend our line of sauces, and we have several recipes ready to go. To that end, we’ll need to find investors or a larger company that sees the potential in our brand and wants to help us develop our products.
1. What is your favorite food? I don’t have one. But I love any dish that is perfectly and exquisitely seasoned and cooked.
2. What are some of your favorite places in Westchester County to eat, shop and play? My husband and I are avid golfers and you will find us often on many of Westchester’s public courses about 8 months out of the year, weather permitting. I love any restaurant where the cook makes something I can’t make better in my own home kitchen. Often a great slice of pizza or an exquisitely prepared eggplant parmesan will send me to heaven, so to speak. And I often find these dishes in small neighborhood restaurants where the chef or owner has been making them for many years or even for his entire life.
Hudson Green’s Meatless Bolognese and Velvet Vodka sauces can be purchased online via the Hudson Green website, Amazon or at local specialty grocery stores including Wegmans.
I love to cook, but some days, even I need a night off! However, feeding a family of four, including two teens can get pricey. There are several restaurants in Westchester County that offer family dinner deals. Most of these deals feed a family of four and are available for takeout. As always, please check directly with the restaurant for the most up-to-date information and prices.
Crabtree’s Kittle House: (Chappaqua) Crabtree’s Kittle House has different family dinner deals, depending on the day. Each feeds 4-6 people and it appears the menus change weekly, so be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information. For this week’s menu click here. Sunday Family Meal ($79), Tuesday and Wednesday Family Comfort Meal ($89), Thursday Takeout Taco Kit ($59), Thursday Family Meal ($85), Saturday Surf & Turf Family Dinner ($155).
Gosu: (Irvington) Gosu is an Asian fusion restaurant featuring many Korean dishes. They have family trays including Chicken Katsu ($75), Chicken Teriyaki ($75), Spicy Pork ($80). They have vegetarian trays including Yaki Udon ($65) and Bibimbop ($75). Each family meal includes a choice of Miso soup or house salad and a bottle of red wine, white wine or a bottle of Soju (Korean alcohol).
The Greekish: (Harrison) This Greek restaurant has a family meal box that feeds four. There are four different entree options (Fish of the Moment ($85), Mediterranean Mixed Grill ($65), Baked Shrimp Santorini ($55), or the Greek.ish Gyro Box ($65)). Plus you also get pita, hummus, Tzatziki, seasonal salad, dressing, stuffed grape leaves and a, “tiny bit of sweet.”
Jean-Jacques’: (Pleasantville) Jean-Jacques’ in Pleasantville has a “Complete Dinners For One Or More” menu. Dinner includes 1 appetizer, 1 main, 2 sides and a dessert for $25/person. When ordering for 4 or more, the food is packaged family-style.
OKO: (Rye) OKO is a Japanese restaurant with locations in Rye and Westport, CT. OKO has a to-go Family Box Set that serves 4 (2 adults, 2 kids). For $49, the box set includes sticky ribs, a choice of Bigeye Tuna Poke or Marinated King Salmon Poke and 2 fried chicken bao buns. It also includes 2 kids bento boxes with a choice of Teriyaki chicken thighs, Teriyaki King Salmon or Wagyu Hanger Steak and miso soup, rice, vegetable tempura and edamame.
The Rail House 10803: (Pelham) This “eclectic American restaurant” has 5 different family dinner packs-to-go. Priced from $45-$65 there dinner packs include a burger night, a pasta night, a fish night, a chicken night and a party night (sliders, flatbreads, wings and calamari).
Sergio’s Valhalla: (Valhalla) This Mediterranean-Italian restaurant has a Family Style Menu that serves 4. You have a choice of house salad, Caesar salad, pasta in marinara sauce or pasta in garlic & oil plus Chicken ($50) or Veal $55) Francese, Marsala, Parmigiana, Picatta, or Martini. 1/2 trays of Baked Ziti, Rigatoni Bolognese, Penne Vodka or Penne Primavera are available for $30.
Sofia’s Pizzeria & Restaurant: (Harrison) Sofia’s has a pre-fixed family dinner deal that includes salad, pasta (w/tomato sauce or vodka sauce), chicken (Parmigiana, a la Sofia, or Scarpariello) and a Carvel cake. This deal is $55 for 4 people, $70 for 6 people or $80 for 8 people.
Southern Table: (Pleasantville) This Southern cuisine restaurant has a Family Style takeout menu for $23/person, minimum of 2 people. Choose 1 starter and 1 entrée and family size portions will be provided for the number of people in the order. Complimentary mac and cheese and cornbread are provided with every order.
Taormina Trattoria: (Peekskill) This Italian restaurant has a dinner pack for 4 to go for $40 with many different entrée options. It includes a small pizza or Stromboli, house salad and bread, a choice of 1/2 a tray of stuffed Rigatoni Marinara with Meatballs and Sausage (4 of each), Manicotti and Stuffed Shells combo, seafood Scampi, Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Francese, Chicken Martini, Chicken Stacey, Chicken Marsala, Chicken Scarpariello, Veal Parmigiana, Eggplant Parmigiana or Pork Medallions Taormina and a choice of two desserts (Cannoli, Cheesecake or Carrot Cake).
