Attendees: Sylvia, Jeffrey, Reid
340 Downing Dr. Yorktown Heights NY 10598 (Map) (914) 245-2191 www.yorktowndiner.com
Each diner has something a little different to set it apart from the pack. For Yorktown Coach Diner, that something, Sylvia discovered, is a mashed potato omelette.
Disclaimer: This isn’t a breakfast post. But it’s delicious anyway!
On September 24 Sylvia and I were lucky enough to attend a dinner at Village Social with fellow Small Bites bloggers. We headed to Village Social in Mt. Kisco, where Chef Mogan Anthony treated us to an epic tasting of the fall menu. And let me be clear: When I say epic, I do indeed mean Epic. Over the course of three hours, the dishes kept coming, each as delicious, carefully prepared, and visually appealing as the last.
The flavors blended sweet and savory, light and robust.
We each received a copy of the menu, which had space to write notes about the dishes. I’ll share with you, readers, the menu and my notes.
- salt baked beets with whipped ricotta and pistachio vinaigrette: I’m not normally a fan of beets. (Sorry, Dwight Schrute.) But this was the first dish up and I had to give it a try because of how beautiful it looked. The beet was placed in the center of a larger dish, atop a swipe of the whipped ricotta. The pistachio vinaigrette was drizzled on top of the beet. When I took the first bite I thought, Hmm, that’s not too salty as well. But something unusual happened: with each bite, as I got closer to the center, the beet got saltier and saltier until it was beyond my salt tolerance level. I couldn’t finish it and was left wondering whether the progressive saltiness was the intended effect.
- roasted cauliflower with vandouvan spice and buttermilk vinaigrette: I also don’t usually like cauliflower (I sound like quite the picky eater, don’t I?) But the aroma coming from these cauliflower was intriguing. The spice was very deep and reminded me of Indian flavors. It was, as I wrote, “very good.” Chef Mogan knows how to get me to eat my veggies!
- baked local squash with homemade cheese curd, upstate maple vinaigrette, and walnuts: Squash is perfect for fall, and this was a wonderful dish. I wrote “Nice spice to it, balances the sweetness of the squash.”
- wood oven grilled manchego cheese with chestnut honey, px sherry vinegar: This was amazing. Delicious! I love the blend of flavors, I wanted more!!! (Yes, I really did use that many exclamation points in my notes.) The manchego was bubbly and grilled on top. Cheese perfection.
- crispy brussel sprouts with apple cider vinegar, pickled shallot, and almonds: I needed a breather, and I’m not a big brussel sprouts lover (I know, I know…what kind of food blogger am I?), so I passed on this dish.
- tuna pretzel with kimchee aioli: I was digesting the appetizers, so also passed on the tuna, but I heard nothing but rave reviews about it from my fellow bloggers around the table.
- 70 degree olive poach burrata cheese with grilled bread: I wrote: “Given how stringy the cheese gets, definitely better for just 1 or 2 people. But I enjoyed it.” The warmed burrata cheese comes served in a mason jar. I noted the bit about the appetizer being better for 1 or 2 people because as I tried to extract just a bit of cheese from the jar, I wound up taking a huge, stringy clump out that I couldn’t easily cut into a smaller piece. Were I enjoying the dish with just a close friend or a date, I would have just reached over and pulled apart the cheese with my hands. Alas, I felt the need to remain polite, so I struggled with the knife to work my way through the cheese. But when I finally got a piece on the grilled bread, I was rewarded. This was delicious and despite my challenges to get a first bit of cheese, I went in for seconds.
- grilled lamb sausage with Hudson valley goat milk, dates, and mint: This is a very spicy sausage, and although the menu didn’t say it, I assume it’s a merguez. At first the goat milk helps to temper the spice, but that’s temporary, and the spice stays on your palette for awhile after you’ve finished eating the sausage. It’s a nice flavor, but you’ve been warned if you don’t like too strong a kick.
- confit octopus with calabria chili bagna cauda: Well…I don’t like octopus (i’m sorry, i’m sorry!) But I did appreciate the presentation of this dish–the small pieces of octopus came served in a charming sardine can.
Vegetarian & Vegan Pizzas
- cauliflower pizza with preserved lemon, crumbs, buffalo, mozzarella: This is a sauceless pizza. The flavor was strong, with the cauliflower tasting very much like the appetizer we’d had. I wish I’d detected more of the lemon flavor mixed in.
- brussel sprout pizza with artisanal pancetta, pecorino, mozzarella: Another sauceless pizza (which I actually love–I prefer white pizzas). When Is aw this dish on the men I was picturing a pizza with brussel sprouts globes all over it. Instead, this was the most delicate pizza I’ve ever seen–the brussel sprouts were shaved and sprinkled across the top of the pizza. The pizza was delicate and flavorful, and I reached in for several slices. This was my favorite pizza of the three we had this evening, and, I’d venture to say, my favorite pizza of the year. Good job Chef Mogan! I’ll be back to get a pizza all to myself.
- sunny side egg pizza with prosciutto, truffles, parmigiano reggiano: This is an interesting concept, and as a member of the WBC, I had to try it. Personally, I didn’t care for how the egg blended with the other flavors. The egg stood out too much, and with the prosciutto and pizza crust I just found the pizza to be too heavy. I was done after a couple of bites, but I was also saving room for the two more courses to go…
Because I was really starting to get full by this point, I decided I’d focus on only one of the three main courses served: bronzino a la plancha with prosciutto, confit tomato, and arugula; slow cooked skirt steak with mashed potatoes and smoked onion, and mushroom fettucini with pecorino, chives, herbed crumbs. I sampled the steak.
The skirt steak was so well cooked, I think the best I’ve ever had. It was well done but still butter-soft and not at all chewy, as sometimes happens with less-expertly prepared skirt steaks. The mashed potatoes and onions blended so well and created a wonderfully salty, robust flavor with the steak. I had several pieces of steak and indulged in multiple forkfuls of mashed potatoes. I’d love to visit Village Social to have this dish again.
By this point I was pretty much at my limit. We were served salty caramel pie; peanut butter mousse; and tres leches. All I could muster was a bite of salty caramel pie which was, well, salty and caramel. That’s a compliment! I just was so done by this point I couldn’t truly appreciate dessert.
At the end of the evening I felt like someone would have to roll me away like Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka. When I got home I promptly lapsed into a blissful food coma, and slept more soundly than I had in weeks.
Thanks to Chef Mogan and the whole Village Social team for a dining experience I won’t soon forget.
169 Mamaroneck Ave. White Plains, NY 10601 (Map) (914) 831-5663 www.porterhousebar.com
Having already sampled Ron Black’s and Brazen Fox, the WBC continues its brunch crawl on Mamaroneck Avenue with a visit to Porter House. Does a pub breakfast taste good without a hangover? Well…
308 Mamaroneck Ave Mamaroneck, NY 10543 (Map) (914) 698-4166
Time for a little night music. No, wait, that’s not right. It was time for a late-morning meal with the WBC. Would Cafe Mozart in Mamaroneck be filled with string quartets and symphonies, or lattes and croissants? We found out.