Patrice Costa, back again as promised, to share with you my lunch at Dish. It most definitely satisfied all my foodie cravings and more. Dish is tucked away in the back of Mahopac Plaza on Route 6N. As I pull up in front, I can see that the new owners, Eileen and Georges Zidi, have added some color to the outside with flowers and herbs – a sign of good things to come.
My good friend, Barbara, and I were greeted eagerly by our server, Danielle, and we slipped into a corner table in the back of the small dining room (there’s only about 25 seats, but usually no wait for lunch; although I would suggest reservations for dinner).
Thinking it might be just a little bit early in the day for wine (well, for today anyway), I ordered a fresh brewed minted iced tea, just right for a summer afternoon. Barbara decided on a cream soda — a throwback to growing up in the Bronx (yes, she’s been my best friend since 2nd grade). It’s a tough choice for us as we look over the regular menu and then the specials. There are the usual daily items like soup (Lobster Bisque), crostini (Taleggio Cheese & Fig with Balsamic Reduction), and frittata (Potato Leek Cheddar).
Barbara told me she’s been dreaming about the Walnut Pear Salad she had at our last lunch with its sweet candied walnuts, poached pear and goat cheese, but she just couldn’t resist trying the Steak Quesadilla lunch special. She thought the dish was picture perfect with the browned crisp tortilla topped with a splash of color from the chunky pico di gallo of fresh tomatoes, onions and herbs. The steak inside was tender and meaty, surrounded by caramelized onions and melty Hudson Valley cheddar cheese. I think she may have a new favorite.
My craving was pulling me towards a Rosti Alpener, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. It is a thin potato cake layered with Gruyere and Emmentaler cheese, soft sweet onions, ham and a sunny side up egg. Really, what’s not to like with a combination like that?
Yet, the special Fennel Crusted Arctic Char was just too enticing to pass up and the rosti will certainly be there next time. Arctic char looks a little like salmon but has a more reddish, firmer flesh, and honestly, I think a less fatty taste. My fish had a great crunchy crust, and I apologize now that my picture doesn’t show it’s best side – the flaky, moist inside! It’s sitting on top of Cabbage Hill Farm greens which were most likely picked in the morning (thank you, Eileen!). The salad was dressed with an addictive creamy, yet tangy, curry lemon yogurt dressing which I managed to get on every bite.
Faced with the dessert menu, we were completely powerless. The Lemon Blueberry Tart was screaming summer, but it was the Crepe with Grilled Bella Gold Apricots that really got our attention.
The Bella Gold, a cross between a peach, plum and apricot, stole some of the attention away from the golden thin crepe. Barbara and I thought that grilling the fruit brought out a smokiness that was unexpected. However, the tartness of the Bella Gold coupled with the drizzle of local honey was a pleasant surprise for me.
I was thrown into a crystal clear food memory of my very first French crepe in Paris – it was prepared simply with honey and lemon. Back to the present — a scoop of creamy, vanilla-flecked ice cream on top added just the right amount of sweetness to complete the dish.
As new owners Eileen and Georges settle in to make Dish their own, I am confident that the menu will continue to be full of delicious dishes prepared creatively with lots of just-picked, local veggies and greens. I hope that our lunch has created some cravings for you that only a trip to Dish will satisfy. Rosti anyone?
Dish, 947 S. Lake Boulevard, Mahopac. 845-621-3474 www.dishmahopac.com