Small Bites

A steak dinner up for grabs, green drinks come to a town near you, and culinary news and notes

Small Bites


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Steak Out

What do dads really want on Father’s Day? They want steak — big, fat, juicy slabs of meat that momentarily make them forget about the bills and focus instead on their bellies. To that end, Morton’s Steakhouse in White Plains is offering the chance to win a special gift basket that includes dinner for four at Morton’s; golf for four at the Hollow Brook Golf Club in Cortlandt Manor; a set of custom-crafted Morton’s steak knives and famous steak grilling salts; a copy of Morton’s Steak Bible and grilling apron; and four tickets to see Batman: The Dark Knight at the Palisades Center’s IMAX Theatre in West Nyack. From now until June 11, dads can enter once a day by completing an entry blank at one of the five Morton’s Steakhouses in the tristate area.
No purchase is necessary. One winner will be chosen from each restaurant; the names of the five lucky dads will be announced live on WCBS News Radio 88 on June 11. Sure beats another tie. Visit for more information.



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Jack’s Oyster House in Albany has appointed a new executive chef, Luc Pasquier — one of only 52 French-Certified Master Chefs in America. Hailing from Burgundy, France, Pasquier boasts an impressive résumé ­— he’s prepared meals for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan, and the late Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis. C’est très magnifique . . .  Jeff Raider, formerly the highly touted chef at the Valley Restaurant at the Garrison, has resurfaced farther south as the executive chef at Irvington’s One. Raider’s seasonal New American fare focuses on seafood, with dinner and raw bar menus that refresh daily. . . Talking about the Valley Restaurant, Chefs Brandon Collins and Vin Mocarski have created Eat Local Thursdays — a $35 prix-fixe three-course menu that is built around a single seasonal ingredient found at one or more local farms. . . If it were a real Italian word, peza might sound like “piece,” or “pizza,” or even “pizzazz.” At Hopewell Junction’s Peza Modern Bistro, it simply means “good eats.” This lively new eatery offers you a piece of pizza with plenty of pizzazz — and organic and locally grown ingredients to boot. “We really wanted something fun and exciting,” says Head Chef Keith Chodan of his Manhattan-style hotspot. The atmosphere is certainly vibrant: lime-splashed walls, cool black ceiling, and spicy orange-red accents highlight an open kitchen. . . Poughkeepsie’s Crew, which wowed our readers year after year with their stellar home-made soups, is currently out of business. It seems the Tax Man had something to do with it. . . Looking to wrangle some true Tex-Mex barbecue that’ll set your taste buds afire? Why not saddle up your horse at Hopewell Junction’s Stone Creek Ranch, which set up shop just this past December. The Ranch boasts a wild menu, too — from Texas ribs to fried ice cream. Yee-haw!..  The hamlet of Wallkill’s Casual Palate — laid-back sister to upscale Artist’s Palate in Poughkeepsie — marks its one-year anniversary next month. Located within spitting distance of the Kobelt Airport, this cozy spot offers ma’s best comfort food, like wood-fired pizzas and pork chops. Says owner Charlie Fells, “It’s more of a meat-and-potatoes kind of place, a lot of families come here. It’s neat for them to come over and watch the planes land and take off.”



Eco-friendly Imbibing

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With everything else in the world “going green,” it was only a matter of time before the traditional cocktail party followed suit. Hudson Valley Green Drinks — a monthly networking session for anyone who works in the environmental field, is sustainability-minded, or just eco-curious — kicked off in April with a shindig at Mahoney’s Irish Pub in Poughkeepsie. “More than 60 people showed up,” says organizer Marie Celeste Edwards, a Poughkeepsie resident. “There were Dutchess County legislators, people interested in birding, green builders, environmental consultants — everyone really. People were curious, there was a lot of conversation. It was a nice mix.” This chapter is one of about 350 Green Drinks groups worldwide, including active groups in Manhattan, Westchester, and Albany. Admission is $5, plus a business card at the door. This month’s event will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on June 10 at the Piggy Bank in Beacon (RSVP to or call 845-454-8151). “My hope is that friendships will form and cool connections will happen,” says Edwards. But since it is a cocktail party, we had to ask — what were people drinking? “Oh, everything; wine, beer, no green drinks. Of course, my favorite drink is an apple martini, but that’s just a coincidence.”

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