Monday, Feb 26th

Sameer AhujaThe Village election will be held on Tuesday March 21. On the ballot is Sameer Ahuja who is running for his second term as Scarsdale Village Trustee. See below for what he accompllished in his first term, and what he plans for his second.

Tell us about yourself – what do you do professionally and why do you enjoy living in Scarsdale?

Professionally, I am the President of GameChanger, a 140-person sports technology company that is on a mission to help families elevate the next generation through sports. GameChanger's mobile apps are used in all 50 states by millions of youth sports coaches, fans, and athletes to score, stream, and watch youth sports. 1 out of every 6 youth sports games in the US are on GameChanger and more games are covered every spring month on GameChanger than in the entire history of Major League Baseball.

2023 marks my 38th year connected to Scarsdale. My immigrant experience is inextricably tied to Scarsdale - my family moved here when I was in the 6th grade, and I graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1992. Subsequent to that, many weekends were spent here with my folks enjoying all Scarsdale has to offer. I moved back with my wife and two daughters in 2014 and it has been a wonderful experience for all of us.

Were you involved in any community organizations before serving as Village Trustee? If so, tell us about your contributions.

I was a member of the Village Advisory Council on Communications prior to serving as Village Trustee. In this capacity, I focused on leading the initial phases of the redesign of the Scarsdale website. It was a multi-month endeavor, working closely with Village staff and the third-party design firm on rewriting dozens of pages of site content and revamping the site’s design and look and feel. This experience provided me the opportunity to build relationships with and learn from several dedicated members of our community, from resident volunteers to Village staff.

I also focused my service on our community’s youth, serving as a volunteer softball coach for Heathcote girls for five years. The role of a coach has special rewards, both from the excitement that kids bring to team sports, and from the heartfelt appreciation that parents have for your efforts.

I took on the Trustee role with a non traditional set of prior experiences, relative to peers. I feel I have been up to the task, successfully scaling a very steep learning curve and contributing in virtually every area of the Board’s work. That was only possible because of the time and mentoring given to me by so many of Scarsdale’s most dedicated volunteers, trustees and staff. I thank them for their support.

What are a few issues/initiatives you worked on during your first term as Village Trustee?

I’ve embraced the opportunity to transform our technology infrastructure so that the Village has a foundation to deliver 21st century services, not just next year, but 20 years from now. Along those lines, I have been working with the Technology Advisory Council to bring in an outsourced provider to operate Village’s IT. Just this week, the Board voted to authorize the Village Manager to complete an agreement with our preferred vendor.

I also partnered with the TAC, Village staff, the Mayor, and the Village Attorney to work to close wireless coverage gaps in the Village. The Board voted in February to authorize the Village Manager to enter into an agreement with Verizon Wireless to conduct work to address some of these gaps, in Fox Meadow, in the area of the High School and Fox Meadow School. Few topics have had more support from the community. This is a topic of crucial public safety and quality of life, and I am proud of the progress here.

I have also chaired the Economic Development and Land Use pillar within the Mayor’s Strategic and Financial Planning framework. Our pillar has worked with the Board, staff, and residents to advance a project to transform our Village Center, everything from complete streets, to pedestrian safety, to new retail.

Finally, I have been the Vice-Chair of the Pool project, and we have made significant progress in planning a project to revitalize this treasured community asset so it may serve the next generations of Scarsdale.

Why do you enjoy serving as Village Trustee and why do you want to continue for an additional two years?

I love being a Trustee because of the relationships and interactions with other people that the role affords. First, virtually all of our committed volunteers and staff are intelligent, caring, and inspiring people, who I enjoy learning from and spending time with, and they are all generous with their time and effort. Second, it means a lot to me to set an example, at a minimum for my kids, and youth in general, for the importance of public service. Finally, perhaps my favorite activity as a Trustee is engaging with the community at large in meetings, forums, and 1:1 outreach - it has been a chance to get to know so many amazing people.

Our work is not done, and I look forward to the chance to serve two more years. Important topics such as ongoing budget management, the Pool, the Village Center, wireless coverage, Village and volunteer personnel, and others need ongoing effort.

