Monday, April 23, 2012


Westchester County is just north of the Bronx here in New York City. I went online to see what I could do for a weekend. My friend Laurie loves to drive so off we went on Friday morning with the first destination being a nature center called Beczak Environmental Education Center in the city of Yonkers and located along the Hudson River.

They present exhibits and programs for all ages to raise environmental awareness and encourage informed stewardship of the Hudson River, the Saw Mill River and the Bronx River. It's mostly for kids. Learning programs includes hopping aboard a fishing boat and checking out the creatures that dwell in the rivers. I was busy checking out the turtles in the tanks.

Just outside in the back are these pieces of artwork sitting along a fence. Recycled and "framed". Two dimensional and depicting the history of the area.

Down the block, so to speak, is a place called The Barge, another environmental center run on solar panels. It's another thing for kids to learn about the cleaning up of the Hudson River. What's special about The Barge is that they grow hydroponic plants and vegetables.

A walk away is an area with some shops and restaurants. One restaurant that jets out over the Hudson is called X20 aka Peter Kelly's X20. That's where we had lunch.

Unfortunately they only serve sushi in the evening, but I did start the meal with some great Sake. Smoked Salmon Spring Roll with Goat Cheese & Mango was just a bit more than an amuse bouche sent out by the chef. It set me up for an expectation of how good the food would be.

Roasted Fennel Soup served with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Fennel Fronds sounded interesting and tasted great (I wonder if they stomp on pumpkin seeds to get the oil). It didn't have an overpowering licorice flavor and I happen to be Frond of fennel.

Salad is a must for me. This one had Heirloom Beets (not just the red ones) and Field Lettuce topped with crumbled goat cheese. Mmmmm...tasty.

Since I couldn't have sushi I ordered Soft Shell Crab Tempura. It was served over Mesclun & Heirloom Beets (beets are good for you) with Spring Ramps (a wild green veggie) and Jalapeno Aioli.

We then ordered our entrees. Pan Seared Montuak Skate Wing with Robuchon Potatoes & Asparagus topped with a balsamic brown butter and Lemon Crumbs. Robuchon potatoes are cooked in lightly salted water with skins on. After draining the potatoes are then peeled and put through a food mill. Then they are dried out over a low flame and emulsified with butter and milk. Now if that isn't enough to achieve a texture, they are passed through a fine sieve. It's almost like sipping mashed potatoes. Loved it and the rest of the dish.

The second entree was Ravioli with Short Ribs & Foie Gras in Truffle Butter with Broccoli Rabe and Grated Amoretti (I'll have to ask again as to what this is). Entree was sooooo delicious.

Got some samplings of dessert (Can you say, "doggie bag?"). House Made Grand Marnier Ice Cream. I can't resist tasting house made ice creams. Classic Carrot Cake made with Mascarpone Frosting and Rum Anglaise. Liked that it didn't have a "spice" taste. Warm Soft Chocolate Cake with Pistachio Ice Cream. Close to having one of those chocolate lava cakes...mmmmm....chocolate. Will have to return for dinner some time...after a few hours on the tread mill.

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