First Taste: Dumpling + Noodle
The funny thing about trends is that they are rarely revolutionary. I mean, didn’t America already have a coffee habit before Starbucks came along? For all of the Westchesterites who hit corner Chinese restaurants for greasy pork dumplings and find themselves cracking into boxes of Top Ramen, two new places have opened in the County with a better, most stylish version of dumplings and noodles.
You’ve already heard me rave about Noodle +, a cheerful little joint that slings warm and hearty noodle soups among other simple fare like rice bowls, buns, and curries. At Noodle +, we love its tender and juicy soup dumplings, which are hand-folded to order. We also appreciate its brisk, cheerful, family-friendly vibe; this restaurant works equally well for a lonely lunch with your iPad or a dinner with the family.
Cue Dumpling + Noodle in Bronxville, which is unrelated to Noodle +. It sets out to please the down-county noodle lovers who don’t want to schlepp into the center of the County for a bowl of their favorite food. It’s a welcome development, since part of the value of noodle bars is that they offer effortless, casual, and an inexpensive meal. For a visit to a noodle bar to involve a struggle ruins a lot of the simple joys inherent in the meal. And, for many Westchesterites, a visit to Noodle + poses several challenges, not the least of which is that it’s located on an unparkable street, and so, unless you live or work nearby, it requires garage parking.
Small and stylish, Dumpling + Noodle has no such challenges. It’s located on Palmer Avenue just around the corner from Lawrence Hospital and offers many of the dishes that you find at Noodle +. Look for slightly different (but equally delicious) folded-to-order soup dumplings ($5.95) that encase that precious spoonful of gingery pork broth. We also love the roasted duck buns whose foamy, tender bread yields crunchy cucumbers and luscious, crisp-skinned duck scented with five-spice.
Brawny, almost meaty, hand-cut noodles are the soul of D+N’s hearty chicken soup ($8.95, pictured above), which also sports wood ear mushrooms, filaments of egg, and slices of juicy pork. As at Noodle +, you’ll find a lot of dishes that recombine the same essential ingredients, so that beautiful, crisp-skinned duck of the roasted duck buns becomes a topper for one of the noodle soups and also a highlight in this satisfying rice bowl of barbecued pork and roast duck (on left, $9.95).
Along with Japanese noodle bar classics like miso and tonkatsu ramen, you’ll find the Vietnamese standard, pho (on right, $8.95). It’s a deep bowl of lightly spiced, beefy broth with loads of white rice noodles, bouncy pork balls, and medium-rare roast beef. Look for the pho to arrive with a table salad of bean sprouts and Thai basil, so you can add the verdure as you go without it getting soggy. Portions are generous—this $8.95 dish will yield two meals, especially if you’ve already indulged in (as we so earnestly recommend) either the soup dumplings or the duck buns.
To end, you’ll find a variety of ice creams, plus taro, custard, and sweet bean buns, but we like to walk away with the sugary excesses of bubble tea. At Dumpling + Noodle, these are offered in all the usual colors, flavors, and otherworldly additives. Also look for a full bar. Can’t wait to get back.
Laurel Glen Vineyard and a Presentation of a
Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Tasting
at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson
April 11, 6:30 pm
$150 per person
From the invitation: “From Sonoma Mountain and the legendary Laurel Glen Vineyard…a three-decade retrospective of Cabernet Sauvignon through the vintages back to 1982. Come taste pure Cabernet perfection in a glass paired with the Hudson Valley cuisine of Peter X. Kelly.
X2O Xaviars on the Hudson and Peter X. Kelly are so happy to welcome vintner/proprietor Bettina Sichel as she presents the spectacular wines of her Laurel Glen Vineyard. We will present a multi-course tasting that will pair with this delicious vertical exploration back to 1982 of this legendary Sonoma estate.
Laurel Glen Vineyard, a thousand feet up the slopes of Sonoma Mountain, has long been considered one of the iconic Cabernet vineyards of California. Originally planted in the 1880s, the present-day vineyard was developed in the 1970s by Sonoma wine pioneer Patrick Campbell. The first vintage of Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was made in 1981. The vineyard’s combination of high altitude, eastern exposure, rocky soils, and small diurnal temperature swings combine to produce very distinctive wines. Despite its small production, the wine has received international acclaim for its exceptional balance, elegance, and ability to age gracefully. After 30 vintages, Patrick Campbell sold the vineyard and winery to a group of wine lovers, led by wine industry veteran Bettina Sichel, the new proprietor. The new team includes viticulturalist Phil Coturri, winemaker Randall Watkins, and renowned vintner David Ramey.
Join us at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson for this vertical tasting paired with the Hudson Valley cuisine of Peter Kelly as we welcome special guest Bettina Sichel for dinner and conversation. We will taste the vintages 2009, 2007, 2005, 2002, 1992, and 1982. We are presenting this dinner in partnership with Daniel Posner of Grapes The Wine Company, so there will be the opportunity to order the wines tasted for the evening.”
Flying Pig Farms Porchetta and Testa di Maiale at Elm
Yes, that translates to “pig’s head.” Just get over it. It was cooked into a perfect square of coppa di testa, which was sautéed (not unlike Spam) and served under a jumble of delicious small onions. Its partner on the plate was a round of porchetta whose fat was so perfectly rendered that it literally melted in my mouth. The killer is that the dish also included “five lilies”—or five members of the Allium (onion) family—one of which was delicious, charred leek. Folks, it was burnt and ground into a paste that tasted like all those delicious, sticky bits of blackened onion that you snatch from the roasting pan. Or is that just me?