[Note from Liz. I’m using a few photos of the dining room from our archives to illustrate the post. Mark Vergari was the photographer.]
Jeff McDowell here again. Our first visit for Hudson Valley Restaurant week was to Nyack’s Two Spear Street. Downtown Nyack on a Thursday night, especially on St. Patrick’s Day can be crazy busy. Fortunately, Two Spear Street is not in downtown Nyack. It is located just above Nyack’s Municipal Marina. Finding a place to park in downtown Nyack can be a challenge, not so when you are close to the river. Parking was a snap.
Two Spear Street is a smaller establishment, perhaps 10 to 12 tables and a small but attractive bar with 8 to 10 stools. It has a modern décor in muted mustard and off white with large floor to ceiling windows offering a view of the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee Bridge. The large windows help make the room look larger then it actually is. At 7, when we arrived, three of the other tables had customers and another few people were at the bar, watching a college basketball game on a television, March Madness. The sound was turned down so we never heard it at our table – thank you.
Entering, a warm and bubbly hostess welcomed us and checked our reservation. Quickly surveying the empty tables she decided to have a four seat table split into two, the operation took all of 30 seconds. We were escorted to our table by the large windows with that great view of the river, the bridge and Tarrytown beyond.
Our waiter arrived at the side of our table within a minute of we taking our seats, checked on our water preference and quickly returned with the requested ice water and water without. After a quick run down of the specials for the day including the obligatory corned beef and cabbage we advised him that we were there for the restaurant week. He pointed the choices out to us as well as the wine and beverage selections.
After making our food selections, we both checked the wine list. We both noted that they do not have an extensive selection, perhaps two or three dozen, but what they do have covers all the bases – sparkling, rose, white, and red with enough diversity so that for what was on their menu several wines could complement each entrée. The prices, both for by the glass and for a full bottle were reasonable.
For our entrée, we both chose the sautéed skate fish in a brown butter sauce, with my partner choosing the Gruyere cheese soufflé and I choose the spring mix of lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes and cider vinaigrette as our appetizers.
The soufflé had a denser, more custard consistency to it then expected, but the flavor was very good and the small bits of proscutto provided just the right amount of salty pork contrast to the richness of the cheese. The German Riesling that my partner had with her soufflé provided the acidic contrast the cheesy soufflé needed. The salad greens were fresh and the vinaigrette had just the right amount of tartness, but tomatoes at this time of the year one has to ask, why bother.
We both love skate, but skate can be a very difficult fish to cook well. First it is delicate and easily falls apart if not handled carefully. Being so delicate and thin, it is also very easy to over cook. Two Spear Street did it right. The plates arrived with the skate done to a medium brown, fully intact displaying the ridges so characteristic of this fish. The sauté was done perfectly, a crisp surface with an interior texture that was silky and subtly sweet. To often fish is served swimming in a sauce, not so with our dinner. The sauce was drizzled on, just enough to let you know it was there, but not so much that it distracted from the entrée. The light sprinkling of very finely chopped parsley gave necessary color and contrast to the plate. We both had a glass of the Bogle Pinot Noir to go with our main course, other wines could have worked, but we like reds with our fish and really appreciated that the wine list included this simple nice light red.
Garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots came with the main course. I really like mashed potatoes and it is always a treat when they are not whipped, but retain enough texture to remind you, these did not come out of the box. The subtle roasted garlic just added to the perfectly sized portion. The carrots were simply cooked and were done well.
Coffee arrived, with a nice surprise. Biscotti, a good Italian style meant to be dunked – mine a chocolate walnut was very much appreciated.
We diverged with dessert. I chose the angel food parfait, layers of angel food cake layered with strawberries and whipped cream. My partner selected the Nutella filled crepes with vanilla ice cream and zabaglione sauce. She had the better choice – she loved the crepes, thought the zabaglione was superb, to the point that the ice cream while nice was superfluous. For me, the angel food cake was dry, the strawberries okay; I was grateful for the whipped cream. I should have stopped with the biscotti.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable evening. The location, Nyack’s waterfront offers a fabulous view and the parking is a breeze. The service was pleasant, attentive without being intrusive and all three – the hostess, our waiter and our server all were warm and had senses of humor. The fish was done perfectly, complemented by nicely done sides. The appetizers were fine and we were 1 for 2 on dessert.
We are looking forward to returning, and soon.