There is a saying that before deciding on a new restaurant, one should try it twice. Well if the restaurant is Dave Di Bari’s cookery , in Dobbs Ferry, you can actually very happily take this advice and want to go several times again for good measure. The first time we wanted to try the place was on mother’s day but they do not take reservations for small groups and that really is not the day to go to such a well liked place, without reservations.
Well, recently Anshul and I celebrated a decade of marriage, actually that also makes it ten years of living in Westchester County. The food scene has changed a lot for the better in these past few years, in fact restaurants like the cookery are quite symbolic of this change. This place was just lovely in its casual comfortable set-up. It has some really nice homey touches, like bread being served in ricotta cartons, comfortable aged wood tables, cotton kitchen towels being used as napkins.
The menu should have just been a small plates menu, since their appetizers were so good we did not even get to the main course. In fact, they were a little startled to see us make a meal of the appetizers. I did get back there at lunchtime and try one of their pasta’s with a friend. What we loved was the polenta with lamb sausage (I wonder where one can find some). The creamy polenta was gently laced with apricots and some tomato jam. The pork a la plancha was just so amazingly soft. The calamari in the calamari salad was soft and well done.
We did try the easter pie, above this was actually a little too salty for us. It essentially is an Italian version of a quiche. We also tried the grilled scamozza cheese with tomato jam. This is something we might get again if we return back with the kids. It was a little too heavy for us. The tomato jam while very good, I think is a little too extended in its use.
I returned and tried the ricotta crostino, which was very interesing since the bread had been heated on the grill adding a lovely rustic touch to the bread. The organic lettuce salad was nice and refreshing, the dressing had a very distinct taste of lemon zest.
Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry is like a mini-restaurant row – there is a lot of variety in a little strip that has at least 6 – 8 restarants of varing ethinic cuisines – Japanese, Bistro, Greek, Chinese, Pizza/Italian and then Mexican. These restaurants have been my lunchtime mainstay the past two years, let me begin my telling you about Tomatillo
I first was introduced to Tomatillo, by Peter Roth, a former colleague. Peter likes healthy and easy on the wallet. I think by now, I have tried most of the menu. The food is interesting a little light on spice, but a lovely stop on a relaxed day. They use local organic products, and have lunch specials, sunday brunch specials and a regular highly affordable menu. The food is offered with optional sauces range from creamy cilatro pesto to chipotle salsa.
Items worth mentioning is a breakfast burritto, made with stone barns eggs and chorizo, fish tacos – really fresh tasting cornmeal coated fish, an avocado and chorizo salad.
Much like tomatillo, my cumin yellow rice with peas is a stapple, very basic and simple – 1 teaspoon oil, 1 teaspoon ghee, small chopped onion, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 cup peas, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup basmati rice and 2 cups water.