I meant to get this out to you all earlier in the week but I was under the weather and had to travel for work. I hope you will forgive the delay and look in to enjoying some of the establishments I highlighted below
Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending Westchester Magazine’s Evening with Westchester’s Tastemakers at 42 Restaurant. Dart Girl and Southern Gen joined me for our first (and hopefully not our last) time at this annual event. I will say, when I first heard about this event, I was a little hesitant due to the somewhat steep price tag ($125 a ticket). When I actually thought about it, this amazing opportunity is quite a bargain. I can easily drop $80 on dinner with friends, so what’s a little extra to experience over 20 different items prepared by the best chefs in Westchester. I said, “Treat Yo Self, Souzapalooza!”
Upon arrival, we were given a listing and a map of what was going to be offered by each of the chefs, as well as the wine that would be available. To be very honest, I didn’t even get around to trying the wine, because there was so many amazing dishes to be sampled (the full list from the website is listed below.)
The highlight of my evening was meeting (and taking a selfie) with local celebrity chef, David DiBari, who prepared maple smoked pigs head on cinnamon sugar donuts with maple syrup and sriracha. His second dish was a serving of crispy fried brussels sprouts topped with Rice Krispies which is a favorite at The Parlor. Although I love Chef DiBari (what other chef can rock a Jane’s Addiction T-shirt and man bun?!) his dish ranked number 3 on my list. Second place went to the Hudson Valley duck sliders from Crabtree’s Kittle House Chef Jay Lipman; I did not care for his trout dish however. Number one on my list, a spot that was not on the itinerary. The Smokehouse of NY, located in Mamaroneck, which is not actually a restaurant but a smoked fish distributor, had a sampling for attendees. Chef Brett Portier prepared a tequila infused smoked salmon with jalapeno infused creme fraiche on brioche toast that was absolutely incredible!
Other favorites from the evening included the lemon gnocchi with English peas from L’inizio. This was a surprisingly light and refreshing dish from the Ardsley restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. I found out that they have a Sunday brunch pre-fixe and already have Irish Kat and the Drummer on board to test it out. According to Sandy, an associate of the restaurant, their pastry chef can do some remarkable things at brunch that I am looking forward to experiencing!
RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen, had both a delightful pea tendril and goat’s milk ricotta salad and a flavorful Hudson Valley smoked duck breast and local beets in a cherry gazpacho, which was simply divine! I was fortunate enough to chat with their proprietor, Glen, who I promised would see me in his restaurant soon. Dart Girl has eaten there and raved about the food as well as the fresh ricotta she ordered to take home. I’m sure I could easily persuade her to go again.
Finally, Fortina, which I know is a big favorite of Peilin’s over at Delicious Food Chronicles from a New Yorker (check out her reviews of Fortina HERE) prepared a rich and creamy buratta on foccia bread with brown butter vinaigrette. Their second dish was a simple looking housemate pasta however upon tasting was robust with flavor and a teeny tiny kick that made you want another scoop.
Fortina’s Burrata!! Yum!
Overall the event was fabulous however, there is always room for improvement. There were no trash receptions anywhere to discard used played and napkins. Staff at 42 were hustling to clear discarded items but were challenged in keeping up with the need. Also, the event was supposed to run from 6:30 – 10:30, however by 8:00 most stations were out of samples which was a disappointment to those who showed up later in the evening (like my trainer D-block who showed up at 8 and caught me with a mouthful of cake from Lulu’s Bake Shop!) I’m not sure how you managed to that, but something to think about for future events.
Here is the detailed list via the Tastemakers Website:
- DaveDiBari, The Cookery
- Dish 1: Crispy Fried Brussel Sprouts with rice krispies, chile honey and parmigiano
- Dish 2: Maple Smoked Pig Heads with House Sausages & Doughnuts
- Dish 1: Charred octopus, gigante beans, candied olives preserved lemon and black olive oil
- Dish 2: Lemon gnocchi, English peas, sweet 100 tomato, pickled ramps and crispy prosciutto
- EricGabrynowicz, Restaurant North
- Dish 1: Tomato Panna Cotta with Smoked Egg Yolk
- Dish 2: Bristol Bay Salmon with Tapioca and Fennel
- AnthonyGoncalves, 42
- Dish 1: Pork Belly Fried Rice
- Dish 2: Pork Shoulder – porchetta carvings on top
- EthanKostbar, Moderne Barn
- Dish 1: Summer Crab Roll w/ spicy coconut mango sauce
- Dish 2: Fried Chick Pea Fritter w/ cucumber mint tzatziki
- Peter Larsen,RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen
- Dish 1: Smoked Hudson Valley Duck Breast, Hudson Valley cherry gazpacho, pickled blooming hill farm beets, nasturtium hazelnut salad, house-made rye crisps
- Dish 2: Acorn Hill Farms Goats Milk Ricotta, Mountain products smokehouse bacon, sorrel juice, Amawalk Farms pea shoots and tendrils, white chocolate
- JayLippin, Crabtree’s Kittle House
- Dish 1: Hudson Valley Duck Sliders, duck confit and foie gras, caramelized onions, pretzel roll
- Dish 2: House-Smoked Beaverkill Trout, crispy sushi rice cake, mustard crème fraiche
- AndyNusser, Tarry Lodge
- Dish 1: Lasagna Napoletana with One Meatball
- Dish 2: Mozzarella with Heirloom Tomato Caprese
- RobertPaciullo, Zero OttoNove
- Dish 1: Braised shortribs with sun dried peppers arugula and parmigiano reggiano and spicy olive oil
- Dish 2: Pasta al Forno, rigatoni with sopressatta, riccota, hard boiled egg, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella
- Dish 1: Seasonal Burrata: with peas w/ prosciutto cotto & brown butter vinaigrette
- Dish 2: Pastasciutto: house made spaghetti, tomato, basil, parm, chile
- Blake Farrar, The Inn at Pound Ridge
- Dish 1: House-made Ricotta with Strawberry Compote, Olive Oil, Grilled Sourdough
- Dish 2: Crispy Sushi with Salmon