You were recently involved in the recommendation to co-locate antennas at the Public Safety Building and at Village Hall to improve cell service. What was the process for identifying this solution?

This project has been a remarkable multi-year effort that has featured:
-A remarkable level of collaboration, on the day to day work between Village staff, the Village attorney, volunteer residents, and Village Board members

-Unity on the part of the community - in February, residents from all over town, public safety leaders, school board and district leaders, neighborhood association representatives, came out in support of the work

-Renewed partnership between Scarsdale government and crucial private enterprise, in this case Verizon Wireless

Without all of these things, the project would not be moving forward

What are some of the additional priorities of the Technology Advisory Council? What do they expect to tackle next?

Two major projects, at a minimum. The first is successfully onboarding and supporting the soon to be hired Managed Service Provider that will direct Village Technology work. The second is continued work to address wireless service gaps across Scarsdale.

The pool, lights at Crossway Field and possible transit-oriented development are all issues before the Village Board. How do you prioritize items for the agenda and how do you reach consensus on decisions?

I look forward to the Mayor’s and Village Manager’s leadership during this next term to establish priorities for the Village based on the current state of things, the community’s wishes / expectations, and any practical realities/constraints such as availability of funds. It will be crucial that the Board be realistic about its most important priorities and be willing to say no to important, but unrealistic priorities during this upcoming term.

Stormwater management and flooding remain serious issues in some neighborhoods in Scarsdale. How can the Village identify and implement long term solutions?

Thankfully this topic has been one of the current Board’s priorities. But the community’s work here is not done. I suggest we consider a mental model to “not fight the last war”. Given apparent climate trajectory, we should prepare not just to address the types of events that we have experienced recently, but also attempt to prepare for more extreme events. It’s a reality that our residents typically need government most when dealing with an extreme, unpredictable event. At a minimum, our leaders and staff should train themselves to be ready to rise to the occasion when such an event occurs.

Con Edison is replacing the infrastructure for natural gas delivery in Scarsdale at the same time that NYC is outlawing the use of gas in new buildings. What are your thoughts on fulfilling Scarsdale’s energy needs now and in the future?

I have not had the chance to deep dive on this topic, and will plan to do so if elected to a second term. At a general level, I support a practical, realistic, step by step transition to a future of renewable energy that incorporates all stakeholders.

Justin ArestJustin Arest is on the ballot to be the next Mayor of ScarsdaleThe election for Village Mayor, Village Trustees and Village Justice will be held at Scarsdale Public Library on Tuesday March 21. Below find letters in support of the candidates you’ll find on the ballot nominated by the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party.

To the Editor,

It is my honor and privilege to write this letter to share my unequivocal support of Dara Gruenberg for Village Trustee.

Dara and I met nine years ago through our mutual connection with Westchester Reform Temple. The attribute that struck me most in our first encounter is the same one that she still exudes today: she is a changemaker. She embodies empathy and commitment and she seems to have an endless supply of energy to devote to the causes she champions. Throughout the near decade of our friendship, I have watched her advocate passionately for the widest array of institutions, ranging from White Plains Hospital to Feeding Westchester. Her drive and enthusiasm are contagious and her earnest love of volunteerism enables her to recruit volunteers to work alongside her, supporting and benefitting local nonprofits. As one of her recruits, I can honestly say that her dedication to service is inspiring.

Dara and I have worked closely together over the past six years on the executive committee of the Friends of the Scarsdale Library. As the FOSL President, Dara had a clear vision of what a reimagined library could offer to our community and she had the fortitude to make her vision become a reality. In her role, she initiated and spearheaded many improvements to the FOSL Board and its processes; perhaps the most meaningful development was to double the size of our Board. She believed it was essential that the Board represent the voices of the diverse constituencies within Scarsdale. Throughout the entire process of renovating and expanding the Library, Dara was committed to the idea that the Library should be a site of learning, connection, and exploration for everyone.

