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fixed price omakase (giving gift certificate)

Thank you for your help!

Jan 03, 2008
theatmosphere in Manhattan

fixed price omakase (giving gift certificate)

I would love to give a gift certificate to a great sushi restaurant in the city, specifically for the recipient to have omakase for two people. Are prix fixe and omakase mutually exclusive? Ideally, I would rather the gc read as "omakase for two" rather than something like "$300."

This is for a special birthday, so there is no specific price range. Thanks!

Jan 02, 2008
theatmosphere in Manhattan

Azzurri in Thornwood

But it has free parking and they don't charge for bread, dolores! ; )

Azzurri in Thornwood

Dinner last night at Azzurri, I think this is nice, casual local option for red-sauce Italian. We split an appetizer of fried zucchini -- the zucchini was sweet and tender, not greasy, and the portion -- a heaping dinner plate -- for about $7. Entrees come with a choice of house salad (basic but fresh mixed greens in a balsamic vinaigrette) or a pasta; pastas come with salad.

I had the sausage & peppers entree, which again was very generous with a high ratio of sausage, which seemed like it had been grilled before being mixed with red and green peppers, onions, and a bit of marinara sauce. I really enjoyed it. My husband had the manicotti, which he said was very tasty but seemed to be a much smaller portion than my entree (as is often the case with stuffed pastas, I find... not just here).

Waiter recommended a special on a montepulciano by the glass -- we each had one at $8 apiece, a proper pour size and delicious. Crusty bread is on the table; water refilled regularly (the water thing is important to me!).

The host seemed to know a lot of the diners, so definitely a local joint. There is a bar as well. Worth trying if you are in that area (we went after the movies in Elmsford).

Restaurants similar to Blue Hill at Stone Barns

The Flying Pig in Mt. Kisco uses mostly local and organic food, much from Cabbage Hill Farm. I see the restaurant's Web site is down now, but it is normally at The have a small but interesting menu -- I've only eaten there once but enjoyed it thoroughly. There's a nice outdoor eating area in warmer weather, too.

Flying Pig At Lexington
251 Lexington Ave Mt, Kisco, NY

Wobble Cafe - Ossining, NY

I think rpk is right on the money: it is the only place I can think of with a nice casual vibe, decent coffee, and reasonable prices in the area that is not a big diner. Plus they are very welcoming to kids, which makes it a plus to many. The last couple of times I've been the wait staff seemed to have trouble keeping up with the tables, and a friend recounted a recent lunch trip where something like 5 out of the 6 orders at the table were wrong. Growing pains?

Still, a comfortable place to meet friends for breakfast. But I wouldn't travel for it.

Gasho of Japan

I agree with what GIO said. Last time we were there, several years ago, the whole place smelled like wet dog. Horribly off-putting. However, I wonder if any renovations were required after that freak tornado last summer, as it touched down pretty much right where the restaurant is located.

I can heartily recommend Samurai in Croton ( They have both hibachi and regular table seating, are good to the community (donated gift certificates for a charity auction I worked on), and are also kid-friendly if that's what you are looking for. I am told the sushi is good, too, though I don't eat it.

Okinawa ( in Mt. Kisco also has hibachi, and the food is good. However, I find it to always be terribly crowded even with a reservation.

Samurai Japanese Restaurant
352 S Riverside Ave, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

39 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Highland Diner, Ossining, NY

Other than the natural light coming in from the windows (they are large windows), the only lights that seemed to be on were from a row of ceiling fans. There are probably lights through the rest of the place, but I didn't look to closely and I don't think they were on at lunch. Combined with the tin ceiling, dark wood, and mauve fabrics I guess it just felt dark! Not in a dingy way.

Highland Diner, Ossining, NY

Had lunch at Riverview today, and it's fine as far as diner's go.

I had a vegetarian omelet with cheese (well, I ordered cheese but none was included...) -- the veggies were crisp and tasted fresh, lots of mushroom, broccoli, pepper, etc. It was enormous, and served in a blazing hot skillet with good home fries. (The skillet is cute, but with two kids at the table I was nervous about them reaching over and touching it, and because it has a high lip I accidentally touched the underside of my forearm to the edge a few times -- OUCH!) My mom had a spinach and feta omelet which she also enjoyed. Kids had chicken fingers and spaghetti. They are gourmands, obviously.

One thing I particularly enjoyed was that none of the food was greasy. Home fries, omelet, my kid's chicken fingers -- all things that are often served with too much oil for my taste were perfectly cooked.

