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Tuscan Oven in Mount Kisco

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  • Karen Apr 14, 2000 09:58 AM
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Is it worth the trip? What about Eduardo's in MtK?

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  1. No...DON"T DO IT!

    tuscan oven is terrible.

    I just had really really nice Italian in Croton (where Josh, who's usually right, said there's no good food!).

    I'll try to write it up today and post it in "what I had for dinner"..watch the "What's New" space on the homepage

    38 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff

      if you're in the "area" go to cafe stregga in pleasantville 914 769 4040. MUUUCH better 4 sure

      1. re: stephen kaye

        I'll second Stregga. But try to go during the week--weekends are very busy. It's very small.

        1. re: Sharon A

          I will 3rd Cafe Stregga. It is possible to get a table when they open at 5:30 on a Saturday. We have done this 3 times, but by 6:30 it is a long wait. Not an ideal time for dinner, but worth it if you are in the area. Good bruschetta, interesting, tasty pastas, and normally the specials are very good. I had an awesome garlic encrusted sirloin once. yum. And dont miss the peanut butter pie. I think (IMHO)it is better than Old Devil Moon, fluffier and long drawn out peanut butter essence. Along with a small, but decent beer (including some bottled Belgians) and wine selection, it is a good option in a sparse Chowhound land. Cheers!

          1. re: bellrock

            fyi-the original owners of stregga, sold out about 1 year ago. the place is still fab. these original folks are helping to open a new place in salem n.y. off rt #684. it should open within 2-3 weeks. I'll keep ya'll posted. it should be another keeper. ciaoo

            1. re: stephen kaye

              Wow, was I surprised to see this discussion and no mention of one of my favorite Mount Kisco restaurants-- Cafe Antica. I've eaten there several times, and it's been wonderful each time. It's a little pricey, but it delivers for food, service and decor. I once had grilled baby octopus there that was to die for, and the lobster ravoli shouldn't be missed.

              For anyone else interested in the area, I'll mention the other Mount Kisco restaurant that is really good-- La Camelia. A wonderful, cozy place with outstanding Spanish food. Again, it's pricey, but it's well worth it.

              1. re: Beth

                Beth--it's only on a very very good night that Antico is as worthy as you say. You've clearly had absolutely superb luck...maybe your best bet is to NEVER eat there again so you won't chance the inevitable disappointment!

                And you failed to mention the best part: Joe Puma, one of the best of the serious old time bebop guitar legends, plays there every thursday. He's one of the very last of his generation, and he's worth a trip to go see.

                ciao

      2. re: Jim Leff
        j
        Josh Mittleman

        Jim, we tried the new incarnation of Ruffalo's, the
        restaurant next door to #1 pizza in the Croton upper village.

        Eh.

        It isn't really under new ownership: The new proprietors are the daughter and son-in-law of the old owners. They've changed the menu a bit.

        Our experience was mixed, but not promsing on the whole. Clams posillipo were excellent. The house salad was good, slightly better than the old version. But the main dishes were disappointing. Veal balsamico was heavily breaded and much too sweet; the end effect was gooey sweet-and-sour. Spaghetti putanesca was tasty but oily. The house red wine is simply awful and it's all they offer.

        Diner for two came to $38. An equivalent diner at Tony's Trattoria, over on Riverside Ave. in Harmon, might be slightly more expensive but would be considerably better.

        The pizza at #1 also seems to have taken a turn for the worse, if my experience today was any guide. I definitely prefer Capriccio's or the new place at the other end of Grand St.

        1. re: Josh Mittleman

          hmmm...one excellent dish, one good, tasty-but-oily salad (which is more a taste thing than a "mistake"), and one disappointment? I'd call that a pretty good experience, and pretty good indeed for Northern Westchester!

          Remember that very few restaurants make EVERYTHING good. There's a learning process involved in checking out a new place, and you have to keep an open mind, since clunker dishes on a first meal do tend to impact disproportionally in evaluating (it's a lesson I've learned over the years of restaurant reviewing). That is, if you happen to order all the right stuff on the first meal and the second meal contains a dud, it's easier to keep an overall high impression (with caveat) than if you're unlucky enough to hit the clunker on the first meal.

          I had particularly good luck on my visit, you had pretty good luck on yours. I'd say that if we each give it one more visit, we might very well have compiled a trusty little list of good stuff to order (and to avoid) that will ensure lots of future good eating there. Any other chowhounds out there willing to pitch in?

