Food Writer Julia Sexton's List of Five Favorite Recent Dishes in Westchester

Julia Sexton, Westchester Magazine restaurant critic and food blogger, gets to taste quite a bit each month. Here, her top five drinks and dishes.




(1) Maple, walnut, and bacon gelato at Crabtree’s Kittle House. Do you remember that moment when bacon went into everything? Bacon donuts, bacon waffles, bacon cocktails, yadda yadda. Sure, that was sort of funny for a while, but it takes real style to do a bacon novelty well. This gelato by Chef Marc Lippman offers a tantalizing whisper of salt and smokehouse in an otherwise classic, and classically delicious, maple-walnut ice cream. It was perfect. I still crave it.

(2) Willett Straight Rye Whiskey at Birdsall House. Again with this column’s embarrassing tendency to out my personal obsessions! After hitting Gleason’s, I slipped by Birdsall House for this closer—it was a warming two fingers hinted with tobacco, clove, and pepper. There was never a better way to end a night.

(3) Oysters at Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish. Here’s a sad fact: Though I often see oysters on the menus of restaurants that I review, I rarely allow myself to order them because 1) they’re expensive and 2) they don’t reveal much about a restaurant other than that it can purchase, store, and shuck an oyster. Nevertheless, I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to be assigned the Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish review (see page 236)—it meant that I’d have a valid excuse to linger in its long and lovingly curated oyster list, and, man, did I enjoy it. Slurp!


(4) Birdsall House Sausage and Rapini Pie at Gleason’s. Every time I see the word “flatbread” used by Gleason’s, I cringe. I mean, doesn’t that word connote ak-mak crackers or that desiccated substrate for birdseed that lurks in your breadbasket? Happily, Gleason’s flatbread is part of Westchester’s new un-pizzas. Here, they’re simply sourdough pizzas, grilled and topped with excellent, often locally sourced, ingredients like this round’s deeply piggy, subtly spiced pork sausage. The sharp, vegetal bite of broccoli rabe countered this pie’s heavenly funk of pork and Grana Padano, but the best part was where the crisp, tangy bottom crust sat in a bit of delicious, clear fat.


(5) Kettle Corn Chaat at Little Spice Bazaar. I absolutely love this Indian import-shop-cum-snack-bar for beautiful and delicious food that also just happens to be healthy. This compellingly crunchy salad of protein-rich chickpeas, fresh corn, red onion, and puffy white bhel was generously salty, tart, and lavishly spiced—with not a punitive bite on the plate.

 

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