Fattoria Dinner House

 

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Last weekend I experienced the fabulousness of Fattoria Dinner House in Armonk, NY. It opened a few months ago and I had only been for lunch. The lunch was excellent, and I had the beet salad with grilled chicken, so I was looking forward to returning and trying dinner. It was a Saturday night and I did not have a reservation, lucky for my crew, there had been one table available due to a cancellation. The place was packed, and I’m not surprised due to some great press coverage Fattoria received from an interview with CBS news. Check out the interview on their beautifully laid out website, fattoriarestaurant.com/#about. From the glass of wine, from small batch vineyards, right down to the farm to table Mediterranean style food it couldn’t have been a better tasting and dining experience. I also liked the way the menu lays out, with clever headings like, “breads & spreads,” and “smalls & such.”

When you walk into Fattoria, it’s one combined cozy bar, restaurant setting. The place was packed and being from Armonk, I didn’t recognize anyone. So nice for the owners that they are getting customers from all over Westchester! Also the chef used to cook at MP Taverna, so I guess chef, Alessandro D’Alessi’s loyal fans followed him to his new home at Fattoria.

I had the polpo to start and the branzino as a main dish. Both were excellent! The flavors were so good. It’s not typical to love everything you order, but I did. I don’t consider myself a food writer, so I can’t go into any details without reading what the ingredients are or the process that the food goes through to be made. All I can give you are the reviews from my taste buds and they loved every bite!

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Madison Kitchen

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I recently ate at Madison Kitchen Restaurant and Bar Lounge, in Larchmont with some good friends that I roped into trying out a new place. I figured I should start checking out some places out of Armonk that I here, are “worth the drive.” You may or may not know this, the young (under 30) Chef/owner, Nick Di Bona is a Chopped winner, which is always a good sign. For those Northern Westchester diners, he was formerly with Peter Pratt’s Inn before he went out on his own.

Madison Kitchen has the coziest, hippest atmosphere, which matched perfectly with the cold weather outside. There’s some lounge seating, and the perfect size bar, with a double-sided fireplace to the bartender’s back that is seen and felt in the dining part of the restaurant.

Before I went, I read the New York Times review, which raved about the food! I was psyched. I ordered the recommended tuna tarter, which was beyond delish! And the lobster risotto was so fresh and great as well! Some other mentioned dishes were not on the menu, but they did have comparable options.

For dessert we had the apple crisp with homemade vanilla ice cream, totally died and went to heaven on that dessert. The times review said a must-have is the chicken and waffle appetizer. I couldn’t get any takers at my table, so when you go, convince someone to get that dish!

Looking forward to a re-run!

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Impact100 Westchester

I digress from writing about great new places to eat-and-be-seen and must-run-and-get that thing to buy, to telling you about a new not-for-profit, charitable organization I learned about. Funny how appropriate it is at this time of year.

I recently attended a gathering at a friend’s house, where I learned about Impact100 Westchester, an interesting, new approach to charitable work. Where their mission is to engage women in philanthropy. I think there are 18 individual run chapters nationally. It’s kind of like a sorority for moms who like to give back! You can either be a giver with your time and money or just your money.

There are two women who work as co-presidents, Sharon Douglas and Anita Borkenstein. I heard both of these women speak and found them to both be very creative and inspiring. It hit my grass roots nerve to hear how they started this group and within no time got 132 women to join them in their first year. It just shows the power of a well thought out business plan. They started Impact100 Westchester because they wanted to make a difference to those less fortunate, right where they live, in Westchester County. They made a BIG difference by collecting over $132,000 to donate to those in need. I also am happy to report that all the money goes to the charity in need. There is no overhead, no rent, no employee salaries to pay, etc. Each member provides $1,000 which then goes to needy charities in communities where we dine, shop and drive thru everyday but never realize how many are living below the poverty level and in need of assistance from organizations that we can fund and support.

There are four categories to consider for giving: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment and Health & Wellness. They then, have local charities make a pitch to each of these groups in order to be chosen for the grant. Each group (every woman gets an equal vote at the annual meeting in June) chooses one winner and presents it to all of Impact100 Westchester. This past year’s grant finalists were; Clay Art Center, Yonkers Partners in Education, Something Good in The World, Inc. and Furniture Sharehouse. $100,000 was granted to Furniture Sharehouse. An organization that provides free furniture to Westchester families in need. The remaining funds were spilt between the other three finalists.

Here is their contact info.

Impact100westchester.org

impact100westchester@gmail.com

I hope I’ve done this amazing charity justice. Women working together to make a difference and inspiring other women to get involved!

Happy giving!

Zanni Restaurant

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Mark Mariani unveiled his new restaurant a week or so ago for breakfast and lunch and soon it will be open for dinner. Another fab place to eat in the new foodie capital of Westchester, known as Armonk. Mr. Mariani knows his decorating! He is just a phenomenal restaurant designer. Why he isn’t designing restaurants all over America for celebrity chefs is beyond me. From the entry comfy seating lounge area with the stunning stone fireplace, through the every so inviting, bar and oversized banquet area, to the, bring the light in through the glass ceiling atrium dining area, it is perfection and one will never want to leave!

During lunch I had the chicken and avocado Panini, which was very good and a yummy brussels sprout salad. There are few other well-priced salads, like the goat cheese beet salad, all the salads can be enhanced with chicken, shrimp, salmon, etc. They also serve flat bread pizzas.

