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NickM's Profile

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Berkshire's Best Dinner Spot?

Staying in New Marlborough? Old Inn on the Green is still a must. We've been there recently, and it's as good as ever. I'd also second Brix as a good choice for a more moderately priced meal.

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Brix
40 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Sep 12, 2011
NickM in Southern New England

SOUTH OF KATONAH ...LOW NOISE LEVEL LATE LUNCH PARTY OF 10

Cafe of Love can be very noisy at night: don't know about the daytime noise level, though. Also, note that at Cafe of Love they can place you at a big table near the front window, but there's a very annoying loudspeaker piping music into that corner, right above that table.

May 02, 2011
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Need recs near Brewster

In Katonah, there is great seafood pasta at the Blue Dolphin (housed in the old diner car on Katonah Avenue). If Pakistani take-out interests you (it can be incendiary!), get off the Saw Mill at Thornwood, and work your way back a mile or so to Westchester Grocery (aka Khan's Indian Kitchen). Different choices on the menu every day, but the samosas and the biryani are both really good and regularly available. And perhaps most fortunately for you, your cabin in Brewster is tantalizingly closer to Wingdale and, along Route 22, the sensational Big W's BBQ -- arguably the best BBQ in the entire NY region.

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Khan's Indian Kitchen
546 Commerce St, Thornwood, NY 10594

Feb 13, 2011
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Mt Kisco, Jamaican?

It's located in the middle of an alley off South Moger Avenue, just to the left of Starbucks.

Jan 26, 2011
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Friend seeking Veal Parm in Northern Westchester

I hope the 'hounds find your friend the veal parm of her dreams. I'd like to hear their replies myself, but if you don't get any responses before Monday, perhaps your friend can try the veal parm at Pizza Station in Katonah, which we periodically pick up when we need take-out Italian during the week. It varies a little from day to day, but at least it's real veal, rather than a patty, and for us, it fits the bill for weeknight comfort food.

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Pizza Station
27 Parkway Ste 1, Katonah, NY 10536

Oct 01, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Where can I purchase spanish chorizo in Fairfield County?

This is not in Fairfield County, but if you are inclined to drive into Northern Westchester, I think that the Turco's in Yorktown Heights has been selling a hot version of Palacios.

Sep 30, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

Visiting Stockbridge, MA

If you're willing to drive to West Stockbridge, then you might be willing to consider Cafe Adam, at the north end of Great Barrington on Route 7, not that far from Stockbridge -- another one of a number of very good bistro-style restaurants in the area, with somewhat brighter and cheery decor than, say, Chez Nous. You can check online for Cafe Adam's menu, as you can with many of the places mentioned in this thread, although one "gourmet" touch I've found hard to resist at Cafe Adam is paying an extra dollar and truffling the fries with my hanger steak and frites!

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Chez Nous
150 Main St, Lee, MA 01238

Cafe Adam
325 Stockbridge Rd Ste 4, Great Barrington, MA 01230

Sep 28, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

Visiting Stockbridge, MA

There's a pleasant Spanish restaurant, Viva, just outside the village of Stockbridge, which might suit your requirements.

Sep 27, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry

I took a party of eight to the Cookery on the Sunday evening of last Thanksgiving weekend: the only time I visited. I did not post because there was virtually no one there that night, and from what I can glean (and the wait staff inferred), the quiet was very atypical.

The food we had that night was uniformly sensational: I still think about the terrific white lasagna I had, the crostino with truffle honey and the short ribs I sampled. In truth, a lot of our party had specials, but everybody's main dish was really good. I would love to go back again, but don't know if I could duplicate the calm we encountered that night.

I know some posters associate loud, noisy restaurants with excitement. Perhaps for some, but I agree with the poster Menton 1 who point outs you can go to restaurants in Europe and get energy without having to scream at your dining companions. I can think of any number of great tapas bars I've visited in Spain -- including a number packed almost entirely by exuberant locals out for good food and drink -- where you could still conduct an audible conversation with your dining partners. In contrast, some otherwise decent Westchester establishments (such as Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco) do not necessarily win friends or repeat customers when diners are hoarse from shouting by the time they leave.