I can attest that the quality that makes Dara’s leadership so remarkable is her ability to both energize and collaborate with a wide range of Karen BrewKaren Brew is running for her second term as Village Trusteepeople and perspectives. She solicits the opinions of others, listens deeply and actively, and values finding consensus above all else. She genuinely cares about our Village and its residents and as Trustee she would work tirelessly with other Board members to make thoughtful, well-reasoned, and forward-thinking decisions. Dara would be a dedicated, effective and impactful Trustee and I urge everyone to vote for her on March 21.

Jamie Kefer
Chesterfield Road

Letter to the Editor:

bal·anced

adjective
In good proportions. Taking everything into account; fairly judged or presented.

Similar: fair, equitable, just, unbiased, unprejudiced, objective, impartial

This is truly a balanced slate and I am delighted to support Justin Arest for Mayor; Sameer Ahuja and Karen Brew for their second terms as Village Trustees; Dara Gruenberg for her first term as a Village Trustee; and Cynthia Dunne for Village Justice.

With these diverse, collaborative and respectful leaders ready to steward our expectations and represent our needs, there will be an entry point for any resident to feel heard.

Justin, Sameer, Karen, Dara and Cindy have each been nominated by CNC. They will bring a combined 85 years of Scarsdale residency to the offices for which they are nominated, and which will empower a deep understanding of our community values. They each have unique backgrounds, extensive local experiences, and impressive credentials that will together serve our community fairly, thoroughly and honorably. You can look up their impressive CVs at www.scarsdalecitizens.org.

As an active volunteer in Scarsdale, I have had the great privilege of working directly with all five nominees, across a range of activities, including supporting Scarsdale Public Library, the Scarsdale League of Women Voters, the PTC, the Advisory Council on Communications, on the Scarsdale Forum, and in countless other endeavors. I share no single unifying platform with these individual nominees, and I have at times disagreed with different positions over the years, but I always respect each nominee because of their true commitment to our beautiful community. I respect them because they are each lovely people, kind, funny and smart, the type of neighbors and friends we can all objectively rely on.

Sameer AhujaSameer Ahuja is running for a second term as Village TrusteeHere is a little of what I know about each candidate:

• Justin brings a serious, comprehensive intellect and quiet competence, with a thirst for improvement and efficiency we can trust.
• Sameer offers strong communications skills and an eye for practical solutions, with wit and wisdom.
• Karen is always mindful of economies and focuses on ensuring that our dollars are working hard for us.
• Dara can get more done in an afternoon than most in a year, but also brings creative strategies and detailed research to help set and achieve long-term project goals.
• And Cindy brings integrity, intelligence and a fair judicial temperament that belongs on any bench, luckily its ours.

They are all decent, dedicated and delightful – this is a dream team! CNC did a great job presenting such a qualified slate.

Please join me on Tuesday, March 21st at Scarsdale Public Library (6am – 9pm) to vote for Arest, Ahuja, Brew, Gruenberg and Dunne and vote for Scarsdale at its best.

Warm regards,
Diane Greenwald
Oak Lane

To the Editor:

Justin Arest and Dara Gruenberg deserve your vote for Mayor and Village Trustee, respectively. They certainly will get mine. I have come to know both Justin and Dara during the course of my volunteer work over the years. I worked with Justin on Village related projects and watched him in action during his four years on the Village Board. He has consistently impressed me with his ability to express his views clearly and to work with his fellow Board members in a constructive manner. In addition, his high level of commitment leaves me with no doubt that he will devote himself to the extent required to discharge his duties as Mayor.Dara GruenbergDara Gruenberg is running for her first term as Village Trustee

Dara and I have served together on other boards for which we volunteer. I have seen her during meetings of those organizations – confident in expressing her well thought out views, willing to listen to others having differing opinions and able to find a way to reach consensus on difficult issues. Having seen Dara at work, her level of commitment to the tasks for which she volunteers is unmatched. I have no doubt she will bring that level of dedication to her service as a Village Trustee.

