Healthy MedMex Restaurant Opens in Scarsdale

tacos

Shrimp Tacos at PopoJito

A new, 30-seat restaurant in Scarscale is offering gluten-free, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a Mexican sensibility. PopoJito, located at 47 Christie Place across from the Scarsdale train station, is the latest culinary venture of Chef Constantine Kalandranis. He also owns 8 North Broadway in Nyack and 273 Kitchen in Harrison. Like those other restaurants, PopoJito offers creative, fresh fare featuring locally-sourced proteins, seasonal vegetables and classic flavor elements like smooth tahini and bright citrus.

Healthy with a Twist
What makes PopoJito different is its Mexican-inspired dish structuring, using freshly made corn-based tacos and tortillas to encase an array of grilled, cured or roasted proteins, along with chunks of lemony vegetable salads.

Every dish on the menu is designed to be both delicious and healthy. There are no gluten-based products used in the restaurant, and the menu is paleo-friendly. They are also fully organic, incorporating locally sourced ingredients that contain no GMOs, antibiotics, refined sugar or trans fats.

The food at PopoJito’s can be enjoyed either on the go or in the good-vibes-only restaurant. For visitors who choose to dine in, the space has a casual, welcoming atmosphere that invites them to relax and linger over their food. For those diners, PopoJito’s offers a tequila bar along with wine and beer.

Melding Meals
The name PopoJito merges the Greek word for “wow” (popo) and the Spanish word for “beautiful” (jito).

“It’s delicious and practical to meld elements of Mediterranean classics with Mexican sensibility to create super-tasty, healthy and portable dishes like grilled octopus with lemony tomato and cucumber drizzled with tahini and wrapped in a freshly made warm tortilla,” Kalandranis says. “Our customers in Westchester want great-tasting food that is straightforward, satisfying and easy. We’ve designed PopoJito’s essence around convenient and sophisticated food that is commuter-friendly.”

Kalandranis trained at the Culinary Institute of America, where he learned about cooking techniques, service and professionalism. Before opening his own restaurants in Westchester, he worked at esteemed dining establishments including Gotham Bar & Grill, Brasserie Perrier, Veritas, L’impero, The Tasting Room and Anthos, which received a Michelin Star. He also cooked for President Barack Obama at the White House.

After falling in love with the Hudson Valley during college, Kalandranis returned to the area to open 8 North Broadway. In 2015, he opened 273 Kitchen as well as 251 Lex in Mount Kisco.

PopoJito is open Monday through Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Contact the restaurant at 914.713.8946. For more info or to see a menu, visit PopoJito.com.

 

 

Something for Everyone: “Clean” Food Becomes Comfort Food at Eda’s Garden

chefs

When Adil Mustafaraj opened Eda’s Garden, a new café-style restaurant in Yorktown, he refused to limit himself to a certain type of menu. He and his wife had found inspiration from many restaurants they’d visited over the years—vegan, farm-to-table, kid-friendly, organic, diet-specific—and he wanted to borrow from all of them to deliver comfort food in a casual setting.

He knew he’d found the person to bring his vision to life when Jonathan Gonzales answered his ad for executive chef. It was a Sunday afternoon, and Gonzales came in and quickly mixed up five salad dressings and then a full three-course meal for Mustafaraj and some friends.

Mustafaraj was impressed with Gonzales’s skills in the kitchen, and Gonzales was excited by Mustafaraj’s vision. The menu ideas started flowing.

They decided to make most items plant-based, so that customers who are vegan or can’t eat animal proteins can enjoy them. Any animal products used would be of the highest quality possible, such as free-range organic chicken, wild sockeye salmon, local eggs and organic whole milk.

“We want to make everyone feels welcome and taken care of,” Gonzales says.

Hence a broad variety of food and drinks, from homemade soups made fresh daily (veggie chili, “cream” of potato made with coconut milk, broccoli “cheddar” made with cashew, several bean soups); to organic smoothies (the Green Monster is made of kale, mango, dates, spirulina and almond milk); to fresh organic juices (like the Road Runner, which is pineapple, spinach, kale, pear and cayenne pepper); to hot teas (chamomile, earl grey, green, chai, hibiscus) and cold tea blends (chai master, berry burst, lean green).

