Hi everyone, it’s Katherine Curry. I wanted to tell you about my new summer hobby.
It’s sitting at the bar at Restaurant North, the new Armonk restaurant, and drinking Mutus. The Mutu is quite possibly the perfect summer cocktail. It’s made with Pinot Grigio, elderflower, mint, soda, and grapefruit bitters, which add an irresistible citrus tang to the cocktail.
You can also have a delicious dinner at the bar, as I did last night.
That’s a little softshell crab perched atop a cherry tomato confit, with corn coulis underneath. Chef Eric Gabrynowicz sent one each out for me and my friends Amy and Anna, and they were perfection: crisply fried and succulent inside.
Here’s bartender Ronnie delivering two Mutus. Ronnie is a great example of what makes Restaurant North such a nice place to be — service at the bar is friendly, thoughtful, and thorough, anticipating exactly what you need.
We ate a lot of food last night, starting with some flatbreads (no pictures on those, sorry), one with sauteed wild mushrooms and lardo, the other with what I think was ricotta and intensely flavorful paper-thin slices of radish.
Amy ordered an appetizer of tuna tartare atop guacamole for us to share.
We also shared this entree of duck over Wild Hive polenta with summer corn and blueberries. Amazing. If I’d been alone with this plate, I would have licked it clean.
Anna ordered the crab risotto for us to share–I had this the last time I was at North, with Amy and Doug Yuan of Hungry Travels. It’s a perfect combination, the sweet lumps of crab paired with the warm, creamy risotto.
Time for dessert. By now we’ve all had three Mutus. But the beauty of the Mutu, beyond its refreshing deliciousness, is that it’s really not a potent cocktail at all. In fact, it’s pretty much a wine spritzer in an elegant disguise. Amy and I joked about having a Mutu challenge — how many would you need to drink to be tipsy? Considering how much food we consumed, we could have probably had another three each. Rest assured we didn’t, though.
Amy and Anna settled on the chocolate espresso cookie baked in a cast iron skillet, topped with Ronnybrook’s chocolate ice cream.
It was as good as you’d expect, gooey and intensely chocolate-y. Eric also sent us out a skillet of white peach cobbler, topped with vanilla ice cream. I loved this dessert. The flavor and freshness of the peaches really shone through.
Reservations at North are hard to come by, no surprise considering the great food, positive reviews, and limited seating — downstairs seats just 44. But walk-ins are possible, and eating at the dark wood bar is an appealing option.
Come September, the upstairs dining room at North will be open (co-owners Eric Gabrynowicz and Stephen Mancini, who was wine director at Danny Meyer’s Maialino, began assembling the tables themselves the other night, Eric told me), and even better news — the restaurant will be open for lunch starting in mid-September. I can’t wait to see what’s for lunch at North, although I think I’ll save the Mutus for evening-only.