Trattoria Vivolo: (Harrison) This Italian restaurant has 3 different family dinner packages priced between $120 – $160 plus tax. These meals feed 6 people and are available Tuesday – Sunday for pickup or delivery (to Harrison, Rye, Mamaroneck and Larchmont only). Package #1 ($120 plus tax) includes Pollo Parmigiana, Penne Vodka, vegetable of the day, Strawberry Shortcake & mini cannoli. Package #2 ($160 plus tax) includes Sole Francese, Linguini with garlic and oil, vegetable of the day, Strawberry Shortcake & mini cannoli. Package #3 ($130 plus tax) includes sauteed sweet & spicy sausage and peppers, penne limone, vegetable of the day, Strawberry Shortcake & mini cannoli.
Vela Kitchen: (Pleasantville) Vela Kitchen has a Sunday Family Dinner to-go special. You choose an entrée and two sides. House salad, garlic bread and dessert are included for $25/person.
Vintage 1891 Kitchen: (Larchmont) This contemporary American restaurant offers a family dinner to go for $40/person. There are 3 mains to choose from (salmon, short rib or organic chicken breast). Then you choose two sides (mashed potatoes, french fries, Black Thai rice, sticky rice Risotto, green vegetables). A house salad, dessert and garlic bread are also included. There is a kids menu for $15/person and a bottle of wine can be added for $25.
Wood & Fire: (Pleasantville & Scarsdale) This Italian restaurant has three different family style takeout options. There are 3 different price points ($18/person, $22/person, $26/person) with a minimum of 2 people. Each comes with a choice of starter, a pasta or pizza and a main dish.
If you know of any restaurants that should be added to this post please email NYFoodieFamily@gmail.com.
Charcuterie boards are not new to the party and appetizer scene. However, they have recently seen a surge in popularity. Not only are they visually appealing, but the combinations of the components on the boards are almost limitless. I discovered that Westchester County has several local, small businesses that can create charcuterie boards for you. Today’s charcuterie boards consist of much more than meats and cheeses. These small businesses rise to the occasion; offering nuts, fruit, olives and more. Each can customize a board that fits your needs. Some even create dessert and hot cocoa charcuterie! Check out and support these Charcuterie Board small businesses in Westchester County.
All Aboard, started by Francesca Martilotta, has been in business for two months. She creates boards for all kinds of events, holidays and special occasions. During the winter, All Aboard offered a s’mores box that came completed with a bonfire from City Bonfires! She is currently creating seasonal holiday sweet treat boards. There is a St. Patrick’s Day Board and will be featuring an Easter board soon.
All Aboard prides themselves on working with local businesses. Francesca features delicious and creative treats from Westchester County businesses. She takes pride in customizing boards to her client’s interests.
Location: All Aboard is located in Mamaroneck. They offer free delivery within a 5 mile radius.
Price: Holiday boards start at $100 and traditional savory charcuterie boards start at $125. Everything comes on boards.
How to Order: Orders are taken via Direct Message on Instagram.
Boards By Bean is a new business that just began in February of 2021. Christina Scumaci enjoyed making charcuterie boards for small gatherings. After numerous friends and family encouraged her to start a side business, she finally took the plunge and started Boards By Bean. She loves taking a variety of foods and making them come to life on one board.
Christina makes holiday themed boxes and boards and is currently working on adding brunch boards and dessert boxes to her menu.
Location: Boards By Bean is based in Mount Kisco. Pick ups are preferred but she does deliver.
Price: Prices range from $25 to $85 and can feed between 1 – 12 people depending on the board you choose. Every board or box includes meats, cheeses, nuts, assorted fruits and accompaniments. However, she is happy to customize any type of board to fit your needs.
How to order: Orders can be made via Direct Message on Instagram.
Boxed and Board was launched by Kayleigh in January 2021. Besides traditional meat and cheese charcuterie boards, Boxed and Board also has a signature waffle brunch box. They make all kinds of boards for holidays, birthdays or even an intimate get together. Kayleigh can make vegetarian boards upon request.
Location: Boxed and Board is located in Somers and offers both pickup and delivery.
Price: Charcuterie boards and boxes range from $55 -$150.
How to Order: Orders are taken via Direct Message on Instagram, Facebook or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). A website is coming soon.
Charcutebri creates custom charcuterie boards for any occasion. Although Briann made her first cheeseboard in 2019 for a Christmas Eve family gathering, she didn’t officially go into business until June of 2020. As she says, “[It’s] my version of a pandemic baby!”
Briann gets many requests for and happily offers gluten-free and nut-free boards. She enjoys incorporating cheeses that the regular person wouldn’t pick up or might not be familiar with, like Sweet Fire Mango Jack by Kindred Creamery. She also likes to add sweet treats to her board and often partners with local bakers and other small businesses. In the past she’s worked with G’POP SHOP, Sweets By Cari and Sweets By Smooches.
Location: Briann is located in Yorktown Heights but also operates out of Middletown, New York for those living in/near Orange County New York. She likes to make it easy for everyone and offers pick up and delivery.
Price: Single boxes start at $20. Briann is happy to customize any board and will work with you to create something for your particular needs and budget.
How to Order: Orders are taken via DM on Instagram or email (email@example.com).