          I didn't try the pizza; sorry it's not so good

          The house wine, though, is NOT awful. Lets get our terms straight. It's poor. There are a LOT of places out there serving house red wine that scrapes down your throat (I'd been served such a glassful the night before my meal there, so the contrast was particularly evident). In any case, they're about to add a wine list, so that'll help.

          also, the service is GREAT, very friendly and sincere, and that, too, is hard to find in Northern Westchester.

          Hey, if Tony's Trattoria's so good (I've gotta try it!), why have you repeatedly said there's no good food in Croton?

          also, how is that bakery across the street touting pastries/bread from Arthur Ave?

          ciao

          1. re: Jim Leff
            j
            Josh Mittleman

            Well, you're obviously more patient and have more time & money to devote to finding out if you really like a restaurant than I do, Jim. Our meal at Francesca & Mino's was pretty much in line with past experience, and not enough has changed to lead me to believe that future efforts will be significantly different. I'll watch for other people's reports, especially for specific dishes that they do well.

            More under another subject.

            1. re: Josh Mittleman

              You had an excellent dish, and you had a blah dish. I reported two excellent dishes. If you want to give up at this point, that's totally your perogative. But maybe I'm more optimistic, but I call this particular situation "promising".

              Re: my time, money, and patience....I'm EXTREMELY patient when I've caught the scent of deliciousness (especially in a desert like Northern Westchester). As for time and money, I'm not going up there every single night and mining extravagantly through the menu (at least not when I'm not "working", and thus not on expense account). When I'm in Westchester, I do need to eat dinner. And the next few times, I'm gonna stop by this place and do my chowhound best to gradually hunt for the best this place has to offer. We've both seen the peaks, and I want to find 'em all. That's what being a chowhound is all about.

              If you lack this patience....well, that's cool! It's my mission and job to invest time for the benefit of less avid hounds. Happy to do it.

              But then again, you followed none of my recommendations, yet framed your posting as a rebuttal to my findings...hence my suggestions re: framing a complete opinion. My opinion was not a complete one; it covered only the two dishes I had that night. Same for yours. So until we both have done a thorough check-out, let's compare our apples and oranges in a collaborative rather than argumentatively way, ok?

              How 'bout that bakery across the street (the one that imports bread/pastries from Arthur Avenue)?

              ciao

              1. re: Jim Leff

                jim-next time in westchester eat at caffe stegga 914 769 4040 in pleasantville. then when those same owners open up their new place in north salem(in about 2-3 weeks) I'll keep ya'll posted asap. ciaoooo!

                1. re: stephen kaye

                  Note: They officially toke over in June of 2000. (They were in transition)
                  Also they do not have a beer & wine license so what they give AWAY of course is not going to be topshelf however from June they introduced a little more variety still being given away until they get there license furthermore you can bring your own. The process to obtain a license is not an easy one especially when the two owners were giving not much time to think about there take over when her father fell ill. The two owners however have 15 years of expierience in the restuarant business but have moved on to other places so giving them this option to take over were left with the aftermath & giving no time for preparation for there skills. Sorry for your unpleasurable experience. I'm sure if you every try them out again it would be different.

            2. re: Jim Leff
              j
              Josh Mittleman

              Not really. Tony's is better than Francesca & Mino's, but that's not saying a great deal. It's an adequate local Italian restaurant, but I wouldn't recommend anyone go out of their way to try it. The local Chinese place, also on Riverside in Harmon, rates about the same: good enough if we're in the mood and don't want to drive, but nothing more. The only place in Croton that might be worth going out of your way is Elmer Sud's, at the far end of Grand St. in the upper village, which has (or, at least, used to have -- I haven't been there for a couple years) a fabulous steak sandwich and a nice selection of bottled beer.

              I recently heard a good report on the Japanese restaurant in the new mall-let on Maple Ave. We tried it shortly after it opened and were seriously disappointed. But a friend says it has improved substantially, so we'll try it again.

              That bakery in the middle of the upper village is quite good, Jim. Good bread -- great ciabata -- and good Italian pastries. The one thing we do have in Croton is good bakeries: Jean-Jacques down near the train station makes wonderful French pastries (though I don't care for their baguette), and we have a bagel store that makes a halfway decent bagel and good whitefish salad. And of course we have a really great coffee bar in the Black Cow, in the same mall as the Grand Union.

              We have enough pizza joints and delis to defy comprehension. My favorite pizza is at Capriccio's near the diner, though the new place in the upper village runs a close second, makes decent pasta dishes, and can't be beat for friendly atmosphere. The German deli in the upper village is also pretty good, though it doesn't compare to the one at the Chilmark plaza in Briarcliff.

