This is Antonella Pomilla guest-blogging for the second time for The Journal News. Since my first time participating in Spring HVRW 2011, I was accepted into the pilot MBA program in Food and Wine at the University of Bologna, have become an avid Yelper with a healthy following, and continue to home-cook/bake innovative upscale food incorporating the mantras of quality, wellness, and sophistication. I’m proud my passion is growing stronger, so with that said, onto my first blogging assignment: Iron Horse Grill.
Based on a personal recommendation, I was excited for the opportunity to make the reservation here with my cousin, Dina Rinaldi. As a “researcher” by career, I did my homework before coming. Owned by a husband and wife team for the past 15 years, Philip is the chef while Cathy is the hostess. Both walked the floor all night, making sure diners were comfortable – not overbearing at all, as we shared numerous pleasant conversations throughout the night.
Since they use local ingredients, a menu for HVRW is not provided online like most restaurants, as it’s subject to change daily. Posted here is the dinner menu that was offered on Friday, November 9th.
Let’s start with Dina’s choices: Two cheese-filled Spinach ravioli with a diced-tomato ragout. We were correct in guessing the pasta was homemade (a big plus).
Her entrée was a grilled Pork Chop topped with warm apple chutney and plated with a sweet yam mash and Brussels sprouts. This dish was SPOT-ON. The pork was cooked to perfection and the entire dish was so hearty, it reminded me of comfort, warmth, and winter. Unfortunately, we weren’t drinking this evening, but it would have paired nicely with a full-bodied red.
Her dessert, the Devil Food Cupcake with a side of vanilla ice cream, did not disappoint either. The ganache was rich, while the vanilla bean flavor was pure. It was also appealing to discover the ice cream is also made on premises. Note: the only item that isn’t is the bread.
My meal started with the Cauliflower and Thyme Bisque. The weakest dish of the night, but with a perfect explanation by Philip: veganism. It obviously lacked cream, but done purposely so, to appease this growing population. As I have many friends having trouble finding ‘vegan-friendly’ menus, this point is well-taken and respected. I actually asked, when making the reservation, if vegan or vegetarian options, were available.
Since I don’t eat enough fish in my diet, I opted for the broiled Cod served with saffron risotto, snap peas, mushrooms, and julienne carrots. The cod tasted like butter, the snap peas had crunch, and the risotto left me wishing there was slightly more. Regardless, the platter was portioned – appropriately and abundantly delicious.
We were so pleased collectively, we decided to skip coffee, and order another dessert: Pumpkin Crème’ Brulee. Wow, was THAT a smart decision! Our server was kind enough to pair it with another small scoop of molasses ice cream, but it didn’t need it. This brulee was impeccable, undeniably the best I’ve had. The crispy topping, along with the underlying pumpkin mousse texture, makes this a MUST-TRY. Philip was kind enough to share that he roasts the pumpkin, adds cream, and spices – all as I suspected.
Again, I can’t express enough that Philip and Cathy really know how to run this business. Their food speaks for itself! However, along with their personal attention to customers, their “on-top-of-it” wait staff, and the “regular” clientele, this was definitely one of my top 5 best meals in Westchester this year.
One last note, speaking of clientele, we were fortunate enough to dine next to a lovely couple from West Nyack, NY. We exchanged our thoughts about the food (see the picture of her Duck entrée) and other restaurants, making the dining experience all the more better. Take care, folks! It was truly a pleasure all-around.