In my view, Scarsdale is fortunate to have individuals of Justin’s and Dara’s youth, quality and commitment willing to devote a significant amount of their time for the good of us all. I urge all eligible residents to participate in this year’s Village election and cast their votes for Justin and Dara and in doing so, elect two fine candidates and affirm the community’s support of a non-partisan system that has served our Village well for over 100 years.

Sincerely,

Jon Mark
58 Brookby Road

To the Editor,

As one of the Heathcote representatives on the Citizens Nominating Committee and the rising Chair of the Procedure Committee respectively, we enthusiastically support all the Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party’s (SCNPP) candidates for Trustee and Mayor. Moreover, we write this letter in strong support of Justin Arest’s election as Mayor.

In our more than 5 years of knowing Justin, we have been impressed with his unyielding commitment to our community and relentless pursuit to Scarsdale’s continuous improvement.

Justin possesses all the critical technical and interpersonal skills that will allow him to best lead, represent, and partner with our community. In addition to his baseline qualifications as a lawyer, real estate investment, development and management professional, and his in-depth familiarity with the inner workings of Scarsdale, Justin has a lengthy and successful track record of prior meaningful civic contributions. Some notable qualities that underscore Justin’s integrity include:

Dedication and strong work ethic: Justin put extraordinary time and energy into his civic work as evidenced through his two terms as Trustee and deputy Mayor. He goes above and beyond what is required to serve our community effectively as evidence during the August 2020 extended power outages in Scarsdale. During this challenging time, Justin worked around the clock to ensure that all members of the community received Village updates and at-least daily status updates not only through traditional emails but through various social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. Justin had shown an intense dedication and work ethic in the most challenging of times to Scarsdale.

Intelligence, pragmatism, and open-mindedness: Justin is deliberative and recognizes the value of being fully informed about the issues. He does his homework, including independent research, ask questions, and is an active listener. He is fair and strives to take differing viewpoints into account before coming to his own opinion on a given issue, all while remaining respectful of others.

Steady temperament and patience: Justin has demonstrated a keen ability to maintain a calm, respectful temperament, even in the face of adversity. The structure, clarity and leadership he showed as the deputy mayor and Trustee during the unprecedented challenges of COVID is a testament of his strong ability to lead. Among other things, he was able to successfully tackle the budgetary challenges of COVID to the village of Scarsdale in an effective and productive manner, helping the village to avoid the many harsh fiscal consequences of COVID that many other towns faced.

Justin is the type of person we should all feel lucky to have as our next Mayor. His wisdom and strength of character combined with his fierce dedication to continuously improving our community will benefit every citizen of Scarsdale should he be elected as our mayor.

Rachel Schwartz (Lincoln Road) and Peri Zelig (Lakin Road)

Dear Editor:

My strong endorsement of Scarsdale Citizens’ Non-Partisan Party slate for Mayor and three Trustee positions is based upon my four years serving as a Village Trustee and my interactions with each of them. The candidates, Justin Arest for Mayor; Sameer Ahuja, Karen Brew and Dara Gruenberg for Trustees will work well together to tackle tough topics like the future of the pool complex, your Village property tax bill, as well other difficult issues.

Dara has a comprehensive understanding of the workings of our municipal government from her countless hours volunteering as Chair of the Village's Advisory Council on Communications, President of the Friends of the Library, and Co-Chair of the Library's Capital Campaign. I am impressed with Dara's ability to bring the Village's professional staff, Board and residents together to impact our community positively. Most importantly, she has been paying attention: During my term as Trustee, Dara attended many work sessions and Board meetings.

Trustee Ahuja will continue to bring an enlightened, informed view to matters of technology; economic development; and diversity, equity and inclusion affecting the Village. I appreciate his public acknowledgments of everyone's efforts, notably that of Village staff. Government works best when there is collaboration between elected officials and those who deliver municipal services every day.

Trustee Brew and I served together on the working groups, aka “Pillars,” for public safety, sustainability/municipal services and quality of life. Most notably, we were charged with studying marijuana dispensaries and lounges. Karen knew how to focus our research and how to properly structure the public work sessions on the tax considerations, impacts on youth and local commerce. I appreciated how she listened to my views, as well as the results of my due diligence from visiting places with established dispensaries. Thanks to Karen’s business approach, we accomplished our task and presented relevant information to the rest of the Board and the public so that an informed decision could be made.

