Moderne Barn in Armonk, NY – Good Food, Pushy Staff

I went to Moderne Barn in the village of Armonk, NY recently for the first time. This restaurant is very close to where I live but in the four years since it opened, I have not visited. I pass by it everyday to get on the highway. I was deterred from going because the menu really was not very interesting to me. Too conventional and too American. Alas, I am glad I went because the food was not bad.

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My friend and I shared everything. Here is our Lobster Cobb Salad with romaine, blue cheese, bacon, tomato, pickles, avocado, croutons, and eggs. I loved the addition of pickles; my friend did not. The pickles gave it the sourness and crunch that contrast well with the lobster.

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Seafood Risotto with mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, and tomato.  This was very delicious.  The risotto was cooked well.  The seafood was fresh.

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Cast Iron Brownie à la Mode with vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce. This was the best dish of the night! We loved it. The cast iron pot was a great idea. The brownie was a little crunchy on the outside, warm and sweet. The vanilla ice cream slowly melted because of the warmth from the cast iron pot. It was excellent!

Now, here are some of the negative feedback on the restaurant. The staff was way too pushy. We arrived at 6pm for an early dinner on a Wednesday night. The restaurant was empty. But the staff was in our face, interrupting our conversations left and right, pushing us to order drinks, to order entrée, and to take the dishes away from us. Since the restaurant was empty, there were way more wait staff than customers. Multiple waiters came to bug us on the same thing. Unforgivable! Interrupting customers in mid-sentences.

Lastly, once the restaurant had more people, it was almost impossible to hear our conversation. The restaurant is set up beautifully but the architecture amplifies the sound.  All the conversations become louder than they are – like in the symphony halls.  The wait staff continues to try to kick us out while there were multiple empty tables right by us. I HATED that. We left before 8pm. Our dinner took less than two hours. The way the staff behaved was not cool.

Thumbs up on the food.  Thumbs down on the service.  😦

This experience took place at

Moderne Barn
430 Bedford Road
(Route 22)
Armonk, NY 10504
Phone 914 730 0001

Hot Chocolate, Cafe Mocha, Cafe Latte, and Croissant – Essential Food Groups

The experience of a good cup of hot chocolate, cafe mocha or cafe latte is one that warms the body and nourishes the tired soul. If you add a croissant to the mix, then I am golden. It is my ideal breakfast. I am definitely biased. I like European hot chocolate that is made from chunks of dark chocolate. I like the European cafe mocha for the same reason. It has the actual chocolate in the drink. Cafe latte, on the other hand, gives you that nice cozy milky feeling that you had after playing in the snow and coming back into the house.

While I was in Montreal, I had two separate but equally excellent delicious experience with these essential food groups.

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These are two large bowls of cafe latte and a small cup of hot chocolate from Boulangerie Première Moisson in Montreal

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I like their tag line – “Truly Authentic!” Think about this: How many people do you know that are truly and authentically pursuing what they love and being who they are? How many people do you know that are just stuck in the conventional box of cultural norms and expectations? The transformation process to become truly authentic starts with your latte and croissants!!

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This is the said croissant from Boulangerie Première Moisson. It was flaky, buttery and fine.

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This is the best cup of cafe mocha for me after spending a day at the cafe for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I saw the young girl painstakingly shaved chocolate slivers into my drink.

These experiences took place at

Boulangerie Première Moisson and

CAFÉ DES BEAUX-ARTS

384 Sherbrooke Street West

Montreal, Canada

 

Oysters! Elm Street Oyster House in Greenwich, CT

My friend E is a foodie and she selected the Elm Street Oyster House in Greenwich, CT. It could not have been a better choice. The oysters made me want to sing. If you had a hankering for oysters, this is the place to come. My favorites were the Onset from MA. #oysters

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We had a dozen between the two of us. Half from the east coast and half from the west coast. I learned that I don’t need the sauces when the oysters are this good. It’s a very sexy sensation to eat the oysters… Em.

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Onset from MA was clean, fresh, and smooth. Kumamoto from CA was creamy like dessert in seafood form. These are our favorites.

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Hickory Flour Fried Calamari: Seems simple and standard, right? Wrong! When the seafood is this fresh, it elevates the food. I cannot help but eat more and more.

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Seafood Chili: This is not Chili. I was so against ordering this dish when I read it on the menu. Felt repulsed by the thought of seafood cooked with beans. But I could not be more wrong. It felt like an American version of seafood bouillabaisse. The calamari and scallops were fresh and the tang from the tomato sauce complements the seafood well. The cheese on top adds the connection and thickens the texture a bit. And there are no beans!  Kind of perfect actually. I am glad E made me do it.

It was an excellent meal, sitting with a great friend eating oysters with French fries at the bar. Thank you E for teaching me to eat them together!  Thank you for a fun-filled night.   🙂

This experience took place at

Elm Street Oyster House
11 West Elm Street
Greenwich, CT 06830
(203) 629-5795

Bar Harbor Grill in Mamaroneck, NY – Local but Disappointing

I was having a work lunch with a friend last week and I got to pick the restaurant. I wanted something close enough to both of our work and thought of the Mamaroneck Ave restaurants in Mamaroneck. Picked Bar Harbor Grill for my past satisfactory experience and to get away from the Americanized Fusion Asian restaurants. What a mistake!

My friend and I sat on the deck out back: the sun was shining, the weather was warm, and the music was groovy.  The music must have been from the 70s.  We were the only two patrons there when we first arrived.  Sitting there under the warm Fall sun, seeing the top of the sail boats, it was nice enough to cock your head, squint your eyes, smile and enjoy the moment.  All we needed was great food.

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We both ordered the New England Clam Chowder. You know – ordering clam chowder from a harbor restaurant seems like an okay thing to do. No no. It was weird. The taste was funky. The thought of whether it had gone bad went through my head. It had not.

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Here is the Grilled Chicken Sandwich my friend ordered. He said that it was fine but I think he was being nice.

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After the soup, I am glad that I stuck with the Beet and Apple Salad. Hard to mess that up.  At least the beets and the green leaves contrast well.

If I did not focus on the food, the lunch experience was nice. If lunch were meant for eating, I would not go back again. What a shame – the last time I was there, I ordered the Lobster Salad which was excellent. What happened, Bar Harbor Grill?

This experience took place at the

Bar Harbor Grill
181 E Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
(914) 630-7167

Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry, NY – A Sunday Afternoon Treat

A friend and I on a whim decided to go to Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry, NY, for a late Sunday lunch partaking in the gorgeous Hudson River view. Today was particularly sunny for NY and when the sun hits the river, it created this shimmering effect on the river. What a glorious afternoon sitting on the deck looking at the water flowing by and discussing the importance of being true to self.

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The view of Hudson River flowing south. The photo cannot adequately depict the feel of the sun on my skin, the calmness of the river and a good friend’s company. It really was much better than the picture.

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The bread basket had little fatty mini corn muffins, croissants and French orange jam. Nice!

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I was extra hungry today because I felt I earned my big lunch after a long workout this morning. This is the Crew’s Ration; this is as lumber jack as I get. It was fine but I believe the view really enhanced the taste quite a bit.

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My friend ordered a Caesar Salad with Shrimp. A safe and healthy choice. She was pretty happy with it.

The best part was the view. The food was absolutely the secondary focus. This is a great place to take a date to, especially for those who need to impress a new friend. 🙂

Bon Appetit! Wish you all had a Sunday as great as mine was today.  Love to ALL!

This experience took place at

Half Moon on Hudson
1 High Street
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
914.693.4130