Laura started Charcuterie Collection in May of 2020. She creates charcuterie gift boxes and platters for any occasion. Laura is able to accommodate all dietary restrictions. Besides Chef’s selections of meat and cheese, Charcuterie Collection gift boxes include different combinations of jams, honey, olives, fresh and dried fruit, crackers, mixed nuts and chocolates. They also provide a separate packet with utensils like bamboo tongs, wooden picks, jam spreaders and more.
Charcuterie Collection loves the holidays and is currently offering special Valentine themed boxes. They can personalize boxes with logos for corporate events and customize the contents of their boxes. They also do residential setups and love using kitchen islands for displays. Please note that Charcuterie Collection does not use wooden boards. The charcuterie is packaged in gift boxes.
Location: Charcuterie Collection is online based and serves Westchester County. There is a delivery team that hand delivers all orders.
Price: The “Classic Meats and Cheese” line comes in three sizes, Small through Large and starts at $45.
The Cheese Enthusiast was started in August 2020 by Ali Weinig. The company prides itself on supporting local, “by serving rare and luxury cheeses from local farms.”
The Cheese Enthusiast curates cheese boards for all occasions. All of the cheese, meat, produce, jam, honey and breads used on their boards are locally sourced from local farms and vendors. They make vegetarian and even dairy-free boards.
Location: The Cheese Enthusiast serves Westchester County and and the surrounding areas. They usually deliver their cheese boards, but there is a pickup option in Pleasantville.
Price: Price varies based on the size of the board, with individual boards starting at $25 to $95 for extra large boards that serve 10-12. If you need a larger board for a catered event, they can do that as well.
How to Order: Orders are taken through their website, by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via DM on Instagram.
The Cheesy Charcuterie was started in November 2020 by Michelle Romano. Born into a large Italian American family, Sunday dinners have always been routine. Michelle always loves starting off these dinners with her favorite course: a cheese and charcuterie plate. As she noted, “with the last name Romano, how can I not be a lover of cheese and expand this delicious fun?” Michelle works full time as journalist for News 12. The Cheesy Charcuterie has become her passion project turned side business.
To make the perfect bite, Michelle likes to add cheese accompaniments and a wine pairing to custom orders. Each box is decorated in bright color palettes and, “wrapped with love.”
She is currently taking orders for Valentine’s Day but she also creates orders for all occasions: date night, birthdays, bridal/baby showers, rehearsal dinners, holidays or, “any excuse to get together and make memories while eating cheese!”
Location: The Cheesy Charcuterie serves lower Westchester County and Long Island. Orders can be picked up or delivered.
Price: Price varies per order based on cheese selection and size of box/platter. Reach out directly to Michelle to work on a customized box for your budget and needs.
How to Order: Orders are taken via DM on Instagram or via email (email@example.com).
Christina started Christina’s Charcuterie in the summer of 2020. She is a big wine and cheese lover and has always had a passion for food styling and entertaining. After creating a themed board for the Fourth of July for a family gathering, she decided to take her hobby to the next level and Christina’s Charcuterie was launched.
Christina’s Charcuterie boards contain an array of gourmet cheeses, cured meat, fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, honey, fig spread, and garnish. Although crackers are not included in the board, Christina assures, “you will be receiving quality food as opposed to “fillers.”” Boards can be customized for any special occasion. Christina loves adding special touches wherever possible and recently put together a fun board for a Casamigos and bourbon themed birthday. She can also accommodate boards for dietary needs, including vegetarian boards.
Location: Christina’s Charcuterie is based out of Westchester County, NY. Pickup or delivery within the tri-state area is available for an additional fee.
Price: Charcuterie boxes range in price from $35 to $120. Christina can make grazing tables and can customize options at varying prices.
Tina Tompkins started Gather + Graze just before Thanksgiving of 2020. Although the idea had been in the works for the past year, it finally came together. She wants to help take the stress out of entertaining by creating delicious and impressive-looking boards for your guests.
Gather + Graze boards are curated specifically for your gathering and includes charcuterie, cheese, crackers and accompaniments. Tina can create vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free boards upon request. She also does holiday themed boards, dessert boards, wedding boards, crudités and more. She currently has a $45 Sunday football box and a Heartcuterie special for Valentine’s Day. A wine pairing option is available for boards at an additional cost.
Location: Gather +Graze is based in White Plains but Tina delivers to Westchester for free.
Price: Boards that can feed 2-4 people start at $60 and can be customized from there.
How to Order: Orders are taken through the website.
Founded in 2017 by Shari, graze New York is one of the first Westchester County charcuterie board companies. They are also a 2019 Best of Westchester winner.
Besides traditional charcuterie boards, graze New York creates specialty items like seasonal goodie bags and graze boxes. They can also create vegetarian boards and offer gluten free options. They love to work with seasonal ingredients, so current boards may have passion fruit, blood oranges and/or goose berries for pops of color.
Location: graze NY is located Bedford. They offer both pick up and delivery throughout Westchester County, NYC and the surrounding areas.
Price: Prices start at $25 for individual graze boxes and up to $185 for 2 feet long large boards. However, Shari and her team love to work with clients to customize boards.
How to Order: Orders can be made via the graze New York website, Direct Message on Instagram or by email (Shari@grazenewyork.com).
Gusto Goodies was started by Laureen and her fiancé Jonathan in December 2020, right before the holiday season.
