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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.

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.

seaflameplatterAs I settled at a table near the window of the recently opened Sea Flame Restaurant in The Vernon Place Shops, across from Lord and Taylor, in Scarsdale, many curious shoppers stopped to peek in and read the menu in the window. After partaking of a lovely lunch, my advice to these onlookers who came to this area to shop, is …stop in for lunch, dinner, brunch or happy hour to enjoy this friendly, welcoming new dining choice right here in Scarsdale.

Sea Flame Restaurant is owned by the gracious Tim Demaj, a veteran in the restaurant business who has owned restaurants in Manhattan and Yorktown. He truly makes his guests feel comfortable, as I observed him visiting several tables in the dining room and chatting with the guests. Demaj said, “I live nearby and noted that the area needed a restaurant like Sea Flame. The dishes here are traditional and the name Sea Flame indicates that we serve both seafood and steak, as well as many Italian inspired dishes. I’m very fussy about the details at Sea Flame, Consistency is very important here. Our name is a variation of the phrase surf and turf. Our goal is to provide good quality and service and to make our guests feel comfortable. Our fresh fish and seafood is delivered daily. Our prime steaks are dry aged for 21-30 days. One of our signature dishes is our tomahawk rib eye steak. With the bone intact, it requires a hearty appetite. The best part of this business is socializing with my guests. I feel great happiness when they say how much they enjoyed their experience here. If I were dining here, I would probably start with a crab cake, followed by a tomahawk rib eye or a porterhouse steak.”

The space has been decorated with an eclectic flair. Seating about 120 guests, a bar is to the left. Attractive Moroccan seaflameshrimp1chandeliers light the area. Several TV screens are there for your enjoyment. On the opposite side of the room are several banquettes. Delicate cappa shell wall hangings give each area a bit of privacy. The tables that fill the center of the room are set with rust and white linens and each table boasts contemporary salt and pepper grinders and an oil and vinegar cruet. In contrast to the bar area, the lighting here is super modern. My eye kept focusing on the ‘ tie dyed ‘ blue, coral and gray painted wall towards the back- very soothing indeed. As I sat on a very comfortable chair, I checked out the menu as mellow music played in the background.

My recent meal included selections from the sea as well as the flame. Each dish was nicely presented on white china, which provided a fine palette for displaying the food. Grilled octopus, its tentacles carefully arranged on the plate, was grilled to perfection, and tender as could be. It sat beside a crisp salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion in a lemon dressing. A carved lemon sprinkled with parsley completed this plate, a most refreshing beginning to my tasting. A “crabby” crab cake followed. It was a hearty size and nicely seasoned. A mixed salad shared the plate. Lemon garlic aioli was there for dipping. For me, it is important that the predominant ingredient in a crab cake is crabmeat and not breadcrumbs and at Sea Flame this was accomplished.

Future appetizers may include smoked salmon, fried calamari, baked clams, or tuna tartare. Another nice way to start your meal is with selections from the raw bar. Oysters, clams, lobster, colossal crabmeat or shrimp cocktail, all delivered daily are offered. A seafood tower combines many of these treasures from the sea where freshness is paramount. If you choose to start your meal with a salad I suggest the spring salad with greens, apricots, cranberries, cucumber, and Asian pears in a balsamic vinaigrette. On a cooler day, try minestrone, or onion soup or perhaps lobster bisque that a gentleman at a nearby table appeared to be devouring with gusto.

seaflamesteakOnto the entrees: We opted for the stuffed shrimp. The truly super jumbo shrimp, tail on, were butterflied and very generously filled with a crabmeat filling. Garlic, white wine and fresh lemon enhanced this excellent dish. Note that all of the dishes here are quite generous in size. From “the fire” we were presented with a sizzling platter, with the warning that the platter was very hot, of porterhouse steak. Sliced tableside, each slice revealed its charred crust and very rare center, as requested. Hash brown potatoes were a fine accompaniment.

