Table Hopping with Morris Gut

Summer Bites & Pieces


The beautiful New York Botanical Garden has launched ‘Around The Table: Stories Of The Foods We Love’ that will run thru September 11th. The new exhibition will explore the rich cultural  history of what we eat throughout the park. Across NYBG’s 250-acre landscape visitors can gather at tables uniquely designed by artists living and working in the Bronx. The tables will encourage sitting, sharing, and storytelling. Throughout the exhibition, there will be weekend programming celebrating food with cooking demonstrations and other culinary themed activities. You can watch the planted produce and grains as they mature throughout the season.


At the same time, the 2022 NYBG Farmers Market has started up again and operates on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run thru October 26th. The popular market is run by,  who also operate markets in Westchester, and feature a weekly variety of produce vendors, bakers, specialty food purveyors, and crafts. Farmers market director is Pascale Le Draoulec, former restaurant critic for the New York Daily News. Look for such vendors as: Wave Hill Breads, Bombay Chutney Co., Orchards of Concklin, Don Pickle, Ztudio Zsa Zsa and more. Admission to the Farmers Market is free. 


SPECIAL HINT: While at the Garden, hunt down the ‘Julia Child Rose’ that is planted in the stunning Rockefeller Rose Garden which is now in full bloom. It is amazing!


The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx. 718-817-8700 



The landscaped outdoor patio is open. Chef-owner and personable host Dean Vivolo serves his robust regional Italian cuisine out of a vintage diner just across from Harrison’s Metro-North station. Sit at the counter, tuck into a booth, or take a table in the rear greenhouse and enjoy the surprising contemporary and traditional flavors emanating from his kitchen: tasty thin-crusted pizza; Crostino di Polenta topped with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola and tomato sauce; Grilled Lamb Chops; Braised Lamb Shanks; Lasagna Bolognese al Forno; and wonderful Spaghetti a la Vongole. Fine wine list. Sparkling lights evenings. Free parking. Trattoria Vivolo, 301 Halstead Ave., Harrison. 914-835-6199



Proprietor Daniel is now serving an all-you-can-eat daily Luncheon Buffet that includes up to a dozen selections from salads to main courses, desserts, and condiments. Look for such changing specialties as: Crispy Samosas, Mango Shrimp, Crispy Pakora Fritters, Purdy Special Goat Curry, Aloo Gobi, potatoes and cauliflower, Mushroom Mutter Masala, Saag either with vegetable, meat, fish or shrimp, flavorful Rogan Josh with Lamb, or Salmon; and Goan/Malabar Curry, Chicken Tandoori, too. The fresh made Indian breads are a must to help lap up those delicious gravies: Nan, Onion Kulcha and Garlic Nan are favorites. For dessert try the Purdy Special Kheer; Bengali Rasamalai; Hot Julab Jamun, or the Gajjar Halwa prepared with shredded carrots. The Indian Buffet is $17.99 weekdays: $19.99 weekends. Special Hint: If you like getting in front of a mic, live Karaoke is held Wednesday evenings starting at 7 p.m. 

Curry on Purdy, 7 Purdy Street, Harrison. Down the street from Metro-North. Open 7 days. 914-600-8500 



Cantina is a good spot for Happy Hours, served 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring specially priced cocktails and bar snacks. While most concentrate on the tasty Tacos, I went for the Crispy Mango-Jerk Chicken Wings one late afternoon and was blown away. Wow! Owner/actor John Solo and his team bring excitement to your visit. It has a bright aqua pastel façade and a sprawling rustic multi-level interior dining room and long bar. Tempting specialties include: Modelo Beer Battered Fish Tacos, Garlic Shrimp, and Chicken-Lime Bowl, served with rice, peppers, black beans, sliced avocado, and fresh corn. The restaurant is open from noon to midnight 7 days a week. Weekend brunch served noon to 5 p.m. Cantina Taco & Tequila Bar, 166 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains. 914-461-3959 



We have devoured Fried Calamari, meaty Racks of Baby Back Ribs, Cobb Salad, spicy Chicken Wings, crispy Brussels Sprouts. Shrimp & Grits and Braised Short Ribs. The cooking here is very satisfying, and all done with a comforting southern theme. Portions are ample and shareable. The lighting and those artsy birds hanging from the ceiling in the dining room give it a magical atmosphere. The seasonal rooftop is open. Sunday Night Jam sessions. Sprawling bar. Craft beers. Happy hours: Tues.-Thurs. 4-6pm; Fri. 2-6 p.m. Weekend Brunch.  Freebird Kitchen, 161 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains. 914-607-2476 



(Morris Gut is a restaurant marketing consultant and former restaurant trade magazine editor. He has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. He may be reached at: 914-235-6591. Email: