HVRW November 2015: New Participant – 251 LEX, Mt. Kisco


This week has us exploring a few restaurants, and with 251 Lex being a newcomer to the HVRW family, it needed a definite try. The owners of 8 North Broadway in Nyack and now, on this side of the bridge, 273 Kitchen and 251 Lex, have a special formula for food and service. Although this restaurant is but one month old we were thrilled on both fronts.IMG_9525House Cured Salmon Gravlax Tsatziki, Red Onion, Capers was buttery and not overly salted. The cucumber detracted from the fish but the radishes were a nice accompaniment and a lovely plate.

Hi! Donna Monaco Olsen here, coordinator for the Taste of Westchester Continuing Education program for WCC to share with you from a delicious meal during HVRW 2015. Being a food writer in Westchester, I like to explore new places that are not on my typical radar. I am often asked to recommend places to dine by many of the attendees of my cooking classes. It is great to have a new recommendation that we will be sure to re-visit soon.

This restaurant occupies the old Flying Pig on Lexington and has a fantastic outside space that will be beautiful come warmer months. Owner Richard Mitchell was at the bar helping to make everyone happy in the small space as they were expecting a full house even on a weeknight. The upstairs is not up and running yet but will be soon and it will double the available tables. Johna (front of the house) and Owner and Chef Constantine Kalandranis are really putting forth some wonderful plates of the freshest ingredients. The menu is primarily fish and seafood and is changed daily. One of the things evident is the use of fresh and seasonal ingredients. In all dishes the vegetables played a star role as well as the proteins. Here is a sampling of the offerings that night.

IMG_9529“Today’s Fresh Kneaded Pasta” offering luckily for us was Goat Cheese Gnudi Pasta, Celery Leaf, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, and Soft Garlic in a Brown Butter Sauce. They were lighter than air. The waiter explained how they minimally handle the potato dough, then gently wrap it around a tiny piece of goat cheese. It makes for a delicate and tangy bite (cut open to show off the creamy inside).IMG_9524The Raw Sliced Yellowfin Tuna, Shaved Radish, Scallions, Charred Green Tomato Vinaigrette was fresh and tasty. Lovely as a starter.IMG_9528The “Fish of the Moment” Hand selected from our NY Local Docks was a Grilled Mediterranean Branzino served with Today’s Farm Vegetables. The fish was fresh tasting with a crisp skin covering a beautiful white fillet. The vegetables should not be overlooked as they were not just a side on the plate. They were beautifully prepared and a nice variety including broccoli, romenesco, kale and pickled cabbage.IMG_9527Grilled Octopus, Marinated Chickpeas, Farm Vegetables was prepared very well. It was dry and smokey, with a perfect texture served over marinated beans to compliment the octopus (shown here over a lovely bed of vegetables due to a pepper allergy). It was one of the best octopus preparations we have tried.The cast iron skillet added to the char and kept everything hot.IMG_9530Blooming Hill Farm Apple Cobbler tart with brandy and toasted coconut. IMG_9531Quince and Honey Cake with sour notes throughout. Although not the star of the show, the desserts were creative and utilized local farms seasonal ingredients.

Overall both the service and food at this newcomer was very good. This is one for your “short list” before the rest of Westchester finds out! The owners are hoping to do a cooking class for WCC in summer 2016 where I hope you will join us at several of Westchester’s most exciting restaurants for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds. Each chef offers private cooking demonstration, followed by a tasting of the prepared items. The current Fall 2015 semester is going on now and has many great classes still available to take registrations, Check out the current offerings at WCC Continuing Ed, Taste of Westchester. Classes are only $15 plus a sampling fee. Sign up with a friend for one demonstration or a few by contacting WCC by phone at 606-6830×1.

Go to: 251 Lex, 251 Lexington Avenue, Mount Kisco, NY 10549   914-218-8156

Open: Monday-Thursday and Sunday 5:00pm-10:00pm, and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm-11:00pm



About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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