Monroe College’s Dining Lab Offers Westchester Quality Eats on the Cheap

PLUS: New fried chicken at A Place 2 Go in New Rochelle, and Gardiner’s Bounty of the Hudson



Broke-A** Alert: Monroe College’s The Dining Lab

In the event that you’re not plugged into the cheapskate grapevine, I’d like to tell you about a shockingly good deal. Just like snagging a free student haircut by stylists-in-training at the Vidal Sassoon Salon, or just like dining at any of the five restaurants operated at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, you can get lovely, heavily discounted meals at The Dining Lab, a pop-up restaurant operated by Monroe College School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in New Rochelle. The meals are prepared and served by students as part of the school’s curriculum. The tiny tabs— three courses for $18 (plus gratuity), with some small supplemental fees—goes strictly toward offsetting cost. The Dining Lab is a non-profit venture.

The Dining Lab operates through July 25th and only on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Look for three seatings (6:30, 7:00, and 7:30 pm) and an on-trend menu with elite ingredients that’s painstakingly prepared by students. For the cheapskate clincher, The Dining Lab is unlicensed to serve alcohol. That means it’s BYO—so, that’s right: no 300 percent restaurant upcharge for wine.

Here’s a sample menu from the night we visited:

Starters:

· watermelon salad with marinated local feta, pickled Vidalia onions, micro mint, white balsamic and local honey dressing vinaigrette, lemon pepper biscotti

· carnaroli risotto with fresh sweet corn purée and butter poached lobster, chive oil, sea salt $3 supplement

· fresh egg tagliatelle with shrimp, calamari, marinara sauce, light cream and fresh pesto

· duo of house-smoked salmon and gravlax, new potato salad, horseradish crème fraîche, petite salad of local greens, organic capers, diced sweet onion, chopped hard-cooked egg, cut chives

  

 Mains:

· grilled marinated pork mignon with jerk rub, homemade mango ketchup, braised red cabbage, roasted fingerling potatoes, daily market vegetables

· duo of Freebird All-Natural Chicken, stuffed chicken with apricot and house-made jambon de Paris, chicken pierogies with caramelized onions, herb chicken velouté, wilted Tuscan greens, daily market vegetables

· butter-poached farmed salmon filet with warm citrus emulsion, savory white corn grits with caramelized red onion and truffle sea salt, wilted Tuscan greens, daily market vegetables

· Maple Leaf Farms duckling, pan-seared Asian five spiced duck breast with a spicy duck crepinette, homemade plum Chardonnay compote, sautéed spaetzle, daily market vegetables

· grilled tri-tip sirloin steak basted with homemade “Father and Son’s” BBQ Sauce, roasted fingerling potato, daily market vegetables, $2 supplement

· daily market vegetables: sautéed melange of local summer squash, green zucchini, green and wax beans with lemon balm and garlic butter

· selection of New York State artisan cheeses plate of three cheeses served with homemade wine crackers, Vidalia onion and rhubarb conserve, Wild Thyme Farms Honey, local fruit $3 supplement

Desserts

· Spanish brandy and almond nougat semifreddo, almond Joconde, fig gelée, chocolate sauce

· almond Financier cake, mascarpone cream, roasted peaches, Prosecco sorbet, rose crystals, honey tuile

· spiced Israeli couscous Bavarian cream mousse with dried fruits, poached apricots, lemon sorbet, hazelnut meringue, blood orange sauce

To book, call (914) 740-6421 or email info@thedininglab.com.

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HotDate

Road Trip! The Bounty of the Hudson kicks off in nearby Gardiner, NY
July 27 and 28, noon to 5 pm
$25 per person
Oh, yes, folks—we’re talking day drinking with a moral imperative. The Bounty of the Hudson is the Hudson Valley’s largest annual gathering of wineries and producers. Expect tastes from the wineries along the Shawangunk Wine Trail as you tuck into bites from the area's best farmers and producers. Chef Shawn Hubbell will be there to showcase local beef, chorizo, vegetables, and more, all from Gardiner Farms. Prepared food and the farm products will be available for purchase. Your ticket includes a wine glass and tastings from all 20 participating wineries. For tickets, click here.

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HotPlate

The New Fried Chicken in Town: A Place 2 Go
If there’s one thing that Westchester has been missing, it’s great fried chicken. Sure, there is the chicken at Alvin and Friends, but what if you can’t get in? The big news now is the Dutch-oven cooked fried chicken at A Place 2 Go in New Rochelle. It’s incredible chicken, moist and flavorful—but also sexy, crunchy, and deep-fried. What’s not to love about that?

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