On future visits I expect to try Chilean sea bass marechiara with clams, mussels and a light marinara sauce, crab stuffed lobster, seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops and lobster, grilled lamb chops or perhaps surf and turf with filet mignon and lobster tail. Some fresh asparagus, creamed spinach, sautéed onions and mushrooms might accompany my meal.

Complete your meal with a house made dessert, perhaps cheesecake, tiramisu, panna cotta, apple strudel, chocolate cake or crème brulee.

The lunch menu includes a starter, entrée and dessert at a modest cost. Some options are Caesar salad, lobster bisque or baked clams to start. Entrees include linguini with clam sauce, penne vodka with grilled chicken, chicken martini, or perhaps a chicken Caesar wrap or California burger. Cheesecake, panna cotta or tiramisu can complete your weekday lunch.

On Monday through Friday lunch is served until 4 PM. There is weekend brunch, as well. There are happy hours Monday through Friday from 3.30 to 7 pm, well priced for appetizers and drinks.

A visit to Vernon Place Shops is enhanced with the new and long awaited addition to this shopping strip opposite Lord and Taylor on Post Road, where grocery shopping, clothing shops, a greeting card store, a nail salon and sneaker store are neighbors of Sea Flame Restaurant.

Sea Flame Restaurantseaflame crabcakes
709 Post Road
Scarsdale, New York
914 874 5366

Recipe:
Linguini with White Clam Sauce (serves 4)
Following is my rendition of this flavorful dish.

Ingredients:

36 small clams, well scrubbedseaflamedining
1/4 cup olive oil
4 whole cloves garlic
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. chopped oregano
2 Tbsps. minced parsley
½ tsp. chopped basil
1 pound linguini cooked al dente and drained

Directions:

Heat oil in saucepan. Brown garlic in it. Discard garlic. Add clams and herbs to the oil. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or until clams open. Place the hot drained pasta into 4 bowls. Let clams rest for 5 minutes and then divide the mixture among the pasta bowls. Serve.

LavaLava RollFor years, the word Haiku brought to mind a type of Japanese poetry of three lines and seventeen syllables which leaves the reader with strong feelings and impressions. In recent years haiku added a new definition, the casual and delightful Asian bistro with branches in Bronxville, White Plains, Cross River and for eight years right here in Scarsdale. Each has its own atmosphere and special dishes. In Scarsdale, Haiku’s manager is the capable Daniel Teoh. He describes the Scarsdale Haiku as an Asian fusion restaurant with dishes from China, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Teoh said, “The best part of my job is seeing my guests happy with their experience here. I owe our longevity here to our fine food and service. We use quality ingredients and each dish is prepared to order for the best results. Some of our most popular dishes are Szechuan shredded beef, General Tso’s Chicken and Mongolian Beef.”

Scarsdale’s Haiku is conveniently located on Post Road in The Vernon Hills Shopping Center which has plenty of parking. It has a contemporary look, with earth tones. The bar is near the entrance and has high tables, bar stools and even some plush chairs. The restaurant seats about 50 guests. A compact sushi bar is toward the back. Decorative wall hangings and amber and crystal chandeliers offer a pleasant lighting effect. The staff is efficient and quite pleasant.

Blk rice rollBlack rice rollTo start your feast at Haiku, choose from kitchen or sushi bar appetizers. From the kitchen, we have enjoyed chicken and beef satay with peanut sauce, shumai, gyoza, mixed tempura and chicken lettuce wrap. On my recent visit, I tried the Malaysian style Indian Pancake. This thin wafer was fried in a skillet and cut into quarters. Sharing the plate was a bowl of a wonderful curry paste flavored sauce. A large chunk of potato floated in the sauce. We dipped each triangle of our pancake into this fragrant sauce and if I didn’t know of the treats to come, I might have requested a spoon to savor the remaining sauce. There are several pleasant appetizers from the sushi bar, as well. We have enjoyed the seven pieces of pristinely fresh sashimi, beef negimaki, and black pepper seared tuna, as well. At my recent visit, we savored a tuna pizza. The tortilla crust was spread with nicely seasoned avocado and topped with fresh sliced tuna. A sprinkling of orange roe and a drizzle of mayo sauce resulted in a fine explosion of color and flavor. It is a tasty appetizer to share at your table. If salmon is your fish of choice the pizza can be prepared with salmon instead of tuna.