The restaurant is much larger than it looks from the outside, and although it is completed renovated it is rather dark -- I overheard another table mentioning this as well. We were seated promptly and the busboy brought water right away, but then it was never refilled. Our order was taken promptly and the food came out quickly, but then we never saw the waiter again and had to flag down a hostess to finally get our check.

Over all, we'd try it again and see how their wraps or Greek food are. Just a thoroughly neutral experience.

Need A Good Brussel Sprout Recipe

My favorite is simply roasted in an oven. Trim and toss with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Roast in a single layer for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees, shaking the pan a couple of times, until they are crisp and browned on the outside.

Oct 05, 2007
theatmosphere in Home Cooking

Where can one get kosher snacks, foods, desserts in the Greenwich area? (moved from Tristate)

You can find Kosher foods in any supermarket, I'm sure you'll find in Greenwich. There are several designations for Kosher foods, the most common being OU. You can search for OU products and brands here:

A popular and common Kosher cheese is Miller's. I see that at most supermarkets in Northern Westchester. Also, I know offhand Stonyfield Farm yogurt is Kosher.

Sep 10, 2007
theatmosphere in Kosher

Paella in Westchester

I haven't eaten it myself, but friends of mine enjoyed the paella at Coco Rumba in Mt. Kisco. It looked delicious, and was served in a pottery crock, if I recall correctly.

Highland Diner, Ossining, NY

Is it all booths inside? From my quick glance, that looked like the set up...

Highland Diner, Ossining, NY

I don't want to be the guinea pig. ; ) You go and report back!

Moving from Yonkers to Briarcliff

Yum, the Blue Pig does have good ice cream, they are open seasonally. This is an easy drive from Briarcliff, pretty much straight north not even 10 minutes.

Blue Pig Ice Cream Factory
121 Maple St, Croton On Hudson, NY 10520

Moving from Yonkers to Briarcliff

When you are writing your reply, there is a "Link to a place" icon below the box you're typing in. Click on that, and it will prompt you for the place you're mentioning.

Moving from Yonkers to Briarcliff

GIO, you're thinking of Torchia's, I think. The often have family-style take-out specials which are an excellent deal in the Clipper Magazine. I know some people think those coupons are the kiss of death for a restaurant, but I think their food is good and straightforward. You always know what you'll get.

518 N State Rd, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

Moving from Yonkers to Briarcliff

I'm just going to give you some immediately local suggestions, I'll let others will you in on WP, et al.

Mrs. Greens is hit or miss on the prepared foods -- sometimes stuff is sitting for longer than you'd want. But their burritos (peppers and goat cheese is a fave) are usually fresh and are huge. Otherwise for prepared foods you may want to try Tastefully Yours, which is also in-town on Pleasantville Rd. (same shopping center as March, just past the intersection with N. State Rd). They do a large catering business but do have a select amount of food available for purchase if you walk in.

Amalfi's is OK. My husband likes their short ribs, and they have a spinach linguine with wild mushrooms that I like. Otherwise, it's just a fine local place. They almost always mess up our take-out order, which is annoying. I prefer the pizza and most of the pasta across the street, at Paese, but if you are a fan of very thin crust pizza you won't find it in town. (Pleasantville Pizza may be the closest for thinner crust.)

Definitely skip the Chinese next door to Amalfi's -- it's greasy and what you'd find in the mall. Instead try Hunan Garden on N. State Rd. next to the gelato place you mentioned. They will make your food with less oil if you request it, and I think everything from there tastes better that way.

The gelato place next to UPS... it's been here a year or so and I can't ever remember seeing anyone in it. I'm not sure how it is still in business. We went once when it first opened, the ice cream was fine. Carmela's Bakery in Briarcliff has a sign in the window saying they now offer homemade ice cream, but I haven't tried it yet.

My picky husband gives the fish/meat store in town a thumbs up for quality.

We head to the Landmark Diner for breakfast, which is on Rte. 9 in Ossining. It's good enough, nothing to write home about but reliable. They have a garden omelet that is very fresh and delicious. My kids love the waffles there, and the service is friendly if not always terribly prompt on the weekends. I prefer it over the Pleasantville Diner. You might also try Wobble Cafe in Ossining for breakfast -- I've only been for lunch and it's good.

Flames is pricey and the atmosphere is kind of bare, but the steak is delicious. Owner Nick is very friendly, and I do think it's the best steak house around. The have a beet carpaccio salad that is delicious. Skip the desserts there, though, they're just ordinary.

Finally, we've had some pleasant meals at Terra Rustica on N. State Rd. Strangely, the best place in Briarcliff for bagels is the deli right in the middle of town. They bake them on-site and they are a lot better than Briarcliff Bagels on N. State.

