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QUIET and accessible restaurant for lunch in Midtown

I have a very special request.

I work in Manhattan and enjoy occasional lunches with a good friend who lives in the city. I work in Midtown East near GCT and when we have lunch I like to stay close to the office so I can return to work in decent time.

The problem is that my friend has a neurological condition that leaves him both physically limited and also has some speech issues. If a restaurant is too crowded and noisy it makes conversation very difficult.

I don't care about what the cuisine is. We're not picky, but we do need vegetarian options for him. It doesn't even have to be the best food in the world and if it's a little pricey that's okay too. I just need to be able to talk to my friend and not have him deal with stuff like stairs. I would also like a place that takes rezzies, although if it's not crowded, I suppose I don't always need one.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Apr 18, 2014
Avalondaughter in Manhattan

mamaroneck ny restaurant

Had dinner here last night for my husband's birthday. Lovely setting, charming staff, and tasty food. A little pricey for a casual night out, but nice for occasions.

Oct 23, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Dominican Kitchen Mamaroneck

I finally went here this weekend. The place was still pretty empty, but I stopped feeling bad about that when I saw during the course of the night that they seem to do a good takeout business. Service was friendly, although kind of slow, but I also think they were taking into account that my table was simply having a relaxing evening with ongoing conversations. They certainly were attentive in keeping our water glasses filled, so it's not as if they were ignoring us.

I had the mofongo, which is something I never ate before. I like anything filled with lots of crispy pork bits. The chef went a bit overboard with the garlic though. I still had dragon breath the next morning. My husband had shrimp and rice which he seemed to like. They don't put anything else on your plate - no sides to speak of.

I wish they had pernil but that's only offered certain nights for their rotating daily specials.

I would definitely go back here and sample what else is on the menu. I might follow the crowd and stick with takeout though.

Oct 14, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

In search of proper ice-cream sundaes in Westchester

Make a road trip to the Bellvale Creamery on 17a in Warwick (planning to go to the Ren Faire this summer? Drive up the mountain after you leave). Paper dishes I admit, but the ice cream is amazing - sourced from the affiliated dairy farm. Enjoy your sundae enjoying the most gorgeous valley view.

Aug 23, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)
1

Dominican Kitchen Mamaroneck

On the Avenue, same side as the movie theater, track end of the street. Near Hash O Nash.

Aug 22, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

What are the most overrated restaurants in Westchester?

I only ate there once, but I really enjoyed it. Food tasted very fresh, preparation was simple but creative, and the service was great. I'm surprised they are still in business since I seem to be the only person who likes the place.

Aug 21, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Dominican Kitchen Mamaroneck

Has anyone tried this place? The menu looks great and I'm dying to try it. My husband refuses to go because the place is always empty. Is it empty because the food is bad or is it empty because everyone else is like my husband and is afraid to eat in an empty restaurant. I'm hoping a good word or two will persuade him to try it with me. Of course if I hear it's bad, then I won't bother.

Aug 21, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best Pudding in Westchester/Rockland/Putnam (Have pudding, will travel!)

360 American Grille in Mamaroneck has really good chocolate pudding.

Jun 19, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)
1

New in Mamaroneck

I finally tried Bar Harbor. Food was decent, but overpriced. Service was awful. It was friendly, but totally inept. Our server had no problem getting us more wine (although she did not bring a wine list with our menus, nor did the wine list contain the brands or the prices of the wines offered) but I had to ask for water twice. She abandoned my table before we could ask her for dessert or the check. Owner stopped and chatted at every table but ours. We had very long waits for food. My husband swore we would never go back there again and said this place deserves to to the way of the Barnacle.

Jan 02, 2013
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Worst restaurants in Westchester

I wouldn't put it in that category either. It is not just one of my favorite Indian restaurants, it is one of my favorite restaurants - period. Food has always been consistent for me and service is always over-the-top wonderful.

I've had Indian in London and for all of the hype, I don't think it's any better than Rani Mahal or any other good US Indian restaurant. Yes, London has lots of Indian immigrants. Do does NY. Why should London have some kind of monopoly on good Indian food?

