Cafe of Love...Finally, great food hits Mount Kisco!!!
- chocolate chick Mar 2, 2008 03:25 PM
Leslie from Ladle of Love opened her first restaurant around the corner. She considers the restaurant "Fine Eating". We decided to go last night for a late dinner. The decor is warm, inviting and beautifully decorated. New American cuisine that exceeded our expectations. First, instead of having bread brought to the table, there is a bread buffet. Wonderful fresh varieties of what seemed to be Balthazar bread was displayed with cheeses, white bean puree and olives to indulge in.
We ordered raclette to begin (which we almost never see on local menus) and the cheese was to die for! I had duck (confit and breast) served with tender braised cabbage and silky smooth parsnip puree. It was a wonderful entree. My husband has a NY sirloin with a trio of dipping sauces (chimichurri, horseradish, and I forget the 3rd). The steak was perfectly cooked and seasoned. A huge hit. Oh, and before the entrees, the chef presented us with a taste of black truffle salsify soup topped with a bit of fois gras. Oh my G.seriously!
The service was attentive and happy to take special requests. Considering Cafe of Love has been open for 1 WEEK, we were ridiculously impressed and can't wait to return! Go before the word gets out and booking a month in advance.
Cafe of Love
Mount Kisco, NY
Just an update, they are now open for lunch.
Walked by today at 1:45 and the joint was bustling!
Chocolate Chick, thank you so much for the tip on this one! We just got back and we really really enjoyed it! First of all, the place itself is wonderful, very cute decor, and a crowd definitely on the more youthful side of things (which my boyfriend and I, as 20somethings, really appreciate in Westchester), filling in with a ton of people by the time we left (around 8:15). There's a lively bar, which I'm sure combined with the bread bar makes waiting less annoying! Note: they are not taking reservations for parties under 5 people and as of today the phone number listed on the website was not working.
We shared their trademark harvest soup ($9, i think) with banana bread croutons (described on the website as Squash, Butternut Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Granny Smith Apples, Water, A Touch of Butter, Finished with A Little Cream, Maple Syrup, Herbs & Seasonings) was UNBELIEVABLE. Wow. That and the bread bar-- a plethora of different rolls, bread, cheese, white bean dip, olives, etc.-- and it was already a great meal.
The entrees range from about low end of $15-20 (omelette, burger, pastas) to the high end of 30s/low 40s for some of the fancier dishes as CC mentioned. The bulk of the entrees were $20-30; there was chicken, duck, steak, several fish dishes. We went for the lower end-- I had a burger (stuffed with brisket) that was a hair over the medium I requested (but still delicious) served on a beautiful golden brioche roll and with a mountain of crispy frites, and my bf had the gnocchi with a creamy mushroom sauce and a side salad. The gnocchi was sooo good, and a nice substantial portion.
We saved room for dessert and indulged in their stuffed brownie sundae, which at $10 was a little ridiculous for a tiny scoop of ice cream on a brownie-- but damn, it was a good brownie. (I seem to get sucked into these pricey brownie sundaes; b4 in valhalla comes to mind though theirs was ENORMOUS).
Overall, we had a wonderful meal. Our waiter was completely adorable, very accommodating, and we liked the lively crowd. It's not a quiet place at prime dinner time, but we liked that. If you're looking for a quiet romantic dinner this isn't it, but great service, delicious food, and a fun vibe? Check, check, and check! I can't wait to go back!
I want to amend my very trigger happy review to note that after the haze of the wine and the bread faded, I think COL's prices are too high for this to become a regular dinner place for me. That said, I would return for lunch and I will definitely try Ladle of Love, and I would definitely return for drinks and appetizers.
And about that brownie: upon reflection, I am annoyed they have the nerve to charge $10 for it and that I fell for it!
We went for lunch based on this review. Very disappointing. Just another average overpriced restaurant in Northern Westchester. Most dishes had cream or cheese in them. I am never a fan of places like this as they seem to cater to the crowd that believes General Tsao's Chicken is actually good Chinese food.
The wait staff would pause for conversations while carrying dishes to tables, talking right over the food which is just unsanitary.
I ordered the wild mushroom crepes. The actual crepe was very soft like the type of wrap used in Vietnamese spring rolls and the filler contained whole mushrooms mixed with some sort of cream of mushroom soup. There were issues with the dessert I ordered and my husband's order was extremely salty.
The one decent thing was the bread buffet. If you just stop in for some bread and tea, you should be fine.
I'm going to chime in with a mixed review.
