Two weeks of dining deals make this a perfect time to check out the city’s underappreciated restaurant scene.
New Rochelle hasn’t developed a foodie cred as say the likes of a Port Chester or Tarrytown, yet when you look at the restaurant lineup for its upcoming Dine Downtown you can’t help but be impressed (and get a little hungry).
Of the 10 participating restaurants, two have had positive reviews in Westchester Magazine (A Place 2 Goand Alvin & Friends) and four have won Best Of awards (Coromandel, Gnarly Vine, Modern Restaurant,NoMa Social). Sorell Wine Bar Bistro was recently featured prominently in the magazine’s August issue feature Under the Radar Restaurants, and Posto 22 and Patrias have all both been written up in various articles. I can’t say we’ve done any editorial on the final participant, Da Giovanni, but their enticing homepage displaying (among other goodies) a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, mammoth jars of olives, and a tray of stuffed green peppers tells me it’s time for a scouting lunch.
For the Dine Downtown event, each of these restaurants is offering a three-course dinner menu for $26 Monday through Thursday September 22 to 25 as well as September 29 to October 2.
The dining deals are sandwiched between the 2014 New Rochelle/Pelham ArtsFest (September 27 to 28), which includes a classic car show, a community painting party, the 3rd Annual Lincoln Avenue Arts & Culture Festival, LEGO Day at the Huguenot Children's Library, a behind-the-scenes tour of illustrator Charles Fazzino's studio, and more.
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!”
We all love LinkedIn, but actual—as opposed to virtual—networking is still the most powerful tool for businesspeople seeking to make those crucial connections. Whether the goal is to advance your career, land new customers, build your brand, or find your next superstar employee, working the room and shaking hands reigns supreme.
Now, Westchester’s businesswomen have a new networking outlet aimed at helping them connect with other similar-minded, savvy female professionals: FemCity Westchester, the county chapter of a national women’s professional group called Femfessionals. Launched in Miami in 2009, Femfessionals is a national network (20,000 members in 53 chapters across the US and Canada) that aims to “bring women together in a positive and uplifting way… to support each other in business, community activities, and life. ”
The Westchester chapter started last year, spearheaded by Scarsdale resident Natasha Mehta, president of FemCity Westchester, who owns jewelry brand Tijorie and is the head esthetician at Glo Beauty Bar in White Plains. Mehta and six board members are working to expand the chapter’s reach in the county. The group has grown to include 41 members, who are “a diverse group of women that want to form strategic connections to support their business and social circles,” Mehta explains. “Many of us are entrepreneurs and we know the importance of building our brands, so we try to promote one another’s businesses and help bring out the best in ourselves.”
Monthly meetings include networking events, guest speakers, seminars on current business trends, and a mix of inspirational and fun workshops. FemCity Westchester also hosts a philanthropic event once per quarter and has a collegiate group aimed at helping younger women make business connections. The events are usually hosted by a member whose business pertains to the meeting topic. At its recent social media networking event, for instance, a member who runs a marketing firm was the guest speaker, explains Mehta, whose overall aim with the group is to “help create a gateway for women to build relationships and engage with each other in the Westchester community.”
FemCity Westchester offers two types of memberships: the Premium Member fee is $100 for one year, and a Premium Life Member fee is $300. FemCity Westchester’s next event, “Speed Network Your Way To Success,” will be held on Wednesday, May 14 at NoMa Social in New Rochelle.
For more information, email Westchester@femfessionals.com; or visitwww.facebook.com/groups/femcitywestchester/
How many fridges do you have? Two, plus a standalone freezer in the basement. The household is full—my wife and I, three kids, in-laws, and two giant bullmastiffs—so we need a lot of food storage.
What’s the oldest thing in there? Capers—and not the usual small 8-ounce jar but a quart of capers from the restaurant. I use them in basic dishes I cook for the family, like chicken piccata.
Fussy about any staple being organic, fair trade, etc? I didn’t care about this sort of thing when I was younger and single, but now I try to buy organic as much as possible for the kids’ sake, especially chicken, milk, and produce. Shop for it at Whole Foods in Port Chester.
Most impressive thing? (Siberian caviar, for example.) Imported dry cured chorizo from Spain. It’s like Genoa salami, but cured with paprika. It has a smoky, fatty beautifulness about it. We do a lot of entertaining—at least six parties a year—and it’s the kind of food I’d serve as an hors d’oeuvre. I have a 2,300-square-foot Colonial in Port Chester with an industrial kitchen that opens into a dining room/living room/family room—a great space for entertaining.
Any embarrassing fake foods, like Cool Whip or Cheez Whiz? Ah…Cool Whip, check. Also Kraft Singles for the kids’ [7, 12, 17] grilled cheeses, plus Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon Rolls.
