Florida sunshine, summer eats and celeb gossip

“My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that’s the law.” — Jerry Seinfeld

For those who like to dine among celebrities, you may like to know that Black Tap and The Grill in New York City recently ranked as two of the top places to see them, according to Edens Gate UK.

Zuma in Miami also got high marks, scoring top for Instagram hashtags and TikTok views. In our neck of the woods, spots like Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle (J.B. Smoove was here), Basque Tapas in Piermont (hello Brooke Shields and Bill Murray), The Taco Project in Tarrytown (Sarah Jessica Parker and Molly Shannon are two examples) and Turiello's Pizza in Nyack (the Bieb was there in 2018!), tend to draw celebs (a pre-pandemic story of mine is here). There is, however, plenty of filming constantly going on in the lower Hudson Valley and we at lohud always love a good "suburbarazzi" story so if you see something, say something and let us know. I personally was excited (as I know other diners were) when I saw Judge Judy at Happy Monkey in Greenwich. Just sayin...

Sunny news

I know it's still summer — but argh! I hated seeing Back to School merchandise at Target the other day. It's enough to get me wanting to book a December flight to Florida. I love (and will miss) my sunshine. And I definitely don't want to think about it ending anytime soon. Hence, thoughts of the Sunshine State where, it seems, more and more Westchester restauranteurs are flocking. The Taco Project, referenced above, is one of them, opening soon in Coral Springs. Plus, I heard after my story published (thanks to Naples Florida Weekly) that Frank Pepe's Pizza, with a location in Yonkers has, according to Trinity Commercial, signed some leases in Southeast Florida, though there are no immediate plans to open there. See who else has headed headed South in my story below.

Housekeeping notes

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. I'm on vacation next week so there will not be a newsletter.

  2. There will, however be, fun and super cool Instagram posts from Jessie Spellmann Mignone who runs the WhatsinWestchester Instagram as well as the Facebook group Mount Kisco Moms. She'll be taking over lohud_food for the week I'm gone, so stay tuned. A Manhattan transplant, Mignone loves photography and food. When asked what her favorite foods are, she said: "I abide by all the major food groups, tacos, sushi and ice cream."

Notable Bites

(Things I ate -- and loved -- this week)

  • Branzino at DPNB Pasta & Provisions in Nyack. The branzino here comes in a parchment filet with heirloom beans, spring onions and a broth that you'll want to sop up with bread. Also loved loved the charred Romano beans with shaved Toma Celena cheese, red onion and lemon. And OMG to the freshness of the cucumber salad and house greens (I couldn't decided so I had both!). My husband had the casoncelli pasta with herbed ricotta, blistered tomatoes and basil that was also out of this world (I had to have a taste). This place was written up in my bridge-worthy restaurant story and continues to amaze me every time I go (which isn't enough!). Pure deliciousness with a laid back vibe that feels like you're eating at a local pasta shop in Italy.

  • Connecticut style (hot) and New England style (cold) lobster rolls (yes, I had two!) at Dobbs Ferry Lobster Guys in Dobbs Ferry. The "guys" is really Anthony DiMeglio, a Westchester County native and third-generation commercial fisherman who spends the week fishing and then serves up his catches on weekends. There's no middleman so his prices, especially for lobster (which is sky-high as everyone knows), is very reasonable. The lobster rolls (BOTH of them) are full of meat and beyond delish. I also love his outdoor dining setup. Just check his hours as he's only open weekends (details in my lobster roll story).

  • Hot dog at Walter's Hot Dogs in Mamaroneck. It's pure nostalgia wrapped in a bun. My advice? Forget the ketchup and top it with Walter's special mustard. That, plus the add-on of curly fries and possibly a milkshake (hey, it's hot out) and you've got a perfect summer meal. In other news, Walter's just added a third food truck to its fleet. Stay tuned for a story.

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Jeanne Muchnick covers food and dining. Click here for her most recent articles and follow her latest dining adventures on Instagram @lohud_food or via the lohudfood newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: I've got the Sunshine State on my mind