Salads are popular at Haiku. Among the choices are crispy calamari, grilled shrimp with miso vinaigrette, seaweed salad with sesame vinaigrette, and my all time favorite of Vietnamese Salad with a julienne of mango, jicama, kiwi and carrots in a citrus dressing with crushed peanuts and crisp cellophane noodles.

Sushi and sashimi can be ordered by the piece in 2 dozen varieties. Sushi entrees are served with soup and salad. Three roll combos and hand rolls are offered, as well. For the more adventuresome, examine the long list of the chef’s special rolls with names including volcano roll, thunder roll, out of control roll, and lava roll and a very special black rice roll prepared with natural black rice. Upon observing the sushi chef at work, it is obvious that he is well trained and is very intense and serious about his sushi preparations, which are prepared to order with great care and pride.

It was time to try some of these special rolls. Would it be the heart shaped passion roll with a variety of fish and seaweed salad, the out of control roll with spicy tuna and salmon wrapped in eel and scallion or a pacific roll with sweet potato tempura, lobster salad and bonito flakes? We chose the jungle roll. This outstanding roll was filled with crispy shrimp tempura, cucumber and rice encased in strips of avocado and mango. The artistry of this preparation added to its appeal. The twin roll was excellent, as well. Here, spicy tuna, shrimp tempura and avocado were topped with crisp soft shell crab. The texture and taste were top notch. We also had a taste of Teoh’s choice of black rice roll with a variety of fish and jalapeno for extra kick.

Beef SatayBeef SatayAmong the dinner entrees I often enjoy are Asian spicy mango sauce with shrimp. The jumbo shrimp are tossed with squares of jicama, mango and red bell pepper and snow peas. Szechuan shredded beef is another favorite. When delivered both dishes travel well. At my recent tasting I sampled one of Haiku’s very special dishes, Mongolian Beef. The perfectly seasoned tender slices of rib eye steak are lightly dusted with flour and sautéed with sliced onion slivers and scallions. A slightly sweet sauce enrobes this delicious dish. On the mild side, I especially enjoyed the seafood treasure platter. It showcases the quality of the ingredients. Truly extra jumbo shrimp, plump large scallops and crabmeat are perfectly cooked and were mingled with snow peas, asparagus, carrots and mushrooms all enveloped in a mild white sauce. This was a delicate seafood choice, aptly named a treasure platter. Future visits might include pad Thai with chicken, shrimp or vegetables, Japanese stir fried udon noodles, Malaysian red curry, a variety of teriyaki dishes, Indonesian sambal sauce with your choice of protein, sautéed flounder filet with peas and mushrooms or crispy Grand Marnier prawns with honey walnuts. Classics of baby eggplant in mild garlic sauce, baby bok choy with fresh minced garlic and broccoli in brown sauce are several of the simply prepared dishes.

If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, after partaking of the glorious dishes at Haiku some choices are molten chocolate cake, fried mango cheesecake and Godiva chocolate cheesecake. These sweets may not be typically Asian but seem to be popular here.

Enjoy the large variety of beautifully prepared Asian Fusion dishes at Haiku in Scarsdale that have been satisfying our desire for Asian food for eight years. They will also be delighted to cater your next party.

Haiku Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar
717 White Plains Road
Vernon Place Shopping Center
Scarsdale
914 722 4200
http://www.haikuscarsdale.com

Tuna pizzaTuna PizzaTwins RollTwins Roll

cooked copyCooked and Co.

From super casual to more formal, Scarsdale’s summertime dining scene offers many choices. Here are just a few of the many options.

