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Cooperstown - What's Good?

We love Alex & Ika for the smashed fingerling potatoes and the enchiladas. It's very NYC gastropub. The service can be slow, but it's a great leaf season and winter choice & the tiny bar is a nice place to camp with a drink. It's not the best place to go with a crowd or with small children.

Old world Food Market - Nyack - Any Opinions?

This is a great resource for specialty items that aren't worth a Fairway run, but it's ridiculously expensive and limited for regular shopping. I've also stopped buying produce here because it's overpriced, the turnover is low so it's not terribly fresh, and very little is organic or locally sourced even in the summer. The fish/meat counter is small but that is one of the better features. Also a decent cheese selection, but the guys behind the counter have no idea what they're selling and NOTHING is local. Shame on them.

Restaurants in Rockland

Cafe Barcel in Nyack is excellent and they've fixed the acoustical problems that plagued it when it opened. Sidewalk Cafe in Piermont has a new chef as of a few weeks ago and continues to be reliable French bistro fare. (Avoid the new Confetti's in Piermont; overpriced and dreary.) Union in Haverstraw is consistently very good.

The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry

I want to like this place, but they have some real problems with noise and logistics. Went there last night with some friends and it was deafening. It's an acoustics issue, because the place nearly emptied at one point and it was still insanely loud.
Any issues with the service have been fixed. We had a pleasant waiter, knowledgeable about the food and very attentive. Perhaps they've overdone it, because several manager types hovered, there appeared to be a 1:1 waiter/busboy to table ratio, and they were constantly knocking into each other and into seated diners. I got smacked in the back twice and people seemed to be dropping things and knocking over furniture with some frequency.
Very reasonable prices and high quality ingredients, but please, please, will someone tell the chef to go easy on the salt and truffle oil.
The ricotta crostini appetizer is a step from greatness. The delicate ricotta clashed with the earthiness of the truffle oil and they could have used a better honey -- maybe fennel instead of what tasted like clover. Gorgeous rocket salad with gorgonzola and kumquat reduction was perfect.
Osso Bucco was bland but the pasta, particularly the cauliflower ravioli, was excellent.
If they could bring the noise level down we definitely would go back, but as it is, it's a really unpleasant ambience.

New Restaurant in Piermont, NY

Ate at the new Sidewalk Bistro in Piermont over the weekend, taking a chance on a kitchen that had just been open 48 hours. It's great. Better than Nice Matin. Salad Nicoise of perfectly blanched julienned vegetables, rare sashimi grade tuna with a light dusting of cracked pepper. The lamb was flawless, the steak came rare as requested. Our server was very good. We returned a few days later and sat in the renovated back courtyard. Again, great service and another very good meal. The interior is yellow, simple, with the basic lace curtains and French posters, but it has a better feel and far more warmth than the sterile (and overrated) Freelance Cafe down the block.

Dinner in Nyack

The only thing I would call amazing north of the GW Bridge on either side of the river is Stone Barn, but for a very good local restaurant in Nyack try Wasabi. They have excellent sushi, but the entree menu is a little broader. Try the green tea cheesecake if it's on the menu, or cross Main Street and have dessert at Didier Dumas. Flawless pastries, strong coffee, and savory crepes on the weekends. The almond croissants are insanely rich and flaky.

For a great neighborhood place just south of Nyack go to Cafe Portofino. Reliable red sauce Italian, the best, dense bread with a touch of sourdough, heavy on the garlic, very nice wine list.

Xaviars at Piermont

What's happened to Xaviar's?
We had a mediocre New Year's dinner there. The staff was friendly, eager to please, if a little disorganized at the start. Very nice wine list.
Perfect slices of foie gras in a dull presentation with a too-rich citrus ice cream and far too much assembly required.
Unforgettable duck breast and my partner wasn't impressed with a glutinous mushroom sauce on the filet.
And creme fraiche on too many dishes. We were cremed-out by the time we reached the overly-sweet desserts.
We heard that the regular chef has moved to a sister restaurant in Yonkers. Was it just bad New Year's luck? Has anyone tried them recently on a non-holiday night?