Gusto Goodies charcuterie boards come with multiple types of meat and cheese so customers can be introduced to new varieties. They can make vegetarian or vegan boards and can accommodate almost any diet or preference upon request. They also offer dessert boards. To help personalize boards, they almost always have letter-shaped cheese cutouts featuring a name or word. They can also add flowers, notes and other customizable features.
Location: Gusto Goodies is based in Ossining. They deliver but also offer pickup.
Price: Boards are currently priced from $15-$90, depending on the size.
How to Order: Orders are taken via DM on Instagram.
Amanda Welch of I’ve Got The Board, has been making charcuterie boards for approximately two years. However, she only turned it into a local small business this past November. She works a full time job and creates charcuterie boards as, “a creative escape to make sure I don’t lose that in my more technical world at work.”
Amanda can make vegetarian boards (pictured above) as well as nut and gluten-free boards to accommodate all diets. She enjoys playing with different fillers for her boards depending on the occasion. For example, she may use pink covered chocolate items for a girl birthday or baby shower themed board or heart shaped items for Valentine’s Day.
And speaking of Valentine’s Day, if you’d like to order for that weekend she has some time slots available.
Location: I’ve Got The Board is based in Stamford, CT but serves both Westchester and Fairfield County. Pickup is available, but if you live within 15 miles of Stamford, delivery is included in the price of the boards.
Price: Most boards start at $65 but everything is completely customizable depending on her client’s needs. With a quick consultation, she can create a board that fits your size and budget.
How to Order: Orders are currently taken via DM on Instagram or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Overboard Grazing launched at the end of February 2021 by Lindsay Forschner. During COVID, Lindsay enjoyed making charcuterie boards as a hobby. She only recently decided to turn it into a business. Her company believes, “it’s always necessary to go overboard.”
Lindsay likes to combine sweet and salty items on her boards. She also likes to make sure there are a variety of textures and colors, but ultimately taste is her priority. Frequent items on her board included chocolate covered pretzels, a pastry of some sort, cheese, crackers and nuts. She can customize boards based on allergies and strong dislikes.
Location: Overboard Grazing is located in Scarsdale. There is free delivery for Scarsdale orders. Delivery outside of Scarsdale has a small fee.
Price: Prices of boards range from $35 – $250, depending on the size. However, boards can be customized to the client’s needs and wants.
How to Order: Orders can be placed via Direct Message on Instagram, the website, or by emailing Lindsay at email@example.com.
ROC Boards was started by Stephanie in May of 2020, “as a way to bring out my creative side in the form of charcuterie….” Her goal is to bring people together to enjoy great conversations while they enjoy her delicious boards.
Stephanie creates charcuterie boards in all sizes from extra small to large. She also makes brunch boards and dessert boards. She has a list of cheese, meat and accompaniments on her site so clients can customize exactly what they want. ROC Boards is all about supporting local and small businesses. Stephanie uses gourmet nuts on her board from Nuts Nuts, an upstate NY business. Many of the cheeses that she uses on her boards come from local vendors as well, including one of her favorites “Torio” from The Cheese Guy based in Yonkers, NY.
ROC Boards can accommodate most allergies and dietary restrictions and can create vegetarian, gluten-free, nut free and even vegan boards upon request.
Location: ROC Boards is based in Yorktown Heights but delivers to Westchester and the surrounding areas.
Price: Prices for boards depend on the size. There are four different sized boards, XS to Large. The XS starts at $40 but feeds 2-4 people. Stephanie recently started offering mini “charcuterie boxes” that start at $35.
Boards by Soph is a local business started by Sophie Dippolito. She graduated from the University of Miami in May 2020. As a way to combine her passions and skills, she turned her hobby of making cheese boards into a small business.
Sophie is currently focusing on school and is only offering boards on select weekends, for holidays and special occasions. Check her Instagram account to stay up-to-date.
I know that many people are still not comfortable with indoor dining. However, since the cold weather has arrived, that’s left many with the option of doing takeout only. Fortunately, from igloos to outdoor tents with heaters, there are several restaurants offering outdoor dining options. Check out our guide to winter outdoor dining in Westchester County. Please be mindful that you are dining outdoors, so it is recommended that you do dress warmly. As always, please check directly with the restaurant for the most up-to-date information. Please let me know of any other restaurants that can be added to this list! (email: NYFoodieFamily@gmail.com)
3 Westerly: (Ossining) This restaurant serves modern American cuisine. They are open daily from 12 PM – 10 PM with outdoor dining. They have a 7 foot wind barrier around the perimeter of the patio and another 6 feet of clearance for natural air flow. Each table has its own heater and they provide blankets for guests as well.
Bar Taco: (Port Chester) This taco restaurant offers outdoor dining with heaters and has fleece blankets for guests.
Bridgeview Tavern: (Sleepy Hollow) Bridgeview Tavern serves microbrews and American cuisine. They have a heated beer garden for outdoor dining.
Cantina Lobos: (Pelham) This Mexican restaurant has outdoor dining with heaters.
The Dog Den: (White Plains) This hot dog joint has both outdoor heaters and a fire pit to keep you warm while you eat outside. If you want to eat in your car, they also have drive-in dining. Place your order from your car and they will bring your food out to you.
Fortina: (Rye Brook) Fortina is an Italian restaurant with three locations in Westchester County. The Rye Brook restaurant has an outdoor dining patio with heat lamps.
