We did manage to eat at Vox a few nights later. Tucked into a dip in the road at the intersections of Route 121 and Route 116 in North Dreadful, this well-loved French restaurant is our go-to choice when we think “Let’s go out-to-dinner.”
This is the kind of French restaurant with escargot on the menu, attentive and thoughtful wait staff, and an owner who greets you as you come in and takes your coat to hang it up. If our experiences at Vox are typical of restaurants in France, then maybe I need to go live in France. We are greeted so warmly every time we go to Vox, I can’t tell if this is how they greet everyone or if it is that my husband, the Medium Cheese, is memorable, and in that case because he is distinctive-looking or because he looks like a celebrity. In some circles, he is a bit of a celebrity. It may simply be that the owner knows that when you are a Medium Cheese, you like it when people welcome you like you are a Big Cheese. Really, Big Cheeses come from somewhere.
|On the left, actor John Stamos. On the right, Otto Berkes.
|After they seat you, they bring you a small bowl of popcorn seasoned with truffle salt, and they do not assault you with a menu until you’ve had the chance to settle in, give a drink order, and adjust to the leisurely pace of proper dining. By complying with these ground rules, we are always cajoled into several courses plus dessert. When you live wait out here in Northern Westchester County, you cannot possibly be in a hurry in the evening because there is no place to go but home.
We have eaten dinners at Vox with large parties, just our family, and just the two of us. Once I left my purse on my chair and had to go back for it after I had driven everyone home. It was still on my chair. Another time, a table nearby was full of increasingly inebriated equestrians, loudly sharing the vivid details of stories about getting away with drunken driving, among other things. Eavesdropping in this situation was unavoidable. As I recall, we left before they did.
|Acoustic panels on the ceiling at Vox means it’s not too loud
Salads and entrees change with the seasons, as they should. We usually get oysters and they never disappoint. In addition to escargot, they offer French onion soup with melted gruyere and real Caesar salad, musse4ls grilled fish, steak, veal, duck, Croque-Monsieur, and even a burger worth mentioning. For dessert we have ordered tarte-tatin, molten chocolate cake, crème brulee, cheesecake, and bread pudding. I do not recall ever being even the slightest bit disappointed by any dish we were served in any way. I also do not recall any particular dish standing out as exceptional. I believe the reason for this is the superlative attentiveness of the staff, the perfection of the timing of the arrival of dishes, and the remarkably excellent wines they offer by the glass. Vox delivers all this at prices that are in the “nice restaurant” range, rather than the “incredibly nice restaurant” range.
Before we move to Manhattan full time in early September, I am sure we will eat there once or twice again. I won’t have the heart to tell them it will be our last visit, or that they have been the most consistent, least dreadful thing about living here.
While we were in Hawaii, we left Cherry and Captain at a dog kennel in Snohomish called Roscoe’s Ranch. It is almost exactly thirty minutes of driving from my house in the heart of the city to this country kennel. I have now visited there four times, between touring and pick up and drop off, and I observed a high level of professionalism on each visit.
The property is completely fenced and gated, and no visitors (clients or boarders) are left unescorted at any time. The main barn is quiet and does not smell like pee. The guests all look interested in visitors, but after a brief outburst generally settle into the quiet, relaxed state of a well-adjusted dog.
On my first visit, I actually took a tour with my dogs. I could see from their reactions that they were excited and curious, but not frantic or anxious. While I was out of town, I received regular updates in the form of Picasa photo albums with pictures of all the guests enjoying supervised play time in the yard. I knew Captain was having fun because in most pictures he was a red blur. I knew Cherry was relaxed because there were shots of her rolling in the grass on two different occasions.The dogs’ food intake was monitored, and my written instructions were followed, including medication. They even keep track of the dogs’ poop.
Once you are a registered customer, Roscoe’s Ranch has an easy-to-use on-line reservation system.
I am almost reluctant to post a public review of them, because they are so good, I’m worried they’ll be full the next time I want to use them!