At Memphis Mae's BBQ Bistro, owners Andreas Nowara and Jeff Matros are rewriting the barbecue gospel. They've crossed out a number of popular myths—that barbecue joints should be shrouded in smoke, that barbecue puritans only cook in the style of a single region, and that those who divulge secret recipes should be cooked themselves—in favor of a more chic and diverse sauce hot spot. Their dining room emulates a crisp bistro, and their menu traverses several Southern states, listing Texas beef brisket alongside Carolina pulled pork and Memphis ribs. They don't limit themselves solely to barbecue staples, either. Comfort foods such as Mississippi catfish and chicken-fried steak appease patrons who might not want to get their hands dirty, and vegetarian options include smoked portobello mushrooms and "pasties" filled with sautéed vegetables.
Their eclectic approach has hardly canceled out down-home prep, however. The kitchen's wood smokers infuse meats with flavor 24 hours a day, passing on zesty notes from pecan and hickory logs. The beer is likewise carefully brewed, arriving from Dogfish Head, Duvel, and other craft companies. In maintaining this delicate balance between strict tradition and inclusivity, Memphis Mae's BBQ Bistro has cemented a savory reputation. The restaurant has catered the New York Yankees' opening-day celebration and was later featured in the New York Times which praised its brunch and catalog of sides, which contains drunken yams, peach applesauce, and none of "the usual throwaways or fillers that most barbecue joints offer."
Chef Miguel was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he lived for six years before moving with his mother to Belize. In both locations, he absorbed knowledge of local spices, agricultural practices, and fishing communities. When he arrived in the United States as a young man, Miguel's early childhood passion for cooking—ignited by the diverse cuisines of Brazil and Belize—prompted him to pursue an education at the Culinary Institute of America. His restaurant endeavors have led him up and down the East Coast, from New York to South Florida and finally back to Karma Lounge in Ossining.
Called "a hidden beauty" by the New York Times and named one of the 31 best bars in the county by Westchester Magazine, Karma Lounge mixes upscale American fare with influences from around the world. Brick columns line the dining room entrance, leading guests through a dimly lit corridor that culminates in a stone fireplace. Evenings bring performances by jazz musicians, live bands, and DJs, who underscore meals and cocktails with their musical stylings, often playing three ominous notes when a diner has forgotten his reading glasses.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
The chefs at Goldfish Oyster Bar & Restaurant cook fresh seafood with a Mediterranean flourish, earning Westchester Magazine's award for Best Prix Fixe in 2010. The raw bar's 17 types of mollusks converge from across the United States and Canada, including blue point oysters from Long Island and jorstad oysters from Washington. From the open kitchen, sights and sounds of baking shrimp, grilling steak, and searing tuna stoke the restaurant's lively ambiance.
Bartenders tend to a glowing blue bar, mixing cocktails and dispensing their trademark Goldfish crackers to luckless fishermen. On Friday nights, live music gets toes tapping and oyster shells clacking.
Impressed by the flavor and precision of Okinawa Hibachi Steakhouse's cuisine and chefs, respectively, the readers of Westchester Magazine cast their votes to name the restaurant the home of the area's best hibachi in 2011. Surrounded by the glowing reds and golden hues of the dining room, chefs sear and manipulate meats and vegetables at traditional teppanyaki tables, cooking steaks to order and cutting heads of broccoli to resemble arms of broccoli. At the sushi bar, a line of chefs assemble maki rolls and platters of sushi and sashimi. The trickle from the fountain in the dining room provides a soothing soundtrack for fully equipped eating contests.
Eco Green Cleaners drivers zip throughout Armonk, Pleasantville, and Bronxville, picking up and dropping off clothes of all kinds. Each garment is meticulously dry cleaned with nontoxic and biodegradable solvents—or with hydrocarbon dry-cleaning techniques—and processed with energy-efficient machines for a minimal impact on the environment. Clean clothes are returned in biodegradable or reusable bags, and the cleaners recycle their hangers to reduce waste. In addition to its dry-cleaning and shirt-laundry services, Eco Green also cleans leather, suede, and rugs, preserves wedding dresses, and alters clothes to accommodate weight changes or tail growth.