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Nice dinner @ Fortina in Armonk

Another great meal at Fortina. We had six people so we shared a ton of things and had an amazing celebratory dinner.

Highlights:
*brussels sprouts- their wood-fired veggies are outstanding. I can't believe I'm even saying this but these sprouts were one of the favorite dishes of the night (at a table including two hardcore carnivores). Served with an addicting dipping sauce. Do not overlook the vegetable sides at Fortina (the cauliflower was also great though not as mindblowing)!!
*tenderoni- my personal favorite pizza, just a perfect combination of flavors- spicy, sweet, salty
*baked ziti- ordered as an afterthought, and fought over to the very last bite. Creamy, crunchy at the edges, cheesy, al dente. Wow.
*bread pudding- the trained pastry chef at our table declared this the best bread pudding he's ever had, and I have to agree-- you must taste this buttery creation to believe it.

We shared a couple other pizzas, two salads (love the fresh ingredients and nicely sized portions for sharing), the meatballs, the braciole, the tartufo, and the tiramisu. Beer and wine flowed and they have my favorite cocktail (Aviation) on the menu, pricey but potent and delicious.

They seem to send out free "shots" (more mini drinks than shots) of delicious sangria to bigger groups, which we loved, and they offered to buy us drinks when we were finished, which we took them up on. They clearly wanted the table but we had been there a long time at that point so we were ready to go anyway. The bar area was packed and they were sending around servers with strombolis and pieces of pizza to feed the hungry masses.

I'll be back New Year's Eve. This is definitely the place in Westchester for a festive evening out with excellent food!

Campagna Bedford Post- First Take

I usually don't like tiramisu but I sampled an excellent petite version at Fortina last weekend. In fact, I should go over to the Fortina thread to post about our amazing meal there. Yum.

Campagna Bedford Post- First Take

I'm glad you enjoyed. I have to disagree about the price point being similar to the COokery, though, having just been back to the Cookery this week. For example, the Cookery has (generous) pours of wine starting at only $10 per glass. The pasta portions at the Cookery are all under $20 and are actually a generous dinner sized portion, which I did not find to be the case at Campagna. Also, the actual appetizers at the Cookery are all in the low teens, some even under $10.

Of course at Campagna you are paying for the beautiful atmosphere and the almost flawless service, and the Cookery is much more casual. I'd say there's little to compare between the two other than the food is good at both.

What'd you have for dessert? I'm still thinking about our blood orange tart there and trying to figure out how to recreate it at home.

Pomegranate Molasses Butter Cake, The New York Times Cooking Recipe

Thank you for posting this. I have a rarely used container of pomegranate molasses in my kitchen and I'm looking forward to trying this recipe!

I bought it to use with cooking with Ottolenghi's books but it's gone mostly unused so far.

Appetizer meatballs for molasses sauce

Can you please post the recipe link? Sounds good!

Crabtree Kittle House [Chappaqua]

Only for today KH is selling 50$ gift cards for $40. You must buy two at a time.

Thanksgiving Guests! What are you bringing?

We are in charge of the cornbread stuffing, a huge tray of it. I also made a mixed platter of dark chocolate brownies, candy bar Blondies, and bourbon spiked pecan pie "truffles."

Campagna Bedford Post- First Take

Hahaha!!!! My husband turned to me as we are leaving and whispered, "Who are these people-- Where are we!??!?" He's an upstate transplant and has lived in Westchester with me for almost 10 years, and he said that Campagna was what people who are not from Westchester imagine when they think of Westchester. We were happy to go back to humble Ossining! Ha.

Ooh, have fun at Kittle House! I'm celebrating my birthday in the tap room next week, can't wait!

Campagna Bedford Post- First Take

Maybe the crowd skewed older because our reservation was at 6:30? There was one other couple about our age (30s) and the rest were considerably older. But regardless of the age, yes really a different crowd than we are used to. The 1% is alive and well at Campagna.... :)

Campagna Bedford Post- First Take

I had dinner with my husband at Campagna on Saturday. Overall I enjoyed it but I can't see myself returning often due to the price.

Atmosphere-
I love the old building and the interior is beautiful. Acoustics are not great; it is quite loud. The two tops against the bench in the room to the right of the entrance are way too close together. Once both tables on either side of us were occupied we were ready to go because it was a little too cozy.

Service-
The service was excellent. You can see that they are trained well, and we were treated very well, despite the fact that our bill was probably half of the average bill here. The manager came around to every table to say hello, truffles or no truffles, and asked our feedback when we left.

Crowd-
We felt very out of place here. The crowd definitely skews to an older crowd and there are lots of big spenders. As I said, people were ordering truffle shavings and expensive bottles of wine left and right. It was just not our kind of place.