There are real reasons to visit this restaurant. The bread bar is a stroke of genius and each of the three meals I've had there (2 dinners and a lunch) were good. The short rib/ fillet combination was to die for. Both pieces of meat were tender and tasty and I liked the puree it was served with so much I'd have picked up the plate to lick the last bits. The farmhouse salad lacked focus, but was fresh and delicious. I ordered it with shrimp which were supposed to be grilled but weren't which was disappointing. I also ordered the hamburger once which I have to say I didn't completely understand. I saw that it said "stuffed with brisket" which I thought was clever, but in the end it was just odd. For $16, this was one of my least favorite hamburgers in the area. (Blazer Pub is still on top.) I ordered the french fries with 3 sauces as an appetizer which tasted wonderful, but were really just good fries and they cost $9 which was a little out of line. Two of the sauces were great, one was bland. If this was a side order for $4 or $5, I'd be raving, but it didn't quite do it for me at $9.
The prices in general are, like so many places in Northern Westchester, about 20% higher than they should be. I've now gone 3 times to see what I really thought (I eat out often) and I'm moving this place down on the list because I can't quite justify the cost. The food is better than plenty of other places, but not good enough that I'll want to pay that bill too often. A few changes, though, and I'd be a regular.
Was there a couple of weeks ago and agree with the comments about the prices. Would love to make a restaurant like this a fixture, but these places either have very high rents or are trying to make a statement about the food with their prices. Short ribs are very inexpensive to buy and prepare. How did they come up with charging almost $40 for that and the filet? Bread bar wasn't great during our visit with either the bread or the cheese and they seem to only have crudite when they feel like it.
Also, because they don't take reservations for parties of less than five, they are inconsistent with their seating. Large tables sit empty while waiting for customers while those of us with a party of four have to stand around. Place is very small. Bar is great though.
I finally got the chance to visit the Cafe of Love this past week. I have to say I was a little confused about some of the mixed reviews that I've seen here. The bread bar was definitely nice...I like the idea of serving ourselves. There was no crudite but I asked my server and he said the crudite was only put out on one occasion. To start I had the mussels....WOW! Wherever I go, especially in this area I try the mussels. This guy really did it right. No overpowering garlic...and truly french. My wife had the truffle soup and it truly was delicious. So delicious that she actually licked the bowl! (Haha) As a second course we shared the foie gras. I tell you as a big fan of this dish, its nice to finally go somewhere where it is actually cooked to perfection. Not over cooked nor under seasoned, I really wanted to shake the chef's hand! For dinner my wife had the shortribs and tenderloin. Although I'm not a big short rib fan I do have to admit that they were cooked perfect. Correctly season and equally juicy. The filet was to die for. So tender it really was a tenderloin. The vegetables were a little undercooked but the parsnip puree definitely made up for it. I, just out of curiousity, ordered the burger. And I have to tell you I'm not really sure why all of you are complaining. I think it was incredible. Such an innovative idea to have the brisket inside and wow what a great beef. I hope that all of you that have written about this item try it again, and if you were smart you wouldnt try it on a saturday night. As a true foodie, you should know that the food on the weekends is just pumped out of the kitchen, where as to a tuesday night (when the REAL food critics go out) the chef can take his time with his dishes.
For dessert we did share the ten dollar brownie. I do admit it is overpriced, but damn, can you really make a better brownie?
All in all a great new addition to westchester county. A little cramped and loud, and yes a little pricey but c'mon people. Isnt good food in a great environment worth it?
you are absolutely correct about the high rents, which have shot up astronomically in kisco in the past several years to the point that "mom & pop" places have to charge an arm & a leg to not only stay afloat but make money. at this point, only those with corporate bankrolls seem to be able to afford to do bz. there. that being said, i've always had a soft spot for LoL and Leslie, who is a genuine sweetheart. so i hope she does well. don't get out for dinner too much lately since the little chowhound came along (& paying for daycare in no. west. doesn't leave a lot left over for pricey meals!) but i hope i can get down here to try it at some point.
I've been there twice before, and everything has been excellent. Sometimes the service is a little slow, and the acoustics in that place are awful, but the food is ridiculously good. I recommend the croissant bread pudding and the harvest soup (ask for the croutons on the side, as they get so mushy they fall apart in the soup).
We really liked most of the food, but had mixed feelings about the overall experience. Here is the bulleted review of our dinner:
1) went to bar while they cleaned table and it was given to another customer
2) friendly bar
3) bartender spilled my drink on me
4) bread table a plus (we nibbled on cheese over after dinner drinks)
6) steak cooked perfectly outside (incredible sear)
7) steak overcooked inside
8) three dipping sauces underwhelming
9) waitstaff applied little to no pressure despite a crowd at the bar two or three deep
11) we'll go back during the summer when we can eat during the week or when they start taking reservations for small parties
We do not like Cafe of Love. The food is ok, but the service is not. We always feel they are trying to sell us something we don't want - i.e the more expensive glass of wine. I do not like the 'bread bar." Unsanitary and just give me an assorment of bread at my table. We will not go back.