by Jeanne Muchnik
Source: Westchester Magazine
Looking for a cool and colorful taste of Spain?
Head to these local eateries for flavorful, fun, and festive thirst quenchers.
There’s something festive about sangria. Maybe it’s because this plummy punch is often served in pitchers, making it an easily shareable cocktail. Or perhaps it’s because it pairs well with a wide variety of foods, offering the sophistication of a craft cocktail that pleases every palate. Come summer, it’s also a tantalizing thirst-quencher. And thanks to Westchester restaurateurs who’ve gotten creative blending good wines with top-shelf spirits and seasonal fruits, it’s also a new kind of Spanish charmer. Here are some of the area’s more memorable varieties.
NoMa Social (1 Radisson Plz, New Rochelle 914-576-4141; www.nomasocial.com) is the ultimate after-work gathering place. With its loungey decor and generous sized bar, there’s always plenty of room for colleagues to celebrate/commiserate/gossip/strategize/schmooze or partake in all of the above. Here, the sangria, offered in red and white versions, comes chock-full of oranges and heaping portions of red and green apples. The red is sweet and crisp, while the white has a fruitier, wispier tang. For those fond of deals, try the “five tapas and a pitcher of sangria for $50” and let your after-work stress melt away ($10/glass; $30/pitcher).
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Three local chefs share where to shop, what to buy, and where to lay down that picnic blanket.
Three local chefs share their family picnic plans: where to shop, what to buy, and where to lay down that picnic blanket.
Alexa Wilkinson, The Tapp, TarrytownPicnic Spot: Tarrytown Reservoir
“First, I would stop at Arthur Avenue Baking Company in Sleepy Hollow and get their amazing baguettes, then walk over to Mint in Tarrytown for some of the best prosciutto ever. The owner is always wonderful and wants you to try everything, so I’d end up leaving with vanilla dried cherries, cured olives, and white truffle cheese. Then I would make a quick stop at Coffee Labs Roasters and get their iced herbal tea, which is great for kids because it's fruity tasting, red in color, and has no caffeine.”
Bill Rosenberg, NoMa Social, New RochellePicnic Spot: Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
“When we do a family picnic, I like to shop at Whole Foods and Tarry Market for unique food items that travel well. Dry meats and cheeses for starters: I love paper-thin jamón serrano from Spain and soppressata from the Alps—my son could chew it right off the stick! Also, Delusso Genoa salami and spicy capicola citterio. I always grab manchego and burrata cheese, also a good sharp Asiago or provolone, maybe with a pasta salad like tortellini and green beans tossed with red wine vinaigrette. Great bread, too, like the filone from Tarry Market or the provolone bread from The Kneaded Bread. I also like to pack pan bagna—a pressed seared tuna sandwich with baby arugula, roasted peppers, and a little pesto mayo. To drink, we always enjoy a great rosé like Jean-Luc Colombo—it’s like summer in a bottle. And for the kids, some orange-flavored club soda and, of course, homemade lemonade.”
Greg Gilbert, Memphis Mae’s BBQ, Croton-on-HudsonPicnic Spot: New Croton Dam, Croton-on-Hudson
“I like to shop at the farmers market in Croton-on-Hudson. I would make a fresh tomato salad, with New York goat cheese, plus fresh baguettes, lots of berries for the kids, and fresh apple cider. I would pick up some coleslaw, new potato salad, and ribs from Memphis Mae's. To drink, from The Green Growler, a growler of Abita's Strawberry Harvest Lager for me and my wife. I’d stop at Sunshine & Clover for small picnic supplies, and Groovy on Grand for a game for the kids. And, I would not go home after the picnic without stopping at The Blue Pig for ice cream!”
Viva Diva Wines is excited to announce that they will be hosting their 2nd annual Viva Diva Wines Summer Bash this Friday, August 8th from 7:30pm to midnight, at NoMa Social in the Radisson Hotel of New Rochelle, NY.
Due to the events huge success last year and this year's popular demand, NoMa Social has decided to team up with CARES, which is a division of St. Luke's Donation Center, in memory of one of their faithful patrons, Guy Montemurro. Guest "Singer" Tara Dougherty Weiss will be performing a song dedicated in memory to Guy. There will also be a 50/50 Raffle with Beautiful Angels and representatives from St. Luke's Donation Center will be attending.
This year the event will be full of celebrity appearances and unlimited Viva Diva Moscato Wines just like last year. Hors d'oeuvres and drinks (cash bar) will be served throughout the night and there will be an indoor and outdoor DJ.Last year's celebrity attendees featured Perez Hilton, Christina Milian, Jonathan Cheban, Patti Stanger, The Mob Wives, Real Housewives of NJ, as well as many other TV reality celebrities and big name stars.
Tickets are $20 per person and can be obtained at Diva Viva Bash. You must be 21 years of age or older to purchase a ticket - $10 from each ticket will be donated to the CARES Charity.
by Leslie-Anne Brill
Source: Westchester Magazine
Most people don’t go to hotels specifically for dinner, but, in this case, they’d be missing out. NoMa Social, worth a trip into the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle, is known for tapas, cocktails, and dancing, but it’s so much more than Happy Hour (which is, however, a deal, with $4 tapas and drinks from 4 pm to 8 pm, Monday through Friday). Since his days at Port Chester’s F.I.S.H., Chef Bill Rosenberg has exhibited consistent talent, with a flair for the seasonal.
Bartenders have similar flair. In addition to a cocktail list 20 deep, there’s always something special, like one night’s Crop Cup (Crop cucumber vodka, sliced cucumber, mint, fresh citrus juice, and club soda) and new wines (with evocative descriptions referring to deep fruit flavors and hints of this and that). Or, you might go for a pitcher of sangria, or Pilsner Urquell on draft.
Twenty-five tapas range from blistered shishito peppers to sobrasada tosta topped with a quail egg. Don’t miss the asparagus à la plancha—New Jersey asparagus topped with a poached farm egg and curls of crispy speck—which, as far as I’m concerned, could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Octopus in Purgatory smolders in toasted garlic and chili flakes; shrimp Marsala is less intense, but flavorful. Burrata, topped with ripe tomato salad and served on firm bread, has the buttery quality it’s named for, but trying to cut the bread was a bit of a distraction from the cheese. Perhaps our favorite was the ham-and-cheese croquetas with black-pepper aioli, which bowled us over with light, creamy filling.
Seasonal specials are always worth considering. My friend and I, jonesing for seafood, opted for sautéed first-of-season soft-shell Florida crabs stacked atop jasmine rice with soft strands of fiddlehead ferns, piled high with microgreens, on a plate slashed with roasted red-pepper purée and sweet corn coulis. Delicate fennel-spiced rare tuna came with tabbouleh amplified by black-olive vinaigrette.
Desserts, also made by Chef Rosenberg, are delicious and fun. Hudson Valley apple tart, for instance, is a triumph of light pastry and tender apples, topped with caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream.
1 Radisson Plaza, New Rochelle (914) 576-4141; www.nomasocial.com
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