How’s the produce situation? Lemons and limes for cocktails and pomegranates for my kids who love ripping them open. I love pomegranates, too, because they keep the kids busy. For veggies, there are peppers, potatoes, and eggplant. I have good eaters, so there’s no trouble getting them to eat their vegetables. In fact, they’re such good eaters they’ve even tried tripe. I make it Italian-style sautéed with bacon, mirepoix, fennel pollen, and whole crushed tomato.
Got milk? I drove by a dairy farm in Copake, New York, with my youngest—he was 5 at the time—and there were cows grazing, of course, so I said ‘that’s where milk comes from’ and it freaked him out so much he didn’t drink milk for 6 months.
Everyone deserves a sweet now and then, no? There are usually donuts and cookies—for the kids only, of course. Entenmann’s Donut Holes are a favorite.
What is the Rosenberg family drinking? Whole Foods 365 milk, Tropicana OJ, Moët & Chandon, and LACTAID lactose-free milk—my wife is lactose-intolerant. Me, I can eat or drink anything.
Any non-food items in there? Does baking soda count?
Let’s talk the really cold stuff, as in 32° F and below. You won’t find any bread—a loaf of bread around here goes quick, so no need to freeze. Especially if it’s the filone bread from Tarry Market—a classic long Italian bread that’s dark, chewy, and so delicious. You will find Häagen-Dazs chocolate-chip mint and Jones breakfast sausage, plus party snacks like spanakopita and shrimp shumai dumplings.
What’s your favorite item hanging on the refrigerator? There’s only a bunch of roosters on the doors—good luck charms. But on the wall next to fridge is an 8’ by 6’ organizational board with corkboard on the bottom half and chalkboard on the top half. When we have one of our parties, people write funny things there. Right now it says “The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!”
What’s the story with the secondary fridge in the garage and the freezer in the basement?
The garage white fridge used to be in the kitchen but was demoted to being a liquid fridge when we renovated. In it: soda, beer, and Galvanina organic blood orange Italian sparkling soda that I drink a lot of. The basement freezer—a standup white—is mostly food for the kids including pizza bagels, taquitos, back-up ice cream, Marino’s Italian Ices, scallops, burgers, and sausages.
by LESLIE-ANNE BRILL
Source: Westchester Magazine
Don’t ask me to choose between these—I couldn’t possibly. Will it be the S’mores martini, rimmed with chocolate and crushed graham crackers, garnished with a marshmallow set aflame before your eyes? With s’mores vodka, Godiva milk and white chocolate liqueurs, and swirls of chocolate sauce? Or will it be the Pumpkin Pie Martini: rimmed with whipped cream and crushed sugar cookies, with vanilla vodka, pumpkin spice and white chocolate liqueurs, cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon shaved on top? Yes.
by LESLIE-ANNE BRILL
Source: Westchester Magazine
BLUE-CRAB-STUFFED PIQUILLO PEPPERS
Some places are just plain cool. We don't usually think of them as being in hotels, but forget that NoMa Social is in the Radisson (well, unless you want a room) and step in. I was here two restaurants ago and it was already intrinsically cool; must be the feng shui. It turns into a dance club late at night. And I'm sorry to say this, but cool can be in short supply around here, No of Ma (north of Manhattan).
But you're here for other reasons—and if you've been here, you know that one of them is the drinks. For cold weather, try some of the killer new specials: a S’mores martini that’s lit on fire, a Pumpkin Pie martini that you're not gonna find at Starbucks, or Coquito, a Puerto Rican eggnog-like drink from the mixologist's family recipe—they’ve got a big vat of it going in back. If you're watching your holiday waistline, the “skinny” drinks will set you back only 150 calories; for other priorities, there’s the infamous Panties Off. And here’s a deal: their new 4 x 4 weeknight happy hour at the bar features four choices of wine, cocktails, beer, and tapas for $4 each from 4 to 8 pm.
To go with, foodies will never go hungry or bored, and Chef Bill Rosenberg has added some new dishes to the cosmopolitan, tapas-centric menu. Flavorful butternut squash soup benefits from a pop of floating fresh cranberry and crushed ginger snaps. Blue-crab-stuffed piquillo pepper with lemon pepper aioli and baby arugula is delicious and refreshing (I came back and had it again); crispy baby artichokes with basil mayo will make you forget your table manners. Add a little aioli-slicked tosta topped with sobrasada and a runny quail egg and you’re in Spain. For something more substantial, fresh potato gnocchi with long-braised Painted Hills beef cheeks, wild mushrooms, and Coca Cola Rioja guazzetto, topped with fresh ricotta, will warm you up, all elements holding their own and uniting in the sauce. And for a fun ending: a banana-Nutella dessert empanada with cinnamon ice cream.