I think I'm as much of a food enthusiast as most 'hounds, and for me, food generally comes first, way before decor or service. Yet, great as it is, I'm not planning to go to the Cookery to eat alone: I go to most restaurants, even places with minimal decor, with friends and/ or family. If I thought i could have a meal in relative quiet even approaching what I experienced in my only visit, I'd be back at the Cookery tonight. Yet the accounts of other 'hounds has made me hesitate to return. If anybody can help me figure out how to identify the next quiet night at the Cookery, I'm all ears.

Sep 24, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Best of Ossining area and Westchester in general

Ossining and its immediate surroundings do have a number of good food choices, such as Churrascaria Ribatejo (I'm especially fond of the littlenecks), but if you are willing to travel a little farther afield, you can get very respectable Chinese food in the Hong Kong tradition at Aberdeen in White Plains (once I found it, I no longer missed Chinatown). Also, Zeph's is a very good eclectic restaurant in Peekskill. For Indian/Pakistani, try Westchester Grocery (nka Khan's Indian Kitchen), a Halal place that is principally take-out. Excellent, but the heat is for real.

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Khan's Indian Kitchen
546 Commerce St, Thornwood, NY 10594

Zephs' Restaurant
638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

Sep 16, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Williamstown Ma Help

In Williamstown, Hot Tomatoes is good for pizza. I would agree that the prospects for better food lie south in Pittsfield, where there are separate threads.

Aug 15, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

ISO: Food Markets near Stockbridge

Taft is definitely a worthy stop, as is Berkshire Mountain Bakery down the road on Route 183 for fresh bread. You can also contact Barrington Coffee Roasting Company (you can check out their excellent selection online, but the roastery is in Lee, in an industrial park on Route 102) for top quality coffee in bean, freshly roasted in small batches.

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Barrington Coffee
165 Quarry Hill Rd, Lee, MA

Aug 05, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

ISO: Food Markets near Stockbridge

I would certainly second Guido's as your first stop for quality meat, fish, produce and other goods. If you are going toward Great Barrington, rather than Pittsfield, there is a pretty good Big Y in the shopping center right next door to the Guido's in GB, where you can fill in on the more readily available items.

Aug 05, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

Is there any southern fried chicken available near Lenox, Ma

Well, according to Google Maps, Tanglewood is roughly 1,300 miles from Kansas City, and I currently don't know of any really great southern fried chicken sources nearby, although if you are desperate, as my wife and I sometimes are, you could try the southern fried chicken at the local Big Y's or (gulp) Price Chopper. There used to be decent fried chicken at Guido's on Lenox-Pittsfield Road, but I haven't seen it lately. In fact, I'm glad you're not going to be picnicking at Tanglewood until August, because I'm as eager as you are to hear about any good suggestions.

Jul 22, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

Best Hot Dog in the state of Massachusetts

I know Teo's is legendary and has its champions, and I've had many a Teo's hot dog, but I must profess a weakness for the hot dogs at Jack's in North Adams.

Jun 24, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

Take-out fried chicken in lower westchester?

I can't speak for the Stew's in southern westchester, but the one in Danbury has pretty good wings. Now, Popeyes is in another league entirely.

Jun 15, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

"Upscale" BBQ catering in Westchester?

Why not take a look at Big W's in Wingdale? In my experience, their BBQ is as good as it comes in the region. I've been to a lovely backyard affair catered by Big W's, at which the BBQ was great. Ribs, chicken, pulled pork, brisket, interesting sides. Not sure what you mean by upscale, but if it's the best food you're after (and I'm assuming that's why you're consulting the Hounds), you should certainly check out Big W's as a possibility.

Jun 14, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Romantic Restaurant in Stockbridge, MA area

I too concur with hepsi's comments, about Old Inn on the Green -- which epitomizes both romance and excellence in food and wine -- and Wheatleigh.

Jun 12, 2010
NickM in Southern New England

Road Trip Westchester to West Stockbridge MA: Any Must Stop and Eat Places Along the Way?

Are you referring to the Big Y supermarket next to Guido's in Great Barrington?

Jun 05, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Eating in the Berkshires

I've spent a couple of decades hanging out in the Berkshires and actually checking out its food, not to mention observing its people, so here's my take on this Guy's article:

Uninformed? Probably. Uninformative? Definitely. Funny? Not.

Oh well, yet another reason to feel sorry for Conan O'Brien.

