Dig Inn Rye Brook Opens Today!

Dig Inn

*I was invited to a preview lunch experience at Dig Inn.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This past Tuesday I was invited to a preview lunch at Dig Inn in Rye Brook.   Adam Eskin, Founder & CEO of Dig Inn, opened his first restaurant in 2011.  This is Dig Inn’s fourteenth restaurant and first Westchester County location.  Located at 112 S. Ridge Street, Dig Inn offers a new dining option to the Rye Ridge Shopping Center.  And it officially opens today!

Order Area

When you enter the restaurant there is a large, casual dining area with communal tables.  They have a deli counter in the front where you can order containers of their sides, proteins, or even family meals to go.  As you make your way towards the back of the restaurant there is the ordering area, where you can customize your Marketbowl or Melting Broth, the restaurant’s main lunch and dinner dining options.

Dig Inn Kitchen

At the end of the counter is the Chef’s table.  Here you can sit and dine while watching the chefs prepare a variety of toasts and vegetable charcuterie.

Dining area

And finally at the back of the restaurant is dining area.  There are several seating areas with marble table tops adorned with tiny succulents.  When designing this Rye Brook restaurant, creative director Melanie Masarin and founder Adam Eskin were all about cutting open the ceiling to place a giant, elevated sky light.  They also added a giant window in the back of the restaurant, to allow for lots of natural light into the space.  The result, is a bright and beautiful dining room.

Roasted Pumpkin Toast

I was able to sample the three different toasts that they offer, including this one topped with roasted pumpkin with pepitas and pickled chiles.  I also tried the lemon ricotta with truffle, black pepper and honey and the smoked whitefish with red grapes and soft herbs.  I can honestly say they were all delicious.

Yukon Gold Potato Terrine

Vegetable charcuterie offerings from the chef’s table include this Yukon Gold potato terrine topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and Mutsu apple.

Parsnip Marrow Bone

I also tried Celery Root Pastrami as well as this Parsnip Marrow Bone with celery leaf and black truffle.  It was interesting to see a vegetarian take on what would normally be a meat dish.

Chef Matt Weingarten

I got to meet Chef Matt Weingarten, Dig Inn’s culinary director.  He spoke with us about Dig Inn’s mission, which is to build community through food.  He noted that their menu is mostly vegetables and all dishes are cooked fresh.  He enjoys the open kitchen design (pictured above) which allows the chefs to engage with diners.

Dig Inn Menu

The Dig Inn menu is seasonal and they are currently featuring their Winter menu, which as I mentioned features the Marketbowls and Melting Broth.

Marketbowls

My friend and I shared Marketbowls that had a base of toasted farro, sides of Brussels sprouts and kale, apple and blue cheese salad and were topped with Herb Roasted Chicken and Grilled Organic Tofu.   These bowls were hearty and delicious and I love that they are customized.  The combinations are endless!

Mac and Cheese

I also got to sample a side of the Seasonal Upstate Mac and Cheese.  It was creamy and cheesy.  Honestly though, I would choose one of the amazing veggie sides over mac and cheese!

Kitchen Sink Cookie

And to end the meal, I sampled the Kitchen Sink Cookie and Organic Dark Hot Chocolate!

Dig Inn serves a variety of drinks including wine, beer and hard cider.  I tried unsweetened raspberry iced tea and an Iced Matcha Latte.  While the matcha latte was good, it needed sugar to sweeten it up.

Dig Inn Rye Brook is open seven days a week and serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.  Check the website for specific times.  The breakfast menu includes a variety of bowls as well as an egg sandwich, frittata, avocado toast, a quinoa waffle and more!

Kids Menu

And for those families with young children, have no fear.  Dig Inn offers a Little Digs menu with a variety of dining options sure to please.  While there’s no age specifications on the children’s menu, my eight and ten year-old would love the Old Macdonald.  Otherwise, they could easily share a regular Marketbowl.

