Hito Japanese Restaurant in Mount Kisco, NY- A Series of Unfortunate Events

Hito Japanese Restaurant in Mount Kisco, NY has great reviews across Yelp and Open Table. I went based on the research I did. What happened next was a series of unfortunate events for everyone involved.

It was a mid-January night. I met a friend at 6:30pm. The restaurant was completely empty and cold. We asked for the heat to be turned up and they thought we would be more comfortable in one of those Japanese styled rooms in the back. Something was wrong with the design of the room. The distance from the tatami to the floor was weird; my legs were hanging off the tatami like those of a small child sitting on the edge of a cliff. The distance from the tatami to the table in the center of the room was off; I could not sit close enough to the table without hunching over. The table was too low. I tried to pull my legs up, sitting cross-legged and leaning back against the wall. The walls looked like they were constructed out of 4’x 8′ plywood and were barely decorated. The walls were also hard and uncomfortable to lean against.

Despite my discomfort, I tried to order. Because we were now located in one of the rooms, the wait staff forgot about us. We waited and waited. After 20 mins or so, a waitress finally came. When the food came after another 20 mins, I saw that my chopsticks were uneven. That was blasphemy in the Asian culture! I got up and went outside to show them my chopsticks. The Asian male behind the counter thought it was a little funny that I was fuming – he handed me another pair of uneven chopsticks. I declined and picked out my own out of a big batch they had behind the counter. I said to him, ” You really should know better.” Salmon Roe/Ikura with a Quail Egg Yellow Tail/ Hamachi  Nabeyaki Udon – tasteless. Came without togarashi, the Japanese red chili pepper that always accompanies the udon
 Shrimp Tempura – greasy
Seared Tuna/Maguro – compliments of the restaurant. Why would you sear your raw fish and smother it with teriyaki when it’s better raw?
Mochi Ice cream compliments of the restaurant. This was good.

Perhaps the food was better than what I thought that night. Perhaps I am just an ungrateful person. It irritated me greatly that the Asian wait staff did not have more pride in their service level or a higher bar for chopsticks. You only see uneven chopsticks in the cheapest of the cheap restaurants in Asia; takeout joints in most places do better than this fancy restaurant in Mount Kisco, NY.

For a $70 meal, I expected and demanded even-length chopsticks.

The wait staff seemed to have recognized their shortcomings by offering complimentary dishes. Regardless, it’s difficult to like your dinner when nothing went right all night.

This experience took place at

Hito Japanese Restaurant

26 E Main St
Mt Kisco, NY 10549
(914) 241-8488

❤️Homemade Venison Taco Soup with Wild Boar Sausage- Happy Valentine’s Day from a Nonconformist ❤️

I am not crazy about February 14th as the Valentine’s Day, mainly because it’s usually too cold to wear a skirt in New York. I also take pity on all the men who have to buy things for their women but secretly really rather not to. In comparison, Chinese Valentine’s Day is on the 7th day of the 7th month in the Lunar calendar and that usually lands it in July or August when the weather is warm and my toes can be in sandals and legs without tights. No gifts have to be bought for the Chinese Valentine’s Day. When I think through the history of Valentine’s Day, I think the Chinese myth is also much more romantic, where two lovers are separated by the Milky Way and can only meet once a year on Qixi 七夕 (7th day of the 7th month) over the bridge Magpies formed for them.

Aww.

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, my wonderful friends reminded me why being a conformist can be good from time to time.
My hunter fiend, Mike, gave me a care package containing his homemade venison taco soup with wild boar sausage, Mexican shredded cheese, and chips. Gave me instructions on warming up both the soup in water and the chips in the oven.
This is the end result. The soup has both red and white beans, corn and tasted very much like chili but with a distinct taste of the venison. Yummy behind belief. This is why people hunt.

I ended the meal with dark chocolate with orange peels, one of my favorites, from my friend Dan, whom I had not seen in a long time. Maybe Valentine’s Day is not too commercial or contrived when you have good friends.

I heart ❤️ friendships and good meals anytime.

Andrea’s 25 North in Mamaroneck, NY- Happy Holidays with Angry Losters 

This was a work holiday lunch with a partner agency at Andrea’s 25 North on Boston Post Road on Mamaroneck. The restaurant is a beautiful house with cozy corners and large bright windows. The wait staff was attentive and knowledgeable. The food was excellent. The specials were plentiful and mouth-watering, especially the 2-3 pound angry lobsters. It was a happy meal for the growth ups and a wonderful break from a busy work week. Thank you! Appetizers: Broccoli rabe & sausage egg rolls, Burrata, shrimps and salad. Lobster Ravioli Deana: Cognac infused pink cream sauce with asparagus, mushrooms & diced shrimp This was George’s: plain chicken pieces with potatoes. You would not guess from the type of food he orders nor the amount of food he eats that George is a statuesque former wrestler. NY Strip Steak: 14oz. Prime N.Y. Strip. Served with creamy mashed potatoes & cabernet sauce. Steak was no cooked to the temperature that was ordered. It’s over done.Chicken Piccante: Classic chicken francese sautéed with cherry peppers topped with melted mozzarella over a bed of sautéed spinach.  Kerri – I Don’t think this is Chicken Martine.Special: Red snapper with tomato sauce and salmon on a bed of zucchini. Salmon was a little dry but red snapper was moist.
Special: Veal with rigatoni pasta
Special: 2-3 pound Angry Lobster on a bed of angel hair pasta. They offered for us to go pick out our own lobsters from the tank downstairs. 🙂  Special: Angry lobster. The knife is placed there for scale. This was a big plate.
Special: Angry lobster. Although the lobsters were angry, they made many of us very happy.  Special: Lamb chop lollipop. Best dish by far. Tender and juicy. Best lamb chop lollipops I have ever had.