Oct 31, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Harbor steak and seafood in mamaroneck

They are distributing menus in my building. Looking at the menu I find myself drawing comparisons to the old Jolly Trolley. Lots of fried appetizers. A section of the menu just for steaks and one for seafood. A section of typical, hard-to-differentiate-from-anywhere-else "special" dishes (chicken marsala, chicken parm, ribs, pasta alrfredo, etc.). Lots of burgers. Not a place for foodies. It's the kind of place my husband and I go to when we can't think of where else to go for dinner and say, "Let's just go to ---- and get a burger."

Oct 12, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best Hudson Valley Farms for Apple or Pumpkin Picking

I say skip the apples and head straight to Bellvale. They just brought s'mores ice cream back. Woo hoo!

Sep 26, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

New in Mamaroneck

It seems that restaurants are opening in Mamaroneck with no fanfare and are leading a stealth existence.

First I noticed that something has moved into the old Barnacle space. I wouldn't have noticed it if there hadn't been a giant fork and knife by the door. The sign, bearing the name Bar Harbor, was on the ground. The sign was eventually hung, but it seems the place is open. Lights are on, doors are open, and cars are parked outside. I never saw any announcements for an opening. There is no website, and no online reviews.

The next is Fiamma Trattoria on Halstead Ave. Obviously it's Italian, but I can't tell what kind. Again, stealth existence. No references to the place online.

Does anyone know anything about these places? Are they any good? Do they not advertise because word of mouth is just that good and I'm just not cool enough to have heard? If I were to just walk into one some night, what should I expect?

Sep 26, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Piri Q space in Mamaroneck

It's open now and I had a look at their menu. I guess you could say it's along the lines of comfort foods - pork chops, clam chowder, salmon. There appears to be a bit of Southwestern twist, but not as much as Roasted Peppers.

Sep 26, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Harbor steak and seafood in mamaroneck

Turkish Meze, Rani Mahal... The times I have been at Piri Q have been pretty good (although I don't go there often since they don't have a liquor license). Le Provencal I used to like until their service became atrocious. Giban seemed to resolve its bad service issues and I've had some nice meals there. I haven't been to Piccolo Mulino in a while but I've always enjoyed meals I've had there in the past.

Maybe my expectations are too low? I eat out every weekend, so I'm not looking for high-end culinary extravaganzas every time I go out. Perhaps I'm just not enough of a food snob?

May 04, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Harbor steak and seafood in mamaroneck

I was wondering if it was open yet. If it opened, there wasn't much fanfare, which surprises me. But I did see some people that looked like servers hanging around there when I was getting on the train one evening.

Menu looks a lot like the old MacMenamins. That's not a bad thing as it was one of my favorite restaurants in its heyday (it's decline was very sad for me). I'm more than willing to give it a try. What I DON'T like about it is that it's also a nightclub. I'm not sure I like this trend of nightclubs in Mamaroneck. I wonder how that condo complex by the train station is going to tell about the Club Car lounge.

May 01, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Shamefully unprepared for a week in Paris!

I went to Paris unprepared a year and a half ago. I didn't know where to go and CH'ers kept recommending places to me that needed reservations two weeks in advance. We weren't out to spend a lot of money on high-end places (except for our anniversary night).

We just winged it in the end. We were staying in the Latin Quarter and often ventured far during the day and when we came back to our hotel at night, we would often just want to stay close to "home". We checked out our guidebooks some nights (which led us to Rotisserie Du Beaujalais one night and Atelier Maitre Albert another. One night we went to the touristy Sergent Recreuter on my Dad's recommendation. One night we also did the touristy thing and went to La Coupole.

There were other nights we just winged it. We just walked around the blocks surrounding our hotel and just picked a place. Mostly it was French restaurants. One night we did cous couse.

You know what? We learned it's really hard to eat a bad meal in Paris. Some places we ate at were better than others, but every meal we ate was tasty and well prepared and we regret none of the places we went to. I think if you blindfolded yourself, spun around a few times, and pointed, you would probably have a good meal.

Most of the time for lunch we would just grab a crepe from a street vendor. I thought it was the coolest thing to grab a crepe on the streets of Paris the same way I'd grab a hot dog at home on the streets of NY.

Enjoy your trip!

Apr 10, 2012
Avalondaughter in France

Food Words We Love to Hate!

Gotta love how some of those just regularly pop out of the mouth of Rachael Ray.

Mar 20, 2012
Avalondaughter in Features

April Religious Holidays 2013 - What's on the Menu?

My mother and I are putting together a menu that's a bit souther, a bit traditional Italian, and a bit whatever we feel like.