Everything I ate at Dig Inn was delicious.  For those of us who live in Northern Westchester, getting to Rye Brook is a bit of a drive.  However, if you are in the White Plains area (and really, who doesn’t travel down to there frequently?!) Rye Brook is close by.  Be sure to stop by and give the newest Dig Inn a try!

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Pax Romana {HVRW Review}

pax-romana

I am a Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Grazer.  In exchange for posts about my HVRW experience, part of this meal may have been compensated.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This past Wednesday, I got the rare chance to have a lunch date with my husband.  Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) ends this Sunday the 13th and I wanted to get another delicious three course meal in! Since my husband works in White Plains, we had several options for lunch.  We had heard good things about Pax Romana – homemade pasta and great pizza?  We had to try it!  The restaurant, which opened in February of this year, is located at 189 East Post Road in White Plains  in the former Taleggio space.

Pax Romana Dining Room

Pax Romana is open every day beginning at noon, serving both lunch and dinner.  Although they don’t take lunch reservations, the dining room  is spacious with lots of seating.   Be sure to leave room for some gelato, which you will see in the case on the left when you first enter the restaurant!

Dining Room

I enjoyed the casual modern decor of the restaurant including the graffiti wall and arched windows.  Vintage kitchen accessories were showcased on shelves, hung from the ceiling and decorated the walls.  Vases of fresh herbs were placed on each table.

Pax Romana HVRW menu

Pax Romana has one HVRW menu and serves the same dishes for both lunch and dinner.  The restaurant also has a regular $10 Pax Lunch menu, which my husband ordered from.  This menu includes a choice of soup, salad or fries with one of the listed entrees.  Before we even ordered, crispy, herbed bread sticks were placed on the table.

Risotto Ball

For my starter I ordered Suppli’e Olive Ascolane.  All menu items are listed in Italian and English.   This is a large, fried risotto ball with mozzarella cheese in the center.  It was served with four meat stuffed olives, also fried.  I enjoyed this appetizer a lot, which I shared with my husband.

Pureed Cauliflower Soup

My husband ordered the soup of the day as part of his lunch special.  The soup, Zuppa de Cavolfiore, is the same pureed cauliflower soup offered on the HVRW menu.  This soup was smooth and creamy.

Macaroni with Pork Rib and Sausage Ragu

For his entree my husband ordered the Maccheroni cor Ragu de Sarsiccia e Spuntature – macaroni with pork rib and sausage ragu.  This pasta dish is also offered on the HVRW menu.  He wanted to try the homemade pasta and this dish stood out to him.  It was flavorful, hearty and filling!

Pinsa Margherita

For my entree I ordered the Pinsa Margherita.  Pax Romana is the only restaurant in New York that directly imports Pinsa Romana flour directly from Rome, which they use to make their pizza.  This pizza had a light, crispy crust.  With just san marzano tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil, this pizza proves that good quality, simple ingredients can make a delicious dish.

Nutella Doughnut

My husband’s lunch special did not come with dessert.  However, the Nutella Bombolone, a Nutella-filled Italian doughnut, was big enough for the two of us to share.  This doughnut is stuffed with Nutella and was a sweet ending to our meal.

Overall, we had a great lunch at Pax Romana during HVRW.  The servings were generous in size and delicious in taste.  Service was friendly and attentive.  We will have to return and try the gelato since we didn’t take our own advice and had no room for the extra dessert!

Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish {HVRW Review}

purdys-farmer-and-the-fish

I am a Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Grazer.  In exchange for posts about my HVRW experience, part of this meal may have been compensated.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) started this past Tuesday.  From November 1 – 13, hundreds of restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley are offering a three-course prix-fixe menu.  I started HVRW off with a bang yesterday when I ate lunch at Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish.  The restaurant is located on Titicus Road in North Salem, right off of I-684.

Purdy's Farmer & The Fish

The restaurant is located in an 18th century house. When I arrived I got a quick peek at the inside dining area.  Although small, it has a quaint and cozy feel. Since the weather was so beautiful, my dining partner, fellow blogger, Ashley at Big Flavors From a Tiny Kitchen, and I opted to sit outside on the porch.