Food-
Food quality was excellent; portion size was not great. The size of our appetizers were fine. My salad was wonderful but at $14 not a great value; my husband loved his pork terrine but at $18 could have come with more accoutrements. The pastas are definitely not intended to be main courses, despite their pricing in the $20s. I had the risotto with barolo and bone marrow, a flavorful and toothsome rendition which brought me back to a meal I ate in Italy. The portion was fine for me for dinner since I don't have a huge appetite, but I couldn't figure out what on the plate was costing over $20, since there was not an abundance of risotto and 4 tiny thin pieces of meat. Maybe really expensive Barolo was used to make it...!? My husband's fusilli was even more mystifyingly priced, over $20 for a plate of (albeit delicious and perfectly al dente homemade) fusilli with ricotta and pork ragu. I would NOT recommend going here starving and ordering pasta as your entree. We were not starving so we were fine with the portions, and it left us room for dessert, which was an outstanding blood orange tart in a buttery crust, served with tart blood orange sorbet. One of the best desserts I've had all year.

Drinks-
Limited beer menu, though my husband liked the Piedmont beer selections. Wine list BTG is very pricey. Agree with WCG that the pours are not terribly generous. The Sonoma Pinot Noir I had was fine but $16 and sells by the bottle for only a couple dollars more than that, and the pour was skimpy. And not great enough to order another glass at $16!

Price-
This meal was not a great value. We were in and out in an hour and a half and it didn't have a special occasion feel. Definitely not romantic due to the very close proximity to our neighbors. We could hear every word of their conversations and they ours. I'd go back to the bar for a plate of pasta and dessert, but I'm more at home at Fortina, the Cookery, or Tarry Lodge for Italian.

duck fat in Westchester?

www.hudsonvalleyduckfarm.com

I have gotten the duck bacon numerous times (for a special pizza I like to make), which I love, and duck meat once or twice. I think the quality is very good.

Not sure they'll be at the winter market.

Thanksgiving Guests! What are you bringing?

Can you post more details on that pie? Im intrigued!

duck fat in Westchester?

I think the duck vendor at the Pleasantville Farmers' Market sells duck fat. Also, I think Whole Foods does... or at least they carry other D'Artagnan products. You could call.

Open for Thanksgiving in Northern Westchester (Ossining/Croton area)?

Just got an email from Rivermarket-- they are open. I believe Kittle House is too. Either would be great, I'm sure. Rivermarket has multiple choices for each of three courses, some of which are traditional Thanksgiving dishes, but there are many other less traditional options too.

Barcelona, San Sebastian, Bilbao trip report (long)

Great report! Brought back memories of all the delicious pintxos we had this summer in San Sebastian.

Campagna Bedford Post- First Take

Thanks WCG. I have a reservation for next Saturday. I think we will stick to pasta based on your description. I'm a little nervous about the price though- wasn't looking for a huge night out and it sounds sort of like they were encouraging that.

Help- Can I make this lemon tart crust nut-free?

Ok, so just sub in the 2 TBS of flour in place of the almonds?

I think you're both right about the rosemary. I'll leave it out.

Help- Can I make this lemon tart crust nut-free?

I made this olive oil lemon tart before to great success.

http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/...

The crust has a small amount (2 TBS) of toasted almonds in it. I need to eliminate the nuts for an allergic cousin. Other than the obvious effect on the flavor of the crust, can anyone foresee any impact on the structure of the crust? Should I adjust the crust in any way?

I also had the idea to add a tiny bit of rosemary to the crust. Thoughts?

Baked Bakery now open in Tribeca!

Box of deliciousness

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week - Fall 2014, November 3-16

Sorry Bill! I didn't see this until after our meal. Did you enjoy it? We sat upstairs (as requested) and had a really terrific meal. The squash soup was the only miss for me, as it had a lot of heat and I wouldn't have ordered it if I had known it was spicy. They kindly split our desserts into two mini courses-- we shared the cheese plate first and then shared the cookie skillet, which worked out perfectly. The $29 bottle of Chardonnay was quite good. We weren't rushed at all and the service definitely seemed more polished than our last visit. Such a great value for restaurant week but last night's meal was up to snuff for their regular pricing.

Baked Bakery now open in Tribeca!

Baked has opened on Church Street in Tribeca and I was so excited to get to visit today! It is a nice airy space with a roomy seating area in the rear. The huge display case in the front houses dozens of delicacies, of which I sampled five today. The owners/cookbook authors are in house overseeing the opening and seem very involved in the operation. I own all the cookbooks and am a huge fan.