Justin Arest will make a great Mayor. He was a hardworking Trustee who always arrived prepared and often presented additional information from his own research. I'm pleased that he will continue, and perhaps improve, the Pillar structure that has made it possible for Trustees and staff to get into the details of various issues. Most importantly, I know that Justin is flexible enough to change his mind once relevant facts and considerations are presented. That's an important quality for all public servants and the hallmark of our non-partisan system where candidates are chosen to serve the public, and not a political party.

If you’re unfamiliar with how Scarsdale strives to keep politics out of local government, take a look at www.scarsdalecitizens.org and go to the “Tradition” tab. And, remember to vote on Tuesday, March 21st at the Scarsdale Library for Arest, Ahuja, Brew and Gruenberg.

Lena Crandall
227 Fox Meadow Road

Kelly Hall TompkinsViolinist Kelly Hall-Tomkins presents a Master Class at Hoff-Barthelson Music School on March 9, 2023. Photo by Chris Lee.The 2023 Hoff-Barthelson Music School Master Class Series commences with famed violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins on Thursday, March 9, 2023, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Hoff-Barthelson Music School, 25 School Lane, Scarsdale. Jerry Grossman, principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra will present the second class in the series at the Scarsdale Library, 54 Olmsted Road, Scarsdale, on Sunday, March 12, 2023, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Both classes are open to the public to observe free of charge, however reservations are required and can be made by visiting www.hbms.org, e-mailing hb@hbms.org or by calling 914-723-1169.

About the Hoff-Barthelson Music School Master Class Series

Master class coaching by guest artists has been part of Hoff-Barthelson’s curriculum since the School’s founding in 1944. This distinguished tradition continues this season with a roster of world-class musicians and educators including Kelly Hall-Tomkins, violin; Jerry Grossman, cello; Ruth Slenczynska, piano; and Jennifer Grim, flute.

Master classes are an enlightening experience for students and audiences alike. After months of careful preparation, students perform for, and then receive feedback and guidance from a master teacher who challenges the student to think in new and critical ways about the piece they have prepared. The results are inspiring and enlightening and serve as a catalyst for students to reach new heights in their own musical explorations. Yet, the learning is not limited just to the students who perform. Any student—regardless of their level of development, or whether or not they even play the same instrument—can learn a great deal.

About Kelly Hall-TompkinsJerryGrossmanPrincipal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Jerry Grossman will perform at the Scarsdale Public Library on March 12, 2023. Photo by Pedro Díaz.

Winner of a Naumburg International Violin Competition Honorarium Prize, Concert Artists Guild Career Grant, Sphinx Medal of Excellence and featured in the Smithsonian Museum for African-American History, Ms. Hall-Tompkins is a trailblazing and innovative violin soloist entrepreneur who has been acclaimed by the The New York Times as “the versatile violinist who makes the music come alive,” for her “tonal mastery” (BBC Music Magazine) and as The New York Times “New Yorker of the Year.” She has appeared as co-soloist in Carnegie Hall with Glenn Dicterow and conductor Leonard Slatkin, in London at Queen Elizabeth Hall with conductor Michael Morgan, recitalist at Lincoln Center, soloist as the Inaugural Artist in Residence with the Cincinnati Symphony, and with the Symphonies of Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oakland, Greensboro, recitals in Paris, New York, Toronto, Washington, Chicago, and festivals of Tanglewood, Ravinia, Santa Fe, Gateways, and in France, Germany and Italy.

At home with genres beyond classical music, Ms. Hall-Tompkins is the first soloist to perform the Wynton Marsalis Violin Concerto after the original dedicatée and toured for 5 years with Mark O’Connor. She was “Fiddler”/Violin Soloist of the Grammy/Tony-nominated Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. Inspired by her experience, she commissioned and developed the first ever Fiddler solo disc of all new arrangements, The Fiddler Expanding Tradition, which is featured alongside her recital in Kiev, Ukraine in the new documentary “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” on the 55-year history of the musical. Ms. Hall-Tompkins’ Imagination Project was called groundbreaking” by STRINGS Magazine and has received over 1 million views on YouTube.

