Food Writer Julia Sexton's List of Five Favorite Recent Dishes in Westchester: September 2012

Here are the five best things that Julia Sexton, Westchester Magazine restaurant critic and food blogger, has eaten in the past 30 days.

(2) Delaware Phoenix Distillery Rye Whiskey. The bad news? I’m on a rye whiskey kick. The good news? I can’t afford to buy it. Cheryl Lins’s spicy delight of aromatic, earthy grain flavor is locally small-batch, pot-distilled in Walton, New York. At a party to celebrate Pour’s receiving a Slow Food Metro North Snail of Approval, I sampled a tiny NyQuil cupful of Lins’s Delaware Phoenix Rye. Now, I just can’t shake it from my mind. Thankfully, Delaware Phoenix Rye is: A) impossible to find, and B) about $24 per 375mL bottle. Phew.

(3) Pecorino, guanciale, pesto, and onion flatbread at Italian Kitchen. This column has an unfortunate ability to air my private addictions. When I first saw this pizza at Shea Gallante’s new Italian Kitchen in Ardsley, I was skeptical. I’ve never really believed that grilled pizzas were actually, officially pizza, but there is something about this char-striped oval’s exterior crunch and chew that makes me a believer. Plus, my idea of heaven exists in the delta of salty/funky pecorino and gently rendered guanciale fat.

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(4) Green Cleanse at Cooked & Co. Lately, when not on the job, I find myself craving simple flavors of raw, unmanipulated food.
At Cooked & Co., a Scarsdale prepared-food store/restaurant, I Hoovered up this delicious take on a “mean green”: kale, apple, celery, spinach, parsley, and lemon juice. Sure, it was $12 for a single serving, but it felt like a palate-cleansing snap to attention. Plus, it seemed to be an entire week’s worth of nutrients in one go.

(1) Lemon-ricotta pizza from The Cookery’s DoughNation pizza truck. In February, I wrote an extensive cover article about pizza in Westchester. When it was published, Chef David DiBari informed me that he would be debuting a new pizza truck with a wood-fired oven in June. Game change! Don’t miss DoughNation’s unexpected lemon-ricotta pizza, where chili flakes and oven-tamed lemon slices offset ricotta’s mild, milky density.

(5) Gazpacho Anti-Griddle Lollipop from X2O. No one has ever accused Chef Peter Kelly of being stupid. At the Best of Westchester Party held in July (on a humid, 100-degree day), Chef Kelly served this bright, iced mouthful of tomatoey gazpacho. The disc offered a shivery burst of salty/tart deliciousness, and was just the right thing on a steamy day.


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