The Farm

Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish is a farm-to-table seafood restaurant run by Executive Chef, Michael Kaphan and Chef de Cuisine, Kevin O’Neil.  More than 3/4 of the vegetables used in their dishes are grown on the four acre farm located next to the restaurant.  The seafood used in the restaurant is provided exclusively by Down East Seafood. The company is committed to sustainability and the environment and its founder, Edward Taylor is also co-founder of the restaurant.  Adjacent to the restaurant is the Farm Shop where you can purchase fresh seafood and produce grown on the farm.  Local grass-fed meats and goods from other local vendors including pasta and cheese are also available for purchase in the shop.

Purdy's Farmer & The Fish Restaurant Week Menu

Purdy’s Farmer & The Fish offers a lunch menu only for HVRW.  While the restaurant week menu isn’t posted on the Valley Table participating restaurants page, it’s available on the restaurant’s website.  For $20.95, you get a choice of a First Course, Main Course and Dessert.

Seared Scallop

I highly recommend the seared scallop for the first course.  The scallop was cooked well and paired nicely with the slight chewiness of the faro.  Add in the sweetness from the dried fruit and butternut puree and this was an explosion of flavor.

Grilled Salmon Banh MI

For my main course, I ordered the Grilled Salmon Banh MI.  The salmon rested on a layer of edamame puree and was topped with a kimchee spread and pickled veggies.  This was all sandwiched between a medium-sized roll.  I loved all the Asian flavors of this sandwich!  It was served with a mixed greens salad, which I didn’t eat very much of. I was getting full and had to leave room for dessert!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Speaking of dessert, I ordered the Pumpkin Cheesecake.  The cheesecake was creamy with noticeable pumpkin flavor but wasn’t overly sweet.  It was the perfect ending to a delicious meal.

I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was at lunch time on a Wednesday afternoon.  Despite the filled tables on the porch, our server Lindsey was friendly and attentive.

I enjoyed a delicious lunch here and I highly recommend visiting Purdy’s Farmer and The Fish during HVRW!

If you can’t make it for HVRW, the restaurant offers a nice variety of fish and seafood dishes for lunch and dinner.  Clams, Alaskan Crab Legs and a variety of oysters are some of the goodies available from the raw bar.  Burgers and fried chicken are some non-seafood options. The owners recently opened Gramercy Farmer & The Fish in New York City, creating dishes using fresh fish and produce from the Purdy’s farm.  Later this month, sister restaurant Hudson Farmer & The Fish will be opening in Sleepy Hollow, adding to the Westchester County restaurant scene.

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Westchester County Family Dining: Umami Cafe

Umami Cafe
Are you looking for a casual, family-friendly restaurant in Northern Westchester?  Umami Cafe in Croton-on-Hudson fits the bill.  Umami Cafe is aptly named after the fifth primary taste (umami translated from Japanese meaning “pleasant savory taste”), as the restaurant offers a menu of dishes featuring flavors from all over the world.

Umami Cafe opened in 2002.  Owners Jonathan Pratt and Craig Purdy also own Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights and Tagine Restaurant & Wine Bar, also located in Croton-on-Hudson.  The restaurant is conveniently located on South Riverside Avenue and has its own parking lot.

I mentioned that the restaurant is family-friendly and they really make an effort to cater to children.  Near the entrance sits a shelf of toys that kids can grab and bring to the table to play with.  The children’s menus are seen via a Viewmaster, bringing back fond childhood memories!  We prefer to have our kids not order from children’s menus whenever possible. Even though the kid’s menu is cool to view, it still offers the usual chicken fingers, mac and cheese, pasta with butter or tomato sauce and grilled cheese.  The most interesting items are a Fluffernutter (Marshmallow fluff and peanut butter) or Fluffer-Nutella sandwich, both which can be easily made at home.

