The Hudson Independent
Written by by Linda Viertel
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 21:57
Rustic stone walls and informal wood-paned doors welcome diners to RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen, a stone’s throw from the Hudson River and Tarrytown’s train station. Rustic stone walls and informal wood-paned doors welcome diners to RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen, a stone’s throw from the Hudson River and Tarrytown’s train station. photo: Rani Levy
The long-awaited opening of RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen has finally arrived. Located at 127 West Main Street in Tarrytown’s new Hudson Harbor development, the restaurant began fulfilling its customers’ hopes and dreams from the moment it opened in mid-September. Co-owner and manager, Glenn Vogt’s farm-to-table experience gets the full treatment – a carefully crafted menu, attentive service, a charming bar area, all complemented by the rustic atmosphere of warm and inviting surfaces from floor to ceiling.
Anyone who has dined at Crabtree Kittle House will recognize Vogt as the wine director and manager there, and co-owner, John Crabtree, may even be sighted at RiverMarket, their sister restaurant. Vogt described his culinary mission with passion: “We are merging great produce and products in the Hudson Valley, raised and grown naturally, organically and sustainably, with Mediterranean cooking.” His chef, John Holzwarth, who trained with famed chef/author Felidia Bastianich, at her flagship Manhattan restaurant, Felidia, has created a menu with Vogt that displays his cooking skills and deft use of local products.
Even before first courses, house-baked rolls arrive, fresh from the oven and served with delicate European-style butter. RiverMarket Composed Salad, flawlessly dressed, is gently cloaked in a chardonnay vinaigrette; Maple Brook Buratta and New York State Shell Bean Salad in a tomato and basil vinaigrette proves a perfect seasonal offering. Roasted oysters, a refreshing choice, arrive topped with a tantalizing touch of red verjus and lemon thyme breadcrumbs – fun for the table to share. But, RiverMarket’s signature appetizer offering has to be the Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Rabbit Terrine, complemented by beluga lentils, pickled pearl onions and market field greens. Faultlessly prepared, the terrine surprises with every taste and texture. Save the ethereal centrally located foie gras for last.
Hand-made pasta shows off Holzwarth’s training in Bastianich’s kitchen. His Sweet Corn and Braised Leek Ravioli, enveloped in a sweet corn and butter sauce, and Spicy Lobster Linguini Neri with roasted cherry tomatoes, padron pepper and preserved lemon provide a full spectrum of his talents – from delicate to hearty, both are fast-becoming signature dishes.
Main courses highlight local produce, meats, and poultry in every offering. Heritage Pork Shoulder is accompanied by New York stone grits, sweet local corn, and braising greens. Hudson Valley Duck, a pan-roasted rare breast, offers divine foie gras, duck farrotto and a roasted peach as perfect accompaniments. And, the mark of a great restaurant (according to Julia Child), roast chicken, is deftly prepared, thanks to Hemlock HiIl’s Pasture-Raised birds and Chef Holzwarth’s touch. The RiverMarket Burger, ground in-house with each burger’s beef all from the same Kniskern Farm steer (certified 100% grass-fed/100% healthy and butchered for RiverMarket at the farm) gets royal treatment, served on a freshly baked brioche roll, and topped with smokehouse bacon, an heirloom tomato slice, baby lettuce and pickled onion. The herb frites are crunchy and habit-forming.
Pastry Chef Caryn Stabinsky presents her own take on standard dessert offerings as well as the non-traditional. A favorite, Toffee Cake, divinely decadent, gets just the right amount of toffee sauce drizzled on the plate. Then, Hudson Valley crème fraiche finishes the taste treat. Churros get a further boost with chocolate pot de crème and pistachio orange infused Hudson Valley ricotta. RiverMarket’s dessert list is extensive, but perfectly baked cookies or creamy sorbets and ice creams will do just fine for that after-dinner sweet taste.
Wine-director Vogt, hasn’t missed a beat with his full offerings of moderately priced sustainably produced wines by the glass and bottle. Pairing your menu choice with a red or white should be easy and fun, especially with Vogt’s skilled guidance or suggestions from the staff.
Bartender Emilio Ugarte, voted “Most Inventive Bar Tender” in Westchester Magazine’s poll, presides over the stunning black walnut and copper bar, crowned with a custom-built copper beer tower. Twelve beers and two wines stay on tap at all times. Try Ugarte’s New Fashioned, a riff on the traditional drink, or his Carrot Ginger Float, made with gin, simple syrups and juices.
Entering RiverMarket’s interior, diners can’t help but notice the stunning variety of textures and design elements specifically chosen to enhance a casual dining experience. Two hundred year-old maple floors boards (sourced from an upstate factory) give warmth to the dining space and bar. Rustic brick and polished concrete floor sections create spatial areas. Cedar trim around the doors and on the ceiling, (from a Pennsylvania barn) continue the barn theme. Light filters through cantilevered ceiling boards, made from “mushroom wood,” garden box boards with a pronounced grain, that give the space its charm. Separated from the main dining room by 100 year old Belgian folding antique doors, many with original glass and hardware still in tact, a private dining room for 30, becomes a cozy extension of the larger dining space. Interior designer, Christian Arkay-Leliever’s globe light fixtures, softened by wood slats, define the pizza oven space, handsomely outfitted with muted grey Terra tiles.
Eventually Neopolitan-style pizza will emanate from RiverMarket’s wood-fired brick oven – topped with fresh produce and locally sourced cheeses from the Hudson Valley region, of course.
If You Go
127 West Main Street
rivermarketbarandkitchen.com (coming soon)
Open 7 days a week:
Mon.-Fri. lunch: 11a.m.-3p.m.
Sat.-Sun. brunch: 11a.m.-3p.m.
Mid-day menu every day: 3p.m.-5p.m.