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Re Creation Crystal FengThis weekend the Westchester Association of Chinese Americans will hold its third annual Youth Art Show at the Scarsdale Woman's Club at 37 Drake Road from 11:30am to 3:30pm Saturday 10/26 and Sunday 10/27, with an awards ceremony at 1pm on Sunday.

The first show two years ago was conceived and organized as a Library fundraiser by Lucy Yihan Du, now a Scarsdale High School senior, and a group of friends. The organizers were looking for various ways to support the expansion and renovation of the library. For students passionate about art, the idea came up naturally to organize an art show and raise money from both art auctions and donations.

Since it's inaugural year, the show has grown in popularity and scale. A main theme for this year is environmental awareness. Crystal Feng is a SHS sophomore and the creative force behind "Recreation", a fantastical mixed-media piece depicting the damages people inflicted on the environment while also imagining a hopeful future if we take the right actions now. "Climate change and conservation are major topics of our times,” says Feng. “Using art to express these ideas and connect with the community has been a very rewarding experience."

The show is free and open to the public. Some of the pieces have been donated by the artists for auction, with all proceeds going to the library. Donations are also much appreciated.
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CarmgJay and Barney Read in their 1994MG RV8Organizers estimate that as many as 1,000 people visited the 17th annual Scarsdale Concours in Scarsdale Village on Sunday October 6. The event attracted even more entrants than last year, with 150 cars on display. The cars, some of them true antiques, were driven to town by local owners, from Long Island, Brooklyn and Connecticut and as far away as Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The oldest car on display was a 1910 Model O Steam Car, owned by Scarsdale residents Mitchell and Wendy Gross. We spotted a Packard, Porsche, Fererari, Chevrolet, Coup de Ville and many car brands we no longer know.

Each car had a story behind it. Father and son team Jay and Barney Read explained that their red 1994 MG RV8 had belonged to Jay’s dad who lived in England. The family moved to Connecticut a month ago and couldn’t bear to leave the coveted car behind. So here it was, in Scarsdale.

 

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This year’s event raised over $40,000, which will be shared among three charities:

The Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association
The Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps
Scarsdale & Edgemont Family Counseling Service

The event is a big logistical job – and here is a list of the board members who made it happen:

Andy Albert
Alex Forschner
Kevin Higgins
Richard Hubell
Sanford Miller
Kevin and Will Reed
Mark and Ben Rossano
David Rossett
Lawrence Sachs
Ken and Zachary Schneider
Leif Waller

Commenting on the show, Board Member Andy Albert said, "The car show was a great success this year!  We put in a lot of hard work through out the year in preparation for the show – I am happy that the weather once again cooperated, and we were all able to enjoy the many cars on display. It is particularly rewarding to participate in a car show like this, and be able to give back to the community and it’s charitable organizations. I hope everyone enjoyed the show."

The Scarsdale Concours Board wishes to thank their sponsors:

Advocate Insurance/Chubb
Pepe Auto Group
Miller Motor Cars
Jaguar and Land Rover of Larchmont

Photos by Sophia Albert and Joanne Wallenstein

SednaGhandiSedna Ghandi with her coach Vadim DiambekovSHS sophomore Sedna Gandhi is one of the top ranked fencers in her age group in the country and participates in fencing through the US Fencing Association. In July 2019 Sedna won a gold medal at the US National Championships in Columbus Ohio.

In addition to her recent gold medal, during Sedna's freshman year she earned an A rating (the highest rating in fencing) and made the All-American First Team. Only a handful of girls in the country were awarded this rating and first team status as high school freshmen. In August she earned a Silver Medal in the Bordeaux International Fencing Tournament in Bordeaux, France and she was just chosen to represent the USA team on the world cadet circuit.

Sedna has only been fencing for four years and trains locally at the Fencing Academy of Westchester (FAW) with Vadim Diembekov in Hawthorne. She does all this traveling and competing while maintaining her academics at Scarsdale High School.

We asked her how she manages and here is what she shared: “Because of the challenges of balancing both school and fencing I have had to spend a lot of time creating a consistent schedule. During the week, I make use of any free time in between classes for some of the work. Once I come home after school, after a quick snack, I try to finish as much of the work as possible. If I can’t get it done, then I study in the car on the way to fencing practice or during any downtime at the club. Since I train 2-3 hours every evening, except in unusual circumstances, I try not to leave anything for the late-night because I know I have to get to bed at a reasonable time so I can start the routine all over again the next day.”

She continued, “The tournaments that take me away from home for a few days also require me to plan well in advance for every class to make sure I do not fall behind in any subject. I do miss some days of school but my teachers have been very supportive and work with me to make sure I can make up the assignments and tests.”