Actively performing virtually throughout the pandemic, numerous projects include premiering 4 pieces written for her, creating and being invited to unique collaborations, including a new co-composition with Tony-nominated actor Daniel Watts, Echo: Shostakovich in Catharsis with aerial dancer Alexandra Peter and Frisson Films, Gil Shaham’s Gilharmonic, and with WQXR as part of the inaugural Artist Propulsion Lab.

As founder of Music Kitchen-Food for the Soul, Kelly Hall-Tompkins is a pioneer of social justice in classical music, bringing top artists in over 100 concerts in homeless shelters coast to coast from New York to Los Angeles, and in internationally in Paris, France. Ms. Hall-Tompkins is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music and also a published author contributor to Music and Human Rights on Routledge Press.

About Jerry Grossman

Jerry Grossman has been the principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 1986. He has appeared in recital, and with symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the United States. His highly acclaimed New York debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was followed by the American premiere of Kurt Weill’s 1920 Cello Sonata, leading to recording that work, as well as works by Dohnanyi, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Kodaly for Nonesuch Records. He has appeared as soloist in Carnegie Hall and on domestic and European tours with the Met Orchestra playing Don Quixote by Richard Strauss. The performance has also been recorded for Deutsche Gramophone.

A long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, including numerous ‘Music from Marlboro’ tours and recordings, figures prominently in Mr. Grossman’s chamber music experience. He is a former member of Orpheus and Speculum Musicae and has also appeared as a guest artist with the Guarneri, Vermeer, and Emerson String Quartets. He was the founding cellist of both the Chicago String Quartet and the Chicago Chamber Musicians. Before assuming his position at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Grossman was a member of the Chicago Symphony for two seasons and the New York Philharmonic for two seasons.

Mr. Grossman began his music studies in his native Cambridge, Massachusetts. His teachers there included Judith Davidoff, Joan Esch and Benjamin Zander. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied cello with David Soyer and chamber music with the other members of the Guarneri Quartet. Sandor Vegh and Harvey Shapiro were also important influences.

Mr. Grossman has held faculty positions at the Juilliard School, the State University of New York at Binghamton, and DePaul University in Chicago. He currently teaches at the Kneisel Hall Summer Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine.

Additional classes in the series will be held Saturday, April 22 with pianist Ruth Slenczynska and Friday, May 9 with Jennifer Grim, flute.

About Hoff-Barthelson Music School:

Hoff-Barthelson Music School has achieved national recognition as a premier community music school for its unsurpassed leadership in education, performance, and community service. With a faculty drawn from the region’s most talented teachers and performers, Hoff-Barthelson has long been one of Westchester County’s most cherished cultural resources. At Hoff-Barthelson, students find a warm, friendly music school dedicated to the highest standards of education, performance, and community service. Students of all ages, aptitudes, and levels of interest enjoy a supportive, joyful learning environment; a focus on the whole person; exceptional teaching; and a multifaceted curriculum.

Hoff-Barthelson Music School is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer. Programs are made possible, in part, with support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

ECC2The Edgemont Silver Bowl Committee is seeking nominations for the 2023 Silver Bowl Award. Nominees for the Silver Bowl Award will be accepted until March 1, 2023. Candidates must be Edgemont residents. Click here to access the nominee recommendation form.

The Edgemont Silver Bowl, under the sponsorship of the Edgemont Community Council, has been awarded nearly every year since 1950, to an individual (or, in exceptional cases, to a married couple) for “outstanding service to the Edgemont Community.” The award is the highest honor bestowed on an Edgemont resident in recognition of his or her volunteer public service in the community. A list of previous recipients can be found here:

The Silver Bowl will be presented at the Edgemont Community Council annual meeting, this year scheduled to be held on Wednesday, April 26th at the Greenville Elementary School Cafeteria. A keynote speaker for the annual meeting will be announced at a later date.