Fortina: (Yonkers) Fortina’s Yonkers location has an outdoor patio with heaters as well as garden dining with heat lamps.
Lusardi’s: (Larchmont) This upscale Mediterranean restaurant has several tables outside with lots of heaters.
North Street Tavern: (White Plains) The North Street Tavern has an outdoor dining area with lots of heaters.
Sam’s of Gedney Way: (White Plains) Sam’s of Gedney Way has a covered, heated patio available for outdoor dining. They socially distance parties and limit outdoor dining to approximately 24 guests.
The Tap House: (Tuckahoe) The Tap House is a gastro-pub that serves modern American fare. They have 10 tables outside with heat lamps.
Igloos & Greenhouses:
Augie’s Italian Restaurant: (Larchmont) Augie’s has, “private enchanted moonlight villas.” Each heated villa holds up to six guests and visits are limited to 90 minutes. Reservations are highly recommended, as they are very popular. The villas are aired and sanitized between parties.
Billy & Pete’s Social: (Larchmont) Billy & Pete’s has four outdoor igloos. After every use, their igloos are sanitized with a medical-grade sanitizer. Each igloo has four points of airflow for a cross ventilation system.
La La Taqueria: (Larchmont) This Mexican restaurant has five heated igloos that seat six. Each igloo is disinfected between guests and there is a 30 minute wait time between seatings to allow the structures to air out. Doors and vents of the igloo are kept open to allow for air flow.
Tequila Sunrise: (Larchmont) This Mexican restaurant has 6 private igloos that can seat up to a party of 7. Each igloo is heated and has air vents to keep fresh air flowing. The igloos are completely sanitized between parties.
Tipsy Taco Bar: (Mount Kisco) This Mexican restaurant has five heated igloos.
Vela Kitchen: (Pleasantville) Vela Kitchen in Pleasantville has a couple of greenhouses for outdoor dining. They seat up to four guests and have a 90 minute dining limit.
Vintage 1891 Kitchen: (Larchmont) This restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine. They have greenhouses that can seat a party of up to 6 guests.
Augie’s Prime Cut: (Mohegan Lake) This steakhouse has a large heated tent on its outdoor patio. Check their Instagram page, as they frequently announce 50% off menu items for outdoor tent dining only.
Benjamin Steakhouse: (White Plains) This steakhouse has a covered, heated patio that has windows and openings for ventilation.
The Brazen Fox: (White Plains) The Brazen Fox has an outdoor heated tent that is open every day.
Buon Amici: (White Plains) This Italian restaurant has an enclosed heated tent in their rear lot. The tent can accommodate approximately 65 guests and tables are socially distant apart.
Fortina: (Armonk) Fortina’s Armonk location has an outdoor heated tent as well as a patio with heat lamps.
Gigante: (Eastchester) This Italian restaurant has a small heated tent for outdoor dining and keeps one side of the tent open for ventilation.
Goosefeather: (Tarrytown) Dale Talde’s modern Chinese restaurant has a partially enclosed tent on their back patio. Two sides of the tent are kept semi-open to allow for air flow. There are eleven tables in the 20×30 foot space with 9 heaters.
Magno’s Grill: (New Rochelle) This Argentinian and Italian restaurant has a heated, ventilated tent for outdoor dining.
Moderne Barn: (Armonk) Moderne Barn has a large heated tent available for both lunch and dinner service. They also have 3 outdoor tables with heaters. Guests must call to reserve one of these tables.
Pasquale Restaurant: (Port Chester) This Italian restaurant has a large heated tent for outdoor dining.
Quenas Restaurant: (Harrison) This Peruvian restaurant has a large heated tent for outdoor dining with plenty of space between tables. They also offer ponchos for guests to use if chilly.
Rye Roadhouse: (Rye) Rye Roadhouse serves Cajun and Creole cuisine. They currently have an outdoor heated tent. Once the weather gets a little warmer, they will expand their outdoor dining with pyramid heaters.
Tredici North: (Purchase) This Italian restaurant has a heated tent that is partially open for ventilation.
Underhills Crossing: (Bronxville) This French restaurant has a large outdoor heated tent for dining.
Cookie decorating is a fun, indoor holiday activity! It keeps the kids entertained and you end up with a tasty treat to enjoy! I am fortunate that my kids are old enough to help make sugar cookies which we recently did. However, making the cookie dough and then letting it chill, baking the cookies, making the icing and then finally getting to decorate the cookies takes a lot of time!
Here are some of the places in Westchester County where you can purchase DIY holiday cookie decorating kits. Everything is prepped, packaged and ready so you can immediately get to the fun part, decorating! Most of these businesses require you to preorder the kits. If you want them in time to do with the kids over the holiday break, get your orders in soon! *Please check with the vendor directly for the most up-to-date prices and information.
Flowerbake by Angela: (Pelham) Flowerbake by Angela sells puzzle cookie decorating kits. You can purchase a baked cookie kit which includes an instruction sheet as well as all the cookies and icing, a dough kit – which includes a ball of cookie dough, cookie cutters, icing, parchment paper and instruction sheet or a cookie dough mix kit – which includes the sugar cookie mix, cookie cutters, icing, parchment paper and instruction sheet. Prices range between $35=$38. Available for pickup or delivery.