Highly recommended for a large gathering. Authentic Italian cooking. Cannot go wrong.

This experience took place at

Andrea’s 25 North

974 E Boston Post Rd,
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Phone:(914) 698-2597

Lombardo’s Pizzaria in White Plains, NY- A Pizzette Deliciously Enough for A Day

I like pizza. There are many places that are supposed to have the best authentic pizza in Westchester, such as Sal’s on Mamaroneck Ave and Roma’s in Eastchester. There are places that serve gourmet pizza such as Fortina’s. Best of both worlds, there are places that straddle the line between the traditional and the gourmet like Lombardo’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant on Mamaroneck Ave in white Plains.I was at Lombardo’s many times before but never ordered the pizza. This is the Fra Diavolo: fresh tomato basil sauce, homemade mozzarella, crumbled Italian style sausage and sliced hot cherry peppers.

It was perfection at $12.50. Loved the spicy, the dried sausage, the soft cherry peppers and the mozzarella and the tomato sauce that tied the pie together. The curst was just right. I had the pizzette for lunch, dinner and breakfast the next day. That was how much I loved it. Highly recommended it to people who like traditional pizza with a flair.

This experience took place at

Lombardo’s Pizza Bar & Restaurant
1203 Mamaroneck Ave,
White Plains, NY 10605
Phone:(914) 615-9090

Doubleday’s in Dobbs Ferry- Brunch After A 5k Race Holiday Hustle

Ran the 5k in Dobbs Ferry, NY a weekend ago and went to brunch with some friends afterwards at Doubleday’s Restaurant & Bar on Main Street. This is a bar that is frequented and loved by many of the local residents. I was the newcomer that got to experience the magic. My friends love this place and said that the food is as good as any bar food can be. They are correct!
TWO EGGS: Sunny side up with home fries and baconEGGS BENEDICT: two poached eggs with Canadian bacon on a whole wheat English muffin, topped with hollandaise sauce, served with home fries
THE BIG BREAKFAST BURRITO: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, cheddar cheese, and pico de gallo stuffed into a flour tortilla and topped with spicy salsa  TWO EGGS: scrambled with home fries

Typically, if I look at this meal strictly from the food perspective, then I would say that this felt like something I can make myself, homey that is. But if I look at this as a local place where everyone comes to feel right at home – like what a pub is supposed to be in Ireland, then this is the place because the restaurant filled up so quickly after they opened. People come because this is a place of gathering. It has a meaning that is way beyond food just like people you meet along the way in life. Acquaintances can become meaningful friends in some ways, at some point in time, if you let them. Mimosas to new friends and old!

This experience took place at

Doubleday’s Restaurant & Bar

83 Main St
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Phone:(914) 693-9793

City Limits Diner in White Plains, NY- Last Post for the December Writing Chanllege

I have never considered City Limits Diner in White Plains as a valid option for food given the variety of restaurants in White Plains. But I was happy to find that City Limits Diner is an excellent option if one wants the semi-traditional diner menu with a pleasant decor. With the Christmas decorations up and the lights dimmed, it was warm and pleasant. My friend mentioned that she uses the diner for business breakfasts – that’s an idea. It is affordable, comfortable, modern and convenient.

That is also the conclusion I have come to at the end of the meal.My goto in a diner, traditional burger and French fries
Curried egg salad on multi-grain, potato salad

The food was decent to good. My burger was slightly over done but very good for a diner. Definitely a viable choice for a casual business breakfast and a friendly informal gathering.

This is my last post for the December writing challenge, where I write a post a day until I go on vacation on the 21st. I cheated… or should I say, I changed the rules? I sometimes wrote a couple of posts a day, like today, to catch up on the prior days – the upside of creating your own challenge. I am proud that I wrote 17 posts in the past 17 days even if some of them were written in the middle of the night!

This experience took place at

City Limits Diner

200 Central Ave,
White Plains, NY 10606
Phone:(914) 686-9000

The Lounge at the Ritz in White Plains, NY- Surprisingly Good

I am not usually a fan of the Ritz; see my experience at The Ritz in Amelia Island, Florida. However, I was pleasantly surprised by The Lounge at the Ritz in White Plains. The food was excellent despite slow and inattentive service. The lounge area is comfortable enough and cozy enough for a long conversation.PROSCUITTO FIG FLATBREAD: Spiced orange marmalade, arugula, prosciutto, goat cheese. This was great. The orange marmalade and fig on the flatbread made me feel like I was eating something from my grandma’s house (if I had an Italian grandma.) It was chewy when you hit those sweet pieces. The prosciutto did not come through but also didn’t distract. The arugula, although pretty, distracted. Thanks to the goat cheese that tied all ingredients together.
WARM APPLE SALAD: Seasonal Brine apples, toasted pecans, cranberries, Bibb lettuce, goat cheese, citrus vinaigrette. The salad was not warm but other than the temperature everything else was perfect. I learned that I love Bibb lettuce and I can love a salad. There was the crunch from the pecans, the sweetness from the cranberries and the apples, the punch from the goat cheese and the lettuce to bridge the gaps. It was a beautiful culinary symphony.  ASIAN MIXED RICE BOWL: Vegetable medley, marinated beef, egg, sesame oil. This is Ritz’s version of a Bibimbap – surprisingly excellent. I was more surprised that it was very spicy. The Ritz honored how Bibimbap should be eaten and did not bow down to the pop culture to satisfy. Kudos to the Ritz in White Plains.

Highly recommended for people who are not in a rush and have patience. Will definitely return.

This experience took place at

The Lounge at
The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester

3 Renaissance Square
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone:(914) 946-5500