Health Supportive and Delicious

Last week, Kristina had the opportunity to enjoy a tasting at Recologie, a shop, cafe and restaurant in New Rochelle, NY. Located steps away from Metro North and downtown shops, Recologie is a great addition to the neighborhood with its selection of fair trade goods and health supportive cuisine. At Recologie, you can shop, eat, and enjoy a variety of activities including songwriting, poetry nights and live music.

While Recologie’s shop and cafe (known as the Vistro Cafe) have been open to the public for some time, the kitchen just opened and features a variety of healthy vegetarian and vegan fare. As you’ll see from the pictures below, the food is not just healthy, it’s also a treat for the eyes! During the tasting, the group sampled a variety of items including soups, salad, empanadas, fritters, polenta and, let’s not forget, a gluten-free vegan chocolate cake! The group also heard from Recologie’s team of chefs, including Ihsaana Muhammad, Sophia Urban and Giovanni who strive for an edgy, off-beat, cross-cultural menu. They certainly achieved that with the tasting, which was filling and delicious but didn’t result in that heavy feeling that sometimes comes with eating a large meal.

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Recologie will definitely be high on our list when we’re in the mood for health-conscious, creative food. It has a comfortable, community feel and with its combined shop/cafe/restaurant model, it offers something for everyone. Be sure to check out their calendar of events, or drop by for a tasty meal sometime soon. Please let us know if you give Recologie a try!


49 Lawton Street

New Rochelle NY 10801

Peru Picante Restaurant Week

Winter is in full effect in NYC and what better way to stay warm than enjoy some meals during Peru Picante Restaurant Week. Aji Amarillo, the hot little yellow pepper and cornerstone of Peruvian cooking, is being celebrated across eight restaurants in NYC.

Peru Picante Restaurant Week

Peru Picante Restaurant Week

If you enjoy Peruvian food like we do, you’ll enjoy three course prix-fixe meals from participating restaurants like Chimu, Coco Roco and Surfish in Brooklyn, Jora in Queens, Raymi in Chelsea, Panca in the West Village, Pio Pio in Hell’s Kitchen (also their Upper West Side location) which is also near Warique.

Guests will enjoy classic dishes like Ceviche, Lomo Saltado, and Aji de Gallina alongside some modern creations such as Pescado Aji Amarillo and Aji Amarillo Crab Risotto. Drinks get their due too as Aji Amarillo spices up some paired Pisco cocktails at Pio Pio and other spots.

For more information, visit www.naturallyperu.infoDiners need only to ask their servers for the Aji Amarillo Peru Picante menu at participating restaurants. Guests can also enter a chance to win a gift certificate by taking pictures and using the hashtag #PeruPicanteNYC. Peru Picante NYC Restaurant Week is sponsored by the Trade Commission of Peru in New York.

Twice the Spice

As the temperatures get cooler and the days get shorter, we find ourselves eager to eat out on Friday nights. We count on Yelp to help us find new places to eat, and the site recently led us to Spice Village in Tuckahoe for dinner.

When we entered Spice Village, we were immediately greeted by the scent of curries and knew we were in for a treat. We started with an order of vegetable samosas and chose Chicken Sag Tikka and Chicken Tikka Masala for our main dishes. Of course, we couldn’t skip an order of naan, though apparently we went through it too quickly to snap a picture! At the end of our meal, we were pleasantly surprised by a complementary order of Gulab Jamun, which we somehow managed to find room for in our full stomachs.


Before we left, we learned that Spice Village offers an all-you-can-eat buffet during the week. Allen enjoyed his dinner so much that he returned for lunch a few days later. For $9.95, you can eat from a selection of appetizers, salads, vegetarian dishes, tandoori kebabs, curries, naan fresh from the tandoori oven, and a variety of chutneys, fresh fruit and tasty desserts.


Sample plate from the lunch buffet


If you’re in the mood for Indian food and find yourself near Tuckahoe, NY, consider giving Spice Village a try. We’ll surely be back soon.

Spice Village

8 Columbus Ave

Tuckahoe, NY 10707

Food & Family

From time to time, we enjoy reading Westchester Magazine to learn about new places to eat in the area. An article written by food writer Leslie Anne-Brill highlighted Fantasy Cuisine in Hartsdale. According to Leslie, if you can’t make it to Chinatown for Joe’s Shanghai’s famous soup dumplings, you can satisfy your appetite right in Westchester.

On a day off, Allen and his family decided to skip a trip to Flushing in order to see for themselves what Fantasy Cuisine had to offer. Here’s his take:

It was a busy day so we waited anxiously for a table. Once we were seated, we were ready to eat!

To start, we ordered scallion pancakes, veggie dumplings, house special buns… and of course, we had to try the soup dumplings. The duck was well-cooked and the juicy skin provided a taste similar to what is offered in Flushing. The soup dumplings were good, but it’s hard to beat Joe Shanghai’s old recipe.

The menu at Fantasy Cuisine has a lot to offer from classic Szechuan dishes to noodles (regular and stir-fried) and other traditional Asian staples. After much thought, we ordered General Tso’s Chicken and chicken chow fun for our meals. Both were well cooked with great flavor and taste.

Next time a trip down to Flushing seems too far, we’ll definitely stop by Fantasy Cuisine to satisfy our crave for Asian fare!

Fantasy Cuisine

20 N. Central Ave

Hartsdale, NY 10580

From 5K to Indian Road

Last weekend we decided to run the NYCRUNS Hot Chocolate 5K at Riverside Park with a few friends. We ran the same race back in February and figured it would be a fun way to work off some of the turkey and sides we indulged in over Thanksgiving. Prior to the race, we were a little concerned about possible chilly temperatures but it turned out to be a mild day perfect for outdoor running.