Sugar Mama by Kim: (New Rochelle) Kim sells DIY cookie kits that include 12 cookies, 3 bags of icing, a container of sprinkles and decorations for $35. She also sells Paint Your Own cookie kits. Each cookie is $6 each or 6 for $30. Orders are submitted via a form that can be found on her Facebook page.
Sugar & Sweets by Stacey (Yonkers) Sugar & Sweets by Stacey is selling Winter themed cookie kits. They are $39 and includes 12 cookies, 3 icings, 6 popsicle sticks and 2-3 containers of sprinkles. There are 4 different themed kits to choose from: gingerbread men and women, snowflakes and snowmen, mittens, hats and penguins and ugly sweaters. They are also selling stencil cookie kits for $33. These kits include 6 cookies and 3 paint brushes. Orders can be picked up in Yonkers or delivered.
Wildly Cakes: (White Plains) Cookie kits are $35 and include 12 baked cookies in the shape of your choice, frosting to match the theme, sprinkles and directions. Orders must be placed one week in advance. Pickup in White Plains. Delivery is available for an additional fee on a first come, first serve basis.
Hot cocoa bombs are the current internet sensation. A hollow ball of chocolate is filled with cocoa mix and marshmallows. When you pour hot milk or water over the ball, it opens up, you stir everything and then enjoy all the chocolatey goodness. It’s fun to watch and a tasty treat!
I’ve researched where in Westchester you can find hot cocoa bombs. But, if you want to enjoy one of these homemade treats, you need to place an order now! I’ve discovered that almost every business requires preordering. The few locations that sell hot cocoa bombs onsite end up selling out very quickly! Due to lack of time, in trying to get this post out, I opted to visit Beascake’s Bakery this weekend. Sadly, when I arrived they were all sold out.
So, get your orders in now, especially if you would like the hot cocoa bombs as gifts for the holidays. As I mentioned, these treats have been VERY popular and are selling like crazy! They make a great stocking stuffer but are also great to enjoy all winter long (the snow hasn’t hit Westchester County YET, but I have a feeling we are in for a loooong winter!).
If you know of a business that should be included on this list, please send me an email!
Auntie Liana’s has a popup shop in the Jefferson Valley Mall. Her hot cocoa bombs flavors include Cocoa, White Cocoa, Peanut Butter, Unicorn, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Mint, White Chocolate Mint, Bailey’s and Red Velvet. You can buy them at the popup shop at the mall or you can contact the business via DM on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fleetwood Bakery sells hot cocoa bombs in Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Peppermint and Maple Pecan. Each cocoa bomb is $6. Individually wrapped cocoa bombs are $7 each. They sell 2 cocoa bombs packed in a box for $15.00 or 4 cocoa bombs in a box for $28.00.
Hot cocoa bombs need to be ordered at least two days in advance from Flour and Sun Bakery. They sell Classic Hot Cocoa, Peppermint (with pieces of candy cane inside), Salted Caramel and sometimes Strawberry Unicorn. Each cocoa bomb comes individually wrapped and are $5 each.
Flowerbake by Angela is selling a set of 3 holiday hot chocolate bombs for $18.00. For an additional $5 you can get the hot cocoa bomb packaged in a special ornament case. You can mix and match with a decorated snowflake, Christmas tree or Grinch. Each bomb has “a little special something inside…” Order online and pickup in store. Items can also be shipped at an additional cost.
Hot cocoa bombs are sold in singles ($5) and in boxes of four ($20) or six that can be customizable. Choices include milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, mint chocolate and white candy mint. Order via Facebook.
Jane Street Sweets is currently selling a 4 pack hot cocoa bomb box ($20). You can choose from classic hot cocoa, candy cane, gingerbread or cookies-n-cream. Ordering is via email, DM on Facebook or DM on Instagram. There is no pickup – local deliveries are made on Thursdays only (December 10, 17, 24 and 31).
The Poppery (Mt. Kisco) 255 N. Broadway Mt. Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 218-8447
The Poppery is selling Grinch, Peppermint, Salted Caramel and Nutella hot cocoa bombs. These sell for $7 each. There is also a 6 pack Chocolate Lovers Hot Cocoa Bomb box that includes 3 Nutella, Marshmallow filled hot cocoa bombs and 3 Salted Caramel, toffee bits and marshmallow filled hot cocoa bombs ($39). For those celebrating Hanukkah this week, you can get a festive blue and white decorated hot cocoa bomb. All hot cocoa bombs need to be preordered on the website.
Christmas hot cocoa bombs are $6. They can be personalized in cursive for an additional $1. Flavors include Swiss Chocolate, Abuelita, Peppermint, Pumpkin Spice and Mocha. They also have a Vegan Peppermint, using vegan chocolate. At this time orders are via Instagram DM only.
Sugar Hi (Armonk) 380 Main Street #1821 Armonk, NY 10504 (914) 273-4777
They are currently taking Christmas preorders for a holiday 6 pack ($36) that will be ready for pick up starting December, 19th. The 6 pack contains 2 peppermint white chocolate bombs and 4 milk chocolate bombs.
Sweet Delites Pastry Shop sells their hot cocoa bombs for $7.99 each. Each hot cocoa bomb is individually wrapped and decorated for Hanukkah or Christmas. They have milk chocolate hot cocoa bombs in store but white chocolate cocoa bombs can be ordered. Hot cocoa bombs are available at the shop or can be preordered.
