Late Summer Grazing!
Summer officially ends on Sept. 22nd. Here’s some worthy culinary destinations you should try to check out and several important early fall harvest season food festivals, too.
COOL JAZZ AT ALVIN & FRIENDS, NEW ROCHELLE!
Proprietor, artist, model, and consummate host Alvin Clayton is approaching his 10th year in New Rochelle with solid doses of American Soul Food, a taste of the Caribbean, and spirited jazz sessions. Alvin & Friends Restaurant has a sophisticated Manhattan vibe: Alvin’s colorful paintings dramatically line the walls, big hanging lighting fixtures, a sparkling bar and community table, and a staff that makes it all very inviting. If you visit for the cuisine check out the Classic Jambalaya, Shrimp & Grits, Fried Chicken, and Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops. Burgers and Mac & Cheese, too. Combine your visit with some live music. Love their Friday night jazz featuring local talent. Saturdays, too. The Sunday Jazz Brunch is a winning combination as well. Seasonal outdoor seating. Alvin & Friends, 14 Memorial Highway, New Rochelle. Phone: 914-654-6549. www.alvinandfriendsrestaurant.com
WINE DOWN EVENINGS AT ERNIE’S, BRONXVILLE!
Out of this tiny kitchen come laudatory renditions of American/Global dishes bursting with flavor. Oenophiles, take note. The carefully selected wines served here, many from small-batch independent producers, can be heavenly. It is a wonderful place to unwind, take in some live jazz on Wednesday nights. Recent tastings have included: Luisanna’s amazing Veal Meatballs, Cheese & Charcuterie Platter, Duck Wontons, Duck Confit, a wonderful Fettuccine Carbonara; Mushroom & Pea Risotto, and Baked Cod with Vierge Sauce. The Lemon Fettuccini with giant shrimp is amazing! There is live entertainment on Wednesdays. Check ahead for updates. Open Monday thru Saturday for happy hour and dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. Ernie’s Wine Bar, 7 Pondfield Road, Bronxville. Phone: 914-652-7859.
CLAM BAKE IN A TUB AT ARTIE’S, CITY ISLAND!
There are big combination platters to share all season long. Owner Spiro Chagares and his staff offer patrons a fine melding of traditional and contemporary dishes served with flair. Sit back in one of several dining areas and enjoy such changing specialties as: delectable Lamb Sliders; hearty Seafood Chowders; Smoked Salmon Roll-Ups; Wood Grilled Jumbo Shrimp and Scallops; hunks of tender Short Rib; a massive Zuppa Di Pesce; tender Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb; American Shellfish Jambalaya; Chardonnay Poached Salmon with seafood; and fresh Lobster prepared in a variety of styles. The trawler size Clam Bake served in a tub is a sight. There’s a loaded Lobster Salad Roll at lunch and their Mediterranean style Pizzas are good to share, too. Check out the bar/lounge evenings for good networking. Enhanced selection of craft beers. Private party facilities. Off premise catering. Open 7 days. Free parking. Artie’s Steak & Seafood, 394 City Island Ave., City Island (Bronx). 718-885-9885 www.artiescityisland.com
TASTY INDIAN BUFFET AT MUGHAL PALACE, VALHALLA!
Owner Mohammed Alam of Mughal Palace serves his all you can eat Indian buffet from 11:30 am to 3 pm, more than a dozen selections from salad, main courses to desserts with all the trimmings. Cost is $15.95 per person. Dinner is a la carte and begins at 5 pm. Look for such specialties as: Lasuni Gobi, cauliflower florets tossed with bell peppers, onion, garlic and green herbs; Chicken Barbacue Kabab, marinated boneless chicken cooked in the tandoor oven; Lamb Bhuna, pieces of lamb cooked in a medium spiced sauce of bell peppers, tomatoes and fresh Indian herbs; and Mango Chicken, boneless chunks of chicken cooked with fresh mango, ginger, garlic and dry spices. A glass of lassi with help wash it all down, and don’t forget the delicious house made Indian breads to scoop up the sauces. Open 7 days. Mughal Palace, 16 Broadway, Valhalla. 914-997-6090 The same team now operate Ambadi Kebab & Grill, 141 E. Post Road, White Plains. www.mughalpalace.com
HALF-PRICE LOBSTERS AT KEE OYSTER HOUSE, WHITE PLAINS!
Here is a late summer treat you may want to take advantage of. Kenan, Ekren and Elvi, owners of Kee Oyster House on Court Street corner of Rt. 22, White Plains, are offering half-price lobsters on Mondays. I watched recently as staff helped shell a tempting crustacean prior to serving. On Tasty Tuesdays there are half-price starters. And, as always, Kee’s daily Happy Hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. are great for fresh $1 oysters with all the fixins’. Recently enjoyed a loaded Lobster Roll with a side of Old Bay chips at lunch. Early Bird Specials daily. Open Monday thru Saturday. Closed Sundays. Kee, 126 E. Post Road, White Plains. Phone: 914-437-8535. www.keeoysterhouse.com
(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)