Why does she love the sport? “I love to fence for a few reasons. As a combat sport it is physically challenging and certainly keeps me strong and in shape. The adrenaline rush I get as I am about to fence an opponent is like nothing else I do. I am excited and a little nervous at the same time and I love that feeling. Fencing is also a lot about strategy, almost like a chess match. In epee, the type of fencing I compete in, fencers have different styles, which makes each point unique. Epee is the heaviest “sword” of all three weapons, and you can hit (score a touch) anywhere from head to toe. Because of the different fencing styles, every bout requires a different strategy and I need to think one or two steps ahead if I want to win. It is both physically and mentally challenging. I also enjoy fencing because of my club and the friends I have made. I have been training at the Fencing Academy of Westchester since I began and have developed many close relationships with other fencers and my coach. More recently, I have been lucky enough to travel all around the US and attend international training camps where I have also gotten to spend time with fencers from all over the world.”

And what’s down the road? Sedna said, “Over the next few months there are many national and international tournaments in which I am planning to compete. Next week I am headed to the European World Cup in Budapest, Hungary where I am thrilled to be representing the US for the first time.

Over the next few months she plans to fence in tournaments both nationally and internationally in Grenoble, France and Bratislava, Slovakia.

She says, “Fencing is such a major part of my life that I hope to be able to continue to fence through my high school and college years. I have also seen many people enjoy the sport lifelong which I also hope to do”

Watch a video of Sedna winning the Gold Medal at the 2019 US National Tournament here.

MoscatoPastaItalian restaurants seem to be the most popular genre in our lower Westchester area. With so many choices, Moscato in Scarsdale is on the top of my list of favorites for traditional fine quality Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Mario Fava heads a restaurant dynasty consisting of Lusardi’s and Chat 19 in Larchmont and Chat American Grill and Moscato in Scarsdale. He visits each location daily to see that the kitchens and dining rooms are running at the highest level. Fava said,” It is very beneficial to learn all aspects of the restaurant business.” He came up through the ranks as dishwasher, busboy, and now, as owner of four successful restaurants.” I am a glorified manager. It is of utmost importance to have respect for the freshest of ingredients, as well as for your staff and your guests.” When asked how he felt about the many Italian and Mediterranean restaurants opening in the area he said, “Competition makes you better and keeps you on your toes. We are now seeing a new generation of the families that were here in our early days, which is very gratifying. Many members of our staff have been here since our opening and we are like family. I love meeting people and watching them enjoy their dining experience. Fava’s dad instilled Mario’s excellent work ethic and Mario would have loved to have his dad enjoy seeing the success he has achieved. When asked how he manages four restaurants, he said, “It’s one big party. He clearly enjoys his work. For those who prefer to dine at home, Moscato delivers meals through Uber Eats and GrubHub, or you can pick up a fine meal when you get off the train.

The charming Moscato is conveniently located close to the train station as offers a parking lot as well as metered parking. Seating about 80 guests inside and 40 outside where tables are set up in the front and side of the restaurant. Colorful flower boxes are well cared for and separate the diners from the street. I describe Moscato as both sophisticated yet very comfortable… upscale without being pretentious. As you enter, you are greeted warmly by one of the managers. A small bar is near the entrance and you will be escorted to you white linen clad table. Dark wood, beamed ceilings, classic chandeliers, beautiful fresh flower arrangements, mustard colored walls and delightful black and white restaurant related artwork grace the walls.

To set the mood, the menu items are listed in Italian, but described in English. All of your senses are awakened as you savor the carefully prepared dishes at Moscato. Wonderful crusty bread, baked in the kitchen here each morning, will arrive at your table as you check out the menu of traditional exquisitely prepared dishes. The antipasti here are varied and it was difficult to make a choice. We chose polpo alla griglia. The tender-as-could-be octopus was grilled and presented with sliced fingerling potatoes, sliced Kalamata olives and oven roasted tomatoes. Enhanced with a touch of lemon and garlic oil, it was outstanding. Next, a covered cast iron pot arrived. The top was removed and an aroma of zuppa di cozze filled the air. These pristine Edward Island Mussels were swimming in an excellent spicy tomato broth. The crushed tomatoes added a zesty flavor to the just opened mussels, just spicy enough to tease the palate. Future appetizers may include salsiccia tartufata, grilled sausage over arugula and endive, eggplant rollatini, fantasia di mare, a mixed seafood salad or crisp artichokes in a mildly spiced tomato sauce. On previous visits I have especially enjoyed fegatini di pollo al balsamico. Here, the chicken livers are sautéed with balsamic vinegar, onions and mushrooms and served in a parmagiana basket with field greens. I remember being a meal in itself. If you enjoy starting your meal with a salad, there are classic and innovative choices. We loved the blood orange salad with baby arugula, strips of fennel, cubes of fresh red beets all tossed with toasted almonds in a wonderful dressing flavored with ginger and honey. A watermelon and arugula salad was a good choice, as well.