Hot cocoa bombs are available by pre-order only. Currently, the holiday pre-sale is currently closed. I have included a link to her site, as Cari is planning to open up ordering again closer to the holidays! Flavors include classic milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, white peppermint mocha, salted caramel and Grinch. Prices range between $5 – $6 each. She also sells a variety pack of all 6 flavors for $30. Packaging costs $1 extra for each bomb, unless they are purchased in sets of 6 or 12. All orders need to be picked up in Ossining.
Hot Cocoa bombs cost 3 for $15, 6 for $25 or 12 for $45. Flavors include white or milk chocolate with options for Nutella or caramel filling. Orders should be placed a few days in advance. The preferred ordering method is to text Lauren (contact info in the Sweets by Smooches FB page).
I love Chinese takeout! It’s our go-to when we don’t have the time or energy to cook. Thanks to MaxEx PR, I discovered the recently opened Chigo Cin Hawthorne, which is bringing Chinese takeout to a whole new level.
Chigo, named as a combination of “Chinese to Go” is located on Saw Mill River Road in Hawthorne. The restaurant only does takeout and delivery, but they deliver to over 20 towns throughout Westchester County (New York) and Fairfield County (Connecticut). They even have their own app to make ordering easy.
When you get your food, don’t think you’re going to be eating regular Chinese takeout. Chigo uses fresh, organic, locally sourced ingredients. The prices may be a little higher than your standard Chinese takeout, but the quality is so much better. My husband and son were running errands in White Plains and stopped to pick up our order on the way home. In our family of four we have two vegans, one vegetarian (myself) and one meat eater.
I think I ordered almost every vegetable dish on the menu! From the Dim Sum section I ordered scallion pancakes and vegetable spring rolls. They also have Firecracker Spring Rolls, Chinese BBQ Spare Ribs, Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Classic Crab Rangoon and more.
They serve four different dumplings, including a Shanghai Soup Dumpling. We went with the pan fried Vegetable Dumplings.
We also ordered Organic Vegetable Fried Rice, Shanghai Lo Mein Noodles (mild) and the Chinatown Stir Fry with Tofu. For an additional cost you can add chicken, beef, shrimp pork or tofu to any of the rice and stir fry dishes.
And for my son, I ordered Berkshire Pork Bao Buns, since he’s the only meat eater in the family and loves these!
We enjoyed our dinner and could taste the difference between our local Chinese takeout and this meal. Portions are on the smaller side. Whereas I thought that I had over ordered for the four of us, it was actually the perfect amount of food. Even though we ordered fried rice, I was surprised that we didn’t receive any white rice to go with the stir fry.
Chigo also serves a variety of “classic” Chinese dishes like Sesame Chicken, Chicken & Broccoli, Classic Peking Duck, Fiery Pepper Steak and more. These dishes can be ordered in either half or full sizes.
We are not strict vegans and vegetarians. However, when I called to order I did ask if the vegetable dishes I ordered were vegan/vegetarian. Please be aware that most of them are not. They noted that they use chicken powder for flavoring in many of the dishes. The items that they could make vegan for us included the fried rice and the vegetable stir-fry. Since vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming more popular, I think it would be helpful if they noted on their menu which dishes were or could be made vegan/vegetarian.
Chigo is worth checking out to taste a new spin on Chinese takeout.
The Details: Chigo Chinese Restaurant 58 Saw Mill River Road Hawthorne, NY 10532 (914) 495-3323
Hours: Open daily 5 PM – 10 PM for takeout or delivery
Did you know that Westchester County has its own basketball team?! For years, the Westchester Knicks have been playing at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. Our family tries to attend at least one of their basketball games every year, as they are a lot of fun and close to home!
The Westchester Knicks are part of the G League, the NBA’s minor league basketball association. This year there are currently 28 teams that are part of the G League. Each team is affiliated with an NBA team, with the Westchester Knicks affiliated with the New York Knicks. Some of the G League players that you see now have a chance to be drafted to an NBA team in the future.
If you have basketball fans, seeing a Westchester Knicks game is a great way to enjoy some family fun at a reasonable price. Ticket prices start at just $11.50! And with 25 home games a season, there’s plenty of opportunity to catch a game or two. For those die-hard fans, season passes are available.
The team mascot, Hudson, makes an appearance at all of the games. Plus, there’s lots of entertainment including the dance cam, guest participation activities and a half-time show.
Food is available for purchase at the concession stands (one on each level). The Westchester County Center serves Nathan’s hot dogs, fries, chicken tenders and more. You can also purchase a variety of snacks like hot pretzels, popcorn and nachos.
As of this posting, there are four more home games where you can see the Westchester Knicks in action. Cheer on our county’s home team and enjoy some family fun!
The Details: Westchester Knicks Westchester County Center 198 Central Avenue White Plains, NY 10606
Parking: $15 in the Westchester County Center parking lot
Tickets: Ticket prices range from $11.50 – $147.50+ based on seat location and ticket demand.
Schedule: Please check the Westchester Knicks site for most up-to-date schedule. The basketball season runs from mid-November through the end of March.
(We were given complimentary tickets to see Mambo Italiano. As always, all opinions are our own.)