The members of the Silver Bowl committee are Walter Groden, Howard Hirsch, Pamela Montgomery, and Eliana Weissman, with Sarah May Stern serving as chair.

Questions? Email the Silver Bowl chair at SilverBowl@EdgemontECC.org.

cafericeThey tell authors to, “write what you know,” but in this case, restauranteur Par Shakiban, who is of Persian descent, is cooking what he knows, the authentic cuisine of his Iranian homeland. Shakiban, who many remember as the owner of Patisserie Salzburg on Christie Place has moved on from the food of Austria to the Middle East and is back in our area with a new Persian eatery just over the border in White Plains.

We visited Medi Bistro days after it opened last week. Located in the lobby of 50 Main Street in White Plains, you’ll find it just past the Mercedes dealership, with parking in the building to be entered on North Lexington. The restaurant will validate your ticket, so it’s free to park while you eat.

The space is just off the lobby of the building and has high ceilings and large glass windows overlooking White Plains. The restaurant has its liquor license and is ready to serve customers at a long bar with an extensive wine list. We slid into a comfortable booth lined with velvet upholstery and sipped pomegranate juice, a Middle Eastern favorite as we perused the lengthy menu.cafeparPar Shakiban at Medi Bistro

The top portion, called “Tasters,” offered an array of exotic dips including Kashk Badenjoon, fried eggplant puree, topped with crispy onion, mint and cream of whey (fermented yogurt), Mast Khiar which is yogurt, Persian cucumber and mint along with more traditional spreads like labne and hummus. Also among the tasters are house-made pickled cucumbers and vegetables, dolmeh: grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs and topped with a pomegranate sauce and a very tasty falafel served with tabouli, tahini and pickled beets.

Before getting to the main courses, or the “Feast” as the menu says, we sampled the Shirazi salad with cucumber, tomato, onion, and parsley in a lemon vinaigrette.

It was only lunchtime and we were not sure about how much more we could eat, so we turned to Par for advice. True to the claim on the menu, he brought on a feast which proved to be enough for lunch that day – and a few dinners more with the leftovers we took home.

Everything was well seasoned and exotic, with hints of cardamom, zaatar, fenugreek, saffron, rose water and pistachios.

The menu offers many kabobs – among them are beef sirloin, chicken, Cornish hen, ground beef, lamb, salmon and shrimp, all served with basmati rice. We tried a delicious chicken kabob, bright yellow from its marinade of citrus and saffron. Even the rice was sumptuous, garnished with cafeeggplantKashk Badenjoonfragrant orange zest, barberry, pistachios and almond.

Other remarkable entrees were the Chicken Fesenjoon and the roasted lamb chops. What exactly is Fesenjoon? It was white meat chicken served in a thick sauce made from pomegranate and walnuts – and it was delectable. The lamb chops, broiled in saffron, rosemary and garlic were a treat. Gheymeh, was another Persian stew, this one with beef, split peas, seven greens, dried lime, cinnamon and potatoes. All we can say is “yum.”

Intent on getting the full experience, we ended the meal with a large serving of pistachio and saffron ice cream which was doused with rose water and topped with sour cherries. It was aromatic and delicious. We topped it off with steaming cups of Persian tea, brewed with cloves and cardamom, served with cubes of rock candy that melt in your mouth as you sip the hot tea.

Par proudly told us that Medi Bistro is his 23rd restaurant – and it’s clear that he knows what it takes to create a winning combination of tasty food, good service and hospitality to keep diners coming back over and over again.cafefelafelFalafel with hummus, couscous and tahini

We can’t wait to go back and share this welcome newcomer with family and friends.

Medi Bistro
50 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10606
https://medi-bistro.com/
(914) 946-1232
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner

cafefesenjunChicken Fesenjoon cafelambRack of lambcafestewGheymehcafedessertSaffron and pistachio ice cream with rosewater and sour cherriescafeteaPersian tea with rock candy

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