Good luck with your move!

Recommendations in Irvington or Tarrytown for rehearsal dinner

Well, it has a fun, colorful atmosphere. Not a hole in the wall. I am not 100% sure about the private room, but a quick call would let you know. Good luck!

Recommendations in Irvington or Tarrytown for rehearsal dinner

Would you consider ethnic food? If so, try Santa Fe on Main St. in Tarrytown. If memory serves, I believe they do have a separate room that runs parallel to the main dining room. Certainly a little fiesta would get everyone in the mood for a celebration, no?

My husband enjoys the cactus fajitas, and I think their salsa (homemade) is great. They also have a nice range of vegetarian entrees.

Best Pick your Own in Westchester and surrounds?

My favorite, though it may be a bit further than you'd like, is Bishop's Orchards in Guilford, CT. They have a hotline you can call to see what is available in the u-pick fields when you'd like to visit. There's a bakery (yum -- apple cider donuts) and some animals, but I don't think they're for petting.

For chow (but not the view, which is a parking lot), try The Place, also in Guilford. It's an outdoor clambake kind of a place, where tables and chairs made out of tree stumps surround a huge open-pit barbecue. Lobster, clams, grilled corn, etc. BYOB, and definitely kid friendly.

Highland Diner, Ossining, NY

There is now a sign on the restaurant that it will open August 20th. The name has been changed to Riverview Diner, I believe (the sign was hard to read!).

casual Sunday lunch in Ossining/White Plains?

I'll just reply to my own post. : )

We wound up having lunch at B4 Bistro in Valhalla ( We arrived at 12:30, and it was totally empty save for a woman -- who may have been the hostess -- literally slumped over the bar. Her back was to us, and she didn't seem to hear us come in though we were only a couple of feet away. Once we got her attention, she dragged herself off the bar stool and found a waiter. (Thankfully, she was not serving us!


Once that weirdness was out of the way, we had an attentive waiter and the restaurant is small but lovely -- dark wood, light walls, very simple. We both had burgers, which were cooked as requested and were flavorful and juicy, if a bit salty. They're generously sized and served on a Portuguese roll, with sliced tomato and red onion on the side. All burgers come with fries and a small green salad. The fries were excellent, fresh and crispy and sprinkled liberally with salt and coarse black pepper. The salad was light dressed and very fresh as well. The burgers were $11 apiece.

They have an extensive burger menu, plus a variety of appetizers, salads, wraps, and breakfast served until 4. I would definitely return for lunch, and also to try their dinner menu.

No other customers arrived during our stay, so I'm wondering how much lunch business they ever get on the weekend...

casual Sunday lunch in Ossining/White Plains?

Looking for a casual, roomy place (no cramped tables) for a decent girls' lunch out (just a few of us) on a Sunday. Mt. Kisco, Ossining, Pleasantville, down to White Plains are all OK. Any type of food, but someplace we can linger to chat preferred. Any suggestions? Has anyone been to the new Flying Pig on Lexington Ave?

Highland Diner, Ossining, NY

I drove by last week, and it was not open yet. There was a huge sign up that they were hiring, though, and it does look like work has stopped. The windows were still covered up, as far as I could see.

North Westchester places to get avacado and the like on a sandwich

The closest thing to what you're asking for that I can think of is Wobble Cafe in Ossining. They have a lot of "crunchy/funky-type" offerings on their lunch menu, which is online.

It really is just a small cafe (luncheonette?), popular with moms and kids at lunch, and the last time I was there no A/C. So don't go on a really hot day!

Finding Great Steaks in Westchester

It's in Briarcliff Manor.

Dinner on the water in Westchester?

Harvest on Hudson in Hastings ( You will hear mixed reviews on this board about the food and prices, but do a search and see what you think. The view is spectacular, though.

Dinner in Chappaqua?

I ate at Le Jardin a couple of weeks ago on a Wednesday night at 8 PM. It was packed, I was glad we had made a reservation. Everyone at my table enjoyed their food completely, whether it was the lobster salad (huge, and full of lobster) or the coq au vin. I had the demi poulet, with steamed veggies instead of fries. Even the veggies were delicious -- seemed fresh, not from a mix, and even without butter just divine.

The prices are high, but in my mind worth it. As for ambiance, it's lovely -- especially if you are early enough to eat outside.

Dinner Sat. Night in Westchester

I haven't eaten at Cafe Mirage, but I was unimpressed with Frodo's. I can appreciate the rare adults-only dinner out, so here was my review:

Have fun wherever you wind up!