vinouspleasure's Profile

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New to Mount Kisco, need the lay of the land

la tulipe has the best croissant in the county, or at least the best I've had in the county.

AJs fish and chips, ossining

haven't been to lonny's since he sold, is it still good? This is cleaner, has a much simpler menu (burgers, chili dogs, cod, whiting, fries and onion rings is it), and as you say, has seating. The fish portions are smaller at AJs, the fries and onion rings are much, much better at AJs.

We had a short conversation with the owner/cook and you can tell he's very focused on good food and customer service. Stop by and let us know what you think.

AJs fish and chips, ossining

Looking at Ryan and fmom's posts, maybe I oversold this place. This is not a destination restaurant, it's a "I'm in the area, it's lunch time, let's grab fish or a burger " place. But Ryan, if you go, pls ask him if he plans to make wings, I bet he'd do an awesome job.

AJs fish and chips, ossining


AJs fish and chips, ossining

back here today with the family, we tried everything but the milkshake:

- cod fish and chips: good, crispy clean tasting fish
- hand cut french fries: ordered with "low salt", they were just right, suggest you do the same
- onion rings: this might be the star of the show, hand cut, non-greasy, generous portion
- cheeseburger: a little bigger than a slider, fresh meat grilled to order with onions and pickles. Delicious and I appreciated the smaller size.
- chili dog: about half the size of a hot dog for 95 cents, the owner said he special orders the dogs from a butcher, low salt and low preservatives. My son said it was his favorite thing.

Places with great service (anywhere in NY State not NYC)

indeed, apologies, sorry to hijack your thread.

AJs fish and chips, ossining

AJs is a few doors down (towards the water) from cidade. Simple menu, fish (cod or whiting), fries, hot dogs, hamburgers and shakes. I'm guessing it's a husband and wife running the restaurant, nice people. There's a long counter along the wall with chairs, no tables, the restaurant is very clean.

I ordered fish (cod) and chips for $6.50, the fish was perfectly fried, the fries were hand cut and delicious but I thought there was too much salt, next time I'll see if I can get half as much. But there will definitely be a next time cause this was fresh, really good and a bargain. They also offered a taste of their homemade onion rings, again, a little too salty but it was very, very good.

the lunch special was a burger, chili dog, fries and a coke for $6.50...this place could be dangerous!

Places with great service (anywhere in NY State not NYC)

I guess this is off-topic but here's my story about what must have been the worst service ever. Many moons ago at college I worked at a top steakhouse. Tips were great and I really needed the job to make ends meet. One night during dinner rush, I took drink orders from four tables, headed to the bar and made my way back to the dining room with a very full tray of drinks. On my tray were two martinis and lots of tropical fruit drinks. First stop was to drop off the martinis but as I approached the table a fast-moving waiter brushed my tray and martini glasses started tipping. I tried to steady them on the tray which must made things worse and the whole tray of drinks fell right on top of the guy that ordered the martini. The top of his head was completely drenched and, somehow, there was a pineapple slice hanging from his glasses.

I was appalled but his girlfriend started laughing hysterically, the guy smiled, I couldn't help myself and started laughing. The manager came over, looked at me like I was crazy and apologized. I finally got myself under control, brought a bunch of napkins, he went to the men's room and they decided to stay for a comped dinner. I took their order and then just couldn't resist asking "Sir, may I bring you another drink?" at which point the woman almost fell off her chair with laughter and one of my friends had to help me back to the kitchen because I was laughing so hard.

Believe it or not, I didn't lose my job but had to pay for their dinner and his dry cleaning out of my pay. They came back about a month later and when I brought the drinks, the guy put on a baseball cap :)

Szechuan peppercorns in Westchester?

I buy at kam sen, pretty hard to find, I suggest you ask someone once there. If you haven't been, the bbq meat is pretty good. We like the duck, roast pork and pig (see if they'll cut you a lean piece). One of my friends from china swears by the scallion chicken. It's also my go-to place for thai ingredients.

I'm swearing off all-you-can eat sushi places

I agree with everything in the OP but we really like ayce sushi once or twice a year with our three teenagers. It's fun for them to try everything and it sure is easy on the wallet. Call it a guilty pleasure.

Wine bar or French brasserie-near Grand Central?

actually, if you're looking for an interesting, fairly priced wine list, the oyster bar is a great suggestion. if you're looking for something a little hipper/livelier you might walk down to maialino, the bar there is pretty happening and they have a decent wine list.

Sep 06, 2014
vinouspleasure in Manhattan

Places with great service (anywhere in NY State not NYC)

we haven't been to IPR but not surprised to hear the service is good, the service at JG/nyc is fabulous. the cookery is a great example where the staff seems to share a great passion for food.

Places with great service (anywhere in NY State not NYC)


Places with great service (anywhere in NY State not NYC)

Working my way through college as a waiter, I came to learn (not surprisingly) everyone has a different view of what "great service" means. Point in case, I hated the service at Bouley...I found it overbearing and intrusive while many people would call it world-class.

