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Sushi Nanase, White Plains - Review

Well said, and I couldn't agree with you more. Loved my experience at Sushi Nanase, and have been aching to go back and try the omakase.
Thanks for such a wonderful review.

Yet Another Ridiculous Asian Fusion Bistro in Mt. Kisco

We're talking about Neo, correct? (Not Ode, as previously mentioned?) I know, it's hard to keep them all straight.

I had a similar reaction when I heard about ANOTHER Asian Fusion place coming to Mount Kisco. But the NY Times review had me curious, so when my friend said she wanted some Philadelphia Rolls, I suggested we check it out.

The service was very good, unobtrusive and accommodating.

I ordered the Kabocha soup which was phenomenal. Creamy pumpkin soup with a hint of coconut milk and two very large, grilled shrimps (it was amazing how much you could taste the char even in the soup).

My friend ordered the Monkfish Risotto Roll to start, which was described as pan fried monkfish, shiitake mushroom risotto, rolled with Vietnamese rice paper with pomegranate sauce and parmesan cheese.

In full disclosure, we ordered this because it sounded like a hot mess, so we shouldn't have been disappointed when it arrived as one. We were hoping that the chef was going to perform some sort of magic trick with all of those ingredients, but the stuff just didn't go together. It later made me think about Frank Bruni's last column, where he gave tips on navigating a menu: "Scratch off the dishes that look the most aggressively fanciful. The chef’s vanity — possibly too much of it — spawned these." That would be the best way to describe the monkfish risotto.

We also tried an order of the Spicy Sushi Poppers. All of the fish was very fresh, and the guacamole was a nice pairing, but the sushi rice tasted distractingly sweet. Again, I was hoping the chef was going to blow my mind, but in the end, I think I would've just preferred something more traditional.

The Philly Rolls were Philly Rolls (absolutely fine). I would've liked to order a special roll, but Philly Rolls were the only way to get my friend to come with me!

I had the green tea creme brulee for dessert which was one of the best I've tasted. The inside was almost fluffy, and you could taste a slight (welcome) bitterness of the green tea.

Based on the soup and creme brulee alone, I'd go back to Neo. We didn't get to try much that night, but it made me curious enough for a second visit.

big w's (wingdale/dover plains) is open!

Agreed. Warren is the best. So friendly and humble, and he clearly has a passion for what he does. We had bbq over Labor Day weekend and picked up ribs (terrific as always), but before we left, he gave us a sample of some sort of brisket - I think these were the burnt ends referenced above? Oh. My. God. Unbelievable. Tender, juicy, tangy - next time I go to Big W's, I'm getting an order of this.
It's so great to have a place like Big W's around here.

New Sandwich joint in White Plains, MELT, anyone try?

I got what you were saying, Jon1856, and thought you made a valid point - something I thought/worried about as well after my first visit. Waiting on a small line: no problem, and well worth the wait. But if this place catches on like it is already doing (and as it should given the high-caliber of food they're putting out), there could be efficiency problems down the road. It sounds like they're aware of space problems, and hopefully they'll be addressing them.

I think everyone wants to see this place succeed.

Soma 107 - White Plains

And the baby octopus and the ahi tuna. Sad if downhill reports are true, because those two dishes were two of the best I've ever had.

Summer '09 Restaurant Week - plans, reviews

City Kid, I also had a very good meal at Anthos during Restaurant Week Winter 2009. Lots of free stuff thrown in between courses, all of it tasty and complex. No complaints about the food, but the service was pretty scattered, borderline abysmal. How'd they do service-wise this time around?

Aug 02, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

New Sandwich joint in White Plains, MELT, anyone try?

wincountrygirl, I think that's valid. I've had the short roll too and wasn't over-the-moon impressed. It's not homemade, and neither is the long roll. Definitely try the flatbread and any of the pizza. I think you'll have a different experience.

New Sandwich joint in White Plains, MELT, anyone try?

Yeah, the whole menu is stellar, but I can't seem to shake this jones for the pulled pork bbq pizza. (And at $7, why should I?)
I'm no shiller, I'm just turning into a Melt groupie.

Plan B for Babbo?

