While a lot of people are gearing up for Thanksgiving, I started indulging a little earlier.

This past weekend Mister came down to Westchester so of course there were the requisite downstate bagels and pizza; there was also cheese, cupcakes, cake, and a list of snacks.

Saturday morning, we went to Mount Kisco Bagel Co. pretty early.  The last time we went closer to the afternoon, the line was out the door and lets just say Mister and I aren’t exactly patient people.

We are huge fans of black and white cookies, so when we saw a black and white cupcake on display, I eagerly added that to our order.

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Oh yea, we ate that thing of beauty in the car within minutes of leaving the parking lot.  Moist, buttery cake topped with thick icing.  [then we went home and ate bagels, no regrets]

Saturday afternoon, we ran some errands and found ourselves hungry enough to navigate Stew Leonard’s for some food to take home.  Thankfully, this wasn’t Mister’s first trip to Stew’s, because seriously that place is overwhelming on my fiftieth time going there; there is a lot going on.

We picked up some really good food from their hot bar, and a bowl of fruit for good measure.

Saturday night, we headed to Stamford for a birthday party.  Mister’s brother had ordered Dinosaur BBQ, and we were responsible for providing the cake.

I’ll admit, I panicked a bit; I wasn’t familiar with any bakeries in the northern Westchester or CT area.  The last thing anyone wants to do is bring a bad cake to a party.  Everyone remembers bad cake.

Thankfully, I read a ton of yelp reviews and settled on The Pastry Corner in Mt. Kisco.

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Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. It was really great, and the staff of the Pastry Corner were all genuinely nice to deal with.  Highly recommend.

Sunday, I was a sleepy monster.  All the carbs, and lots of barking dogs running around made me feel like a bloated sweat pants monster.  But we pushed through that for some pizza before Mister headed back to Albany.

We went to Pelham Pizzeria, which is my favorite for slices near Mom’s house.  This was the first time, however, that I ordered something other than pizza [well I mean, I addition to the pizza I scarfed down, don’t worry. ]

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I got Escarole and Bean soup to go, and ate it for a late dinner last night.  They packed it with some Italian brea, and I added some Parmesan on top.  This was really good stuff, with little chunks of pancetta and a surprisingly complex broth.

I could have easily eaten the entire quart, but thankfully I forced myself to save half for lunch today.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to focus a little more on healthy eating before the gluttony of Thanksgiving.

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Hudson Valley Restaurant Week: Xaviers X20 on the Hudson

A long time friend suggested we try a Hudson Valley Restaurant Week dinner, and I eagerly perused the very long list of menus.  Historically, I think any restaurant week can be hit or miss, and reading the menus is the key factor in whether the experience will be something that will inspire you to return to a restaurant, or an experience where it’s obvious the kitchen isn’t even trying.

I narrowed it down to a few restaurants, and we eventually decided on Xaviers X20 on the Hudson.  There menu didn’t repeat all of its ingredients in every dish (i.e. shrimp salad, shrimp pasta or beet salad, chicken and beets) which to me always comes off like the restaurant is trying as little as possible.   [Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s a strong bias that I use as a helpful guideline for restaurant week]

To start, I hit a butt ton of traffic coming from the Bronx to Yonkers.  Thankfully, they offer valet parking right at the front entrance of the restaurant since I was hungry, and late for meeting my friend.  [Valet was $3 with validation from the restaurant]

The restaurant itself was really beautiful, all glass and right on the water.  Though it was nighttime and there wasn’t much of a view, there was still a very impressive feeling to the space.  The service was equally as impressive, although they could have used a few less people. I’ve never seen quite so many people working in one space; there was a man who took our drink order, another man who brought bread, another man that brought the food, another man who cleared the plates.  A lot going on, and it was sort of interesting to see an all male waitstaff, I’m curious if this was an intentional choice.

Restaurant Week Menu

Restaurant Week Menu

I wanted to treat myself to a cocktail after a day of work and traffic, and the Valley Cider Martini [Viskill Vodka, Warwick Cassis & Hudson Valley Apple Cider] was perfect.  It was full on cider, with an adult kick on the finish.  And I loved that they put it in this refined glass instead of the typical, wide martini glass.  This one felt special, but maybe I’m just a total weirdo.

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First course, I chose the Green Onion and Black Truffle Risotto.  So good, this was definitely my favorite course.  It was all cheesy, smooth, rich goodness.  I know sometimes in an upscale restaurant, or during restaurant week (or both in this case), the portions can be on the stingy side sometimes; honestly this was just enough that I wanted to lick the bowl but didn’t feel like I needed a nap somewhere in a dark corner.

Green Onion and Black Truffle Risotto

Green Onion and Black Truffle Risotto

I did think that little paper doily was a very strange touch in such a modern restaurant.  As I look back over the picture, I’m wondering what the thought behind that one was.

Catskill Mountains Brook Trout with Garlic & Lemon Crumbs

Catskill Mountains Brook Trout with Garlic & Lemon Crumbs

Main course, I chose the Catskill Mountains Brook Trout with Garlic and Lemon Crumbs, served with root vegetables & portobello hash, watercress & Ronny Brook Sauce. It had a great flavor, and I loved the crunchy “crumb” topping.  Honestly, I would have preferred less fish and more veggie. There was a few cubes under the mountain of fish, and it would have been a better textural and flavor contrast.

Pumpkin Pannacotta

Pumpkin Pannacotta

This pretty little dish was the Pumpkin Pannacotta [ Spiced Cake Vanilla Syrup & Amaretti Cookie]  Yum.  It was the perfect few spice/sweet bites to end the meal.

Satisfying dinner, and it genuinely made me want to go back and see what the regular menu has to offer.  The restaurant is known for being pricey, but now that I’ve seen the level of food and service, I think it could be worth it for a date night splurge or special event.