Among the dozen pasta selections, the gnocchi alla trentina could not be matched. The delicate handmade potato morsels were tossed with a ragu of braised moscatopasta2shredded shortrib. The result was rich and delicious. Homemade fettuccine al funghi with mixed mushrooms, parsley, garlic and oil, agnolotti alla Moscato filled with cheese in a pink sauce with crisp bacon on top and paglia e fieno, the green and white housemade pasta await my tasting. Note that, upon request, gluten free and whole wheat pastas are offered.

Entrees include preparations of chicken, beef, veal, calves liver, pork and fish. During my recent visit, I sampled branzino alle mandorle. A totally boneless filet of Mediterranean sea bass arrived coated with sliced almonds toasted to a golden hue. This elegant entrée was set atop sautéed green beans that tasted as though they were just plucked from the garden. Lemony sauce and a wedge of lemon completed this light and elegant dish. The simplicity of this dish makes the diner aware of the freshness and quality of the ingredients. At Moscato, there is no reason to cover up the dishes with overpowering sauces. Here, the gift of dinner is to marvel at the freshness of each ingredient without the use of heavy sauces to mask the ingredients. When commenting on a restaurant, ordering a veal scallop dish is a good test of the restaurant. One forkful of the vitello martini and you know you are dining at a quality restaurant. Here, the delicate veal scallopine is encrusted with parmagiano and simply served with a lemon and white wine sauce. Imagine eating veal with only a fork. No knife was need for this tasty dish. Fresh green beans, cooked until just crisp shared the plate. In the past, I have love the salmone al frutti di Cremona where the fish is brushed with Italian mustard fruits. Other nice entrees are flatiron steak, pollo scarpariello, grilled pork chop with hot and sweet peppers, onions and mushrooms and chicken breast saltimbocca. The wine list here is 95 % Italian.

If you have left room for dessert, they are all housemade. We loved the spolverato di choccolata. This individual chocolate mousse cake with a touch of coffee flavor was enrobed in a dark chocolate glaze and sat beside a scoop of housemade ice cream. A sprig of mint finished this lovely dessert. It was a dessert that a chocolate lovers dreams are made of. The traditional ricotta cheesecake with the chocolate drizzle on top was a nice ending, as well. Other housemade endings of tirami su, crema catalina, apple tart and baked Alaska are waiting to be sampled. If you can’t decide a tasting dessert plate of three is offered. Just request “un momento dolce” as the conclusion of a superb meal at the warm and friendly Moscato, right here in Scarsdale.

How fortunate we are to have Moscato, a gem of the dining spot in our community, where fine dining and professional caring service combine to make it my “go to” spot for an elegant yet comfortable dining experience at lunch or dinner.

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Moscato Ristorante
874 Scarsdale Avenue
Scarsdale, NY
914 723 5700

KraveBunsPork belly sticky bunsAs many new residential buildings arise in New Rochelle, take note of the many new restaurants arriving, as well. One of the very exciting additions to this dining scene is the colorful Krave, A New York Eatery. With the closing of A Place to Go, Edwin Crisp, known as Chef Chrissy, and his charming wife Chyrisse, the general manager, embarked upon their new venture in April with the opening of Krave, where great service compliments the food.

Chef Chrissy said, “Krave is a showcase of Caribbean food, a modern take on comfort food.” His eyes light up when he talks about his passion for cooking. “I grew up watching my mom cook at home. My dad owned a bar and I helped out there, as well. My family roots are in Jamaica and I grew up in the Bronx. My parents are my inspiration and I put my own special touches on traditional dishes. Cooking always came easy to me. My goals for the future are to create an environment that showcases the Caribbean style. We live in New Rochelle and love our community. We want Krave to be the “go to “place in New Rochelle for solid comfort food and a New York City type environment, a place to unwind at the end of the day. I enjoy cooking for people who love food. I would have loved to have Anthony Bourdain as a guest at Krave. I look at my ability to cook as a gift and I get great pleasure of sharing this gift with our guests.”