5K complete!

5K complete!

After the race, we rewarded ourselves with brunch at Indian Road Cafe, a popular place for good eats in the Inwood neighborhood. Allen tried something new and ordered the Tofu Scramble while Kristina ordered Eggs Benedict, her favorite for brunch. The scramble was very good and might inspire us to make more tofu dishes on our own. The Eggs Benedict were predictably delicious, and the salad and parmesan potatoes that accompanied them made for a tasty plate.

Not only did it feel good to complete a 5K, it was great to catch up with friends and meet new ones. If you’re ever in Inwood, we highly recommend going to Indian Road Cafe!

Indian Road Cafe
600 West 218th Street
New York, NY 10034

Belgian Brunch

A few weeks ago, half of FP (Kristina) met friends for an early Sunday brunch in NYC. Finding a good spot that is open on the early side can be tricky, but Petite Abeille near Union Square delivered.

I usually goes for savory brunch, but Petite Abeille is known for their Belgian waffles, so I decided to give them a try. With strawberries and whipped cream, they didn’t disappoint! Another plus for Petite Abeille? We were definitely there before noon on a Sunday, but we didn’t have any trouble ordering mimosas… just saying. :)

What are your favorite brunch spots in NYC?

Petite Abeille
44 West 17th Street
New York, NY

Slice of the South

As NYers, we tend to think of NYC and its surrounding areas as a food mecca. However, being fans of Chopped, we also know that many cities across the country hold their own when it comes to showcasing their culinary talent and delicious fare. Recently, the city of Nashville, TN was well represented as two local chefs, Garrett Pittler and Kristin Beringson, made it to the final round and competed for the title of Chopped Champion. Only one talented chef from the southern city could prevail, and it was Kristin who took home the title and prize. We caught up with Kristin to learn more about her and what she did with the $10,000 prize.

Chef Kristin Beringson

Chef Kristin Beringson

FP: How did you get your start with cooking? 

KB: I originally graduated with a business degree, and pursued a career in retail management with Target corporation. Cooking had always been been my passion, and in 2009 I made the decision to leave the retail world behind and enroll in culinary school. I had to work all kinds of odd jobs to make ends meet during my first cooking gigs. After working at a number of restaurants in Nashville, I landed my first executive chef job at the Holland House Bar and Refuge. I am now executive cheffing at City Winery-Nashville.

FP: We’ve read good things about City Winery-Nashville. Tell us more about the venue and its offerings.

KB: City Winery is unlike anything else in Nashville. It’s not only a full service restaurant, but a music venue, a private events space, and a functional winery. I have had the opportunity to fully develop all of the menus for this space. I would say the food pairs well with wine.  There’s a noticeable French influence (which is how I was trained), with a bit of Mediterranean twist on things.

FP: Sounds delicious! Tell us about your experience on Chopped. 

KB: Chopped was a very unique experience. It’s more mentally challenging then the physical side of it. It’s a very long day, especially if you win or make it to the dessert round. There’s so much they edit out, to fit that hour time slot.

FP: What was the hardest ingredient work with? 

KB: I would have to say the most mind boggling ingredient was that darn vegan hotdog.  The texture was awful, and it offered up ZERO flavor.

FP: How did you spend the $10,000 award? 

KB: As far as the 10K, I did a number of things… I had some bills I needed to pay (boring), but I also jazzed up the decor in my condo, and took a ten day trip down the entire pacific coast, eating from city to city.  It was fantastic!

FP: Sounds like you used your winnings for the perfect mix of function and fun. What are some of your favorite meals to cook at home?

KB: It’s sad to say, but I don’t cook at home nearly as much as I will like, but when I do… I love slow braising meats, a brisket or some short ribs. I really also like to entertain, so lots of small amuse bouche sorts of plates. I do staff meal twice a day at the restaurant, which is almost like cooking for my family. These meals truly vary, but can get very interesting, being that it’s such a collaboration!

FP: We’ve heard that Nashville is a great food town. When you go out to eat, name some of your favorite places there or in other cities you’ve visited. 

KB: Nashville really has grown as a food destination over the past few years. It seems like every month there’s new places to try!  Some of my favorites are Rolf and Daughters, Arnolds, Thai Esane, and Bella Napoli.  There’s so many I need to get out and try… Treehouse, Prima, The Sutler, to name a few.

FP: Sounds like a delicious list. We hope to visit Nashville in the near future! 

What are some of your guilty pleasures? We like to call them foodie pleasures, hence the name :)

KB: Guilty pleasure… hmmm.  I would have to say CHEESE.  I love cheese, all kinds of cheese.  I do business with a local company call The Bloomy Rind.  Kathleen, the owner and best monger ever, comes up with some of the most unique combinations. She only sources domestically too.  It’s amazing how much good cheese is available in the US, that most people don’t even know about!

FP: Half of FP (Kristina) is with you on cheese…so good!

What are some of your non-cooking/food related interests and hobbies? What’s a day off like for you?

KB: Most of my life seems to be focused around food even when I’m not working.  I really enjoy going out for a nice meal on my days off.  Some days I really enjoy just relaxing with my fur baby, Princess, at home.  When the weather is nice, I like to go fishing or disc golfing!   There really isn’t a norm for any of my days.  I like the ever changing nature of the business I have grown to love!

FP: Thank you, Kristin, for your time. If we visit Nashville, we’ll make sure to reach out!