Division Street Grill in Peekskill: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2012

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Hi everyone, guest bloggers George Distelhurst and Brett Sloane back for another year, this time to serve up a review of Division Street Grill in Peekskill.  Always eager to try a new restaurant this year we decided to start the week off with a visit to a place that was on our list for quite some time.  What better opportunity than to visit during HVRW for fine food at a great price

As luck would have it, before we even left for our first night of reviewing a different restaurant, we received a voicemail to confirm the next night’s reservation with the added comment… “The restaurant is not offering the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Menu on Fridays and Saturdays.”  What a bummer! Brett was supposed to review that restaurant!  (Never ones to back down from a challenge we decided to share the reviewing duties for the Division Street Grill and change our next night’s reservations to one of our favorites that was in fact fully participating).  So here goes our first shot at a “his and hers” review…

Division Street Grill is located in the heart of Peekskill.  This restaurant finds itself in the center of a very lively spot filled with restaurants and night life galore.  Upon entering the restaurant we were quickly met by the charming host who promptly informed us that our reservation had been cancelled!  Yes that’s right, a big “X” right next to our name!  Not exactly what we were expecting to hear, but given how the night had started with the unexpected cancellation for Saturday night, we were worried that we were under a HVRW jinx! Thankfully, the host just as quickly told us not to be alarmed, probably after seeing the look of shock on my face and the sight of Brett reaching for her BlackBerry to do a panic search for yet another last minute reservation! Our luck turned for the better and the host seated us at a very nice table for two up front.  Finally with menus and wine list in hand we were ready to dine.

Our waitress Maria took our wine order as the water glasses were filled and the bread was brought to the table.  From the outside the size of the restaurant is quite deceiving.  Inside the high ceilings and large back room as well as the front space offer plenty of seating options.  For us, sitting up front where the action on the street can be seen provided a very nice and lively night scene.  Decorating the walls around us were several pieces of wall art towering 8 to 10 feet tall, all offering bright and radical colors to brighten the room (obviously when the room was decorated they decided to use every inch available).  If it were not for the fact that I was more concerned with the flash disturbing the other diners around us, I would have added a few pictures to the blog.

At first glance of the menu the appetizer and dessert choices jumped right out at both of us.  The entrees were more of a challenge.  Would it be chicken, beef or fish?  A large reason why we enjoy HVRW so much is that it offers you a chance to try the restaurant’s signature meals at a very reasonable price, but these three entrees seemed to be lacking that special something.  I decided on the Oven Roasted Pear Salad with pistachios, goat cheese and apple cider vinaigrette to start.  The Boneless Braised Short Ribs of Beef with red wine reduction as the entree, followed by the Warm Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. Brett decided upon the Mussels Fra Diavolo appetizer, the Sautéed Breast of Chicken main course, and the same dessert I chose.

The attentive wait staff quickly brought our appetizers.  The salad had a nice mix of sweetness from the pear combined with a salty taste from the pistachios and goat cheese.  The vinaigrette dressing added just the touch to make you wish it was easier to find these dressings at your local market so you could duplicate the salad at home.

 

Brett thoroughly enjoyed her Mussels! They were meaty and the Fra Diavolo sauce added just the right amount of spicy kick. And the sauce was even tastier when sopped up with the fresh bread.

Then our entrees arrived, braised short ribs sitting on a mound of mashed potatoes mixed with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots for me. For Brett it was chicken…  sitting on an identical mound of mashed potatoes mixed with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots with quite possibly a lone mushroom and tomato. The short ribs were as tender as could be, literally falling to pieces at the slightest touch.  The taste was closer to a BBQ flavor than I would have imagined but still very tasty.  The mound of veggies were okay but I would have preferred to see each served on its own and leave the mixing to me, if in fact I chose to do so.  Brett’s chicken was a bit bland; I took a quick taste and went back to the short ribs.  As we mentioned before, sitting up front offered us a great view of the entire dining area so as we ate we could see the wait staff busily bringing out one entree after the other.  It was easy to see how all the dishes looked exactly the same, with even the fish (salmon) being served on a mound of rice mixed with the same exact veggies. Obviously everyone was here for HVRW but it felt more like we were at the same catered party with three dining options.  Or as Brett simply put it… “Wedding food.”

The dessert was very good, nothing over the top, but satisfying and sweet. We both ordered cappuccinos, nice and strong, for a fine finish to our meal.

Overall we were glad that we took the opportunity to visit a restaurant we have walked by many times and always wanted to try.  The service was great, the atmosphere lovely and romantic, the décor unique and interesting, and some solid good food. All in all we really enjoyed our night at Division Street Grill.

As for our last minute reservation for Saturday night? We showed up at The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry at 5:00, the first ones to arrive in order to score a first come, first served table for dinner!  A restaurant we have dined at multiple times and always walk away from eager to return.  From start to finish, menu choices, wine, dessert… one word… AWESOME!  But we’ll leave that review for another time!

 The 411 on Division Street Grill.

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