Dave Tuttle’s Thanksgiving Pies

November 17th, 2011 by Mary Lynn Mitcham


If you live in the Croton area—and perhaps even if you don’t—then you know Dave Tuttle’s pies are legendary. Decadent crusts full of farm-fresh goodness in every single one. But since Tuttle is basically a one-man show and gives TLC to each one of his pies, he can only make so many. That’s why if you’re interested in ordering one of his homemade desserts for Thanksgiving, you’d better get to it.

Tuttle is taking orders for Thanksgiving now. He says, “The best way to place an order for Thanksgiving pies is to stop by Grouchy Gabe’s in Croton and fill out an order form.” Can’t get there? Send a note to dave@tuttleshomemade or text to 917-991-7661. He’ll also be taking orders at the Peekskill Farmers Market this weekend. “Get your orders in asap,” he warns. “When I reach my threshold I will need to … stop taking … orders. Last year, he baked 250 pies. “That was crazy,” he says. “But for all of you to have my pies on your Thanksgiving table was well worth it.”

Need a little incentive to stop by Grouchy’s or pick up the phone? Here it is…




Others on the menu include: traditional apple pie; traditional pumpkin pie; apple pear pie;  gingered pear with ruby raisins; apple, dried cherry, and pecan; and of course, pecan pie. Pies run between $20 and $30 a piece.


Grouchy Gabe’s is at 8 Old Post Rd. South, Croton-on-Hudson; 914-271-9690.

What are you waiting for?


Restaurants We Love: Chiboust in Tarrytown

November 15th, 2011 by smallbitesguest


Just so we’re clear: I’m not posting this story, which ran in Sunday’s Journal News, to toot my own horn. Just wanted you all to know about a really great restaurant in Tarrytown.

Oh, and by the way, Liz Johnson became a mom yesterday: Samantha Grace Weber was born yesterday at 3:10 p.m. Liz promised to send me photos tomorrow.

Here’s why we love Chiboust:






Restaurants We Love: Chiboust

Look, I’m not knocking the farm-to-table movement—I’m just as obsessed with locally grown food as everybody else. It’s just that when I’m choosing where to eat on a Saturday night, I want a restaurant that can boast more than just greens grown next door. And that’s why I love Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar—this dimly lit eatery, right across from Westchester’s famous Tarrytown Music Hall, has got it all: hip ambience, a terrific wine list, and a farm-to-table menu that’s full of surprises.

Chiboust has been around since 2004, serving French-Mediterranean specialties in a space that was formerly occupied by—can you believe it?—a Laundromat. And while washers and dryers may not conjure up images of glamour, today, the narrow square-footage, lined with tables separated by airy white partitions and backed by a long brick wall, feels romantic and cozy. It’s the perfect place for a pre-theater date, a long, leisurely meal, or to catch up with an old friend.

While the hip, but homey décor hasn’t changed much in seven years, the menu changes all the time—you can eat at Chiboust a few nights a week and never quite know what’s for dinner. And though much of the ingredients are accessible —they come from the Tarrytown, White Plains, and Ossining Farmers’ Markets, when they’re in town — trust me, few of us will cook up these wonders at home. Chef/Owner Jill Rose started as a pastry chef—she’s known for her outlandish desserts at New York City’s Aureole and Lespinasse—and since March 2010 she’s been heading up Chiboust’s kitchen, too.

On a recent visit, I started with the moules frites, mussels with a side of French fries. Steamed in a garlic-wine-herb-concoction, the mussels were so fresh I swore I could taste the salty air surrounding Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where they’re from. And the fries—a mix of sweet potatoes and regular old potatoes—were salty and crisp, but not overly so. Delicious. For dinner, I skipped the usual (if you can call them that) plats du jour, which included pan-seared Atlantic cod, little neck clams with chorizo, hangar steak with pommes frites, and lamb chops, and instead opted for the special: duck breast, in a bing cherry reduction, served with grilled asparagus over a sweet potato puree. The duck breast was tender and sweet thanks to the bing cherries; and the asparagus was charred crisp sporting that wonderful grill flavor you get from a expert sear. My husband opted for another special: Osso bucco, served over polenta, with haricot verts. The meat eased off the bone and had such a warming, hearty flavor it actually made me glad winter is on the way. The polenta was creamy without hitting that overly rich mark—as if you needed another reason to order this dish.

