The Zagat Survey Ratings Hit, EDP’s Big Wine and Food Contest Gets Beery, and Restaurant North Gets Raw

Drop it Like it’s Hot: the Zagat Ratings

The slim, red book is out, folks, and this one’s a shocker. The simple, barely decorated, seven-year-old Sushi Nanase (with a 29-point rating) edged out Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Xaviars at Piermont (with both 28 each) for the Top Food slot. I remember when these numbers were coming in and it was a pretty exciting horse race, I can tell you. For full disclosure, I’m an editor for the Zagat Survey of Westchester/ Hudson Valley Restaurants. I like to think of myself as a mercenary: a gun (or keyboard) for hire.

While X2O is the perennial Most Popular restaurant in the Westchester/Hudson Valley Survey (with Blue Hill at Stone Barns bringing in the second spot), the other big shocker is that Xaviars yielded its third most popular slot to Tarry Lodge. Tarry Lodge was too new to be rated in 2010/11 Survey, just missing the review period. Red Hat on the River jumped from the 10th most popular spot to number 6 in the new Survey, and, thankfully, The Cheesecake Factory dropped from 7 to 17, so that says something about you, readers.

Here are the Most Popular ratings in the 2011/12 Survey:

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1. X2O
2. Blue Hill at Stone Barns
3. Tarry Lodge
4. Xaviars at Piermont
5. Harvest on Hudson
6. Red Hat on the River
7. Restaurant X and Billy Boy Bar
8. Crabtree’s Kittle House
9. La Panetière
10. Buffet de la Gare

If you’re keeping track, here are the Most Popular rankings for 2010/11

1. X2O
2. Blue Hill at Stone Barns
3. Xaviars at Piermont
4. Crabtree’s Kittle House
5. Harvest on Hudson
6. Restaurant X and Billy Boy Bar
7. The Cheesecake Factory (WTF, guys?)
8. La Panetière
9. Coromandel
10. Red Hat on the River

Also there’s cool news in the Key Newcomers category. I love that Restaurant North snagged the top spot with Birdsall House nipping at its heels. Everyone in both of those restaurants deserves all Survey props they get—and PS, they also deserve your money. Both restaurants do the right thing and support our local farms


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EDP’s Big Giveaway Rolls on with Free Beer!

People! Seriously. I just gave away a basket of delicious Grapes the Wine Company wine to one of only ten contestants. What does a girl have to do to get some of you buzzed for nothing? In celebration of Westchester Magazine’s upcoming Wine and Food Weekend at the Ritz Carlton, Westchester, June 18 and 19, EDP is giving away loads of free swag to a few lucky winners. I mean, next week, we’re talking tickets to one of the Grand Tastings (see below)—or, for the Grand Prize, a pair of tix to both Grand Tastings, the Winemakers Dinner, and a room at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester (and a spa package!). To spell this all out for the distracted, you’d be a dope not to answer these questions.

Okay, for a basket of cool beer provided by Manhattan Beer Distributors (whose roster includes iconic Captain Lawrence, Southampton, Kelso of Brooklyn, and 21st Amendment Brewery’s Brew Free or Die—it’s not local or anything: I just love the name), answer this question about the art of beer-making in the comments section below. What is the common, four-letter word used to describe the female flower clusters (also known as seed cones or strobiles) that give beer a bitter, tangy flavor? (In case you’re not up on your strobiles and seed cones, the answer is here in this Wikipedia link). Sadly, employees of Westchester Magazine or its affiliates are not eligible for prizes.



Westchester Wine and Food Weekend: the Vintages are Getting Sexy!

So, I just hung up the phone with charmingly wine-geeky Billy Rattner, sommelier for the whole Wine and Food Weekend at the Ritz Carlton, Westchester, June 18 and 19 (and the Xaviars Restaurant Group, PS). He was telling me about some of the wines he’s snagged for the weekend, and, folks, let’s just say he’s stoked.

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For the Grand Tasting, he’s excited about Ridge Vineyards Lytton Springs Zinfandel, Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils Chablis, and Steele Pinot Noir, but I’ve taken a peek at the Grand Tasting wines (and looks like a million all written down). Here are some of the highlights, check out next week for the Winemaker’s dinner picks:

Chateau Montelena Winery, Calistoga, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007
Guigal Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde ‘03
Patz & Hall, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Greppi Greppicaia Bolgheri Superiore 2007
Frederic Magnien, Bourgogne Rouge 2009



We Like It Raw (at Restaurant North)

There’s something about raw food and summer that just seems to go together. It’s cool, light on the palate, and more refreshing than meat and potatoes. But, let’s face it, meat and potatoes have their own special thrill, which is why we really love Chef Eric Gabrynowicz’s carpaccio with shoestring potatoes at Restaurant North: it’s the best of both worlds in a bite. The dish, based on roseate petals of silken, Hawthorne Valley Farm filet mignon (which is raised on a Certified Biodynamic farm in the Hudson Valley), is topped with I & Me Farm small-leaf kale, pickled fennel, and shoestring potatoes. You remember I & Me Farm? It’s run by the indomitable Mimi Edelman—she’s the powerhouse co-founder of Slow Food Metro North—and Eileen Zidi, whiz forager and manager at Table Local Market.


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