In the heart of the new Hudson Harbor condominium complex sits RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen, a Mediterranean-American fusion restaurant with an eye for locally sourced meat, produce, dairy, and pantry items.
Sit outside on the expansive deck for views of the nearby park, a glimpse of the Hudson River, and parking lots as far as the eye can see. There, you can settle in with mussels in lobster bisque, a classically executed appetizer. You’ll be asking for extra house-made bread (crusty and soft in all the right places) to sop up the drinkable bisque at the bowl’s bottom. Warm roasted oysters are for the adventurous; briny oysters are balanced with a red verjus, while thyme breadcrumbs bring it all home.
There were some missteps. On a recent visit, the Maplebrook Farm burrata lacked the luscious, creamy center I know and love of the cheese, and the strips of accompanying butternut squash were long, thick, and raw, making for some awkward bites.
Burger options hit the spot, but should be left to the few children in the dining room. The chicken burger is moist, piled high with fresh veggies, and comes with addictive shoestring fries. But if it’s chicken you’re after, go for the crisp-roasted, complete with seasonal roasted veggies, like Brussels sprouts in a cream sauce so light, it’ll take you to the third bite to realize horseradish is the underdog who just stole the show. On our second visit, the (dry) pork shoulder roast with greens, roasted fig, and (undercooked) pear with grits was replaced by the slightly less involved braised pork belly and grilled loin with endive and grits cakes, proving that, sometimes, simpler dishes are more effective.
HUDSON VALLEY DUCK THREE WAYS IS DELICIOUS IN EVERY WAY
Duck three ways is elegant and rustic at the same time—seared foie gras nestled on beautifully pink-centered duck breast served over duck ragout risotto-style farro—and will warm you up from the inside out. The accompanying pickled cranberries, however, are a harsh accent for such a mellow dish.
If you’re not planning to order the house-made pasta for dinner, get a half-plate to start. The spicy lobster linguine neri (spicy in this sense just means well seasoned rather than too hot to handle) or ravioli “Lidia’s Way,” in a light pear sauce, are perfectly executed. The Lidia in question is famed chef Lidia Bastianich, under whom Executive Chef John Holzwarth worked (that’s right—you really need to try this pasta).
Like most new restaurants, the kitchen has some timing issues to work out. During its busiest hours, everything flows smoothly (I know—why am I complaining?), but get there when there are some empty tables and you might have to send back your entrées, which will inevitably get cold while you finish your appetizers.
RiverMarket has plenty of seating and accepts reservations, which are highly recommended because, at the beautiful wood wraparound bar, you’ll find a crowd three-deep waiting for a table throughout the weekend. Background noise from the bar can become an issue when you can’t hear the person you’re sitting with. The back room is open to the general population on nights like this, but is also available for private parties of up to
Apple-cider donuts with New York hot cider for dipping and sipping, and ricotta cake topped with Hudson Valley honeycomb and limoncello ice cream are just the tip of the iceberg that is the dessert menu. The desserts are so thoughtfully crafted and executed, you’ll forget you’re in a restaurant casual enough to feature waiters wearing gray Converse sneakers and sporting t-shirts and jeans covered by long aprons.
On your way out or while you’re waiting for a table, walk around the market area. In the corner, a wood-fired stove, which could have warmed up the drafty space, sits unused. You can pick up anything from house-made Russian teacakes to beeswax candles to locally sourced farro, which you’ll inevitably pair with the local and organic wine you buy at the adjoining wine store.
SPICY LOBSTER LINGUINE NERI IS A PERFECT PASTA DISH
RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen
127 W Main St, Tarrytown