For dessert, the waitress brought out a tray with everything but the kitchen sink. Talk about hard to choose, there was an apple galette, flourless chocolate cake, a pistachio-and-white-chocolate tart, and a host of others. I opted for the chocolate cake and the pistachio-and-white-chocolate tart—both were good, but the flourless chocolate cake won for me, hands-down. Still, your dessert choices may be different than mine because like the rest of the menu, the dessert offerings are always changing, sometimes because of what the farmers are growing—and sometimes just because of the creative whims of the chefs in the kitchen.

For more Restaurants We Love, turn to the Sunday Life section in the Sunday Journal News.


14 Main Street





posted by Mary Lynn Mitcham



Second Base Options

September 21st, 2011 by Howard Megdal

Worth taking a look at WAR to determine the best second base options for 2012 in-house. The stat really summarizes nicely what the strengths and weaknesses are of the three candidates:

Player                     Offensive WAR  Defensive WAR  Total WAR

Daniel Murphy     1.8                         0.1                         1.9

Justin Turner        1.4                        -1.2                        0.2

Ruben Tejada        1.5                        -0.4                        1.1

Let’s unpack this a bit. In terms of Tejada, it is worth noting that he’s put up reasonable offensive numbers at age-21 in the major leagues. If his glove plays better in 2012 than WAR has it in 2011- and that seems like a reasonable assumption, given his overall talent and defensive track record- he is a perfectly reasonable option at the position in 2012.

Now, I happen to like Daniel Murphy’s defensive potential at second base as well. His shortcomings look to me like the result of a lack of reps at the position, while his range is impressive. If the Mets need Tejada at shortstop, Murphy looks like a strong option at second base. If they don’t, I’d still be inclined to let Murphy start at the position, with Tejada at Triple-A, ready to fill in.

What I won’t want to see is Justin Turner at second base. His defense, from my view, dovetails with the stats, poor range that brings his contributions in 2011 down to replacement level. If the Mets are without Jose Reyes and David Wright next year, a scenario could unfold with Murphy at third base and Tejada at shortstop. Neither of these would be terrible options (though, for reasons it probably isn’t necessary to detail, this would be a massive dropoff from the current occupants of the positions). Turner still shouldn’t be the second baseman. He’ll be 27, and unlike Murphy, he’s played more than 400 professional games at second base. This is almost certainly who he is.

Then again, without Wright or Reyes, maybe it just doesn’t matter who plays second base.

Larrinaga serving state’s Masons as chaplain

June 29th, 2011 by Emily Kratzer

Rockland County’s Ronald Steiner, who does public relations for the New York Grand Lodge of Masons, keeps us posted on significant events.

He let us know that New City’s the Right Worshipful Federico Larrinaga is the newest grand chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Masons of the State of New York.

Larrinaga is a longtime member of Athelstane Lodge 839 F&AM in Pearl River. He was presented with his commission during an investiture ceremony conducted by Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons Vincent Libone before some 900 Masons and guests this past weekend in Utica.
Larrinaga holds the rank of major with the Salvation Army, which his wife Marie also serves as a chaplain. Both served at ground zero for many months during and after the 9/11 disaster at the World Trade Center.  As grand chaplain, Larrinaga will be assisting in offering prayer and service to Masons and Masonic Lodges throughout the state when called upon at Masonic and other public ceremonies, meetings and functions.

Nyack Jazz Week – you could get some free tickets!

June 28th, 2011 by Emily Kratzer

The Rockland County Jazz and Blues Society has such a deal for you!

The society has already mapped out its plans for Nyack Jazz Week 2011 from July 24 to 31, and it’s offering a special promotion to society members, musicians and friends – but it’s only through July 5.

Here’s the deal: join as a new member or upgrade/renew your current membership and receive free tickets to jazz week events.

Now, there are some specific details, but suffice it to say that the basic membership of $25 will save you $12 in admission to hear pianist Fred Hersch. The silver membership includes more enticements and a chance to hear Hersch and saxophonist Lou Donaldson (shown above) for free.

For the other details about the offer and the jazz week lineup, visit www.rcjbs.org.

