Rye Ridge Deli in Rye Brook, NY- A Running Challenge that Fits the Queen

Winter will soon be upon us. This is when we get lazy. We stop moving. We eat. We hibernate. As a way to combat this slow down, I am doing a 37-day challenge where each day I will run a mile, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  #RWRunStreak It’s not going to be an easy challenge with vacation in the Azores coming up, new project at work and the busy December holiday festivities.

Parallel to physical fitness, it has been more than a month since my last post. I put my head in the sand and did not touch the keyboard for a while, feeling discouraged from the endless food photos and the constant struggle to write about mediocre food that may not be memorable. But there is a saying… Something along the line that everyone is unique. Same goes for food and restaurants. I just need to find the angle.

I have 17 posts that need to be written as of today. Perhaps I could challenge myself to write one post a day from today until I leave for Portugal?

Post 1 of 17 is the Rye Ridge Deli right next to the Soulcycle studio in Rye Ridge Plaza. Rye Ridge Deli is a very popular deli that took up a huge retail space with a corner location. The prices are, well, upper end. The diner is often empty when I went. The workers are aloof but courteous. The food is below par and over-priced.

I went to Rye Ridge deli at least three times due to its convenient location and my immediate hunger. The hungrier I am, the less I care about the quality of food. The breakfast ham and egg on a bagel is often tasteless (add salt and butter please!) Below is what the waitress recommended as the best of Rye Ridge.
Brisket on Rye with pickles. This was $14 and tasteless. Without the pickles, I was thinking of leaving the entire sandwich on the table and just get up and leave.

Find your local deli that can make food with salt and fat.

This experience took place at

Rye Ridge Deli
126 S Ridge St
Rye Brook, NY 10573
P (914) 937-2131
F (914) 937-4289
E- ryeridgedelinyct@gmail.com

Water Moon in Rye, NY – Trading Authentic Asian Food for Pretty Bathrooms? Being Fusion Equals Being Indistinguishable. Where Are You From, Pretty Lady?

Water Moon in Rye, NY is a #FusionAsian restaurant or in #PeilinCorbanese speak – a bastardized Asian food restaurant. I rarely go to fusion Asian restaurants unless I am desperate or needing comfort. Today was neither. I was there because a new friend changed the reservation at the last minute and thought this would be a better restaurant to try out. Guess what? It was not too bad for a fusion Asian restaurant and for Americanized Asian food. It clearly has the syndrome of “wanting to be everything to everyone;” the restaurant has a menu that is a mile long covering many popular countries in Asia.

Since Asians from the various Asian countries are “hardly distinguishable” from one another, it makes perfect sense to serve dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Japan all in one fusion Asian restaurant.  It makes perfect sense that people would always ask me where I am from” simply because I look Asian.  People like to guess that I am Filipino, Thai, Chinese, or any other Asian countries they are familiar with. Better yet, many think that Thailand and Taiwan are the same country. I like to tell them that I am Italian – just look at my last name. They usually give me a puzzled look. Then, I take pity on them and succumbed to the stereotype of being a New Yorker to either educate the idiots and the bigots or flip them the bird.

Vietnamese Salad: Nappa with Tamarind peanut dressing. Refreshing but the Nappa could be julienned instead.

Crispy Red Snapper: with baby Shanghai green. The red snapper was crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, exactly how it should be. This was the best of the night.

Roasted Peking Duck. I had high hopes for this dish because the chefs look like they are from northern China. It was just average. FYI – Peking or Beijing or 北京 is in Northern China.

Just in case you didn’t know, this is how you put the roasted duck and the veggies together in a bun. Sometimes, it’s not a bun but a thin rice sheet that you wrap. I tend to prefer the sheets.

The best part of dinner was the red snapper and running into a work friend. Would I return? Nah – even when Water Moon was voted the best Asian restaurant in the Westchester County from 2004-2010. It was fine as a bastardized Asian restaurant but this is where I draw the line. When it comes to Asian food, I am authentically Asian and not such a commoner.

Any hole in the wall restaurant in Chinatown or Flushing will be much better than this posh restaurant in Rye, NY. But then you wouldn’t have such a pretty bathroom!  Here is a toast to all the idiots and bigots out there.  Without you, none of these fusion Asian restaurants would survive.

This experience took place at

Water Moon Sushi Bar & Asian Bistro
66 Purchase St,
Rye, NY 10580

Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro in Rye, NY – Good for a Casual Lunch and Not Suitable for an Unforgettable Meal

I have been to Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro in Rye many times for breakfast before but have never written a post on it. Finally, I remembered and took some photos. Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro is located on Purchase Street in Rye, or the center of the town. I was introduced to the place by a friend a couple of years ago and we have been going there for breakfast once in a while. Ruby’s is known for its Oysters (hence the name) but I have not had the privilege to try the oysters there. Today, we stayed with the well-known burger and salad.

Grilled Bistro Burger with Blue Cheese and Rosemary Brown Sauce. My friend and I shared the entrées. Ruby’s was so accommodating and made two mini portions of the burger and the salad for us. Very accommodating. They get an A+ for customer service. The burger was well done, per my friend’s request; unfortunately, that made the meat dry. But it was still enjoyable enough.

Grilled Salmon Cobb Salad. This was a nice change for the palate from the burger. Standard fare. Fresh and grilled well. But nothing to jump up and down for.