I had a wonderful experience at Pearl Oyster Bar, only a short walk away. Great lobster rolls, oysters, and fried oysters. They don't take reservations, but it's close enough to pop in and check.

Jul 28, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

All-nighter in the West Village/Meatpacking

What about The Standard Grill? Isn't that open really late now in the Meatpacking district? I don't know if they would rush you, but maybe you can ask them about that when you make the reservation. Have fun!

Jul 28, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

Babbo Pasta Tasting Menu

I've done both tasting menus, both of which made me cry uncle around the 4th or 5th course. As the server reminded me with a chuckle, "These are BATALI tasting menus!" (portions are big). That said, I thought the pasta tasting was better than the traditional tasting (so I like your pick) and some of the dishes really are THAT fantastic, especially the casunzie with poppy seeds (a ravioli with roasted beets and potatoes). Didn't do the wine pairings, but I still heartily recommend the pasta tasting, if you can somehow stretch your stomach beforehand. :)

Jul 27, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

Summer '09 Restaurant Week - plans, reviews

Thanks City Kid. Appetizers did come out extremely fast, but the rest of the pace was perfect, as was my experience as a whole. Most exciting was spotting Marcus Samuelsson in the Dining Room - looked like he was entertaining some VIP guests behind us.

I was initially stoked to eat in the Dining Room as opposed to the Cafe, but last night I realized that it didn't really make much of a difference - both rooms are incredibly dim in the evening, and both are offering the same Restaurant Week menu.

But yeah, what a menu it is. No complaints. Herring was bold and generous, the meatballs were incredibly moist (what's all this smack about them tasting like sawdust?), and I thought it was totally ballsy to serve popcorn with the complimentary bread. And it was damn good popcorn!

I thought Aquavit was one classy place. Also appreciated the $24.07 gift certificates that were given to us with our bill.

Jul 24, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

New Sandwich joint in White Plains, MELT, anyone try?

Have enjoyed everything I've ordered so far. Big fan of the flat bread (homemade) as opposed to the short and long rolls (not homemade). As for the comment on the pizzas being a little softer and chewier than usual, I think that's fair, but I really like them that way. The pulled pork pizza might've been one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. And yes, the service has been phenomenally friendly. Big fan - hope they can keep up the good work!

Summer '09 Restaurant Week - plans, reviews

I'm a little scared to keep my Aquavit reservation after Asumnuthin's review, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. I'm just happy to see the Dining Room as an option as opposed to only the Cafe this season. Very jealous for those who can get to Loncanda Verde for lunch. That would be my top choice. Reviews have been fantastic so far. Also tempted to try Lure Fishbar because their RW menu looks so tasty, although I think their nautical theme looks a little ridiculous.

Jul 18, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

Tom Tuesday Dinner @ Craft Anyone Going Tonight?

For those of you who had difficulties getting a reservation, I read on today that Colicchio is planning to cook at Tom: Tuesday Dinner every other Tuesday INDEFINITELY, as opposed to ending the restaurant in September.

Apr 16, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

White Plains

I second the vote for Soma 107. The charred baby octopus was one of the best appetizers I've ever had and the Ahi Tuna was an unbelievable entree.
Given your criteria, I also think you'd be happy at Peniche (both walking distance).

If you don't mind driving to Yonkers, x20 has a great reputation and view. I recommend the Ravioli with short ribs and truffle butter, and the ahi tuna (completely different from Soma 107 but also amazing).

Finally, if you want some great homemade pasta at unbelievable prices, I heartily recommend The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry. The chef used to work at Babbo. The outside has a NYC/warehouse/meatpacking district vibe, but the inside is way more laid-back - more of like a bar you would find in the Village. The food is simple, but will definitely not disappoint. Order the crostino of fresh ricotta, truffle honey and thyme (I know if sounds simple, but I could've eaten it all night).

If you're looking for chic: Soma 107 and Peniche. If you're looking for elegant with great view: x20. If you're looking for laid-back/Village: The Cookery. Food is excellent at all.

Lanterna Tuscan Bistro, Nyack - Cooking Class

Curious if anyone has been to one of these - the new one is Tuesday, April 28th. It sounded like fun and I was definitely interested, but have never been to the restaurant - is the food any good?

