Winner – (Editor’s Picks) – Best Old Fashioned Market

Our seventh annual guide… We chose the best the county has to offer and asked you, our readers, to weigh in with your picks, too. The result: 324 choice winners.
Published June 26, 2007

“Winner – Best Old Fashioned Market

Chappaqua Village Market

A shopping trip here is like a trip back to the Old Country without ever leaving the confines of Chappaqua. Walk through this amazing market and find mouthwatering prepared meals made from handed-down recipes older than your grandparents. (The savory meat lasagna is far and away the market’s bestseller, but don’t leave without some biscotti, made using a century-old recipe.)

Dining in or entertaining? Pick up some of the market’s fresh-made pastas, ratatouille, or even puff pastry hors d’oeuvres—or better yet, have them delivered. Or, if you want to be the one to do the cooking—and we’d think you’re crazy if you do—the market carries the choicest cuts of meat and some of the freshest fish around.

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Best Biscotti

Which county bakery makes the signature Italian cookie most worthy to be dunked in espresso?

By: Diane Forley Published August 18, 2008

With the proliferation of specialty coffee drinks, it’s no surprise that the ubiquitous biscotti have become a favorite accompaniment. Biscotti (literally “twice baked”) are Italian cookies that are first baked into a loaf, then sliced into wedges, and baked again until crunchy.

I was looking for the ideal biscotti—oblong shape, about one-inch thick, crunchy texture, ample nut garnish, and a scent of anise. I tasted biscotti from six local bakeries in Westchester: the Bakery at Four Corners in Pelham; Connie’s Bakery and General Store in Mount Kisco; Big Girl Baking Co., an online bakeshop in Bronxville; Teresa’s Gourmet Pastries in Scarsdale; the Perennial Chef in Bedford Hills; and Chappaqua Village Market.

The unwieldy, chocolate-coated version from the Bakery at Four Corners was a meal for two. Teresa’s offered classic anisette biscotti reminiscent of those from an Italian coffeehouse, but they were bland and a whopping two inches thick. The chocolate/hazelnut/pistachio biscotti from Connie’s were delicious, but they reminded me more of cookies in a biscotti shape. Although the biscotti from Perennial Chef were tasty, the texture was too soft and cake-like. I thought I had discovered my favorite when I tried the dainty, artisanal biscotti from Big Girl Baking Co. It had just the right crunch and it was a nice size for dunking. However, the biscotti’s nuts were too finely ground, robbing them of texture.

Then I tasted the quasimale biscotti at Chappaqua Village Market. These authentic cookies are the best! Made from a hundred-year-old family recipe from the owners’ two Italian grandmothers, the quasimale biscotti are rock-hard (you have to dunk or else), studded with almonds, and boldly flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. “Quasimale” refers to their origin as almond biscuits served during Lent. The Market offers five other flavors with a nice crumb but softer texture.
// Diane Forley

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By: Judith Hausman For The Journal News

The modest storefront on a corner by the railroad tracks in Chappaqua belies the treasure trove inside: The Chappaqua Village Market, a full-service gourmet shop with a butcher case, prepared foods and gourmet supplies that’s been in the Milazzo family for 32 years.It’s the place to swing by when you need chicken for dinner or local, organic eggs for breakfast. Four full-time chefs prepare housemade frozen puff pastry hors d’oeuvres, and slaws, green beans and salads that are sold by the pound. Choose among six kinds of pound cake, including chocolate chip and lemon-poppy seed, and pick up zinnias for freesia for your centerpiece. The Milazzos even batter and deep-fry the chicken fingers.

“Our motto is if it swims, walks, climbs, flies or grows, we can get it for you,” says Tony Milazzo, the second of three generations of owners. The family is known for filling special orders – they sell 700 turkeys over Thanksgiving, and they recently began a delivery service – but they started out as “meat people.”

They still are. Butchers in white shirts and green aprons bustle in front of old fashioned wooden letters that spell out M-E-A-T, made by Randy LeRoy, Tony’s son- in-law. The family banters with customers, suggesting cuts of prime beef, store-ground hamburger patties or homemade chicken sausage.

“We’re old-school,” says Vincent, a third-generation Milazzo. “We take great passion in what we do and we don’t compromise.”

The shop is small – 2,400 square feet of space, but customers only see half of it – and the Milazzos pack a lot into it: a bakery case, prepared food case, meat case, deli case, poultry case and fish case and a lobster tank. Stock boys maneuver around customers to add tomatoes to the pile or unpack the corn. A green wooden tree holds banana bunches. Shelves are lined with gourmet oils, vinegars and condiments. And in the cheese case, customers choose among such brands as Cabot cheddar, Cato Corner Womanchego from Connecticut and the artisanal Silvery Moon Creamery Camembert from Maine.

Shoppers hear how to prepare the giant gulf shrimp (on ice in the fish case, next to the crab cakes and the wild salmon), or learn that the in-store baker uses an old family recipe for the trays of biscotti (Tony likes the almond best).

But it’s the prepared meals – already in containers proudly marked with “C.M.V. Homemade” – side dishes, marinades and sauces that fly out of the case.

“Our customers today want convenience,” says Vincent. “They don’t even have time to order from the counter.”

Even some of the most famous customers? Although Vincent is sworn to secrecy about their favorite meals, he says the Clinton family shops here regularly, or at least their staff does. Why would they go anyplace else?

Read the Full article Here.

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