Tri color bar- three fluffy layers sandwiching apricot jam and topped with chocolate. Wow!
Pumpkin whoopie pie- moist fluffy cake with thick and sweet cream cheese filling
Salted caramel bar- shortbread base topped with caramel and chocolate ganache and fine sea salt. Another wow
Pecan chocolate bar- the bar form of their amazing pie recipe. Buttery crust, chocolate layer, thick, crunchy, and sweet pecan layer. Incredible.
Peanut butter crispy bar- my favorite-- homemade peanut butter mingles with the marshmallowy rice crispy layer, topped with chocolate.

There were tons more treats to taste, so definitely go check it out!

New Opening- The Gander

I had a really unsatisfactory brunch today at the Gander. I was actually really embarrassed to have taken my friends there.

The place itself is really nice inside and the service was good, but the food was not great. The prices are up there and the portions and presentation and composition of the dishes left a lot to be desired. The omelette was fine, but not remarkable in any way, and served with a sad and plain pile of arugula. My friend who had a burger which she enjoyed but the fries came out more than 5 minutes after the burger. The mixed green salad turned out to be not mixed greens but raw kale. Big difference and we wouldn't have ordered it if it was described accurately. The chicken sandwich was served open faced, also not mentioned on the menu, with another sad and plain pile of arugula. The fried eggs on a tortilla came with white beans and chorizo. The chorizo looked and tasted like cut up hot dog and the white beans were hard. Everything looked sad and small on the plates and we were overall disappointed.

The bright spots were the nonalcoholic ginger drink, which was great, and the mixed pastries, of which we liked the thyme (I think) scone, sticky bun, fruit and cheese danish, and pumpkin mousse croissant.

I would not return.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week - Fall 2014, November 3-16

We are only making it to our favorite, North, tomorrow. I've been looking forward to this meal all week long!

Campagna - the old Bedford Post, Bedford, NY

The typo on the PDF made me cringe.
CAMPAGNA IS PROUD TO SOURCE IT’S PRODUCE FROM LOCAL FARMS AND VENDORS
Is it that hard to proofread? Oy.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns- bar dining review

Again, to be clear, in my original post, I am referring to the BAR MENU (3 courses for about $60) served only at the bar.

I have not been in the last year, but I was pleased with the value of the bar menu all three times I had it and I plan to return for it. The one time I went for the five course meal (no longer offered) in the dining room I was not as pleased. Tasting menus are wasted on me because I get full too quickly.

I love farm to table food and I think the BAR MENU is playful and fun (again, with respect to the MUCH SMALLER amount of money being paid) and pays tribute to the ingredients. For example, their "single udder butter" from a cow named Sunshine (true story) sounded ridiculous and twee, but it was seriously the best butter I've ever eaten. However, I'm conflicted, as others have said, about the inaccessibility to the public of the restaurant's mission in terms of the price and preciousness of the long version tasting menu. The times I've vacationed in California (specifically San Francisco and Sonoma/Healdsburg) I was shocked at how normal and seamlessly integrated farm-to-table is there without the self-congratulatory attitude. BHSB has some catching up to do in that regard.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week - Fall 2014, November 3-16

Thanks for posting. It's not thrilling, but I'm sure it'll be good. Usually there's at least one non-veggie appetizer...

Winston's in Mt. Kisco - the old Brass Horn Location

Glad to hear you enjoyed it. What are the prices like on the bar menu?

Sleepy Hollow Area - Saturday Lunch

I thought I saw the same thing, elisa, about route 9. But the sign was flashing so fast I wasn't sure I'd seen it correctly.

quick trip to Philly- thoughts on itinerary?

Thank you for your input! Fork was on my radar and the menu looks great, as well as the photos of the food. We may want something a little more casual for our Friday night dinner; have you been to their other place, High Street on Market? I'm intrigued by that too. Petruce also looks great and I hadn't heard of it before, so thanks for that recommendation too.

quick trip to Philly- thoughts on itinerary?

My husband and I had such an amazing night last December that we have booked two nights in Philly-- the 26th and 27th of December. We are staying in the Doubletree in Center City and are already super excited about more eating and drinking in your fine city.

We will have two dinners (Friday and Saturday nights). I have Vernick booked for 9 PM on the Saturday. I was thinking of Sbraga or Serpico for Friday night, but I'm open to other options. I'd like it to be a contrast with Vernick. Ideally, we'd hit a place for a drink before and after our dinners. My husband continues to be obsessed with beer, while I wouldn't mind getting a well made cocktail (thinking of Hop Sing or Franklin Mortgage or Ranstead Room, as recommended on this thread previously). Proximity to our hotel, especially for the later end of the night, would be great.

We will be spending our daylight hours with family, though we may be able to squeeze a brunch in on Sunday, so I'd welcome thoughts for that too. We haven't made it to Reading Terminal Market yet, so I'd love to do that, but are places inside closed on Sundays?

Thanks in advance!