Restaurants & Bars

New York State (exc. NYC)

Emma's great, Aberdeen not White Plains


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Restaurants & Bars New York State (exc. NYC)

Emma's great, Aberdeen not White Plains

lecker | | Feb 24, 2009 04:13 AM

Many chowhounds mentioned Emma's Alehouse in White Plains so when we could not get a brunch reservation at X20 today, we headed over to Emma's to give it a try. We're glad that we did. As soon as we sat down, they brought us three warm donuts, which quickly disappeared into our eager mouths. The donuts were not too sweet or overly flavored with additives. The light dusting of powdered sugar was enough to impart a slight sweetness to the warm, moist donuts.

We started off with the mac & cheese, which was surprisingly good. I loved the fatty pieces of bacon and the fresh peas. They balanced out the creaminess of the parmesan quite well. For mains, I had the duck confit sandwich with warm potato chips and my husband ordered the open-faced dry-aged steak sandwich with gorgonzola, which was served with a nice side of fries. I helped myself to most of his fries. The lamb confit was tasty, but I could not finish it all so I got the second half of the sandwich wrapped to go. We wanted to try their desserts so we ordered a creme brulee and the apple cobbler. My husband's creme brulee disappeared quickly and then he helped me with the apple cobbler. The apple cobbler could have been a little less sweet for my taste buds but I'm sure most people would not mind. The apples were delicious and warm.

All in all we enjoyed brunch at Emma's and would recommend it. I noticed a lot of other patrons ordering the bloody mary, which I also would have ordered had I not been driving. Unfortunately, another place that was mentioned often on these boards, and which we tried for dinner earlier this week, did not leave such a good impression.

After reading everyone's recommendations on Aberdeen, we decided to give it a try.
I ordered the jumbo shrimp with black bean sauce and water spinach, my husband ordered the braised duck with black mushrooms.The jumbo shrimp was cooked perfectly but that did not do much to help carry the rest of the dish. I usually love black bean sauce and water spinach, not necessarily in that combination, but my dish was bland (there was hardly any flavor to the black bean sauce) and not very tasty or memorably. The braised duck was equally flavorless and not as tasty as we'd hoped. We ate a few pieces of the duck and mushroom but the majority of the dish remained on the plate when we asked for the bill. My husband ordered a bubble tea, his favorite drink whenever we're in China. They served it just like they do in China, in a plastic cup with a plastic seal so that you have to pop an opening with the thick straw that comes with it. He said it was tasty and managed to finish it even before our first entrees arrived.

I know that many chowhounds rave about Aberdeen but we just didn't experience what all the hype is about. We thought it was mediocre Cantonese food, at best, and very overpriced to be sure. I see now what so many chowhounds were saying about Westchester eateries being overpriced for what you get.

We've eaten at 42 (okay but nothing special), via quadronno (average food, high prices). And we're planning to do Nanase later this week. We are in White Plains until Sunday and then we move out of the US. If there are places in White Plains or the surrounding areas (I have a car) that we should try before we leave this area, please let me know. Thanks in advance!