Then there’s Eda’s Garden’s very own footlong: the XL Falafel Wrap. “That’s a big seller,” Mustafaraj says. “It’s homemade, gluten-free, baked chickpea falafel pieces in a 100 percent lentil wrap, with hummus.”

In keeping with its inclusive mission, the restaurant is also developing a kids’ menu. So far it has four items: Mac ’N’ Cheese, Little Dippers, Kids’ Parfait and Mediterranean Snack Pack. It even has Taco Tuesday (three tacos for $12).

While Gonzales is constantly introducing new menu items, he’s also paying particular attention to diet-specific needs, keeping everything gluten-free and keeping oil to a minimum.

“You can love what you eat and still have it be healthy,” he says. Mustafaraj nods. “Our food is delicious because we love what we do—and cook with love and care.” Food is available for eat-in or takeout, and catering and delivery are available with a minimum $30 order.

Eda’s Garden, located at 1871 Commerce St., Yorktown Heights, NY, is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info, call the restaurant at 914.352.6280 or visit EdasGarden.com or Facebook.com/EdasGarden.

 

Hayfields Market Is “A New Take on an Old Store”

hayfields-customersHayfields Market, which opened last year in North Salem, is “a new take on an old store,” says co-owner Renea Dayton. It serves breakfast and lunch every day and sells provisions and other goodies, and its menu is a blend of traditional (classic sandwiches and fresh-baked goods) and and modern (world-class Illy coffee and espresso). Or as Dayton puts it, “We have free Wi-Fi, free dog treats and free carrots for your horse.”

The owners, who live locally, get their inspiration from the many hayfields all around town, Dayton says, and their goal is to keep prices reasonable and quality high. Hayfields serves hyper-local products from several bakers and farmers in the North Salem area, as well as local foods from a partnership with Hudson Valley Harvest. It offers a variety of gluten-free and some vegan options. “The gluten-free cheese roll has become a highlight for any sandwich on the menu,” Dayton says.

Although Hayfields is typically known for its summer business, the store will be open all winter long. In preparation for the holidays, the market is taking orders for fresh, locally raised turkeys. It also stocks a variety of seasonal candles and coffee table books for holiday gifts. Show them this news brief for a complimentary coffee or espresso.

Hayfields Market is located at the corner of Bloomer Road and Route 121, at 1 Bloomer Rd., North Salem. For more info, visit HayfieldsMarket.com or call 914.669.8275

BeWies Expands Its Fresh-Baked Gluten-Free Menu

BeWies baked goodsWhen BeWies Holistic Market and health food store began offering baked-from-scratch gluten-free cinnamon muffins a few months ago, the response was so great that Amy Berman and Julie Wiesen, the mother-daughter team that owns BeWies, decided to add even more fresh-baked, gluten-free fare.

“We are now baking gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, carrot breakfast muffins and banana breakfast muffins,” Wiesen says, “and are continuing to expand our assortment of gluten-free baked goods for customers to eat here or take home.”

She says their favorite part of their job is meeting new customers, and since they’ve introduced their gluten-free menu they’ve had plenty of new customers who come into the store having been diagnosed with an illness or food sensitivities requiring a special diet. “We’re able to work with them to help them select foods that support their health and nutritional goals,” she says. “We’re also constantly working with our produce suppliers to bring in the most local, seasonal and delicious fruits and vegetables. We use the produce to make fresh salads daily that are vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.”

 BeWies Holistic Market is located at 430 Bedford Rd., Armonk, NY, in the Moderne Barn Plaza. For more information, call 914.273.9437 or visit BeWies.com.

 

Reverie Caffe Opens at 21 Front Street in Putnam County, NY

reviereThe story behind Reverie Caffe, Patterson, NY’s, newest breakfast and lunch spot, is a familiar one—something about necessity being the mother of invention. Or as owners Megan and Francesca Denaut explain it, “We’d been waiting for a place to enjoy great conversation, good food, coffee and espresso, but sadly that didn’t exist in Patterson. So we decided to make it ourselves.”