Pulled Pork
Chicken salad with grapes and pecans
Potato salad
Roasted asparagus
Rolls
Biscuits
Pizza Rustica/Easter Pie
Coconut-white chocolate pie
Hazelnut pound cake

Mar 19, 2012
Avalondaughter in Home Cooking

Pulled Pork in a Romertopf?

I have been mulling over the idea of doing pulled pork sandwiches instead of ham for Easter this year. Since I don't have the means to properly barbecue a pork shoulder, I will slow roast it in the oven.

I don't own a proper dutch oven, and was thinking of just using one of my larger pots. Then I realized I do own a clay pot. Could I do a slow roast in a clay pot?

How low should the oven temp be?

Should I add water to the pot, or will the steam from soaking it be enough liquid?

How long? The standard 6 hours, or more or less time?

Any suggestions would be welcome - even those that say I'm better off just borrowing a dutch oven.

Mar 19, 2012
Avalondaughter in Home Cooking

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

Years ago I traveled with my boyfriend at the time to the DC area for his annual trip to visit his father's grave in Arlington. We stayed at some seedy hotel in Vienna, VA. The morning we left, we stopped for a late breakfast at a nearby diner. The diner was advertising a cake they made that had taken the prize at a local chocolate festival.

It had a brownie crust studded with butterscotch chips. Two layers of chocolate mousse (white and dark) sat on top and the whole thing was enrobed with ganache. It was a chocolate lover's fantasy for sure! Ex BF and I had a piece for "dessert" at 10 in the morning and took another piece home with us.

I wondered for years if the restaurant would ship, but I forgot the name of it and have had no luck googling diners in Vienna VA. Ohwell. I have nice memories.

Mar 07, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

Oh yes to those PA Dutch sticky buns. The best ones I ever had were at a B&B in Lancaster County when I was in college. I still miss them many years later. I suppose I could go back to the B&B, but I have few reasons to go out that way these days...

Mar 07, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

Foulest flavours...

No, they have flavor. I remember just eating the breading off a fried oyster once and it was AWFUL!

Mar 07, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

Are you a dessert person or not ?

YES YES YES. Chocolate is my life as is cream and butter and ICE CREAM! I also love to bake and the richer, more buttery, and creamier that better.

This is the thing though. When I'm hungry, and my blood sugar is low, I want sweets. However, I want a meal before I have dessert normally. I'm a huge protein eater.

After a meal of all of the things I should be eating, I usually do want dessert because I like the balance of it. I had my savory, now I want my sweet.

That being said, I rarely ever eat dessert. I have been struggling for years to keep my weight under control, so I don't keep sweets in the house. The only time there are sweets in my house is if I'm making a homemade dessert for a dinner party.

I used to order dessert almost every time I went out (and that was at least once a week), but I've cut that to once a month. Curses to this Paleo diet!

Mar 05, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

Strange & frustrating dinner at Kashiwa (Mamaroneck)

I was there for the first time a couple of months ago. I don't remember the service being this bad (the worst service I ever had at a Mam'k Asian was the first time I ever went to Ginban - I'm amazed I ever went back), but I remember the food wasn't all that. Certainly nothing to differentiate it from the other places on the block. My mango chicken dish was actually kind of gloppy - like you could taste the starch that thickened the sauce.

Mar 05, 2012
Avalondaughter in New York State (exc. NYC)

Things that don't taste like you expected they would...

Foie Gras. I expected it to be mealy and gross like any other liver. When I first tried it after having a few glasses of wine, I fell in love.

Feb 29, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

Things that don't taste like you expected they would...

Agreed. Coffee smells wonderful, but I don't really enjoy drinking it. I do like it as a flavoring for desserts though.

Feb 29, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

Things that don't taste like you expected they would...

True that. Spring arugula, or supermarket arugula, is pretty mild. I bought arugula at a farmer's marketin late summer and it was so peppery I couldn't eat it.

Feb 29, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

New 'Menu Items That Need to Be Retired", 2012 edition...

Really, I never heard anyone say it before Rachael Ray became famous.

I will also thank her for nothing! That'sextravirginoliveoilkids!

Feb 29, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics

New 'Menu Items That Need to Be Retired", 2012 edition...

I like chocolate cake and I find that red velvet cake isn't typically very chocolately. I'd rather a good devil's food orthe like.

Feb 29, 2012
Avalondaughter in General Topics