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oldies but goodies in westchester-- wobble cafe, zephs', malabar hill

Recently I've been back to some places I haven't been lately so I thought I'd post some update. I haven't seen much of these places on the boards and they all deserve a shout-out.

I had breakfast at Wobble Cafe last week and while the service was slow, this place turns out an excellent breakfast at a fair price in a really homey atmosphere. Wobble is so welcoming. My banana pecan pancakes were huge, fluffy, and complemented by a drizzle of real maple syrup. My husband's omelet was stuffed to the brim with cheese and bacon and veggies and accompanied with hash browns and toasted homemade bread. I can't see any reason to choose a diner over Wobble for a satisfying breakfast in the Ossining area.

Last week, I also got to get back to Zephs' for a belated birthday dinner. This was the first time we went on a Saturday, and I was so happy to see that they were totally booked and not too-too quiet as I found them to be the previous times we've been (usually Wednesday or Thursday). This place is another local gem, so unique. I love the old fashioned warmth and quaintness of the room and the server can only be described as jolly. The food is not trendy or fancily plated, but it is delicious across the board, and the hearty choices were perfect for the cold night. My husband had a special for his app-- lentil soup with lamb meatballs, bellywarming and perfectly flavored. I had Vietnamese shrimp fritters, which I can only describe as sweet potato latke- type fritters with bits of shrimp mixed throughout the batter, which came with a tangy dipping sauce. They serve warm bread and salad as well. For my entree, I had the duck confit, which is a marvel-- crisp skin, buttery, rich. It came with a chutney, potatoes, and roasted brussels sprouts and celery root. My husband had the osso bucco, which again, is so in tune with the season-- hearty, with a rich flavorful sauce and plenty of winter veggies. For dessert, we shared a chocolate mousse cake with a scoop of vanilla malted ice cream. This place is fantastic!

This past week, I made it to Malabar Hill despite the snow. I've been rather disappointed with Khan's lately and wanted a menu to order off of. I know Malabar Hill has mixed reviews on CH, but I've always liked it, and we were really pleased with our meal. The mango lassi was silky and thick, samosas crisply fried but greaseless. We shared the lamb malabar (boneless, in a coconut sauce) and a tomato cream paneer dish, both flavorful and in generous portions. The rice and naan are not the best I've had, but soaked up every last drop of the sauce well. The service is excellent and they seem to have redone the interior (again) and it's very nice.

It's really great to go back to places after not visiting for a few months and have the meals be just as good as remembered!

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Zephs' Restaurant
638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

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  1. Thanks for the updates, ice cream! Khan's has been disappointing lately? I hope they haven't gone downhill - it's my only real place for an Indian fix, since Sr. S's palate doesn't appreciate it enough for the both of us to dine out!

    I enjoyed the breakfast at Wobble too - although I'm not in a rush to go back; the last time I was there, the owner's young daughter kept taking the communal books & toys away from my 18 month-old son!

    Zeph's is still on my must-try list!

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    Zephs' Restaurant
    638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sra. Swanky

      Wobble is definitely kid-friendly... honestly, usually a little too kid-friendly for me, especially since I spend the week with kids in my classroom. :) I found the breakfast kid crowd to be a little tamer than at lunch but the owner's daughter was wandering around and seemed to be causing more than her share of drama when we were there. This is definitely a point to keep in mind for people who haven't been... you can't go there expecting a grown-ups only meal.

      Maybe I've just been unlucky, but I've had 3 not so satisfying meals at Khan's. They weren't bad, I was just disappointed with the choices and what I ended up with. Sra. Swanky, have you tried Orissa in Dobbs? Check out the menu; because it's Indian fusion, they have some pretty Americanized dishes on the menu that your husband might like. They do the Indian basics well too, and it's very nice inside.

      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

        Re: Wobble - I know *exactly* what you mean - I'm a teacher too! :o)

        I will definitely check out Orissa. I'm seriously craving Indian with Baby #2 right now, and since this is fusion, it may be just what I need without making hubby compromise too much! Marking it down for our next date night - Thanks! :o)

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        Orissa Restaurant
        14 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522

    2. what a coincidence, after a long absence we decided to head back to zephs last week and I had the duck confit, my wife the Vietnamese fritters! You describe the duck confit perfectly (and wonderfully). The one thing you left out is that they allow you to bring your own wine for a very reasonable $14 corkage fee making a dinner with wine very reasonable.