Thanks for your input!


The chicken shawarma is my all-time favorite. The sandwich is very, very good, but they also have a hearty chicken shawarma meal - never been able to finish that.
I think what makes the shawarma special is the vinegar they cook the chicken in - it gives it a kick. The pickled onions are also terrific.
If you try it, let me know how you like it. It's one of my all-time favorite things to eat.

Apr 10, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

great ricotta cheesecake in westchester county ny

Don't know if they would do the whole pie for you, but La Manda's in White Plains used to do an amazing ricotta cheesecake.

Looking for a good Salad in Westchester

It's been a while, but I remember having been very impressed with a salad from La Provence, the casual restaurant on the fourth floor of Bloomingdales in White Plains which had some nice salads, particularly a mango, grilled chicken, goat cheese salad.

Soma 107 - White Plains

Went on Sunday night. Very impressed by the cooking. You can really see the chef's CIA chops and the influence from an internship in France in the quality and complexity of his sauces. LOVED, LOVED LOVED the charred baby octopus with a creamy garlic kim-chi scallion vinaigrette. Also impressed with the Togarashi Spice Dusted Ahi Tuna (another wonderful cream sauce, this one over cashew-cilantro jasmine rice).
Place was expensive, but wouldn't mind coming here again for a special occasion if the quality of the food were the same.
Thought the lighting was a bit too dim over the tables, and the place echoed a bit. Service was thoughtful and eager to please, but spotty at times. They'll probably get those kinks ironed out.

Babbo Reservations ... Help!

While I agree that calling at 10 am exactly one month before the reservation date is the way to go, if you are HARDCORE about eating at Babbo and can get to the restaurant at 4:30-4:45, your chances are extremely good at getting in (if you don't mind eating early). The first reservation is 5:30, but the restaurant opens its doors around 5:00 pm for people waiting out front and will serve you as soon as you are seated. They have six open tables every night for this situation.
I had a conference that ended at 4:00 on a Friday, walked to Waverly, waited online for about 20 minutes (I was the first one there), and got in no problem. The next time I went (with a reservation), it looked as though the people who were waiting online at a quarter to 5:00 p.m. got in as well.

Mar 18, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

A week in Manhattan - please help us make the most of it

I agree with floretbroccoli's suggestion of Perilla - had a very nice meal there. While I haven't been, Corton has the $79 prix-fixe and is all the rage right now. Menu looks extremely seasonal.
NYT just gave a lackluster review of Kefi - don't know if that influences your decision.
Can't really go wrong at Babbo, plenty of inexpensive options there.
Good luck and enjoy your stay in the city!

Mar 18, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

Tom Tuesday Dinner @ Craft Anyone Going Tonight?

Went last night (Happy St. Paddy's Day!) They even had corned beef cheeks and cabbage on the 11-course menu. The food was phenomenal. Not an ounce of pretension in Chef Colicchio at all. He chatted with all the guests, and I think everyone came away thinking he was just about the nicest guy ever. Cooler than meeting Bono. :)

The full menu is already posted online, so I'll just say I particularly enjoyed the Languostines (interesting Thai flavors going on), the gnudi, and the corned beef. Right after the corned beef, was a mango yogurt smoothie that was soooo refreshing - I didn't think I could possibly eat anything else after something as heavy as the corned beef (the 10th course), but the smoothie made me feel great - the progression of courses was very well thought-out.

Not a single "good" dish, all were excellent - very balanced, clean flavors - but a little more playful than Colicchio has been at Craft.

As for the reservation line, good luck and keep trying, everyone - I feel for you. I had the experience from hell, too, involving calling from work on my cell phone on an almost dead battery, FINALLY getting through after 20 minutes of continuous re-dial, and telling Elena Silva that my battery was about to die. She was terrific and asked for an alternate number to reach me. I gave her my work phone number, but the connection was so bad, she could barely hear me. She repeated the number twice (incorrectly), and then the connection died. I was horrified. About three minutes went by, I was absolutely crestfallen, and my phone rang. She had figured out the number. :-) I saw Elena the night of my reservation, and gave her a heartfelt 'thank you.'

I hope Colicchio continues the restaurant past September. It's a really special place and so many people want to go. I hope you all get a chance to experience it.

