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A tale of 2 Westchester dinners

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A tale of 2 Westchester dinners

Jkos | Oct 14, 2003 02:38 PM

I have been out to dinner with a bit more regularity of late, and wanted to recount my meals of this past weekend.

Turkish Meze, Mamaroneck: This may not be your most atmospheric restaurant in a nice locale, but this kitchen is putting out fantastic food. With two meals here under my belt in the past 6 weeks, I must admit to being addicted to their food. For appetizers, I have shared the salad platter with a wonderfully smoky babaganoush and good hummos, sweet and delicious stuffed grape leaves and assorted other goodies, served of course with warm pita. On the second trip, however, I was blown away by their falafel. Out comes a platter of 6 falafels incredibly crispy and light. Topping these delicious falafels was two sauces, a light yogurt sauce and a reduction of pomegrante juice for a sweet touch. The other starter was a well-spiced and delicious lentil soup.

I split entrees on the latter trip, sharing a succulent special beef and lamb doner. This doner consisted of crispy but juicy slices of beef and lamb spread out on a smokey bed of sauteed eggplant(somehow much different that babaganoush). This dish was so good, that I was reluctant to share, but the counterpoint was fabulous and surprising as well. Breast of chicken rolled around a stuffing of cous cous, currants, nuts and spices all topped with a fresh tarragon cream sauce. Subtle and delicious, but surprising for its presentation (fanned out on the plate and covered with fresh slices of fried potato) and flavors, as I would suggest Moroccan or even French before Turkish. We finished with a slice of heavenly baklava and turkish coffee. By the way, note that the drink menu is limited to beer and wine and is limited at that. The Turkish beer to me was the perfect accompaniment.

The counterpoint was Striped Bass in Tarrytown, although perhaps my expectations were high from the prior night's meal. Despite the Hudson/TZ Bridge views, the decor is sparse and the bar is grunge. The menu was very typical seafood, with a bar like appetizer list (wings etc.). Fried calamari was crisp and not overcooked as so often happens, but the "jerk" wings carried a funky taste that did not resemble jerk. Our table also shared a pedestrian greek salad and extremely mediocre ribs. Although the sauce was fine, the ribs were clearly not cooked long enough as the meat was unpleasantly sticking to the bones.

My entree, a special of "diver" scallops definitely consisted of fresh seafood, but the sauce was way too sweet (I believe from coconut milk) not even considering the delicate flavor of the diver scallops. There was also too much sauce clogging up the plate, which made it difficult to avoid on the scallops. The dish was accompanied by steamed baby spinach and an interesting sweet potato pancake. The pancake was good, but the combination with the scallops and coconut milk sauce did not work for me. Be warned too on Saturday night of when the band starts to play behind a thin glass wall. For me, it was the most enjoyable part of the meal, but if you are looking for romantic ambience by the river, the band will ruin that mood.

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