Scarsdale Village

Popojito Med Mex Kitchen
46 Christie Place
Scarsdale
914 713 8946

If you are seeking out a completely gluten free spot to eat, with a south of the border flavor, head to Popojito Med Mex Kitchen. This casual spot seats about 45 inside and during the warm summer months seating for 12 guests is set up outside. The colorful space with its open kitchen is totally gluten free and uses no gmo’s antibiotics, refined sugar or transfats. Chunky guacamole was familiar and nicely seasoned. Soft shell tacos were quite good. We enjoyed a variety of fillings of pulled pork with salsa verde, seared mahi mahi, and cilantro garlic shrimp. Vegetables here are organically sourced from local farms. Quesadillas are a good choice, as well. Summertime choices of salad with lime vinaigrette and a med mix bowl of charred snap beans, quinoa, bitter greens, radish, cucumber and onions topped with a choice of proteins is especially nice during the warm days of summer. popojito 2Tacos at Popojito

Sapori of Scarsdale
2 Chase Road
Scarsdale
914 874 5316

On the lovely corner of Chase Road and Popham Road is the sophisticated Sapori of Scarsdale serving Mediterranean food. With its comfortable patio seating about 30 guests, and its welcoming interior, it is a delightful spot at which to enjoy summertime dining. If lunch is your meal of choice, many light dishes are offered. On the patio or indoors start with a Dungeness crabcake, burrata and heirloom tomatoes, prime sirloin carpaccio, or tuna tartare Follow these appetizers with a beautifully presented salad and if you wish, top it with chicken breast, hanger steak, seared salmon or Maya shrimp, all of the finest quality. Salad choices include shredded kale and romaine Caesar, endive and apple, Greek salad and even a Scarsdale salad with mesclun, avocado, mango, tomato, and shaved fennel with a champagne dressing. If you choose to enjoy dinner at Sapori, start with Moroccan meatballs, Mediterranean mini skewers of prime steak or iron skillet Maya shrimp or butternut squash soup. Summertime entrees include Faroe Island citrus salmon, seared diver scallops, Mediterranean branzino or artisanal seafood pasta. All dishes are prepared using fine ingredients. The generous portions are beautifully presented by a solicitous staff. Sapori translates to flavors, and flavors certainly do abound at Sapori of Scarsdale. With dishes from countries surrounding the Mediterranean you certainly can enjoy the culinary creativity and artistry of Sapori’s kitchen both indoors and out during the warm summer months and of course all year round.
SaporiDine al fresco at Sapori

Garth Road in Scarsdale seems to have become restaurant row. Stroll down and here are some delicious options:

Cooked & Co.
128 Garth Road
Scarsdale
914 205 3939

South on Garth Road is the newly expanded and renovated Cooked & Co. Enter the bright and cheerful space, and if you plan on enjoying a summer breakfast lunch or brunch, walk to the right. If your preference is to have the talented kitchen staff prepare dishes for you to take home, enter the market to the left. We availed ourselves of both options. At the time of my visit in July, the dinner menu was being revised and dinner service will resume in august. The space is contemporary with modern décor and a young and friendly staff who described Cooked & Co. as a fun loving fast paced spot, where care and love are the ingredients in their dishes. Choose to dine at a table or at the roomy bar. At my recent visit the place was filled with happy guests, many in their tennis togs. Many refreshing dishes appear on the lunch menu such as avocado toast, a variety of burgers and salads. On a warm summer day, try the spring green salad with greens, candied walnuts, and feta or perhaps a Caesar salad. A fun choice is to create your own salad with many ingredients to choose from. I enjoyed a rice bowl with well-seasoned adobo chicken, red cabbage, pickled jicama, charred corn, cilantro, lime and avocado. A paprika aioli added a delightful flavor to the Spanish rice and its varied toppings. If you visit for brunch, there are eggs and omelettes, a popover special with fried eggs, bacon and gruyere. If you prefer, there are pancakes, waffles and French toast in many varieties. Perhaps you would enjoy rice krispie French toast, Nutella stuffed French toast or cinnamon waffles. If you choose take out from the market the choices are endless. Try chicken corn salad, sesame noodles, cashew kale salad, chicken enchiladas, fried bbq chicken wings, lime spiced chicken as well as pistachio cannoli mini and regular muffins and Nutella crunch muffins. New items appear each day and the variety seems to indicate that you may never have to turn on your oven all summer.

