Sam’s of Gedney Way: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2012

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Sam’s I am. This week, I made my first visit to Sam’s of Gedney Way, knowing full well that I was late to the party. It seems as though most people already have a Sam’s connection. This White Plains institution has been around for a quarter of a century, and the restaurant does catering and hosts meetings, beyond serving the regulars. It’s a bright spot in every way, from the welcoming staff to the color-drenched walls, with pixel-perfect food porn and a vibrant mural of happy diners.

Guest blogger Jessica Cohn here. Sam’s has their special HVRW menu available online, so I won’t bother outlining the possibilities, should you decide to give them a try this week. I’ll just start where I started, with crunchy coconut shrimp, big ones, resting on an oh-so refreshing jicama mango slaw.

My dining partner went for the butternut squash bisque, which she gave a B+. As she says, “It’s very hard to get an A out of me.” For the main course, she ordered the sea scallops (A-), which were treated like sea queens on a float of oranges, beets, and goat cheese with pecans. (Me, I would have given that dish an A.)

Now, I am a fool for recipes that use capers. No idea why. But I do know that’s why I ended up choosing the crab cakes with couscous, from a list of mouthwatering possibilities. Take a look. Not colorful, but moments after the photo was taken, I got to start breaking off little pieces and choosing which taste to have in what order. The sauce that sits across from the crunchy steamed beans was a sweep of dill and caper. Just super. And the cakes were hidden sea treasures.

For dessert, it was poached pear, with candy brittle and sweet cheese. No words needed.

At Sam’s, I appreciated the work done in the kitchen and fully enjoyed the atmosphere, thanks in no small part to the staff out front. Let me make a point of that, because lately I am finding restaurants where the servers seem to have their minds on their iPhones. Look. When we come to your work, we are often pretty tired from our own work, and we just want dishes that are fresh, along with some thoughtful service. Just remind us once or twice why we did not eat at home, where the food is cheaper. You know? The waiter at Sam’s was the prototype. Nice. Energetic. There before I knew I needed something. Not overly intrusive. Professional. Enough said.

Over and out. But fortunately for everyone, HVRW isn’t . . .

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

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