Enter into a cheerful roomy lounge and bar area with bright yellow and green seating, large windows letting the sun shine in. Many high top KraveRestauranttables, a classic wood and marble bar, t.v. screens blue velvet banquettes and a larger than life planter provide a perfect spot to socialize with a very NYC vibe. A large selection of rum drinks add to the Caribbean mood. Seating about 130 guests, the dining room is divided into a glass enclosed area, often used for parties and an open area as well. Crystal chandeliers provide lighting. Two montages of famous faces from the entertainment world grace the walls. They are the works of Jamaican artist Michael Escoffery. You will dine with Jim Hendrix, Bob Marley, Etta Jones and Miles Davis, to name but a few familiar faces.

The menu here is filled with Caribbean flair. Not to be missed among the small plates are the superb peppered shrimp. Here, tail on shrimp are sautéed and served in an outstanding scotch bonnet pepper sauce guaranteed to perk up all of your senses. I requested some bread and warm pita triangles arrived and I dipped the bread into every last bit of this tangy sauce. Egg roll wrappers are filled with jumbo lump crabmeat, lobster and breadcrumbs along with red chilies, garlic and Chef Chrissy’s blend of spices and sophisticated tartar type sauce. Chef Chrissy puts his special twist on the Asian eggroll. Coconut shrimp, cod fish cakes, Krave wings with lemon pepper, jerk or fried await our taste. If you wish to start with a salad try the quinoa salad with the grain tossed with grapes, cashews and seasonal vegetables.
Reading an article about luxurious dining in California’s wine country, a dish of mac and cheese was highly praised. It arrived in a golden egg. At Krave a porcelain bowl is the container of choice and the healthy portion of mac and cheese could not have been more satisfying. Chef Chrissy’s mac and cheese is one of the favorite a la carte accompaniments and you don’t have to travel to the west coast to enjoy it. Be prepared for a very rich rendition of this classic where the mini elbow macaroni is mixed with a variety of cheeses each imparting its unique flavor such as asiago, gouda, provolone, mozzarella and cheddar.

Rice and peas, a Caribbean staple is a delightful combination of rice and peas with coconut cream, fresh ginger and other spices permeating the dish. It is a perfect side to enjoy with many entrees.

Krave2Beef brisketEntrees that we sampled were traditional comfort foods. Each selection showed off the skill that Chef Chrissy uses with his spice rubs and sauces. He is a master at this art. I just loved the jerk pork, “the other white meat”, which was so tender- no knife needed and crunchy on the outside. The complex sauce had hints of allspice, cinnamon, Scotch Bonnet peppers, onion and fresh ginger in perfect proportions for a tantalizing result. Jamaica boasts its preparation of oxtail stew. In Chef Chrissy’s kitchen the long cooking slowly simmered stew cooks in its own gravy which combines a mirepoix of ginger, scallions, thyme, garlic and of course, Scotch Bonnet peppers, resulting in a glossy gravy, pleasing to the eye, as well as the mouth. I look forward to trying Dutch Pot fried chicken, and jerk chicken, as well. For the vegetarian at your table curried tofu with fresh vegetables, tofu chop suey and vegetable fried rice are offered. Fresh seafood dishes of whole red snapper, stewed, steamed or escoveitch, whole bronzino with jerk sauce, and lobster tail curried or jerk await future visits, as well as surf and turf and even a krave burger.

If you arrive at Krave from Thursday through Sunday, you will be fortunate enough to avail yourself of their house smoked meats and bbq prepared in their in house top of the line smoker. We sampled the beef brisket. Seasoned with the chef’s dry rub it was melt in your mouth delicious. We look forward to sampling other smoked specialties of baby back pork ribs, housemade jerk sausage and the very popular pork belly sticky buns with housemade coleslaw. Even the coleslaw has the chef’s special touch with a bit of Dijon mustard in the dressing. On Sundays from 12- 3, enjoy selections from the brunch menu such as ackee and saltfish, chicken and rum infused waffles, fish and grits and snapper with green bananas.

We ended our tasting with the double trouble cake. The bottom layer was the popular rum fruit cake also known as black cake which was KraveShrimpPepper shrimptopped with cheesecake and drizzled with berry sauce. Sweet potato pudding, mango berry cheesecake and coconut rum cake are other choices.

Enjoy Krave a delightful dining experience with a Caribbean twist at the new and exciting restaurant in New Rochelle.

Krave…A New York Eatery
8 South Division Street
New Rochelle
914 740 7240

A Tasty Note:
Ii recently returned to Ambadi in White Plains, which I wrote about in January, and I was delighted to find the food and service excellent. If Indian cuisine is your desire, visit Ambadi for high quality nicely seasoned dishes prepared with love and care.

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