Café AlaiaCafeAlaiaSummertime in Italy at Cafe Alaia
66 A Garth Road
Scarsdale
914 725 3000

A bit further up the road you will arrive at the intimate and charming Café Alaia where owner Vincenzo Alaia greets you as though you were a guest at his home. You might not get to Italy for this summer vacation but a good substitute is a meal at Café Alaia. A relaxing summertime meal here might start with a selection of crostini. Here the grilled rustic bread can be topped with mixed wild mushrooms and caciocavallo cheese, or perhaps cherry tomatoes, scallions, basil and extra virgin olive oil. Other summertime delights on the menu are grilled octopus over a salad of potatoes, fresh green beans, parsley and olive oil. Grilled shrimp with sautéed cannellini beans is another delightful warm day starter. House made potato gnocchi enrobed in fresh basil pesto will add a summertime flavor to your meal. The pristinely fresh fish entrees include a refreshing pan seared wild salmon with a peppercorn mustard lemon sauce. The citrus addition is perfect on a warm summer evening. Each of the entrees here share their plate with the freshest of vegetables. Add a selection of the hand picked wine at Café Alaia and you will feel like it is summertime in Italy.

Jackie B’sJackieBJackie B's
28 Garth Road
Scarsdale
914 874 5328

New to the Garth Road restaurant scene is Jackie B’s. The compact space is contemporary in feeling. The walls are filled with photos of notable “ Jackies” in history from Jackie Robinson to Jackie Mason to Jackie O. Fresh flowers are on each table at this black and white decorated spot. The cozy space manages to fit a bar, high and regular tables comfortably. On a pleasant summer day or evening take advantage of the outdoor tables at the front and side of Jackie’s and enjoy a lunch or dinner al fresco. At lunch savor the Jackie B’s burger with smoked bacon, caramelized red onion, avocado, Vermont white cheddar and special sauce on a brioche. The Greek turkey burger is tasty as well. Jackie’s salads are perfect on a warm day or evening. Try Asian chicken salad, faro salad or arugula watermelon salad with feta cheese, pumpkin seed and raspberry balsamic dressing. You can build your own salad here, as well. Try some of the unique sandwich combinations. At dinner entrees of bbq ribs, bourbon glazed NY strip, parmesan crusted salmon or slow cooked brisket are good choices. The many signature cocktails are all prepared with fresh fruit and freshly squeezed juices to add to your enjoyment. Jackie B’s indicates “ Great food, great people and great times.” It is a cozy, fun neighborhood spot.

Via FornoViaFornoVia Forno
2 Garth Road
Scarsdale
914 556 6464

Note the bright red umbrella tables awaiting its outdoor diners at Via Forno. It is here that the imported wood fired pizza oven is producing a variety of excellent pizzas as well as scrumptious roasted vegetables and other Italian inspired dishes. Dine at the semi circular marble counter and watch your food baking, at a table inside, or on the outside patio seating about 60, where you can watch the flow of cars and people on this bustling street. On a summer day or evening, enjoy one of the many pizzas build your own pie or order a gluten free variety. Light warm weather suggestions include the dal mare pie with clams, calamari and shrimp, mia terra with roasted mushrooms, onions, basil truffle oil and mozzarella or marinara with tomato sauce, oregano flowers, basil, fresh garlic and olive oil. Summertime salads will delight from a roasted beet salad with kale, fennel, blackberries, cranberries, goat cheese, candied walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette. Other warm weather treats include roasted appetizers of cauliflower, broccoli rabe, mushrooms and carrots. Each is beautifully flavored and delicious. Paninis and calzone in many varieties are lovely at lunch or dinner. Weekend brunch is a great summertime adventure at Via Forno and happy hours at the bar are very popular.

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