Peeking Ducks

Despite such meat-centered entrees, Tropical also offers greens as side dishes, among them seasonal specialties like delicate snow-pea tips or young leeks stir-fried in sake. A more sedate choice, sauteed fresh mixed vegetables, proved to contain the predictable suspects (broccoli, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots, and mushrooms) bathed in an innocuous sauce that pleased everyone but astonished no one.

Individual bowls of white rice were brought to each diner but tea and chopsticks had to be requested. Not that this was particularly surprising -- although Tropical's fare is Asian, its Westchester setting is distinctly Cuban-American. Service was efficient, but it was also brisk to the point of being brusque. Sectioned oranges and fortune cookies were dumped abruptly on our table as soon as the main dishes were cleared. The check followed without even a cursory "can I get you anything else?" The reason for such haste became obvious when we reached the foyer, which was packed with hungry people. If they're determined to jack up the turnover rate, Tropical's management might try a kinder method -- like trimming the seven-page menu. Just so long as they don't change the food.

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