Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend Facebook Contest (Like Us to Win a $250 Magnum of Bertani Amarone!); Sonora’s Rafael Palomino debuts Cozy Bistro Latino in Tuckahoe; Pet Peeve Alert: The Three Most Mispronounced Words in Food

Like Eat Drink Post? Then “like”  Westchester Magazine’s Wine and Food Weekend on Facebook to win fabulous prizes and Wine and Food Weekend passes. This month, we’re giving away a $250 MAGNUM of Bertani Amarone, courtesy of Grapes the Wine Co.

Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend Facebook Contest

Here’s the deal. From right now, this moment, and until the start of Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend (May 17 through May 20), we’ll be running incredible giveaways on our Facebook page. Go ahead and “Like” our Wine & Food Weekend fan page for a chance to win this month’s fabulous prize, a magnum of Bertani Amarone (retail value of $250), which comes courtesy of the festival’s retail partners, Grapes The Wine Company http://www.grapesthewineco.com/. According to Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate, this wine’s anticipated years of maturity range from 2008 to 2018, so you can either guzzle this sucker right now or save the bottle for a few years. Galloni goes further to say, “The 2001 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is a joyous wine to taste. This is a fairly restrained style for Amarone. Although the wine reveals limited complexity, it offers superb overall balance and an irresistible, caressing texture on the palate. The perfumed red cherry fruit is remarkably fresh for a wine of this age and the plumpness balances the wine’s tannins with notable elegance.”

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Sure, it’s all caressing and plump and stuff, but seriously – it’s a magnum, which means that, when you break it out, you’re officially a baller. According to this article in Businessweek, size really does matter. Today’s connoisseurs are celebrating with large-format bottles like magnums, Imperials, Jeroboams, and Nebuchadnezzars. Color me jealous. Employees and associates of Westchester Magazine are not eligible for prizes (which is totally unfair, BTW), and, in the future, this contest will include more great wine and lavish ticket giveaways. Like us on Facebook to win your bottle. Also, follow us on Twitter @WMWineandFood #WesMag

First Taste: Bistro Latino in Tuckahoe

We all know Chef Rafael Palomino (and if you don’t, you should). In the 90’s, this pioneering, Queens-born chef fused his classic French culinary training to his Colombian heritage to become one of the leading lights in the Nueva Latino movement. Meanwhile, Chef Palomino brought our region several great restaurants: Sonora, Pacifico, Pälomino, Greenwich Tavern, etc., all the while writing engaging cookbooks and endorsing products as diverse as Splenda and Heineken Light. Three weeks ago, he and his longtime GM at Sonora, Alexander Vanegas, debuted Bistro Latino, a fusion Spanish tapas/Nuevo Latino restaurant in downtown Tuckahoe at 64 Main St (914-961-2233 – site under construction). I visited last week, and here are a few first impressions.

The intimate, downtown Tuckahoe space pulls off a delicate balance between elegant and homey. You’ll find a cozy room studded with plain support columns and capped by a tin ceiling. Together, these lend the space—formerly Main Street Cafe—a vintage, urban style. This could be a small restaurant in Greenwich Village, but it could also be in Paris or Barcelona. Says Leslie Mueller, whose design incorporates an eye-catching wall of recycled wine bottles, the effect could be characterized as “rustic, Spanish chic.” Better still, Bistro Latino smells deliciously of seared mushrooms and other foodie magic, which is a charm that has traditionally eluded American tapas restaurants. In many Spanish tapas bars, eaters practically stand in the kitchen – so the tease of mouth-watering aromas can’t be winnowed from the experience. When you walk into Bistro Latino, you will want your meal.

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Wisely, Bistro Latino’s menu is short and laser-focused. It offers tried and true tapas, traditionally simple and geared toward drinkers. You’ll see cocas, like flatbread pizzas, as well as boutique Spanish cheese and charcuterie. In this pictured dish of seared tuna (over fingerling potatoes and saffron aïoli), you’ll see that portions hit somewhere between two-bite tapas and roomy, American appetizers. This means that each tapa at Bistro Latino offers a sharable portion. Of course, many Americans simply need a main course, and, for them, Bistro Latino offers a short list of top-ten favorites—like Chef Palomino’s lobster paella (made famous at Sonora), as well as chicken, short ribs, and salmon, etc.

