SPOT: EMMA’S ALE HOUSE-WHITE PLAINS

Hello Westchester Food Finders! Most of the spots we have been sharing have been great dinner spots. To change things up a bit we want to share one of our favorite lunch spots; Emma’s Ale house in White Plains.

Emma’s has a complete upscale pub menu great for lunch and equally robust for dinner. A nice well equipped bar and great selection of beers to on tap, make it a great spot to meet up with friends or neat casual place to have dinner with someone special without all the noise and congestion of a lousy bar. In short, Emma’s is a restaurant with a nice bar more than a bar with good food. Now let’s get into lunch.

Emma’s starts you off with their own, complimentary, hot pub pretzels and spicy mustard. If you are debating on getting a beer with your lunch, the first bite of pretzel will shift you towards picking off their great beer selection. Being lunch, we only though it fair to order one lighter lunch dish and one with a little more substance that way we could give a  we’ll balanced view of lunch.

I was lucky enough to win a hard fought game of rock, paper, scissors, so I ordered Emma’s stuffed potato skin burger. It was a special of the day and it was indeed very special. The burger was cooked to a requested medium rare and stacked with potatoes, bacon, chive, Emma’s sour cream based secret sauce, and melted cheddar cheese. That alone is a watering mouthful, but then wrap it all up in a hot pretzel bun and you learn to appreciate a whole new meaning to winning a hand of rock, paper, scissors.

Now onto the lighter fair. My guest ordered Emma’s Caesar’s salad with grilled chicken. The salad was well seasoned and dressed. The in house made croutons and shaved cheese were plentiful and added depth and texture to the salad. There was no clear star of the dish, and we mean this as a compliment. Every ingredient married together well with the next. The grilled chicken wasn’t an after thought, but rather a true component of the salad. You can tell with your first bite that time and care was placed in marinating and tenderized the chicken. It wasn’t sitting in a hot bath waiting to just be added to a number of dishes, as is the case with other restaurants. You can see and taste the seasoning on the chicken just as you can taste the dressing that coats every piece of lettuce. That makes this dish just as complete as the last. Don’t take my word on it, go to Emma’s and enjoy one of our special spots for lunch!

Emma’s Salad

 

SPOT: MEZZA LUNA PIZZERIA & RESTAURANT

Hello Westchester Food Finders! I am pleased to share that one of my favorite restaurants has now become one of our first sponsors.

Last week we made dinner plans with another couple at Mezza Luna on Brook Street in Eastchester. The restaurant delivered as usual. Mezza Luna is our first choice for smart casual dining, whether with friends or with the little ones. The chefs offer a wide range of appetizers, pizzas, pastas, entrees and desserts.

mz-buildingmz-sign

 

The couple we were with was hoping for a “pick at everything” kind of dinner, so we were happy to oblige. We started with an order of eggplant rollatini and a Caprese salad. The appetizers are generous portions and a wonderful warm up for the evening.

The eggplant is thinly sliced, gently fried, and stuffed with fresh well seasoned ricotta and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. This dish is topped with their in house marinara and melted mozzarella. When this dish gets to your table, you know you’ve ordered the right appetizer.

eggplant-rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

 

The crispy eggplant and soft creamy ricotta gives you wonderful texture, and the marinara cuts the creaminess perfectly. When you order this dish, definitely have the wait staff place the warm bread on your side of the table.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

We also ordered a caprese salad. The salad was a crisp, light appetizer with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers and giardiniera. All the components of the dish were lightly drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with freshly ground salt and pepper. The dish was perfect as a share, but can easily hold up as a delicious lunch option on a Saturday afternoon.

Next up we decided to share a pasta special of the day. The Gemelli alla Zia Maria were gemelli pasta tossed with smoked mozzarella, crisp asparagus, and diced tomatoes. They sauce is light, velvety, and smooth! We sprinkled it with some fresh Parmigiano and cracked pepper and we were very happy.

Gemelli Pasta

Gemelli Pasta alla Zia Maria

Keeping with the sharing spirit we split an order of grilled chicken with broccoli rabe. The dish comes with a side order of penne with house marinara or a house salad. The grilled chicken dish delivered on its promise. The dish had two large grilled and thickly slice chicken breasts on top of a bed of broccoli rabe tossed in garlic and oil. The dish is simple, and yet still perfect for those who may want a hardly meal and still have room for something sweet after dinner. Now on to dessert.

Cannoli!

Cannoli!

We were thrilled to have just enough room to order a few cannoli. This is a part of the meal where you may not want to share. We ordered two cannoli for the four of us. These cannoli are large. They are filled to order, so you are served a crispy crunchy shell stuffed with creamy, sweet ricotta filling that is restaurant made. Visit Mezza Luna for dinner, or place an order to take out. Their full menu is available for either option. They cater as well so keep them in mind for your next event.

Mezza Luna Pizzeria & Restaurant, 118 Brook St., Scarsdale, NY 10583 (914-722-4854)  http://www.mlpizzeria.com