Apr 29, 2010
NickM in Food Media & News

Neo Bistro, Mount Kisco

I would prefer to support local merchants where possible, but now that Katonah Beverage Barn is closed, if you seek hard-to-find beers, domestic and offshore, you might try Half Time in Poughkeepsie. I just checked out their web site, which appears to give you a good rundown of what beers they carry, and what it will cost you. I have not been there myself, but a friend who shares an interest in beer thinks it's worth the trek from Northern Westchester for both selection and price. And now that the Katonah store is closed, I think I'll take a ride up there.

Mar 18, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Neo Bistro, Mount Kisco

Sorry to report that the Katonah Beverage Barn appears to have closed.

Mar 16, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Which Burr Coffee Grinder Would You Recommend?

Thanks for your comment, Richard. It's possible that sample variation would account for the differences in grind control I found in going from my Maestro to the Maestro Plus, but I still have my Maestro, and can report that I could not -- and still cannot -- achieve the uniformity and coarseness of grind in my Maestro that I got in my Maestro Plus, and which I can now also get from the Virtuoso. Maybe my particular Maestro hasn't been performing quite up to the potential of the machine.

Just to clarify, I did not mean to imply that I have had static electricity problems with my Solis/Baratza machines: none of the Soilis/Baratza machines I have used have any significant static electricity problems. Rather, I meant to say that I encountered such problems only with other competitors -- with three less costly burr grinders I used previously. Sorry I can't recall right now which brands I used before, but if their names come back to me, I will comment further.

Feb 22, 2010
NickM in Cookware

Which Burr Coffee Grinder Would You Recommend?

I have used the Solis/Baratza Maestro, Maestro Plus and the Virtuoso. I have used them to grind for drip and for French press, now almost entirely the latter. The Maestro is a very good machine, but it does not provide quite as uniform a grind at the coarse grind level for French press, nor as great a range of grind settings at that coarse level, as do the Maestro Plus and the Virtuoso. If you seek to achieve a more precise balance of full flavor vs. sludge, as many French press users do, you might find either the Maestro Plus or the Virtuoso preferable. Any of the three provide burr grinding of greater precision and uniformity than many fo the competitors, which are also more prone to spraying ground coffee all over your kitchen thanks to static electricity. I have not tried the Capresso, so cannot comment on that machine. Nor can I comment on how these machines compare with more expensive alternatives like the Mazzer.

Feb 19, 2010
NickM in Cookware

Q in Mt Kisco closed (as is the Guatemalen Chapines Deli?)

Yes, I also ask him to leave the fat on the brisket! He carves the meat right in front of you, and it's great to watch his hunks of brisket undulating when he drops them onto the board. Particularly if I'm ordering to go, I like to bring some of the fat home with me.

Feb 18, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Q in Mt Kisco closed (as is the Guatemalen Chapines Deli?)

IMHO, Big W's BBQ on Route 22 in Wingdale continues to serve up by a considerable margin the best BBQ in the region. It's dry rub BBQ, and not slathered in sauce, and it's a drive from Northern Westchester, (although not that much longer than driving from Mount Kisco to PC) but in my view, their ribs and brisket are just outstanding, And their wings are wicked.

Feb 16, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Ethiopian in Mount Kisco?

The location was supposedly the alley off South Moger, which has Starbucks at one end and Okinawa at the other end: one or two doors down from Taste of Jamaica, the Jamaican food place.

Feb 04, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

Ethiopian in Mount Kisco?

Heard a rumor, from a local business, that an Ethiopian food place is supposedly poised to open in Mount Kisco, next to the great Jamaican place. Anyone know more?

Jan 28, 2010
NickM in New York State (exc. NYC)

New All Clad Stainless d5 line at W-S?

I too decided to try a d5 4 quart simmer pan which seemed well-priced at W-S. I have several All Clad SS pieces, and, suspicious of W-S's claims, I agonized over whether to exchange this one for an All Clad SS; ultimately I kept the d5 to try it, and found it delivered remarkably consistent control in evenly browning chicken thighs dusted in flour. I'd like to attribute the excellent results solely to my masterful technique, but I think I might be kidding myself...

Jan 14, 2010
NickM in Cookware

PEPPER GRINDERS

Another nod to te Unicorn Magnum. Prodigious output, relatively easy to fill (a small funnel helps) and easy to clean. I have managed to get a pretty fine grind out of it: far better than, say the Perfex. I have had only limited expereince with the Peugeots, but would agree with those who say the manual grinder takes forever to produce grinds.

Jan 14, 2010
NickM in Cookware