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Best preparation of sweetbreads

The sweetbreads at Convivio are excellent.

Dec 09, 2008
rabbiblake in Manhattan

A Texan visits Hill Country BBQ


Maybe our expectations were too high going in (our first time tonight), but this place gets two greasy thumbs down from my wife and me.

Prime Rib: Gristly, Tough, Flavorless, and $14.00 for a single slice.

Moist Brisket: Overly fatty, meat flavorless and dry, no seasoning.

Kreuz Sausage (jalapeno): pretty good, actually - a surprise

Sides: Uniformly good, but $20 for coleslaw, baked beans, corn pudding, and a casserole made of canned green beans and mushroom soup? Really?

Then there was the band.
Conversation was absolutely impossible. We were seated downstairs at 9 PM on a Thursday.

Service: No silverware on the table (we had to run upstairs to ask for forks and meat knives); no one stopped by to check on us; service is cafeteria-style, and then they expect a tip?

This, for $62.00.

For the record my wife makes the best brisket in the world. Next time I'm staying home!

May 29, 2008
rabbiblake in Manhattan

Best Indian Food in Lower Westchester

A Counterpoint on Rangoli.

I ate there for the first time, with two friends, last night. All three of us are experienced with Indian food and are not afraid of heat (one lives presently in Afghanistan and was in town for just a few days). In the spice department Rangoli was really disappointing. Everything was cooked properly--the meat was tender, the paneer was moist, and yes, the samosas were excellent. But where was the flavor?! Nothing had any "kick." I left feeling full, but kind of "flat." Chutneys were clearly out of a bottle (Zafran for instance makes all its own sauces and chutneys). The service started out very attentive ... but getting the bill processed took 20 minutes!

I've posted here before about Zafran, and I'll stick to my claim that they know spice there and they aren't afraid to "kick it up." It may not be your traditional ultra-creamy (read, ghee overdose) there (Zafran favors olive oil) but their flavors hit hard. Unfortunately, as has been noted here, the personal attentiveness by Zafran's hosts is not to everyone's liking and their service can be very patchy.

I won't be going back to Rangoli. Our not-extravagant meal of four entrees and some samosas ran (with tip) over $100. (They charged me $15.00 to bring in a bottle of champagne left over from new year's eve. One more point to Zafran: They're BYOB and won't charge a penny.)

I don't expect to convert everyone here to Zafran. It's not everyone's taste. But I'd certainly prefer Bengal Tiger or Mughal Palace (Valhalla) to Rangoli.

Ultimate Westchester Restaurants 2006

Counting down to the best:

5. MOSCATO, Scarsdale (Italian)
4. SUNSET GRILLE, White Plains (Mexican)
3. TURKISH MEZE, Mamaroneck (Turkish)
2. ROSIE'S BISTRO ITALIANO, Bronxville (Italian)
1. ZAFRAN, Yonkers (Indian-Fusion)

Honorable Mentions:

- Mamma Assunta, Tuckahoe
- Kirari Sushi, Scarsdale
- Piper's Kilt, Eastchester
- Eastchester Fish Gourmet, Eastchester
- City Limits, White Plains
- Kuzaku, Tuckahoe
- The Olde Stone Mill, Tuckahoe
- Bengal Tiger, White Plains
- Lefteris Gyro, Tarrytown
- Pizza & Brew, Scarsdale
- Totonno's, Yonkers
- Central Seafood, Hartsdale
- Mughal Palace, Valhalla

And, 5 Most overrated! :

5. ZUPPA, Yonkers - Better food for much less $$$ is widely available in NYC.

4. BUKHARA GRILL, Yonkers - New Indian misses the mark. We miss Nyauta.

3. SEVEN WOKS, Scarsdale - The most overrated Chinese in the county.

2. UNDERHILL CROSSING, Bronxville - Snooty service, overpriced, soulless cooking. How does this place stay so busy?

1. MERITAGE, Scarsdale - Overpriced, under-size portions ($8.00 for a side of brussels sprouts that I could eat by myself!), lame service.

Best Indian Food in Lower Westchester

By the way.... you won't need a reservation, but call ahead anyway to let them know you're coming. They're so used to an empty house that sometimes they don't have their act together. But if they know new people are coming, they'll want to put their best foot forward. Order the appetizer of shrimp with garlic cream and mushrooms; it's out of sight.

Best Indian Food in Lower Westchester

I am saddened that no one has yet mentioned the best-kept secret in Indian in Lower Westchester - ZAFRAN on Central Avenue! The owners, Akhtar and Naseem Mir, are the most lovely, solicitous people; they will treat you like family. And the food is really spectacular - also, less greasy than much Indian food because they cook with olive oil instead of ghee. Some of the food is billed as "Indian Fusion" but their more traditional dishes are wonderful too. You won't be disappointed! My wife and I dine there regularly and our heart breaks to see that we're often the only ones in the restaurant. We think the location is killing them-- they're just north of the Yonkers Library, just south of Tuckahoe Road, on the eastern side of the street. Go and report back here how you liked it!