Over the tops of neatly groomed conifers, the muted drizzle of a fountain loops over a still pond. Glancing out from the dining room of Seasons American Bistro & Lounge, away from the lofted beams and white tablecloths, the eye drifts out across the water and to the verdant rolling hills crowded with ancient trees. Inspired by the bistros and tapas bars of Europe, the menu at Seasons highlights shareable plates, which circulate during long chats measured in glasses of wine. From the ranks of bottles spring the floral bouquet of the Italian Alverdi pinot grigio and the earthy plum notes and Napa Valley sunshine of the 2005 Markham merlot. The sound of toasting glasses drifts through a bar and lounge with small tables and a wrap-around banquette decorated with cut flowers and candles that set the mood and keep somebody from setting down a cornucopia there.
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.
During sultry fitness classes, instructors at E-Sensual Dance create supportive environments in which women of all ages can be themselves?or, they can choose to be someone else instead. Costumes and props help shake off the jitters and release each woman?s inner vixen. ?That's when you start to let your guard down and have a good time," founder Rosemarie Mitchell told Newsday. ?That?s what we encourage.?
Mitchell understands that sometimes costumes help bring a character to life; after 12 years working in off-Broadway shows, she founded E-Sensual Dance to combine theatricality with flirty choreography. In addition to being fun, the pole-dancing and zumba classes help strengthen cores, build upper-body strength, and spice up jobs propping up small trees.
Sala on Hudson is an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant, encouraging diners to stop in for a glass of sangria and its traditional small savory plates after work. Classic ingredients such as octopus, clams, and olives make an appearance on the menu, and many of the artistically plated foods are designed to be shared with friends or eaten as finger food. The warm dining room has a full bar and offers an all-Spanish wine list.