              1. re: Josh Mittleman

                howdy ya'll. I beg to differ, the german deli in briarcliff, is barely adequate(imho), unfriendly, foods are not appealing/fresh, etc etc. the only thing (imho), they mighthave to trade on is their beer selection. otherwise, just another ho-hum joint. I've only eaten there apprx 30 times, its near my hood. thx

                1. re: stephenkaye
                  j
                  Josh Mittleman

                  Have you tried any of their German specialities? In my experience, those have been freshly-cooked and quite good.

                  Their German dinner nights have been getting rave reviews from many quarters.

                  1. re: Josh Mittleman
                    s
                    stephen kaye

                    based on yr. tout, I will give them another shot at dinner. thx josh

                    1. re: stephen kaye

                      let us know...

                      Also, Josh, Abigail has had really bad experience with the pastries at Jean-Jacques, but we know you're a heavy Francophile so we'll give 'em another try.

                      1. re: Jim Leff
                        j
                        Josh Mittleman

                        It is true, Jean-Jacques' has been uneven in the past, but we haven't been disappointed in the past year or two. I particularly like the horseshoe-shaped hazelnut cookies, and my wife is crazy about the chocolate butter cookies. We regularly get assortments of their miniature pastries for dinner parties and the like, and they always please.

                2. re: Josh Mittleman
                  j
                  Josh Mittleman

                  A quick followup: Elmer Sud's still has a fine steak sandwich with really good fries. They've upgraded their beer selection a touch and added some taps.

                  1. re: Josh Mittleman

                    "though it doesn't compare to the one at the Chilmark plaza in Briarcliff"

                    josh---this completely mystifies me! WHAT German in Briarcliff?

                    Also, thanks for the Elmer Sud's tip...I'd passed by it and scoffed at its cutesy-ness, but we'll give it a try.

                    1. re: Jim Leff

                      If you're in Briarcliff, why not just go to Flames? We go about once a month and haven't had a clunker of a dish yet. Faves are (of course) porterhouse for two, sautéed mushrooms, scallops, salads (all really flavorful, fresh and good combos of things), cheesecake (a pleasant cross between Italian and creamy-style) and chocolate ganache. If it's only good, it's bad for Flames-- most things we've tried are out of this world, as is service.

                      1. re: Jim Leff
                        j
                        Josh Mittleman

                        There's a German deli in the strip of stores at the north end of the Chilmark plaza, which is the one with the Food Emporium, on Pleasantville Ave. They have a great German beer selection, and they sell truly wonderful double-smoked Bavarian bacon. Their deli case isn't the greatest, so stick to whatever German specialities they are offering. And these days they are running a special German dinner twice each month. Nothing fancy, just classic German dishes. I should say that I haven't tried any of these dinners, but I have heard good things about them.

                        1. re: Jim Leff

                          Jim, I've been away from chowhound for awhile, just spotted this thread. I wanted to add that Elmer Suds now has a few beers on tap: Sam Adams, Fosters, Guiness, Bass Ale and maybe something else. I had my first "half and half" there a month or so ago and am now hooked.

                          The owner seems to have a particular fondness for pork chops, making inventive specials with them with frequency. I was disappointed in the soft-shell crabs the other day, but that's partly because I had excellent ones within the past week at Zeph's and at (yes, amazingly, prepared Francese style) at the Croton Colonial Diner.

                          As for Tony's, if you aren't ready to commit to a full meal there, do try the fried calamari and the bruscetta (both appetizers). I think the calamari in particular is an exceptional dish, very fresh and not oily.

                          1. re: Elisa Davis

                            Elisa--

                            In a prior message, you seemed to damn croton diner with faint praise, but in any case, you've not mentioned it except just in passing. Can you tell us more about this place (never heard of a diner where you'd even CONSIDER ordering soft-shells), and also where it is?

                            thanks!

                            1. re: Jim Leff

                              Jim, actually I adore the Croton Diner and would willingly sign up for the meal plan there. It's always friendly, there is food there for all tastes, and it's impossible to spend a lot of money. I really have never found a diner whose food I prefer anywhere.

                              I guess we tend to take the diner here for granted, and we shouldn't. And I'm always wary that Josh Mittleman will make me feel like I have no taste. *g*

                              One thing I love about the Croton Diner is that it's made it possible for my kids to expand their culinary taste. My 11-year-old, who used to think grilled-cheese sandwiches and maybe fish and chips were the ultimate, now loves soup (he wouldn't touch the stuff until a year ago) and mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat. He gets six large mushrooms, salad (which someone else eats), soup, two vegetables, a soft drink and dessert for $9.95. And he eats it all--or takes some home.

