Mother’s Day Prix Fixes, Restaurant Pet Peeves, the Perfect May Snack

Looking for 2016s Mother’s Day Guide



She knows all your secrets, and she retains the photographic record to prove it. Might as well try to buy her off with these great Mother’s Day prix fixes:

Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill (49 N Riverside Ave, Croton-on-Hudson, 914-271-0702) is offering a special Mother’s Day meal: $45 per person, $30 for children. The breaking news here is that Westchester’s favorite, high-rating fish house will actually be accepting reservations from 3pm to 7pm. That means you won’t have to drag Mom to a bar as you wait for your table (unless she’s the sort of mom that welcomes that kind of thing, and we don’t judge).

X20 is offering a gently priced Mother’s Day deal: $65 per person, served from 1pm until 7pm. Not only is Chef Peter Kelly an Iron Chef challenger (and winner), but he’s also got a thumbs up by Anthony Bourdain, and retains an abiding respect for mothers.

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Harvest on Hudson’s Mother’s Day is famous, with a three-course prix-fixe menu offered for $53 for adults; $30 for kids. This perennial Mother’s Day favorite spoils your family with gorgeous spring views and Hudson breezes. Reserve now; free tables won’t last.

Red Hat on the River is also offering a great deal, with a special, three-course Mother’s Day menu, $60/$30 for kids. As usual, this spot offers great views of the Hudson, and the bonus is it’s a great spot to go for a walk after you’ve eaten.

Other Eatworthy Events:

Tonight! Slovenian Wine Dinner at The Cookery (May 3, 7pm-10pm)
Join the Cookery and special guest Emil Gaspari for this don’t-miss celebration of wine from Slovenia and food from Italy. According to the Cookery, “Emil Gaspari is a longtime friend of the restaurant and importer of some of the finest Slovenian wines. We are looking forward to tasting what Slovenia has to offer.” The event costs is $96 per person, including wine, tax, and tip; look for menu details here.

Deal Breaker!

Critics and their restaurant pet peeves

Checking out the Fabio of food writers this month, I saw that Bon Appetit’s Andrew Knowlton composed a list of his top five restaurant peeves. These are the things that make this Apollonian critic all pouty, and we simply can’t have that.

In the piece, Knowlton recounts the pet peeves of a fellow restaurant critic, whose deal breakers seem minor, if not outright absurd. The peeves that struck me as most misguided were:

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• Not serving warm bread. As any baker knows, you should only bake a good loaf once.
• Not saying, “Thanks for coming” as she exited. Rote pleasantries bug me, having grown up in the age of McDonalds. I’m not going to be moved by some automaton saying “Thanks for coming” as I depart.

Knowlton’s own peeve about clean bathrooms set me off, too. I’ve had some of the most incredible meals of my life where the toilet was “à la turka,” and none too tidy. I don’t think I’m a pushover, but these peeves seem ridiculous (if not provincial).

But I do have my own restaurant peeves, so I’ll put them out there for fairness. Here they are:

Squat-and-chat service style. I consider the faces around my table to be part of a sacred circle; waiters shouldn’t be shoving in their big, moony faces uninvited.
Leading inquiries like “How are you enjoying that?” Instantly kills any enjoyment I might have had.
Difficult-to-read (or nonexistent) menus, including faraway chalkboards that require diners to crane their necks and reach for their eyeglasses. How much does a laptop and a printer cost?
Lingering sexism, or dining alone-ism. That means automatically assuming that my male dining partner will be tasting the wine and paying the bill, or seating me in an unsightly corner if I’m dining alone.
Dropping plates without also checking to see whether I have cutlery. I’ve watched plenty of tasty smelling plates go cold as I tried to alert a waiter that I had no fork.
Upselling waiters. I expect upselling at a fast-food counter, where “Would you like fries with that?” is just an ingrained phrase. I don’t expect upselling at pricey restaurants like Manhattan’s Dos Caminos, where the ordering process is more like a financial battleground.

So those are my top six restaurant pet peeves. What are yours?

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Cool, Hot and Crunchy:

Masala Kraft Café’s Sev Puri
This classic crisp snack comes straight outta the beaches of Mumbai, where steamy weather and crowds have bathers running for cooling bites. Based on warm, bite-sized puri (that deliciously puffy, deep-fried bread), it’s piled with cool tomatoes, onions, and spicy green chutney, then doused in a shower of sev (crunchy, filament-like noodles). Crisp yet juicy, hot yet cold, cooling yet spicy—it’s the perfect snack for May weather.

The Tacovore Branches Out

My hands-down, all-time favorite local foodie blogger is Adam Clyde Christensen, who, despite his vast appetite, is rather a slim dude. While his usual beat is all things Latino (check out his photo-filled post about Aires De Colombia in White Plains, he’s been branching out a bit lately, as in this informative discussion of a promising Connecticut Chinese.

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

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