The sisters set out to create “a place with a life-giving atmosphere in which to enjoy creative eating and authentic espresso.” The restaurant they opened in October is so much more.

Although Reverie Caffe offers a unique menu of salads, paninis and soups, patrons are also encouraged to orchestrate their own meals, Francesca says. “Any item can be tailored around your personal dietary desires, whether they be vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. Almost everything is made in-house, so every single ingredient is known. Thanks to our world-traveled, Ritz-Carlton-trained chef, Robert Timan, we’re able to offer health-conscious snacks and meals at a great price.”

Even with that worldly influence, Reverie Caffe likes to keep it local, using coffee beans from Bear Mountain Coffee Roasters in nearby Mahopac, and herbal teas from Harney and Sons in Millerton. “Teaming up with them allows us to bring our customers a great product while supporting other businesses right in our own neighborhood,” Megan says. “Small towns thrive on local businesses, and being able to work together helps everyone.”

Reverie Caffe, 21 Front Street, Patterson, NY, also offers takeout by phone or text (845.818.0044). For more info, visit ReverieCaffe.com or Facebook.com/ReverieCaffe.

SOUP’S HOT at Local Neighborhood Eateries

Pumpkin soup on served tableby Rinku Bhattacharya

Cold, snowy days bring with them the joys of celebrating home and hearth, indulging in warm and satisfying meals, and taking time to pause over a steaming bowl of soup. When done right, a good bowl of soup will warm the body and give you the much-needed nourishment to keep you healthy through the winter. In perusing local offerings, we found enough diverse and delicious soups to keep us nourished and happy. Neighborhood eateries are right up there when it comes to providing you a good bowl of soup, and often they are the next best thing to making the soup yourself.

Here is a short list of some of our favorite soup spots.

Bread Alone: Located in Rhinebeck, this European-style café offers more than just bread. It also brings to your table a good selection of breakfast offerings, salads and comforting soups that are perfectly complemented by their assorted breads (my personal favorite being the whole-wheat sourdough). The bakery is usually a common fixture in area farmers’ markets and is committed to working with locally procured ingredients.

45 E. Market St., Rhinebeck, NY; 845.876.3108

 

Ladle of Love: Located in Mount Kisco, this farm-to-table food shop has its roots in the simple, nourishing soups that proprietress Leslie Lampert initially made for two friends who were battling breast cancer, and later for Millwood, NY, firefighters working at Ground Zero after 9/11. Her menu offers a diverse selection of handcrafted soups and stews, ranging from her signature chicken and dumplings to hearty vegetarian offerings such as the Tuscan tomato, as well as salads and paninis for the “grab and go” customer. Café of Love, an award-winning farm-to-table bistro, is located above the food shop, while the newly launched Love On The Run delivers Ladle’s food to customers all over Westchester County. In keeping with its original mission, Ladle of Love continues to support local charities and community efforts each month.

11B South Moger Ave., Mount Kisco, NY; 914.242.9661

Skinny Buddha: Also located in Mount Kisco, the Skinny Buddha offers a fresh, clean approach to food and cooking, with healthy daily menus that offer organic soups that are usually vegan and gluten-free. The rest of their menu consists of salads that have optional add-ons for meat or sustainable seafood, such as their tantric tuna salad. The emphasis here is on a wholesome approach to eating and a natural lifestyle, with a mission to help people change the way they eat.

159 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco, NY; 914.666.9646

 

Jolo’s Kitchen: Our fourth find for good and hearty soup is in New Rochelle. This family-owned business dishes up comforting vegan food straight from the heart. Whether you are in the mood for the hot soup of the day or want to try your luck at the raw cashew and vegetable bowl, this place is the spot for a delicious, plant-based bite. Their menu encompasses small plates, soups and entrées, all prepared with fresh and sustainable ingredients.

412 North Ave., New Rochelle, NY; 914.355.2527