                              I order soft-shell crabs whenever they're on a menu anywhere--used to love the sandwiches at Nathan's on 8th St. when they still made them.

                              1. re: Elisa Davis

                                Elisa--

                                is this the place (found it via yellow.com)?

                                Croton North Diner & Cafe 49 N Riverside Ave 271-8027

                                1. re: Jim Leff

                                  Jim, no that is not the place. That one is the Croton North Diner, a little tiny place whose ownership changes frequently and is sometimes good sometimes not. It is usually (depending on ownership) only open 5 days a week and only for breakfast and lunch.

                                  I am talking about the Croton Colonial Restaurant, which is on Route 9A--otherwise known as Riverside--where it is about to split off to Rte. 129. It's across and slightly south of the Shell station that used to be a Mobil station.

                                2. re: Elisa Davis
                                  j
                                  Josh Mittleman

                                  Who me? I would never slight someone for patronizing a decent diner, and Croton is a damn' sight better than decent. It also happens to be only two blocks from my house, so we go there reasonably often, mostly for breaskfast or a late-night snack. I'll have to remember to try the crabs.

                                  1. re: Josh Mittleman

                                    Josh, I tried to put a grin in my message about you potentially finding fault with my taste, I think it may have been edited out because of HTML characters.

                                    The crabs prepared francese style were in the lemoniest sauce I've ever had, more lemony even than the Greek lemon soup (which is one of the reasons for living, as far as I'm concerned). The rice they served with it was disappointing and flavorless, see if they'll let you have a different starch (I'm sure they will) or just skip it entirely. If you're not a big lemon fan, probably better to get them sauteed.

                                    1. re: Elisa Davis
                                      j
                                      Josh Mittleman

                                      That sounds good.

                                      I've tasted their lemon soup, and I found it disappointing: much too gloppy for my taste.

                      2. re: Josh Mittleman
                        b
                        bruce silverstein

                        dined at francesca and mino's on fri 5/18. very disappointed. marinara sauce tasted straight from the can. clams oreganatta, practically all bread. orfino's cafe in briarcliff much much better and more reasonably priced

                        1. re: Josh Mittleman

                          The pizza is great the sauce is smooth unlike your heartburn sauces I've experienced everywhere in croton especially capriccio's. As for the pizza man his roots have been sowed from years at number one & at glenville pizza in greenwich,ct which I might add his customers were tommy hilifiger, tom cruise, stone cold steve austin, allan huston, montell williams just to name the least & were pretty much regulars so before you criticize there pizza because your accustomed to a certain old pizza parlor, so your conditioned to there taste of pizza, but for me if one bite of a slice, that hits my salivary glands to harhly i know i'll be up w/ heartburn all night.

                          1. re: in defense

                            All those stars went to Glenville Pizza because it was the only pizzeria for miles around. Maybe it was different in the old days, but these days the pizza is soggy and greasy.

                            1. re: rjka

                              I live in Greenwich & guess what? there is alot of pizza parlors & who deliver too! furthermore, they still go there! They also make there way into Armonk for eats as well as portchester. As for glenville pizza the owner has earned his respect.

                              1. re: in defense

                                Lots of places deliver, but this is still the closest one to where all those stars live. I'm also not sure what their opinion proves. Glenville Pizza lost my respect when they put canned mushrooms on my pizza. Even Pizza Hut uses fresh ones. Their pepperoni pizza is extremely greasy. Pizza Factory is much better.

                                1. re: in defense

                                  You wouldn't happen to BE that owner, would you?

                              2. re: in defense
                                j
                                Josh Mittleman

                                Forgive me, but I can't make head or tails of your posting. With seven pizzerias, Croton has pizza for every taste. I've often thought it would be fun to hold a local pizza tasting. Personally, I find the old Capriccio's to be far and away the best: Their sauce is excellent, their cheese is fresh, and nothing is even slightly greasy. I haven't tried the pizza at F&M/#1 in several months; it was poor the last time I did, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's changed.

                                Ultimately, there's no such thing as The Perfect Pizza. Tastes vary.

                                1. re: Josh Mittleman

                                  All forgiven & that is certainly true there is no perfect pizza.

                          2. Re: Eduardo's in Mt. Kisco - pretty good most of the time - excellect Osso Bucco, nice pasta dishes, very addictive rolls - easy to fill up on bread - be careful !