Le Jardin Du Roi in Chappaqua, NY – Fantastic Sunday Brunch

This is #FrenchRestaurant post number 4 this week. To read 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.

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Le Jardin Du Roi in Chappaqua NY is a cute little #FrenchBistro. I had been to this restaurant many times prior but have not returned since I moved back to NY. Finally, I took the time to revisit the place with a friend on a cold December Sunday morning. I was very pleasantly surprised by how good the brunch was.

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A simple bread basket and good butter. Good bread and good butter. A great way to start the brunch.

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Omelette au Saumon Chevre: With smoked salmon, goat cheese, and sautéed onions, served with home fries and a side salad. My friend ate so fast and was very happy with her choice. Her omlette and salad looked so good to me across the table that I was tempted to reach over and ate her portion.

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Œuf du Roi: Poached egg on a goat cheese potato cake over ratatouille. This was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Perhaps I was very hungry after the morning jog but it was more than that. Each ingredient on the dish was connected and balanced. I really liked the egg, and the goat cheese potato and the ratatoulle. Wait, that’s everything on the plate.  🙂

I highly recommend this place. It was a happy eating experience. The food was delicious. As a bonus, the sun shone through the windows and made our food look beautiful and brightened our mood.

This experience took place at

Le Jardin Du Roi

95 King Street
Chappaqua, NY
914-238-1368

Metro Deli in Scarsdale, NY – Not So Impressive. A Tongue Sandwich!

Best joke of the day: “Would you like to try my tongue?”  This happened while I was at the Metro Deli in Scarsdale, NY with a somewhat tasteless tongue sandwich and trying to share.  We found ourselves at the Metro Deli after a Breast Cancer Awareness walk, hungry and  dehydrated.  The food was really mediocre – if I were to be nice.  The grilled cheese was worse than what I could do at home.  The meatball pasta was tasteless according to my 11-year-old.  The burger was ok – and for that they got a mediocre rating.

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Bland grilled cheese

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Big fatty meatball with a lot of bread and not enough meat. Bland pasta.

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The infamous tongue sandwich. Thank you for the joke. The tongue was also tasteless.

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The burger was acceptable.

I don’t understand why they were so busy on that Sunday morning. I think the location is ripe for a much better restaurant to take over the brunch crowd, given how bad the food was.  Anyone interested?

This experience took place at

Metro Deli & Catering
4 PALMER AVE
SCARSDALE, NY‎ 10583
(914) 472-4760‎

Kalbi House in White Plains NY – Korean Dolsot Bibimbap

I have been jonesing for some Bibimbap, one of my favorite Korean dishes. Spending a month in Taiwan this Summer never led me to a Korean restaurant. You would think that at least the geographic proximity would make the cuisine more popular but not so. I had to come back to New York to get my fix. This Sat I went to the Kalbi House in White Plains to try the stone pot Bibimbap or Dolsot Bibimbap.

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The side dishes that automatically accompany a meal in a Korean restaurant. All very yummy and if the American salad were more like this, I could eat it everyday. The Korean side dishes have umami when compared to most of the American salads that always make me feel like a horse eating hay.

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Dolsot Bibimbap: This is how the Bibimbap looked when it first came. Isn’t it beautiful? Look at the egg!
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Dolsot Bibimbap:
Here is how it looked after I mixed everything together and added the chili pepper paste. Because the rice is in a stone pot that came hot, the rice was crispy and slightly browned at bottom. The rice was also in chunks. When you mix the rice, you get both the softness of the rice and the brown and crunchy pieces from the bottom. I absolutely loved it!!! 🙂

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Jo Gae Tang: Clam and vegetable in broth casserole.  Look at how big the clams are and how fresh.

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Nabeyaki Udon:
Because we were in a Korean restaurant, Japanese food were also on the menu!(?) I really don’t get this fusion approach. It really confuses the issue. Please stick to what you do best and don’t give a bastardized version of the Japanese Nabeyaki Udon. In all fairness, it was not bad but it was not authentic.

Overall, I was very happy with this experience and will definitely return to try the famous Korean BBQ, their broiled fish, Korean pancake, rice cake in broth, and nakji bokkeum (stir-fried mini octopus in red chili sauce)! See how I already picked up my five meals at the Kalbi House.  Thumbs up!

This experience took place at

Kalbi House
291 Central Ave
White Plains, NY 10606
914-328-0251

Red Plum in Mamaroneck NY – Reliable Old Shoe Asian

Looking for a reliable Americanized Asian restaurant for lunch? Try Red Plum in Mamaroneck NY. The decor is modern; the menu is just like the other three Asian restaurants on the same street; the price is good for the wallet. Red Plum offers standard Fusion Asian or in Peilin Corbanese’ speak: Americanized Asian food / bastardized Asian food. I went today with a friend and we both ordered the Maki Lunch Special.  Upside: the green tea they served was pretty good!

