Last year, when we visited Spain, I was enchanted to see the tapas bars in action.
For a girl, who likes to try lots of little things, tapas or dim sum make quite the perfect meal.
I was thrilled to sample little plates in multiple tapas bars, loved the general emphasis on the freshness of food and of course, realized that the paella in Valencia was very different from what we sometimes call paella, here in the US.
Once we returned, I missed the food and Spanish vibe, but gradually settled into life, consoling myself over several crisp glasses of Cava, yes, I even found a sparkling wine that I could get hooked onto.
When I heard of Sala on Hudson, I was a little unsure of whether it would be worth the visit. But, I am so glad that I always am game for a new experience, because Croton on Hudson is certainly closer than Spain, and, I just might have found some of last summer’s fresh flavors closer to home.
Sala on Hudson is located in a strip mall, and the nondescript outside might be a little misleading. It is however, very conveniently situated right off Taconic.
Once you walk in you will love the stone and wood set up and realize you have walked into a comforting place where you can easily while away the evening. The restaurant owned by a couple, has been conceptualized with a lot of care. I love to take in details. I was not disappointed. The colors, the cozy yet uncrowded set-up, would work for anything from a festive dinner to just an evening out.
Once settled, we started our meal with some pinchos, traditional tapas served on bread. We tried the Lomo (pork in adobe, Gruyere and piquillo), well seasoned and tender, but outshone by the Setas (portobello, roasted garlic cream, shallots), yes, we love mushrooms.
Speaking of Cava, I was very happy with the pink Cava,(a rose from the Catalan region) from the on the menu. It was crisp and flavorful, and worked very well with all the diverse flavors on the menu. We moved along to the tapas and I have to say that their Patatas Bravas has got to be the best that I have tried this neck of the woods and I love my potatoes, so I a tough judge!
We did try the Pulpo ala Galega (an octopus and hearts of palm salad. I should have had this earlier in the meal, since its milder flavors seemed to be a little washed away by the other bolder items we had already sampled.
The Datil (Almond Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates) were another winner and I practically finished the entire order myself. I would have had seconds, if it was not for the fact that I had not yet tasted the paella. This tapas with its play with textures and tastes, crisp almonds, against the soft sweet dates, enclosed in crunchy crisp salty bacon offers a workout for all your taste buds in one satisfying mouthful.
The well seasoned and flavorful paella, served in a authentic paella pan was worth saving room for. We loved the fresh sweet texture of the seafood, loved the fact that they did not mix meal and seafood, a big faux pas in Valencia. And yes, the paella was complete with a lovely layer of socarrat, the crisp crust of rice that gently layers the bottom of the paella pan.
I am sorry, that the menu does not have more varieties of paella, because I would absolutely love to see what the chef would do with a vegetable or rabbit paella.
As we finished off with the dessert, (come on, there always has to be room for flan), I was delighted to hear that they have a weekend brunch. I am looking forward to be back, this time with the kids. Of course, I am also looking forward to trying all the other dozen or so tapas on the menu.
Sala on Hudson, is definitely a great addition to the restaurant scene in Westchester.
Sala on Hudson
44 Maple Street
Croton on Hudson, NY
T / (914) 862-4100
F / (914) 862-4106