I love the theatre! Growing up, I was fortunate that my parents took me and my siblings to NYC to see Broadway shows. Pre-kids, my husband and I were regulars of the NYC theatre scene. But then…..kids! Between busy schedules, ticket prices and having to trek into the city from the suburbs, we just haven’t been to as many shows as we’d like. However, we are fortunate enough to have a theatre close to home that puts on amazing productions.
The Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford has been hosting shows for 45 years, with over 200 main-stage productions. As a family, we’ve seen both Mary Poppins and Annie. Recently, my husband and I enjoyed a rare date night to see the current production, Mambo Italiano.
Mambo Italiano is based on a play and screenplay by Steve Galluccio & Emile Gaudreault and a book by Jean Cheever and Tom Polum. It tells the story of a traditional Italian family coming to grips with change. Maria and Gino Barbieri have raised their two grandchildren, Angelo and Anna, and they all work together in the family’s Italian restaurant. When Angelo and Anna decide to move out of the house and get their own apartment, their grandparents don’t take it very well. Things get worse when Angelo comes out as gay and then discovers that his boyfriend Nino is bisexual and has been sleeping with a girl.
This story, set to music composed by James Olmstead, is much more than just a story about sexual orientation. It’s a story about family, identity, love….and, of course, food! “Food is joy. Food is love. Food is famiglia.” This theme is carried out throughout the production and regardless of cultural background, is one that I think most people can relate to.
The show’s cast is outstanding! While several members are making their Westchester Broadway Theatre debut, all of the cast are experienced on stage. Some of them have even performed in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, showcasing the caliber of talent that is chosen for the Westchester Broadway Theatre.
Let’s not forget that the Westchester Broadway Theatre includes dinner (or lunch) and a show. For this show, they are featuring a “Taste of Mambo Italiano” menu. For the Sunday evening show, dinner service starts at 5:30 PM and continues until the show begins at 7 PM. We arrived around 5:20 PM and almost immediately after we were seated our salads arrived. We were finished eating dessert by 6:30, leaving some time before the show to relax….and digest!
Dinner starts with a Caesar salad. They also offer four appetizer options (cold antipasti, mozzarella and tomato, fried calamari and a chilled shrimp cocktail) at an additional cost.
For the main course, I ordered Gino’s Lasagna with Meat Sauce served with sauteed green beans.
My husband had the Roast Prime Rib of Beef served with sauteed green beans and a baked potato and we shared both entrees. Out of the two entrees, we both preferred and recommend the prime rib.
Dessert is their classic peach melba – canned peach halves topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and raspberry sauce. It’s garnished with a cookie that I could have eaten a dozen of! For an additional cost, other desserts are available (tiramisu, lava cake, mini cannoli, chocolate fudge sundae and tartufo) and are served during the intermission.
I’m going to be honest, my husband and I were not thrilled with the food overall. However, I understand that they are cooking for the masses (the theatre when at capacity seats 500, including the couple of luxury boxes available) and are trying to keep ticket prices down. Based on the price of dinner and a show tickets versus show only tickets, the meal breaks down to approximately $19-$34 a person, depending on when you see the show. As I see it, the show itself is worth the ticket price and the meal is a bonus! For those not wanting to have the dinner portion of the “dinner theatre” experience, you can purchase tickets the day of–for just the show.
It is also important to note that beverages, including soda, and gratuities are not included in the price of your ticket. I ordered a non-alcoholic strawberry colada ($8) but they do serve wine, spirits including scotch, vodka, gin and rum and martinis. The current specialty drink is Il Cappello – citrus vodka, orange juice and pineapple juice topped with ginger ale.
One thing I love about the Westchester Broadway Theatre is that there’s not a bad seat in the house. At this production, we sat at table 282, the second to last row in the middle section, directly facing center stage. Even from in the back, I thought our seats gave us a good view.
Many guests visit the Westchester Broadway Theatre for a special occasion. If you are celebrating an event, make sure to let them know, as they announce it prior to the start of the show. My husband and I really enjoyed Mambo Italiano! If you are looking for a fun date night or evening out with friends or family, we highly recommend seeing Mambo Italiano before it ends on September 29. The show will literally have you clapping along!
The Details: Mambo Italiano Westchester Broadway Theatre 1 Broadway Plaza Elmsford, NY 10523 (914) 592-2222
Tickets: (price includes dinner and the show) $61-$91 plus tax, beverages and gratuities, discounts available for children, students and senior citizens at select performances
Performances: August 8 – September 29, 2019
Show Times: (The show runs approximately 2 1/2 hours, with a 30-minute intermission between acts) Wednesday, Thursday and some Friday Matinees: 11:30 AM lunch, 1 PM show Thursday, Friday and Saturday Evenings: 6:30 PM dinner, 8 PM show Sunday Matinee: 12 PM lunch, 1:30 PM show Sunday Evening: 5:30 PM dinner, 7 PM show
Tips: *Photos are not allowed during the show *Check out the website for special offers *The show is recommended for ages 12+ – parental advisory for language and sexual references. *There is a convenience fee for purchasing tickets online. There is no fee for purchasing tickets in-person or via phone. *Up to 4 tickets can be purchased online. * AAA members, AARP members, and military discounts are only given for phone or in-person ticket purchases. *All seat locations are the same price.