In contrast, the adult menu offers many interesting dishes.  Main entrees include Grilled Salmon with Yuzu Ponzu, a Lobster Roll, Grilled Marinated Shrimp Siracha, Curry Wurst, a Bahn Mi Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Vietnamese Pork Chop, Evil Jungle Prince (spicy chicken curry), Barbecued St. Louis Ribs and more!

They sell a variety of wines by the glass and bottle.  If you prefer, you can bring your own bottle and pay a $10 corkage fee.  There are a limited number of draft and bottle beers on their menu as well.

We especially like going to Umami Cafe for their Thursday, $5 appetizer nights.  We make a tapas-like meal by ordering a bunch of appetizers for dinner.  On our most recent visit it was just me, my husband and our son. The three of us enjoyed a meal out of the following appetizers:

Duck Quesadillas - Umami Cafe

Peking Duck Quesadillas

Pork Potstickers - Umami Cafe

Pork Potstickers

Gnocchi with Duck Confit - Umami Cafe

Gnocchi with Duck Confit

Cubano Spring Rolls - Umami Cafe

Cubano Spring Rolls

Truffled Mac and Cheese - Umami Cafe

Truffled Mac and Cheese

Seared Ahi Tuna Mini Wonton Tacos - Umami Cafe

Seared Ahi Tuna Mini Won Ton Tacos

These appetizers are normally priced between $6.75 and $8.95 each but on Thursday nights, they are only $5 each. We’ve eaten here several times and had tried all the appetizers before except the Gnocchi with Duck Confit and the Seared Ahi Tuna Mini Won Ton Tacos.  Everything was delicious!  My son found the wasabi sour cream to be a bit too spicy on the tacos but my husband enjoyed them. We were satiated with our appetizers for dinner but didn’t leave stuffed.  We didn’t even look at the dessert menu, as we planned on making a stop at the nearby Hot Dippity Donuts!

The restaurant does not take reservations, so we always make sure to arrive close to opening.  They are open daily from 5 PM to 9:30 PM Sunday through Thursday and from 5 PM to 10 PM on Friday and Saturdays.  In addition to their $5 appetizer night on Thursdays, Umami Cafe also has a $10 burger night on Tuesdays.  Yet another reason for us to return!

Westchester County Family Fun: Westchester RiverWalk Peekskill

Westchester RiverWalk

A couple of weekends ago, our family visited the recently completed section of the Westchester RiverWalk in Peekskill.  When completed, the Westchester RiverWalk will be a 51.5 mile trail along the beautiful Hudson River.  This project started in 2004, will span the entire county from Yonkers to the Putnam County border by the Bear Mountain Bridge.  

Peekskill Riverfront

We parked at the Metro North Peekskill train station, which has free parking on weekends.  We spent some time walking around the Riverfront Green Park viewing some of the sculptures that are situated throughout the park and just taking in the awesome views of the Hudson River.

Fleischmann Pier

We then walked south on the paved pathway, past the Peekskill Yacht Club until we reached Fleischmann Pier. 

View of Bear Mountain Bridge

We walked out onto the pier and were able to see the Bear Mountain Bridge in the distance.  After our little break we headed back to the Riverfront Green Park.

RiverWalk

We only walked a very small section of the RiverWalk.  There were benches throughout the path for those who would like to sit and take a rest.  We saw lots of people on the path, including those walking their dogs, joggers and others like our family, taking a more leisurely stroll.  Biking is allowed on the path, except for the bridges, where signs indicate that bikers must dismount when crossing.  Our kids aren’t the best bikers and the path isn’t super wide, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable having them bike this particular section of the RiverWalk.

Breakfast Club Sundae from Hudson Creamery

Once we got back to the Riverfront Green, we made a stop at the Hudson Creamery for an ice cream treat.  The Breakfast Club Signature Sunday was delicious!

We visited the RiverWalk on a really beautiful day.  I highly recommend walking a section of the RiverWalk, whether it be in Peekskill or another section of the trail.  You get to spend FREE, quality time with the family outside along the beautiful Hudson River.