Going to college in rural New England was when I first learned that people went out to eat for breakfast. That sticky diner tables (which I mostly frequented in the late evening hours) probably became sticky because people consumed waffles doused in syrup at normal breakfast hours. That restaurants other than diners actually served breakfast. But upon my return to Westchester I dolefully discovered that there was not quite the plethora of restaurants churning out breakfast that I thought.Read More
After a three and half hour drive north I finally see the faded, familiar flag that marks my aunt and uncle's house set amidst the golden leaves. The dogs come bounding down the stairs as I fight my way up with a bottle of wine and an overnight bag. I greet my family and take a look around the Adirondack style house. Same as ever, it brings a smile to my face to be somewhere so peaceful, so beautiful and surrounded by family and the great outdoors. It was a quick one night stay but being in the middle of the wild Adirondacks works wonders to calm my overactive mind and my growling stomach.
The towns in the Gore Mountain area all seem to blend into one another. The large swathes of land and the winding Hudson River make it difficult to draw boundaries but that's never stopped me from finding good food. Basil and Wicks in North Creek has been around for ages pleasing both locals and visitors. Conveniently set on the way towards the mountain is the lodge style building that has burgers, salads, steaks and the best crispy duck wings in a sweet chili sauce. There's also O.P Fredrick's with a surprisingly seafood heavy menu but I swear by all things duck here. The duck burrito and half roasted duck are house favorites for a reason.
This weekend though I had been craving the Korean barbecue wings from barvino on the "main drag" in North Creek. The menu stresses local and fresh ingredients meaning the menu changes daily. There are a few more permanent items such as the mussels, the frites, and the wings. I am not ashamed to say that between my sister, cousins and I we have demolished four to five plates of wings a sitting. Supremely crunchy (they're fried) and drenched in sauce with a gentle toss of sesame seeds and scallions these wings are the stuff dreams are made of. During this past visit I got a plateful as well as the salad with preserved lemon and lavender honey goat cheese. The salad was a welcome bite of bright, floral flavors to counter the wings. Sadly, the gnocchi with brandy, cream, bacon and almonds (I know, right?!) was not on the menu, which means I'll just have to come back, oh drat.
Any trip up north wouldn't be complete without a trip to Oscar's Smokehouse . The deli counters are full of plain and marinaded meats, various sausages, and deli style salads and cheeses. It's hard to exercise self control but when it comes down to it there are three must have items: bacon, maple breakfast sausages, and smoked chicken salad. The bacon is thin cut and simply awesome. The maple breakfast sausages are unlike any other I've had; the flavor legit explodes in your mouth. And the smoked chicken salad never gets old and I now have people placing orders with me for the next time I go up. Oscar's does ship certain items but the chicken salad isn't one of them...which means I'll just have to come back, oh drat. Noticing a theme are we?
Oscar Wilde said, "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." and the best is exactly what this area of upstate New York is. Whether it's scenery, food, or recreation, it is sure to be a wee bit wild. Until the next dish, ciao!
Hello and happy Friday! I've been keeping busy on my day off, mostly running painfully boring errands. Whenever my tasks are boring I seem to find myself looking for excuses to eat, hence avoiding said tasks. My excuse today came in the form of Port Chester's Kneaded Bread. Whatever, the post office will be there tomorrow.Read More
It’s a typical Saturday morning in early spring; rain splatters across my windshield, the wind nudges my car this way and that but I couldn't be happier. I’m on my way to the grocery store. But not just any grocery store; I’m off to Stew’s. Stew Leonard’s that is. If the task of grocery shopping seems to be a laborious task standing between you and your next spin class then you could use a trip to Stew’s. You don’t even have to be a foodie to appreciate the experience. I mean, who doesn’t love the whir of a coffee roaster, the flickering flames of the rotisserie or singing sticks of butter (oh yes, you read that last one correctly). Welcome to Stew Leonard’s of Yonkers.Read More
Hi everyone! I’m on spring break and using this glorious amount of time to explore/taste/savor as much as possible. While I love my eastern corner of the state, I often find myself wandering west toward the Hudson River towns scattered throughout the hillside. Maybe I've got that American spirit to keep moving west, to seek out new and uncharted territory. I'm always looking for the next great meal or anything else that will expand my gastronomic horizons. It's my own Mani-fresh Destiny (Cliché? Maybe. Spot on? Definitely)Read More
First things first, these are not my pictures, the photo credit can be found here. If I snapped pictures of every label I tried my phone would probably have a hangover. Anyway, Awestruck Hibiscus Cider. Flamingo pink, rippling with exotic hibiscus notes and a zing of ginger, it's the only thing I want to drink between April and forever. The problem? They're not found anywhere in a 50 mile radius of me. At least right now. They're currently based in Walton, NY but my fingers are crossed that they'll make their way south soon. VERY soon. If you see this anywhere near you make sure you try it. Promise me you will. Look, even the guys with us enjoyed it. They might not admit it but they did. Keep an eye out and remember, you heard about it here first!Read More
Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by! This weekend I took a long overdue stroll through my local farmer's market. As I popped in and out of familiar stalls I found my path cut off by shoppers swarming one particular vendor. Some on tip toe pointing at distant items, some hunched over and peering through a display case of baked goods, still others rifling through coolers of nifty soups and spreads. Just what on earth was this place? I looked up at the bold red sign and read, Flourish Baking Company.Read More
Hi there everyone! This past weekend I was invited by some gracious friends to go on two different hikes and a kayak tour on the Hudson River; how lucky am I?! The views were unbelievable and the company was absolutely perfect.To stay fueled between our kayak tour and hike on Sunday we stopped in Beacon, NY for lunch at The Hop.Read More