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I haven’t tried the breakfast, so I can’t report on if my son’s kid favorite, nutella crepe is still there, but I’m sure their menu is plentiful and delicious. For those who loved the food and at one with nature ambience at the former Mariani Café, I’m sure you’ll be as overly impressed and as blown away as I was, with the new Mariani Restaurant, Zanni!

Comments welcomed…

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All photos courtesy Debbie Lipman

Timeless Gallery

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Last week I attended a grand opening event via an invite from Buzz Creators, a PR/Marketing/Branding Company, for a new luxury goods boutique in Greenwich called, Timeless Gallery. They specialize in the buying and selling of pre-owned designer handbags and vintage watches. I’m not an everyday designer handbag purchaser myself, but I do love a good Saks NYC first floor handbag walk-through. From what I could tell, the designer bags at Timeless Gallery are of similarly fabulous looking condition!

I thought the handbags were in mint condition and the owner, Seth Larrabure had explained that there is a rating for a pre-owned designer handbag. He explained that his bags carry the top rating. So all you $2,500 -$10,000 bag buyers out there, there’s a new designer handbag shop in town that’s not to be missed! Just think of all the watch shopping your hubbys can do while you’re checking out the handbags!

Almost forgot the juice, they feature designers such as, Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, as well as vintage and contemporary watches, such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier.

In addition to the Timeless Gallery store, their luxury goods are also available globally through their website, Timelessgallery.com. They also will be consigning collectibles, accepting trade-ins, and offer in-house estate appraisals for all jewelry and fine timepieces and not to be overlooked, a rapid watch repair service is available.

Seth and his father, Alan Larrabure are very welcoming and looking forward to filling the need they see in the New York City suburbs for a special kind of retail shop. This business arose out of their Timeless Gallery wholesale business established in 2000. Both men have been involved in the collectable business for many years and are internationally known and respected for their expertise in this field.

I enjoyed meeting them and seeing their exquisite luxury items, my mouth was watering or was that the wine? Well anyway, the bags and watches are to die for, so go in, say hi and happy shopping!

Timeless Gallery LLC, 112 Mason Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 phone: 203-769-1300 email: shop@timelessgallery.com

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Winston

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Mt. Kisco has a new place to eat, drink and be merry, Winston. After a multi-million dollar renovation of a three-story building Winston recently opened its doors. Now there’s a new place to go with a great vibe, unique cocktails, (pumpkin martini) and craft beers to name a few, that’s a lot closer than the Ganesvoort or the W Rooftop in NYC.

I went last Saturday night and started out having a drink at the bar on the first floor. It’s a great bar area with a few tables for dining and a bar menu. It’s a very open feeling with high ceilings and exposed brick.

We ate on the 2nd floor, which offers a full dinner menu. I also gotta kick out of the pre-set plates, with a big “W” on them.

The cool part of this three-story building is the roof deck bar/lounge. It’s NYC roof-deck bar scene meets suburbia. They have great looking furniture; the roof is open air while the weather permits. I hope they have plans to enclose it during the winter, it’s such a great hang out space and it’s definitely a first for northern Westchester. Can’t say much for the view, but you can spot your car in the lot.

I recommend starting on the roofdeck for a drink and working your way down, to get the whole Winston experience.

The celebs have made the rounds to Winston as well. Apparently, Martha Stewart was there, the night before I went, and she said the crème brulee was one of the best she’s had (well, my memory is, she said something great about the crème brulee) so it’s worth a try!

See their website winstonrestaurant.com for more info.

Winstons

130 East Main Street

Mount Kisco, NY 10549

Fun In The Sun

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I recently went to the atlantisbahamas.com which is now managed by
Brookfield Hospitality Management (the jury is out if that is a good thing for this resort or bad thing).

I don’t know about you, but I always find the Bahamians to be very welcoming. So, on one of the days when I was lying in the sun, trying to get as tan as a Bahamian I struck up a conversation with the lifeguard on his stand next to me. He had all kinds of opinions about the resort after working there for a couple of years. He didn’t seem too impressed with the new management company and felt the property was being used in a real estate game by constantly being bought and sold, so the management companies could make money. He also thought, families would still go to the Atlantis even though Bahamar.com in Nassau or the NEW Bahamian Riviera, as it’s being called, was opening soon with a Rosewood, SLS Lux and Grand Hyatt.

In spite of the real estate transaction, the resort is and has been amazing to go to with kids and families. Where else can you get beautiful tropical weather, celebrity chef restaurants that are actually good! (A must go to is the Todd English restaurant, Olives.) As well as gambling, high-end resort amenities and an amazing water park.

After a few minutes of chatting with the lifeguard, he started to ask me what I was drinking in my starbucks mug. “A skinny vanilla latte”, I said, naturally, what else would it be? Well, I guess I should have known I was now going to be told how there are horrible chemicals in processed coffee and food, right? While the sun is blazing away and all I wanted to do was jump in the pool he said, I should be drinking organic ground coffee from beans and do I grow my own produce?? When he found out I lived in New York, I think he gave me an I-can’t-grow-organic-produce pass due to our cold weather. It was a funny to know every country is obsessed with organically grown foods.

So, of course I came home and ran to my favorite coffee hang-out, Tazza.  They have 20 something different flavors of coffee and some are organic, they even have the grinder right next to the beans! My lifeguard friend would be so impressed that I made the switch to organic coffee beans for my morning coffee. And to my surprise, I like it much better!

Who said you can’t learn a thing or two while you’re on vacation?

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