St. Dominic’s eighth-graders graduate

June 24th, 2011 by Emily Kratzer

John Eccleston shares this graduation story with us:
“Bitter sweet.”  That  is how one St. Dominic School eighth-grader described her graduation from the Blauvelt school she has attended since second grade.
She was not alone in her feelings as the 20 students moving on to high school carried big smiles and joy mixed with tears and heavy hearts upon their graduation on June 16.
During the unique ceremony, teachers and student counselors shared touching words about the academic and personal growth of each student, and some students took to the microphone to thank the school and staff. Many students received special awards for academic achievement and citizenship, including ones from President Obama’s “Education Awards Program.” The  graduates will now enter public and private high schools in their respective school districts.
Operated by the nonprofit Saint Dominic’s Home, St. Dominic’s School is a kindergarten- to eighth-grade day school that helps children with special needs and learning challenges to succeed academically by providing a nurturing and personalized educational environment. The school serves students from New York City, Rockland, Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley.

Rosary Academy holding Oct. 22 reunion

June 22nd, 2011 by Emily Kratzer

The Domincan Sisters are inviting graduates from the Rosary Academy High School to a reunion from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 22.
The school was located on Route 340 in Sparkill from 1964-1981.
The all-school reunion will be held at the Dominican Convent on Route 340, across from the former location of the school.
For information visit the Dominican Sisters’ website www.sparkill.org, email Sister Peggy Scarano at peggy.scarano@sparkill.org; or call 845-359-4173.

Iona Prep Graduation

May 27th, 2011 by Carucha L. Meuse

Irina Honczarenko (cq) fixes the gown of her son, Mykola Honczarenko, before the Iona Prep graduation, May 26, 2011. ( Carucha L. Meuse/ The Journal News )

Click here to see an online gallery from Iona Prep.

Concordia College to undergo accreditation visit

May 4th, 2011 by egarcia

The teacher education program at Concordia College will host an accreditation visit by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in November.

Interested parties can submit comments addressing substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs at the college.

Anyone who submits comments must state their relationship to the school and the comments are due Sept. 1, 2011.

They can be sent to Board of Examiners, NCATE, 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20036-1023 or by emal to callforcomments@ncate.org

What Is Mike Pelfrey?

May 3rd, 2011 by Howard Megdal

For some Mets fans, this is the response to a Jeopardy clue: “Which Mets pitcher should be sent to Triple-A?” I don’t see it that way, and indeed, the question is largely a rhetorical one at this point.

Mike Pelfrey has moments when he looks like an ace. He has moments when he looks like a pitcher who doesn’t belong in the major leagues. This is nothing new, and has nothing to do with some perceived psychological or mental limitation. It is because he doesn’t strike many hitters out, leaving him vulnerable to wide swings in his results.

Look, the results have been awful in 2011. Through six starts, his ERA is an unsightly 7.39. But as I detailed in a spirited discussion on Twitter Friday night (are you following us @lohudmets yet? Well, why on earth not?) with Steve Keane of The Eddie Kranepool Society and Metsblog’s Michael Baron, a period like this recent struggle is nothing new. And what usually follows is an evening out of luck.

This is what happens to pitchers who only strike out around 5/9 innings, as Pelfrey has throughout his career. Sometimes, the balls find holes. Sometimes, they don’t.

From June 19-July 19, 2010, Pelfrey had a 9.11 ERA over six starts. In his next seven starts? A 2.58 ERA.

From June 21-July 17, 2009, Pelfrey had a 6.19 ERA over six starts. In his next six starts? A 3.58 ERA.

From April 25-May 26, 2008, Pelfrey had a 6.47 ERA over six starts. In his next six starts? A 3.67 ERA. In his next 11 starts? A 2.57 ERA.

In short, the Met defense can go a long way toward improving Pelfrey’s performances. Pelfrey himself, if he found a way to increase his swing-and-mises, could as well.

But chances are that this is Mike Pelfrey, for better or worse. And that is a pitcher with value- he’s been durable, for one thing, and there’s a clear floor on what you will get from him over the long haul, with the floor getting higher depending on how good the rest of your team is defensively. That is value enough to keep him in the rotation, especially when the alternative is Dillon Gee, a pitcher with more floor than ceiling himself.

It is time for Mets fans to stop panicking every time he goes through a rough stretch. And it is also time for fans to put aside the expectations of a future ace, fed by his high draft selection and tall frame. (The team probably didn’t do him any favors in this regard by starting him on Opening Day.) The Mets have someone even taller than Pelfrey’s 6’7” in Chris Young, and no one expects him to be an ace, or even throw 90 miles per hour.

Put it this way: if the Mets didn’t want Pelfrey’s ups and downs in the rotation, they probably would have traded him last winter. Because Pelfrey has been who he is now for years.