I find the service at Zeph's professional but IMO the servers don't convey any real passion around the food they're serving. maybe things have changed as, after 20 visits over the years, we started to find the menu boring and haven't been back over the past year or two.

I prefer Peter Kelly's Restaurant X, where in addition to professional service, there's a sense of excitement around the food they're serving.

elita's deli, ossining

Glad to see fellow CHers here, we're in about once every two weeks. The hot sauce is surprisingly assertive, I could just pour it on the rice/beans and be happy. It's definitely worth grabbing an avocado half, it blends beautifully with the pork, chicken and rice. We love the stewed chicken but we're not fans of the fried chicken. Also, it's definitely worth trying the soup at some point. Finally, last time I was there two guys ordered soft tacos and they looked pretty good...I might give them a try next time.

btw, I think those big white beans are actually hominy:

NY to Charleston (Kiawah), am I missing anything?

we're back in ny after a fabulous week in kiawah. Unfortunately, time and traffic didn't cooperate with our restaurant agenda. We planned to stop at scott's/coopers on the way down but at the last minute, my son decided he'd like to see GWU on the way down. We still had a shot to make it for dinner but then got caught up in some of the worst traffic I've seen in 15 years of making the drive. However, we turn lemons into lemonade by stopping at white swan in smithfield. For gas cooked, it was really very good q, good fried chicken, slaw and sweet tea. And the 3 baskets of complimentary hush puppies were much appreciated.

we headed to hominy the first night, it was very good, great wait staff, nice room, very good food. Next up was the kiawah mingo point oyster roast. It's gotten much more expensive over the years but my wife pointed out that the $45 fee included tax+gratuity. The pulled pork was very good but gone are the days of whole suckling pig. the steak, chicken, sides, it was all very good and I waited for the rush to finish and had a table to myself and about two dozen hot, roasted oysters.

fat hen was even better than we remembered. I had perfectly prepared grouper but what made the dish was the bed of perfectly prepared succotash, mushrooms and sauce. Everyone loved the food here.

Exhausted from tennis in 95 degree heat, we tried angel oak one night on john's island. My wife had the steak with crab cake and bernaise sauce on top, it was delicious and the touch of fennel in the crab cake really made the dish pop. Unfortunately our other dishes, while perfectly prepared, were IMO very salty. I couldn't eat the cheese grits or finish my fried chicken, same verdict on my daughters chicken fried steak (both dished were perfectly prepared). Really friendly service, we'd definitely go back and just ask if we can salt the dishes ourselves.

Our last night we decided to give magnolia a try. My wife and I had been about 18 years ago when our son was 1, so it was a sentimental choice. While the food was good, some of the dishes seemed disharmonious and the service was very uneven (to be fair, it was very crowded).

On the way home, the plan was to stop at mccabes but we decided to leave a early to deal with traffic and I just couldn't muster a quorum to eat lunch at 11am. 12:30 rolled around and we decided to give fullers in lumberton a try. the q was edible, the fry bread was good but definitely not a place we'll try again.

so many places left to try for our next trip, thanks for all your recommendations, sorry we didn't get to them this trip but we will!

ps just a 1 pound net gain!

NY to Charleston (Kiawah), am I missing anything?

In the pre-internet age, my mom had a way to figure out who served the best BBQ. We'd drive to the center of town, get out the car and she'd ask the first person she saw over 50 who serves the best BBQ in town. This was never a short conversation but by the time it was over everyone was smiling and it was like we were all old friends. She had that way about her.

NY to Charleston (Kiawah), am I missing anything?

thanks, mollybelle, forty years ago when I was in high school, my mom, an antiques dealer used to pick me up in NY at the beginning of summer and we'd take a month to drive to her home in florida, picking antiques and eating bbq. I didn't think to keep a list of the places we stopped, but Coopers sure reminds me of those trips. after watching the video, I don't see how we can pass it up.

thanks also for glass onion and the tomato shed, both look wonderful. Looks like I'd better double my workout schedule!

Aug 12, 2014
vinouspleasure in Southeast

NY to Charleston (Kiawah), am I missing anything?

metompkin looks right up our alley but google calls it over an hour out of our way. But thanks, it definitely on the "must try" list for another trip.

Aug 12, 2014
vinouspleasure in Southeast

NY to Charleston (Kiawah), am I missing anything?

Tehama, thanks for the suggestions. Bunn's looks great but looks to be about a 1.5 hour detour, a little too far our of the way. Probably half an hour is the limit...for 1.5 hours, I'd stop at the skylight. Love F.I.G and so many of the great low country restaurants in charleston. Thanks for the DiSano's recommendation, looks great...actually, we were at pepe's in new haven over the weekend but as you say, good to have in our back pocket.