      3 Replies
      1. re: vinouspleasure

        Thanks to both of you for the Zephs review. I think I will call them for a Valentine's Day reservation. I've never had the duck there, I always seem to find something else that sounds good and the waiter says "well we always have the duck, so you can have it some other time".

        Wobble is good but McKinney & Doyle is our favorite place for weekend brunch (and very reasonably priced) so we just try to go there when we out.

        As for Malabar, I haven't been there in years. I used to work nearby and that would be the go-to place for lunch. But they'd squeeze us in and the service was awful and the buffet selection wasn't that great. Then Royal Palace opened and we started going there. Now I go to Mughal Palace in Valhalla when I meet people for an Indian buffet lunch.

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        Zephs' Restaurant
        638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

        1. re: MisterBill2

          I think Zephs' would be perfect for Valentine's Day. It's so unlike the "sceney" foodie restaurants in Westchester (like Tarry Lodge, and, as much as I love it, the Cookery)... the focus really is just on the food and nothing else. In addition to the BYOB option (which numerous people seemed to be taking advantage of) they also offer a number of very reasonably priced bottles.

          Misterbill, where's McKinney & Doyle? Also, I'm not big on buffets. I agree that Malabar Hill's buffet is not amazing, but they don't offer the buffet at dinner, so we ordered off the menu. Honestly, I'm picky with buffets... there needs to be a high turnover for the food to be fresh.

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          Zephs' Restaurant
          638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

          Tarry Lodge
          18 Mill St, Port Chester, NY 10573

          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

            McKinney & Doyle is in Pawling. Their brunch is great. Everything is under $10 and the food is really good.

            Mughal Palace gets a good lunch crowd so their buffet is fresh.

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            Mughal Palace
            16 Broadway, Valhalla, NY 10595

      2. Coincidentally, we went back to Malabar Hill for the first time in a couple of years. (Without Bengal Tiger we're re-examining our relationships with other Indian restaurants.) I know the place has changed hands every now and then, and I was wondering if it had done so again since our last visit. The menu certainly had changed. One dish we were particularly fond of was no longer there, and they had what was, intriguingly, a division between the dishes we here usually associate with Indian restaurants and those of southern India. Some dishes were marked with chilies to denote heat, but we happened to order 2 mains that did not have any, tho one was the lamb with black pepper. We're not tame eaters, but both seemed quite fiery (and not in a black pepper way,) which left us wondering what the dishes marked with chilies might be like. We'll try them again, but are likely to be careful about what we order.

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        Bengal Tiger
        140 E Post Rd, White Plains, NY 10601

        1 Reply
        1. re: Westjanie

          Westjanie, I noticed the change in the menu at MH as well. They seem to be connected with one of the Indian restaurants I like to go to in the city, Dhaba (which, incidentally, has one of the few Indian buffets that I do like). They do seem to have retained some of their dishes, like the lamb malabar, which I remember from my last visit, as well as their huge dosas, which are also great.

        2. Thanks so much for starting this thread! It inspired me to head to Wobble Cafe today, along with my grown son, for lunch. I used to go there almost weekly, but had gotten out of the habit.

          Had a delicious omelet with bacon, provolone and mushrooms, with a salad, plus root vegetable puree soup. More food than I needed or could finish, but I love their soups. My son had the Capri panini with fries, really fresh perfect fries. Don't tell him I ate some of them while he was talking with someone he knew. :-)

          Zeph's will probably always be my favorite restaurant. Was the Osso Buco a special or on the winter menu?

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          Zephs' Restaurant
          638 Central Ave, Peekskill, NY 10566

          3 Replies
          1. re: Elisa515

            The pork osso buco was on the regular seasonal menu (the special was something with scallops). Someone near us had some sort of special oyster appetizer that smelled amazing. I just realized I've never been there in the summer. I have to make a mental note to get there in the summer-- they must do amazing things with the bounty of summer produce!

            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              Oh yes! In the summer, much of the produce is from Vicky's garden.

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                I had the oyster Cassoulet and it was great, the broth was rich and there were three of four succulent, whole oysters baked into the dish.