Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2011: Meet Guest Blogger Maria Goldstein


Hello All!  My name is Maria Goldstein and I’m an HVRW freshman.  I’m new to guest blogging but have been reviewing restaurants for years – although my audience up to now has been limited to myself and to whomever I was sharing a meal with.  Be that as it may, here are some things that influence my take on dining out…

Prior to becoming a permanent Rockland County-ite I lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for years and took advantage of as many eateries as humanly and financially possible.  (It was, and still is, amazing to me how many different cuisines one could devour within a five-block radius.)

Since moving to Rockland County more than 10 years ago, going out to eat has become a more selective process.  My husband and I have two children so for years we only went to places that offered kid-friendly, utensils-are-optional menus.

Thankfully, now that they’re getting older, our options have increased but so have their appetites.  So, if we’re all piling into the car and traveling more than three minutes to splurge on dinner, the food and the experience better be well worth the effort and expense.  On those occasions when dining sans children means arranging for a babysitter, you can bet our expectations get kicked up a notch.

My professional background as a sales trainer and marketer definitely adds color to my perception of the restaurant scene.  Over the years I’ve created a boat load of tools and programs designed to improve sales and customer service skills so I’m pretty critical in both these areas.  No matter how good the food tastes or how beautiful the presentation is, bad service is a serious buzzkill.

Any other qualifications I bring to the table (pun intended) come from abstract concepts like having an adventurous palate, being blessed with an iron stomach, and the deep emotional connection I have to my Thermador stove.  All this and more contributes to my love for and fascination with food – so much so that I recently became a neophyte food blogger (  Since I’m just starting to become part of the blogosphere, Restaurant Week has given me a reason to be truly and unnaturally giddy.  Thanks for the opportunity!


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Guest bloggers are encouraged to contribute to Small Bites. To submit an idea, email food editor Liz Johnson at

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