Sue, as for Lex 1, we have a client in CLT, so I'm down there a couple times per year and I make the drive about every other night. The Schoolhouse looks like a winner, I like the idea of getting off of 95 and fwiw, google calls it just 15 minutes slower. which would you go for, schoolhouse or browns?

mollybelle (I love your name!), I'm positive I don't know the I95 route as well as people that live in the state. anyhow, would love to hear what you recommend south of manning!

once we're at kiawah, we typically eat at the red hen, wild olive, JBs amokehouse, if we can get a discount, the kiawah oyster roast (which also had delicious roast pig last time we were there), and into charleston the other nights. When we first started going, 15 years ago, we loved the rosebank in bohicket but prices steadily rose, we had some not so good meals and now I understand they're closed. very sad. we've also been to the wreck, it was good but a long drive and kinda expensive for what it was. we also find if you hit it just right, the piggly wiggly has pretty good fried chicken! I also do some grilling when we're there.

When we're not eating I'm playing tennis,swimming or biking with the hope of a net zero weight gain. But I'm afraid this notion is another example of the "triumph of optimism over experience".

anyhow, all suggestions are welcone!

Aug 10, 2014
vinouspleasure in Southeast

NY to Charleston (Kiawah), am I missing anything?


We've been making this trip about every other year for the last 15 years, so I've had the opportunity to try a lot of CH suggestions. Also, as BBQ has improved in NYC (and my backyard smoker), there's less of an imperative to drive off 95 for BBQ. Finally, I judge bbq contests, and some of the Q is other worldly.

Over the years, we've been to Buzz and Neds, Wilburs, Moores, Sweatmmans, Bessingers, Parkers, Carls (ice cream) and the Summerton Diner. I've also traveled to a bunch of other places on business (lex 1, prices, a bumch of great places in texas, kc, etc.)

Would love to hear your suggestions, especially for whole hog over wood. Years ago McCabes and Blakcbeards got mixed reviews, I see they've gotten better, not sure if that's a diffusion in the quality of reviewers or if the quality of the Q has improved. Also, suggestions don't have to be for BBQ, we love great seafood, fried chicken...really, anything interesting.

I know the skylight is missing from the list but at this point, I can't justify dragging my wife, 3 teens and dog an extra 1.5 hours for what might be the best chopped in the US...cause they'll like it but it's going to be hard to explain how it's better than say Wilbur's and why we made the trip. And I'm not sure if Scott's has re-opened but there used to be no place to sit.


ps I should add that although the Q has improved in our area, the hush puppies have not and it's scary how many hush puppies I can eat if they're good. I recall going through two baskets on my own at wilburs...

Aug 10, 2014
vinouspleasure in Southeast

Mami's, a Latino Steam-table in White Plains

I've been singing the praises of elita's deli in ossining for years:


Birthday Chinese... in Westchester?

Birthday Chinese... in Westchester?

happy birthday! we were at aberdeen about 3 weeks ago for dinner, four of us shared the peking duck and crispy noodles with seafood. The peking duck was as good as I've had in chinatown, similarly priced and the waiter makes the sandwiches at your table, so it's kinda of festive. the noodle dish was very good, I like the beef chow fun too. one of my friends said the fried crab in sticky rice is very good, check on the price though, it seemed expensive compared to flushing. enjoy!

Tour guidance/guide for Ossining's ethnic restaurants?

sorry you didn't like it, we usually get the mussels, port sausage (which is so big it has to be shared with four people) appetizers and the grilled sea bass. My wife likes the pork and clam stew but I find it a strange mix of flavors.

if you go back, try those dishes.

Chinese around Ossining/Croton?

We think the best of the bad is happy garden in the shoprite mall though on occasion it's been throw-in-the-trash inedible. We order the cold sesame noodles, chow fun, tofu dishes and scallion pancakes.

We've found all the other choices in croton to be horrible.

I think I noted in another thread that we've resorted to take out from Szechuan gourmet via my train ride home. Even lukewarm, it's much better than anything we have in the area.

Also, not within your criteria but of note, we recently tried Aberdeen for a non-dim sum dinner. We stuck to the Cantonese specialties and found great, non-Americanized dishes. It's about 25 mins from croton. Wandering even further from your topic, asago makes a mean bibimbap.

elita's deli, ossining

no, they recently closed for renovations, I think they're under new mgmt but food/prices/people are the same.

my daughter discovered the ripe avocado halves they sell for $1, we buy one to share and it's delicious with the rice, beans, hot sauce and meat. So the standard order is:

one of us gets chicken in sauce (not fried), one of us gets pork, both over yellow rice and beans with plantains, half an avocado and the hot sauce. cost is around $6.50/plate.

cold sesame noodles

thanks so much, loved hwa yuan, will definitely try your recipe, but what does this mean?

1 lb Fresh cooked noodles (in refrigerator section)

Jun 12, 2014
vinouspleasure in Manhattan

Tour guidance/guide for Ossining's ethnic restaurants?


We loved the gelato joint but last time we were there, about 3 weeks ago, it was terrible. The gelato had little chunks of ice and wasn't as flavorful. Hopefully it was an anomaly.

Tour guidance/guide for Ossining's ethnic restaurants?

we had two meat dishes, thanks, we'll give it another try!