Lunch at La Catrina

Lunch with a friend at La Catrina in Croton-on-Hudson. I had no idea what La Catrina was so the very friendly owner explained it to me. I’ve since supplemented her information with addition information found on the internet:

Everywhere you look on the streets during Day of the Dead celebrations across Latin America, a familiar face looks back. A face that juxtaposes the macabre and the elegant, it’s in the makeup on children’s faces, the elaborate dress of the women, in the celebratory ‘bread of the dead’ and in every shop window selling souvenirs and emblems of this uniquely atmospheric festival.

This face has a definite aesthetic: a skull, wearing a much-embroidered bonnet resplendent with flowers. This is La Calavera Catrina – the ‘elegant skull’ – often simply La Catrina. And however superficially festive it may appear, La Catrina’s presence throughout Mexico’s Day of the Dead mythology makes a much deeper statement of mortality, destiny and the societal divisions of class. (From La Catrina: The dark history of Day of the Dead’s immortal icon)

The restaurant décor is very much in line with the above: Brightly colored paintings of La Catrina; figurines; skull light fixtures; skull beer mugs (I particularly liked these and bought two of them). The men’s room even had a stick figure with a skull as a head on the door.

It was a lovely cool, sunny day when we went so we sat in the pleasant outside patio (see picture above).

As for the food – it was wonderful, probably the best Mexican food that I’ve had.


Interior shot.


One of the numerous brightly colored paintings (more below).




A figurine.


Skull candle holder.


Skull light fixture.


More Figurines.


Gustavo.


Skull beer mug.

Taken with a Nikon D800 and Nikon AF Nikkor 28-80 f3.3-5.6

Easter Sunday Dinner with friends Antonio and Marili.

Impressive table setting featuring beautiful tulips from the garden.


I loved the Easter bunny.


Of course there have to be Easter Get Cracking


The evening started with one of Marili’s wonderful cocktails. She’s a well known mixologist and her creations are always different and scrumptious. I was particularly fascinated by the ‘Guarapo de Piña’, a very refreshing drink made in this special vessel from fermented pineapple peel. It was delicious and very refreshing. In this case bourbon was also added. Yummy! The only problem was that it was so light and refreshing that you wanted to have more.


The pièce de résistance: Venezuelan Polvorosa de Pollo. The chef described it as: “This is the most amazing chicken pie you will ever taste. It’s a classic Venezuelan dish that dates back to colonial times. It has over 20 ingredients. And the dough is like a short bread. This was a two day event on my part, and we will be having it for the week. I followed the recipe of Armando Scannone the dean of Venezuelan cuisine, in his classic cookbook “Mi Cocina”. Delicious.


Another view of the Polvorosa de Pollo with its top crust on.


Polvorosa de Pollo with beans, eggs and plantains.

Taken with Apple iPhone 8II

A Unexpected Dessert Discovery

I was in Briarcliff Manor village the other day when I noticed that one of my favorite lunchtime haunts had its tables back outside. Today was a very pleasant day: sunny, but not too hot so I decided to pop over and have a bite to eat. I had a Greek salad and afterwards decided to have some dessert. I asked the server what they had for dessert and he mentioned carrot cake, cheese cake, tiramisu etc. But then he also said that there was something else, but he couldn’t quite remember the name. Off he went returning with a dessert menu, which he handed to me. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the mystery item was Sticky Toffee Pudding.
For anyone who doesn’t know what it is: Sticky Toffee Pudding is a classic British dessert made of soft and sweet date cakes soaked in a warm toffee sauce. The cakes are served with whipped cream, ice cream, heavy cream, or custard. As you can see from the picture mine had Vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 R