Village Social in Mount Kisco, NY – Hello Pizza!

A friend and I met up to have a leisure lunch during the Labor Day long weekend. We decided to go to Village Social Kitchen + Bar in Mount Kisco, NY.  Do you know that I have not had pizza since say, April or May this year?  Coming back from Taiwan and trying to avoid all Asian restaurants, pizza seems to be the extreme that could be both safe and tasty.  It was!


This is the Sunny Side Egg Pizza with prosciutto, tomatoes and truffles


This is my friend’s Grilled Eggplant Sandwich, with chili aioli, caramelized onions, mozzarella, and fried.  Look at those French fries!


This is our appetizer, salty pretzel tuna with kimchi aioli and scallion.  It is crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside with a kick of kimchi.  Even the bees love it!  We got many bee visitors throughout our lunch.


The salty and sweet combo: salty peanut butter pie with sweet vanilla ice cream.

This is my love: flourless chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream.  It was ok. My utility went down very fast once I started eating. Too much American-type chocolate sweetness.  Basically, it was too sweet and made with the American brand chocolate. I prefer the European dark chocolate.  That’s ok.  I can always love again.

All in all, it was a very satisfying meal. We sat outside. The sun was shining and warm.  The company was excellent and the food was great.  We chatted about life and where we would go for a long weekend.  Will definitely return if I am seeking an easy and carefree lunch.  I understand the chef here used to work at Jean-George’s.

This experience took place at

Village Social Kitchen + Bar
251 East Main Street Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Thai Angels in Mount Kisco, NY- 你吃飽了嗎? Have You Eaten Yet?

Thai Angels is a cute, middle of the road Thai restaurant in Mt Kisco, NY.  It is a local place that I frequent for its Wonder Tofu that bears slight resemblance to my beloved Stinky Tofu from Taiwan.  The food has always been satisfactory enough during the period of drought between my visits to Taiwan.  Twelve days after I returned to NY, I felt brave enough to have my first Asian meal here.

Epic Fail!  I was so disappointed with the Wonder Tofu, seen below.  I am certain that it is made exactly the way it was.  Still crispy.  Still yummy.  It was the diner that has changed.  I came back with a heightened and authentic sense for Asian food and the bastardized version of Asian food in NY just won’t cut it. I really should have waited until I am fully reverted back to the old NY me and completely succumbed to the Americanized Asian food.

This is the Wonder Tofu. Mind you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is crispy and the consistency is good, minus the stink. The sauces are still yummy and spicy. But to my “true” Asian palate today, it lacks the nuances and the finesse of the tofu eaten in Taiwan.  I thought to myself while eating, “What am I doing here?”  My brain had trouble processing the signals from the tofu.

Thai fried rice with chicken. Reliable and with a Thai slant.  Not bad if I were to evaluate it from the American perspective.  Just look at the picture – isn’t it vibrant?

Pad See You with tofu. Satisfactory from the American perspective.  Americanized stir fry , from the Asian perspective, not even worth writing about.

Tom Young Goong Soup. Spicy and that was all I could taste.

If I were to view the Thai Angels restaurant as one that serves Americans, the food was decent and even delicious.  It has the umami that food should have. The Thai tea hit just the right spot. I used to love this place and still want to love it. I even love the waitress that serves us all the time. She is nosy and always sticks her nose in my business but I love that. It felt like home.

Depending on what you seek and what your requirements are for Asian food, this is a nice place to come if you live an Americanized life like I will do in the next 11 months.  If you just came back from Asia and miss the food there, avoid all Asian restaurants in the states. 😦

Food creates memories and is an integral part of any culture. The sensation that we get from food becomes emotions and is embedded in our souls.  Make it a good one.

你吃飽了嗎? Have you eaten yet?

This experience took place at

Thai Angels Restaurant
Address & Hours
155 Lexington Avenue, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
Telephone: 914-666-0937
Business Hours
Monday – Thursday : 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Friday – Saturday : 11:30 am – 10:30 pm
Sunday : 11:30 am – 10:00 pm

Via Vanti! In Mount Kisco, NY

Via Vanti! is a cute little Italian restaurant in the Mount Kisco train station in Westchester County, NY.  It looks a bit small when I first walked up to it.  Once entered, I was greeted by eager and smily hostess and waitress.  The vibe was easy-going and low-key.  The decor was modern chic with a heavy hand on the color red.  The place seems to be frequented by the locals.

The food was what I would consider as new Italian, taking influence from here and there, using in season ingredients, and preparing dishes that fit the palates of New Yorkers.  I had the Red Quinoa & Grilled Shrimp with chunky avocado and mango salsa.  It looked so inviting that I almost forgot to take a picture before completely destroying the plate.


This is Couscous & Grilled Vegetali.  As you see here, my friend already dived into the food before I had a chance to photograph it.  It looked very inviting and my friend polished it off in no time.

Via Vanti seems to be big on gelato and sorbet, claims to have 18 varieties daily.  The menu looks impressive.  I will have to try it next time.  It was a good night out.  Will definitely return to try the gelato.


Via Vanti! at the Mount Kisco Train Station
2 Kirby Plaza
Mount Kisco, NY 10549



Ripe Kitchen and Bar in Mount Vernon, NY

A friend took me to this hole in the wall, Ripe Kitchen and Bar, in Mount Vernon, NY, for Jamaican and Caribbean food.  After we parked, the first thing he said to me was, “Don’t worry.  The neighborhood is ok.”  Since I grew up in the “busy” part of the Bronx and have good situational awareness, I was not bothered by the colorful and diverse showing of the people and the bars on the windows.  But I was surprised after we entered the dark restaurant and went to the back yard. The backyard felt like an oasis on this sunny August afternoon in NY.  See picture below.


The food was excellent!  The best dish of the night was the “Big-Ass” steak!  I had the curried goat and it was no comparison to the steak.  I was very happy that my friend shared his steak.  The steak was marinated thoroughly and the char was nice and even on the outside.  Inside, it was as ordered – medium.  It was tender and it was tasty.  When my friend ordered the steak, he said to the waitress, “Medium. Medium.”  Not once but twice and with a head nod and eye contact.  Later, he explained that when a black man orders a medium steak, one must insist otherwise the presumption is “a black man wants a well-done steak no matter what he says.”  That was education for me.


This is the banana boat, plantain with salted fish, fish roes and sour cream. The contrast between the sweet and the salty was interesting, not necessarily my cup of tea since the salted fish reminded me of the Taiwanese sticky rice bun. The worlds did not collide for me on this dish.


This is jerk chicken wings.  Pretty awesome. A little tangy and a little crispy.


This is the curried goat which was much better the next day as lunch.  But heavy.  Be aware – it’s heavy.




All in all, it was a great dinner in Mount Vernon where I could feel and taste the winds and the sands of the Caribbean.  I highly recommend the place and the “Big-Ass” steak!

This experience took place at the

Ripe Kitchen & Bar

151 West Sandford Boulevard

Mount Vernon, NY 10550


Regular Chef on Vacation? Encore Bistro Francais in Larchmont, N Y

Last night’s experience at Encore, a French bistro in a highly French populated town, Larchmont N Y, was a bust.  Mediocre at best. Dried grilled salmon, not true medium rare steak, and the waiter placed the check squarely in front of me vs. in front of my male companion. Where is the European chauvinism?  Urgh!

First, the French waiter was pushy and insisted three times that we can only choose a table of two.  Ok, buddy.  Heard you loud and clear.  No need to nag in that French accent.


Second , the supposedly medium rare steak was medium with very sad and light char on the outside. The cut of meat was also a bit fatty.


Third, my $26 grilled salmon was dried as a rock and tasteless that I barely touched it.  What a sharp contrast from the cheap handroll place on Wulong Street in Taipei, Taiwan.  For a mere $120NT or $4USD, it was grilled to perfection.  It had a nice char on the outside and the inside was succulent and juicy, not to mention hot when it was delivered to my table.  No seasoning was necessary on that beautiful piece of salmon.  Here in Larchmont, this grilled salmon from Encore was pathetic and definitely not worth the money, even if NY is supposed to be more expensive.  Here is me, spitting at that Encore grilled salmon via this post.


Lastly, this meal costs $68 in NY but in my opinion it only values at $5 bucks of real food money.  The regular chef must have been on vacation since I have had much better experiences before.

What a shame.

This experience took place at
Encore Bistro Francais
22 Chatsworth Ave, Larchmont, NY
(914) 833-1661  

Thumbs down.