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This photo is a bit fuzzy but shows the miso soup. It is ok – slightly better than the packet powder version.

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Here is the salad that comes with the lunch. Good for fiber and pedestrian for taste.

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Here are my two rolls: salmon avocado and eel cucumber. They are better than what I could do and decent for the price.

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Here are my friend’s rolls: salmon avocado and tempura roll.

The great thing about this place is that you can be loud and still hear your friend across from you. You can laugh your hearts out and no one would bug you. The waiters and waitresses leave you alone but are very attentive if you look their way. They know how to treat their customers.  The restaurant was not too busy nor too empty.  Just right for a quick get away from the office.

I had a great time with my friend whom I have not seen in over half a year and lunch was the side-show. I highly recommend the place if your primary purpose is not eating great Asian food but to enjoy the atmosphere and the company. Cheers to friendship!

This experience took place at

Red Plum
251 Mamaroneck Ave.
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Tel: (914) 777-8696 | 777-6888

Masala Kraft Cafe in Hartsdale NY – Heavily Salted

Between Chinese School and Acupuncture this Sat, I was in Hartsdale NY getting a quick lunch from Masala Kraft Cafe. The restaurant is conveniently located right across from the Hartsdale Metro North station and a weekend farmer’s market. I was very hopeful because I was there once before and had a decent experience. When you first walked in the place, it smelled aromatic and filled with spices that transport you to a different continent. It made me smile. 🙂

Unfortunately, my good experience was not meant to be repeated. We ordered three dosas. Here is how they turned out.

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This is the Masala Dosa. The presentation was impressive. The crepe is thin and has a nice consistency. The filling of spiced mashed potatoes and onions was a little salty.

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Here is the Bombay Dosa for me. The filling is curried potatoes with vegetables. It was extremely salty. I was very hungry but could not ignore the salt. It was so heavily salted that I wondered if it was double salted. I left my dosa half eaten. I think the filling would have been great with only plain rice – a lot of it!

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The cheese dosa. Bleh. Plain and wished it was a French crepe instead. It was also salty!

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Masala Kraft’s menu for your reference. Probably should have tried other items instead of putting all my eggs in the dosa basket.

Do not recommend the dosa. I did buy two bananas from the farmer’s market afterwards though. It was not a complete waste.

This experience took place at

Masala Kraft Cafe
206 E. Hartsdale Avenue, Hartsdale, NY 10530
Phone: (914) 722 4300

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

Trattoria Vivolo in Harrison NY – A Delight Every Time

My friend Lisa and I usually go to Trattoria Vivolo when she meets me at work for lunch. Trattoria is a fine Italian restaurant by the Harrison Metro North train station. Lisa is a friend of the owner and each time we are there, two glasses of wine are always waiting for us. Today was such a special day that I drank!

Back to the food. The food has always been excellent and consistent. It’s down to earth Italian food. Fresh, simple and satisfies. Trattoria Vivolo takes away the need to home cook Italian.

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This is the beet salad, with almond chips, green beans, cherry tomatoes, onions and mozzarella cheese. It was so good that both Lisa and I wanted to recreate it at home.

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Here is the spinach wrapped in eggplant. Much much better than how it may look.

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And we concluded the meal with a always cheesy and thin Pizza Margherita.

Cheers to a happy and content life! Let’s embrace life with the same freshness and simplicity Trattoria Vicolo demonstrated. Salute!

This experience took place at

Trattoria Vivolo
301 Halstead Ave
Harrison, NY 10528
914-835-6199

Turkish Meze in Mamaroneck NY- A Good & Cheap Lunch

Turkish Meze is a Turkish restaurant in Mamaroneck NY, right by the Metro North station. It serves standard fare middle eastern food such as falafel, humus, doner, gyro, and shish kebab. Worth noting though – it has an excellent lunch menu and for a little more than $10, you get an appetizer and an entrée, which is precisely what I did.

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The meal began with warm pita bread covered in napkins and some olive tapenade. My dining companion was extremely satisfied with the olive tapenade and used it on the courses following.

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These are the crispy falafel served with tahini.

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Both my friend and I ordered the same entrée. This is the Grilled Chicken Shish Kebab. Not bad. If you want a decent and cheap lunch, here is the place to come. Nothing to jump up and down about but satisfactory enough for the tummy and the pocket-book.

And there is usually enough left over for the next day lunch. 🙂

This experience took place at

Turkish Meze
409 Mt Pleasant Ave, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
(914) 777-3042

Fujinoya in Hartsdale NY – Tastes Like Asia

Exactly three weeks after I returned from Taiwan, I went to Fujinoya in Hartsdale, NY. This is a small place that always has a long line (45 mins+) for lunch on Saturdays. They don’t take reservations. I was lucky this past Sat and the food did not disappoint. The dishes taste like they should in Asia! 🙂 It really made me smile.  Happy twirl!