Photo by Chris Marksbury Photography
by NATHALIA BERNARDO
Source: Westchester Magazine
At the party, hosted by Hilton, Christina Milian was introduced as an owner of the brand.
Westchester Magazine caught up with Perez Hilton and other celebrities at Viva Diva Wines’ Annual Poolside Summer Bash, held June 5 at NoMa Social in New Rochelle. Among the stars who attended the event, hosted by Hilton, were Christina Milian, the equity owner, official spokesperson, and ambassador for Viva Diva Wines; stars of Big Rich Atlanta; Mob Wife Ramona Rizzo; Long Island Princess Amanda Bertoncini; Patti Stanger of Millionaire Matchmaker; and Westchester’s own Jené Luciani, style and beauty expert and author of The Bra Book.
The bash started off on a relatively quiet note in the indoor party room. By the sound of the acoustic guitar and the tall bongo, Kahdijiha Rowe of Big Rich Atlanta took “selfies” with her sister, Brie Rowe, while guests mingled and sipped glasses of wine. However, the scene changed with the entrance of Hilton, who created an instant buzz.
The 35-year-old controversial blogger sat on a loveseat in the VIP area—wearing a black hat emblazoned with the word “DOPE”, khaki shorts, and a black T-shirt with an image of Amanda Bynes — and chatted for a few minutes with Westchester Magazine about fatherhood. His son, Mario Armando Lavandeira, III, or Perez Hilton, Jr., was born on February 16. “It’s everything I would’ve imagined and more,” he said. “It’s extremely rewarding, challenging, draining, inspiring, educational, and fun.”
As far as dishing Westchester celebrities, Hilton had nothing but positive things to say about the Clintons. He is “a big fan” of Bill Clinton and “I’m excited for Hillary in 2016,” he said with a big smile on his face. “I voted for her in 2008 at the California primary. I think she is an extremely excellent politician and qualified leader to be our next president.”
Also, he was very surprised to hear that the “ferociously talented” Beyonce and “very rich” Jay Z live in Westchester. “It’s nice to see that Jay Z lives here, too. There are a lot of rich white people here,” he laughed.
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Source: Westchester Magazine
Looking for someplace easy to find, regardless of where you and your friends live in the County? NoMa Social (1 Radisson Plaza, New Rochelle 914-576-4141; nomasocial.com), a stone’s throw from I-95, is a great choice. Located just off the lobby of the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle, this revamped, remodeled, and re-energized space oozes a sultry, stylish vibe that’s sophisticated but not snobbish. Soft, purple velvet couches and white leather wing chairs allow small groups to gather and unwind. But the unconventional seating options are not the only gem. The cocktail list is long, with handpicked wines and 30 specialty Martinis (including five under 150 calories), carefully selected by Food and Beverage Director Colby Brock. The seasonal menu is big on both small and large plates, encouraging sharing and grazing. There’s also live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, with no cover, as well as a half-price Happy Hour just for ladies Monday to Friday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, complete with a complimentary tapas taste.
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by Julia Sexton
Source: Westchester Magazine
What’s the most demonized substance on the planet right now? That’s right: Coke! Like methamphetamine, heroin, and its namesake, cocaine, Coca-Cola (or, actually, giant single-serve tankers of it) was very nearly outlawed in New York City. And so it was with some sense of sinful titillation that we tucked into this dish, which offered a hint of the soda pop’s rooty herbality, plus a lot of the gooey, slippery collagen so remarkable in that cut of beef. And, just to knock it out of the park, there was some truffled root-vegetable risotto underneath. Oh, it was sinful…and so much better than sucking on that can of Coke.
by Jeanne Muchnick
Source: Westchester Magazine
In the mood for a twist on the classic? Westchester is filled to the brim with options that shake and stir up the original.
NoMa Social, New Rochelle
With 35 martini choices—including 10 with less than 150 calories—it’s hard to pick just one, especially when the menu entices you with frivolous names like Panties Off (Stoli Razberi, triple sec, cranberry juice, lemon-lime soda, melon liqueur, fresh raspberries); No Gym Tomorrow (Absolut Citron, club soda, pomegranate juice, açai juice, lime juice, and fresh blueberries); and Confirmed Bachelor (Tanqueray gin, triple sec, fresh-squeezed lemon juice). In the mood for something that tastes like the air on the Amalfi Coast? Order the Mediterranean (Bombay Sapphire gin, rosemary-infused simple syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, dried cranberries, a sprig of rosemary, and a lemon wheel), with its herb-infused citrus flavor. If you don’t like it, no worries: There are 34 more to choose from. Even better—there are daily martini specials, as well as Ladies’ Nights with half-price martinis on Thursdays.
Straight Up: $13; 1 Radisson Plz (914) 576-4141; nomasocial.com