In a nod to Chef Palomino’s Nuevo Latino past, Bistro Latino’s cocktails are thoughtful and precise. Look for a chupacabra (“goat sucker,” Central and South America’s mythic, vampiric creature) that unites with tequila with limejuice, cucumber, mint, and Tapatio Hot Sauce. Wines-by-the-glass span both New and Old World and include many sneaky treats. We liked Rutini’s toasty, buttery “Trumpeter” Chardonnay from Argentina, a perfect partner to hay-flavored Manchego and nutty serrano ham. There are also a few craft beers on offer, but the real seduction here is wine. Bistro Latino offers a pleasant, neighborhood spot where you can drink around the world while satisfying delicious, Spanish bites. To finish, don’t skip the parting gesture of a warm churro – we can’t wait to go back.


Chef Kelly to Lead St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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Parade: Sunday, March 4th

1:30pm, free

Changing of the Sash (and Annual Dinner Dance)

February 25, 7:30pm

$80 per person

Here’s something that you don’t see every day: a chef discarding his whites for the topper and tails of a Grand Marshall. From the announcement: “The Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade is proud to announce that PETER X. KELLY is the 2012 Grand Marshal of the Fifty-Seventh Annual Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Parade will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2012, stepping off at 1:30 p.m. Mr. Kelly will lead the parade up South Broadway to Getty Square.“  Oh, but it gets better. While the parade is outdoors (and on Sunday afternoon, to boot!), it looks like the real party is the Changing of the Sash dinner on February 25. Here are the deets:

“In response to requests from many of our supporters, the Parade Committee has decided to hold the Annual Dinner Dance on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Polish Community Center in Yonkers starting at 7:30 p.m. The Changing of the Sash will take place during the Dinner and the eight Aides to the Grand Marshal will be introduced. The Guss Hayes Band will play for your listening and dancing pleasure and traditional Irish Dancers will perform. Reservations are $80 per person, which include a dinner choice of prime ribs, chicken or salmon and an open bar.”  For reservations, contact Jean Tickell at (914) 419-3611.

TITLE Wince Alert: The Three Most Commonly Mispronounced Words in Restaurants

Let me admit this right now: I cannot pronounce the phrase, “quarter-sawn.” There were several weeks during a kitchen remodel when I was repeatedly forced to utter these two words, and shamefully, in every instance, I said “quarter-sorn,” out loud to another adult human being. So, look:  I get it. But, then again, I’m not a contractor or wood flooring salesman. Chefs!  Waiters! Learn how to pronounce (and spell) these three common restaurant words:

Mascarpone: I feel like crying whenever I hear it pronounced “Mar-sca-pone.” But the mispronunciation is so widespread that you can Google its phonetic misspelling and find an alternate universe of mar-sca-pone cheese, including many recipes on Cooks.com.  Oh, the humanity.

Chipotle: You’ve heard “chi-pol-tay,” which is so much easier to say than that weird, consecutive T-L sound often seen in the pre-Columbian Nahuatl language (there it goes again!). But, boo, all you waiters (and menus) that butcher the ancient language of our neighbors to the South. And double boo all the search engines that perpetuate the confusion by recognizing either spelling.

Vichyssoise: You hear it: “Vishy – swah.” The correct pronunciation is “vishy-swahs.” Look, you don’t smear your sandwiches with “mayonnay.” The pretty blue stones around your neck aren’t “turqwahh.” Consequently, your creamy potato leek soup should be pronounced “vichy-swahs.”

(PS: Just so you know, I have to speak with a contractor again soon. I expect that I shall blunder through many cruelly shaming mispronunciations. )


Cheese Tapas at Bistro Latino

Italy gets all the glory in the cheese world. Plus, it’s snagged American salumi consciousness and thrown a strangle hold on the American idea of olive oil. But the fact is that Spain’s traditional foods are equally as glorious, and include stunning cheeses like these DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida) cheeses served at Bistro Latino (64 Main St, Tuckahoe, 914.961-2233; – site under construction). On our last visit, the changing cheese offered beautiful Valderon, Mahón, Manchego, and many more. Drop by for a sampling, and, remember: true tapas lovers don’t skimp on wine.


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