Will post a more detailed report (it's really more of an ode to Colicchio - he was on CRUTCHES last night and still serving) and some photos on my blog when I get down from Cloud 9.

Mar 18, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

New Menu at Zanaro's in White Plains?

Visited Saturday night before suffering through "Watchmen," Had a goat cheese pizza with caramelized onions and fresh basil - there was something spicy in there I couldn't place. It was surprisingly delicious.

Post Chemo dinner recommendations

Hi Jacqueline,

Isn't it amazing what a fun dinner can do to lift one's spirits? My best friend's mother is also battling breast cancer. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

If I had to give one recommendation for a fun dinner, it'd be Craft. I went there for Christmas and the experience was magical. I like the family style portions, I like the simplicity of the food, I like the ambiance. Nothing was overlooked when I visited - I felt like they were pitching us the perfect game from start to finish. Not a single ounce of pretension.
The braised short ribs were excellent - I also loved the side of cauliflower. For starters, both the chestnut ravioli and sweet potato agnolotti were incredible. The little cast iron skillets everything appeared on just made us happy.

I hope you have the same experience I had, and best of luck with the treatment.


Mar 16, 2009
SharonNY in Manhattan

Girls night out dinner in Westchester

Interactive..... I haven't been but Kalbi House in White Plains is Korean and lets you cook your own meat, I believe. Aberdeen Dim Sum in White Plains has tiny, fun little plates, all good, but the environment isn't the most festive. Come to think of it, I think Kalbi House is pretty tiny and small, too.

Ordering up a bunch of small plates/tapas to be shared is also interactive. I had a nice, albeit expensive dinner at Peniche in White Plains. All the tapas were quite good, but I think I spent over $75 and left hungry. Great, fun atmosphere though.

Another idea is trying to get reservations at Tarry Lodge in Port Chester. It's relatively inexpensive, especially for the quality of dishes, and the restaurant especially excels at the small antipasti dishes, which can be enjoyed similar to tapas. Maybe get a whole bunch of the antipasti dishes and share a pizza or two? Here's some pictures from when I went, so you get an idea of the size of the small dishes:


Another idea is to look for an authentic sushi joint and have the chef do the omakase (chef's choice) for your table. It's adventurous and fun. I'd say Sushi Nanase for quality, but the environment might be a bit too reverent. If you're having a festive birthday dinner and want to get loud (as you should), the chef might get angry - hehe.

A friend of mine did a "cooking party" at MacMenamins Grill in New Rochelle not too long ago. Each group was responsible for cooking a different course under the supervision of a chef. At the end of the course, they all got to eat and enjoy what they created - not sure if this still goes on, but that could be a fun time. My friend loved it.

Good luck - my vote is for Tarry Lodge!

Best Red Velvet Cake in Hudson Valley Area?

It's not a bakery, but X20 Xaviar's on the Hudson had the best Red Velvet Cake I've ever tasted, and I'm not even a huge fan of Red Velvet Cake. Maybe it's worth giving them a call and seeing if they'd do a whole cake for you.

Favorite places for sushi-Westchester

I think Hajime in Harrison is excellent. I know "reasonably-priced" and "sushi" don't always go together (or shouldn't always) considering you're looking for quality and fresh ingredients, but here it's ok.
Have not tried their omakase but I've heard some people say it's better than Sushi Nanase, a restaurant I also enjoy, and one that seems to be highly-regarded.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2009

Hi Krystle,

For the price, I think Restaurant Week is a great time to try X20 - RW was the first time I tried it and loved the ambiance. However, I found the menu extremely limiting. I had a roast chicken dish (very good), but my guest had a pork dish that looked and tasted almost identical. There were only three entree choices on the menu - I would think they would want to make a bigger splash with visually different, unique dishes. All the food tasted solid, it was just nothing too memorable.

It wasn't until the second time I went back almost a full year later that I had a meal that I found VERY memorable: braised short rib ravioli with truffle butter, and rare ahi tuna with puffed rice. Both delicious.

Still, Restaurant Weeks are a great time to scope out an expensive joint! This year, it's going to be Equus and 42 - I'm looking forward to it!