Visited family in Larchmont last week - first the good, then the bad. Ray's in Larchmont one block from Starbucks in the village is excellent. Wonderfully light and flavorful Shanghai cuisine. Lightly battered crispy shrimp with plenty of snap. Delicious orange chicken with a tangy sauce. Double Happiness chicken and beef to make your mouth water. Pork fried rice chock full of goodies. All sauces light with plenty of (different) flavors - no heavy corn starch goo. Everything served with a smile and a quip by our friendly waiter (may have been one of the brothers who owns this restaurant and another in Westchester). Thoroughly enjoyable experience - only thing I missed was the black tea served in Cantonese restos - Chinese beer was a good substitute.
Also in Larchmont, on Palmer I think, near the RR station is Renaissance Patisserie. Good Sunday brunch till 2pm. Pastries wonderful - almond croissant something special with the almond cream wound throughout the pastry layers. Very good & buttery brioche square with sliced almonds on top. Chocolate croissant needed more chocolate. Chocolate mousse cake round was scrumptious if a bit pricey at $4.50, but, what the heck, you only live once! Latte was excellent.
Stanz on Chatsworth in Larchmont is a very special place. Six of us went there for lunch, all having something different, and we were all very happy with our meals. Melt-in-the-mouth butternut soup, not too sweet with light and flavorful whole wheat baguette bread. Snappy grilled shrimp salad with lots of feta, olives and mesclun-type greens topped by a light oil & vinegar dressing served very considerately on the side. Delicious baked ham, brie, greens and light sauce on crusty Italian bread. Grilled chicken salad with a southwestern flare. All served with a smile for a very reasonable price.
Now the bad. . . went to the Pelham Bay Diner (1920 E. Gunhill Rd. in the Bronx) on the strength of a recommendation by another Chowhound. Sorry to say that even though it's a nice looking upscale diner (although stuck in the 50s or maybe 70s judging from the decor) and voted best diner three times in the last 10 years, it is AWFUL!!! My fish & chips were very mediocre - fish kind of chewy and french fries tastless, probably frozen. Onion rings over-battered and greasy. Meal billed as pork loin turned out to be 2 thick loin pork chops, the kind of pork that has been treated with a sodium solution to tenderize it, served with gluey brown gravy, awful mashed potatoes (my dining partner thinks they came from canned potatoes, for crying out loud), inedible frozen mixed vegetables and iceberg salad with gloppy dressing for an over-priced $11.95. They couldn't even get simple eggs, hash browns & toast right - eggs tasteless and small, ditto hash browns, toast soggy and over-buttered (or was it margarine?). Avoid at all costs!!!
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