I will need to go back for the oysters and see if it lives up to the name sake. Otherwise, Ruby’s is a nice place to have casual or business lunch but the memory of the food faded rather quickly in my mind. Don’t get me wrong – the food was decent to above average and the customer service is A plus.  But the conversation I had with my friend was a lot more exciting than our entrées.  Maybe it’s an ordering error on our side.

This experience took place at

Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro
45 Purchase Street
Rye, NY 10580

Fortina in Rye Brook, NY – Wood Fired Oven Pizza and An Impromptu Octopus Dish Ranking

I found myself in the Rye Brook location of Fortina three weeks ago during a freezing night in February.  It was past nine and the restaurant was empty.  The Rye Brook location, in comparison to that of Armonk, is much more open and has better parking options.  Fortina is known for the wood-fired oven pizza and its simple Italian cooking.   Click here for my previous post.  A friend I went with apparently taught the Fortina owner Social Studies in a Bronx high school!  Look at that – our inner City education system can actually churn out entrepreneurs!

Spicy Olives – Simple? Yes.  Spicy? Yes.  Need to spit out the pits?  Yes. Good snacks for in between dishes?  Yes.

There was also supposed to be Wood-Fired Polpo with white beans, olives, and salumi vinaigrette but I forgot to take a photo.  Usually, this only happens when I am too excited about the food or the situation!  The octopus dish was excellent, too little to share in fact. We ate it very quickly.  I am a big fan of the octopus in every which way.  Of all the octopus dishes I have eaten that are shared on this blog, here is the ranking:  #Octopus

  1. Salt and Fat in Sunnyside, NY (in squid ink. Yum.)
  2. Osteria Laguna Bar and Restaurant in Manhattan, NY (with white bean paste)
  3. Zero Otto Nove in Armonk, NY / Roberto’s in the Bronx (grilled and a bit charred)
  4. Fortina in Rye, NY (with white bean paste).  This post here.
  5. Buena Vista Bistro, Miami, FL (grilled with butter)
  6. Casa Mono in NYC (tapas and too greasy)
  7. Kalbi House in White Plains, NY (wok-fried with noodles)

This is the Spicy Meatball Pizza with Fortina, pickled cherry peppers.  Do you see a theme here?  We like spicy food.

A virgin mojito that is entirely way too syrupy and soda like. But it does wash out the meatball and the octopus taste from your mouth.

Would I return?  Absolutely.  We should always support entrepreneurs in this economy.

This experience took place at


136 South Ridge Street
Rye Ridge Shopping Center
Rye Brook, NY


La Panetière in Rye, NY – Excellent Holiday Menu

This is #FrenchRestaurant post number 5 this week. To see the other posts, click here for  number 1 La Sirène in downtown Manhattan, number 2 Les Halles on 29th and Park, and number 3 Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte in New York, and number 4 Le Jardin Du Roi in Chappaqua NY.


La Panetière in Rye, NY is a French restaurant that offers traditional French cuisine. I was there with a large party of work friends to celebrate the holidays. A special menu was created for us. It was a delicious meal and a very happy time. Many thanks to Paul, George, Dan, Gary, Mike, Lori, and Jason.

COMPOSITION OF SEASONAL GREENS, TAPENADE VINAIGRETTE: Radishes, pickled carrots, walnut cracklings, burrata cheese. This dish received high remarks from the eater – you know who you are, Dave.

BAKED ESCARGOTS: Garlic custard, hazelnuts, garden herbs. This was ok at best. I wish they had done the escargots the traditional way. I felt it was such a waste of the escargots.

EMMENTHAL CHEESE SOUFFLÉ WITH DICED SUNCHOKES: Sunchoke velouté. This sounded like a good idea but I found the taste and the texture not to my liking. I felt like I was eating a sponge.

GRILLED FILLET OF BRONZINO, GRENOBLOISE STYLE: Fennel purée, jardinière of vegetables. The Bronzino was excellent, very fresh and tender. With a touch of lemon, it was perfect.

ROASTED RACK OF LAMB SIDED BY CANNELLONI OF BRAISED SHOULDER: Tiny zucchini, carrots, scallions. The lamb looked so yummy and received high marks from the eater – Wally.

SADDLE OF VENISON POIVRADE SAUCE: Compote of Rosemary-Granny Smith apple, crusted endives with cubes of ham and Swiss cheese. I loved this dish. I heart it whole-heartedly. I strongly persuaded two friends to change their orders from the Bronzino to the venison.

FRESH TAGLIATELLE: Mushrooms, primavaire of vegetables, parmesan. Unfortunately, this pasta dish seemed to have under-delivered. The general consensus is that it was just like any other pasta dish and why is La Panetière considered as one of Westchester’s best restaurants?

Here is a special dish for George who can only eat blandly cooked chicken but is a black-belt in eating spicy food. Look at how sad this dish is.

This is a trio of their house desserts. May I say that all three are pretty decent and more? I was extremely satisfied and happy with the chocolate mousse cake and the ice cream. The slice of Granny Smith apple really delivered the punch.

This is the menu that was created for our luncheon.

Overall, the experience was highly memorable. The food was delectable (if you stick to the authentic French creations and not the bland chicken or Italian pasta). The desserts were sweet and the high notes to end the meal. The wine parings were great. Highly recommend it.

Gary – thank you for letting me sample all your food. 🙂

Oh – the photos are all yellow-tinted because the room we were in was kind of yellow and the lights were yellow.  🙂

This experience took place at

La Panetière

530 Milton Road
Rye, NY 10580
Tel: (914) 967-8140