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This is my cold soba noodles with tempura. The soba and the shrimp tempura were good. I did not care for the vegetable tempura. It was a little too greasy for me.

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This is the Nabeyaki Udon, my goto. Always good, hot, and yummy. Look at the egg! The broth was authentic and delicious.

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This is the salmon carpaccio.

I highly recommend this Japanese restaurant. I go there often and they are always consistent. The sushi chefs never speak English and I have seen the owner shop at the local Japanese grocery store.  I cannot say enough good things about this place.  Really happy that it did not disappoint.  Two thumbs up!

This experience took place at

Fujinoya Restaurant
26 South Central Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530
Phone: 914-428-1203

Zero Otto Nove in Armonk, NY – My New Favorite Italian Restaurant

Zero Otto Nove in Armonk is one of the new restaurants by Robertos from Arthur Ave in the Bronx.  I was so happy that it came to my neighborhood this June.  Now I no longer need to drive the 45 mins into the Bronx to get authentic Italian food!  Last Thursday night, I brought 14 of my closest work friends with me to experience this culinary delight.

Oh!  Contrary to popular practice and belief, they will take your reservation when it’s a large group to spare you from hours of waiting, standing on your feet.  Their phone manners were not the best neither were their waiters.  The waiters seem to not hear when you call them nor are they flexible enough to take your orders when you are ready.  It was just a weird experience with their service.  They pushed a lot of wine on us… Coming from my wine background, I know how much margin the restaurant makes on these bottles of wines.

Just thankful that the food was good and I delivered on my promise.

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Polipo alla Griglia
This is one of our appetizers. For some in my party, this is the first time they ever tried octopus. It was grilled to perfection. The tentacles were still soft but slightly charred on the outside. Thanks to the reluctance of my friends, I ate so much grilled octopus that night. Hehe… probably the reason why I ordered it. 🙂

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Antipasto Freddo
Mortadella, sopressata, finocchione, capicollo, culatello, marinated eggplant,ricotta salata, green olives & spicy Sicilian pecorino. Could not really identify accurately what is what but everything was excellent on this plate.

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Polpettine, Polenta & Caprino
By this third appetizer dish, I was full. But the small meatballs were very juicy. I did not eat the polenta.. though it is one of my favorites.

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Mafalde con Salsicca e Provola
I have to admit that I did not sample most of the dishes below but my friends were all extremely satisfied with their selections.

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Chilean Sea Bass Marechiara
Can you imagine this fish at sea? Apologies to the vegan friend whose dish did not make the cut onto this article. Brocolli rabe and cheesed over cauliflowers just look awful in the photos.

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Orecchiette con Broccoli di Rapa
This was a popular dish at my table. Multiple orders! The almonds looked crunchy.

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Linguini al Nero di Seppia
A very yummy dish but apparently got beat by the pasta with truffles!

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Looks like Ravioli to me… Unfortunately, I did not get the name of this dish. It must have been a special. Who had this?

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Insalata di Barbabietole e Burrata
This was my entrée. The Burrata was divine. 🙂 Look at the balsamic dripping line. What a beauty!

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Mystery dish. Gotta ask my friend Mike what this was. My guess is that it is Vitello con Cotechino. Should have spent more time socializing at the other end of the table.

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Special – Lamb Osso Buco.
This would have been one of my options for the entrée if I had the room.

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Kind of difficult to tell from the photo which one of the 13 pizzas on the menu is this one. But I know the friend had a smile with this pizza.

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Special – This is the infamous pasta with truffles. Multiple orders at my table. Apparently for a friend, this was the best thing she has eaten since slice bread… Not bad but a little entertaining at the same time. Of the top of my head, I can think of some other items that are better than slice bread. Appreciate the enthusiasm though!

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Risotto alla Barbabietola e Brasato
Risotto! Exclamation!

There was so much food and wine all night.  After a while, I stopped keeping track of what was coming and who was eating what. At the same time, the restaurant was pretty loud so it made rather interesting disjointed conversations between you and the person not next to you. Not much better for conversations between you and the person next to you. It was a sensory overload night.

The entire table also ordered dessert. I ordered profiteroles and sadly I was disappointed. Should have gone for the lime sorbet to cleanse my palate.

Would I recommend this restaurant? Yes, for its food. But one should not expect to conduct a proper conversation since there is no audio insulation built in. Perhaps go at a quieter time and sit on its patio, looking up to the moon in the night sky. Reminded me of Italy.

This experience took place at

Zero Otto Nove, Armonk
55 Old Route 22
Armonk, NY 10504
Call: 1 914 273 0089