Greetings once again. This is Theresa Narvesen with my last review for HVRW. It makes me a little sad because I have really enjoyed writing these reviews and eating some great food by some of the best chefs the Hudson Valley has to offer. What better way to spend my last review than at Wappingers own Aroma Osteria with my husband. Yes, my trusty sidekick is back.
Aroma is a dimly lit restaurant with a very cozy feeling. Walking into the foyer, you almost feel like you’re home. It’s that comforting. Laden with rustic Italian decor and warm colors, you are immediately transported to Italy. When we were seated, we were once again informed of the Restaurant Week menu. I truly love hearing those words. My decision wasn’t so quick this time around. Usually I can skim the menu and have a good idea, but not this time. My husband and I found ourselves saying, “If you get this one, I’ll get this one. Deal?” We made sure not to have the same dish. It’s all in the strategy, people. A very tasty strategy.
Our appetizers were an arugula salad with shaved fennel, red seedless grapes and Coach Farms goat cheese, and then salted cod and potato croquettes over a local field greens salad. Delicious! The arugula salad was fresh and light. Nothing weighing this salad down! Peppery arugula married perfectly with tangy goat cheese and sweet grapes. If you haven’t tried red grapes in your salad, give it a try. You’d be very surprised how much it transforms an ordinary salad. My salted cod and potato croquettes were light and crispy. They were fried in olive oil which gave it a nice crunch. Take a piece of the croquette, a forkful of the mixed salad greens, and you have yourself the perfect bite.
Our main dishes were served with what can only be described as a big, hearty serving. No skimpy plates at Aroma, and who’s complaining? Certainly not me!
Like I said, we both made it a point to get different plates, so we ordered the Cavatelli pasta and the pork dish. Grilled salmon with Umbrian lentils and spinach was a tough dish to pass up, but the other two really called our names. I’m sure you can relate to this. The Cavatelli pasta was paired with local Delicata squash, Applewood smoked bacon, and fresh sage. I had to take a bite because I absolutely love the texture of Cavatelli pasta. It’s one of my all time favorites. Very chewy and al dente; just the way I like it. I caught a bit of the smoked bacon and the earthy taste of sage. It didn’t have a sauce like you might think; the flavors in itself were enough to carry this elegant dish. I ordered the porchetta. Roman style roasted pork loin spiked with wild fennel, garlic, and rosemary, wrapped in pork belly, served with olive oil whipped potatoes, and sauteed escarole. Whew. That was a mouthful. Literally. Phenomenal. No one can argue the strong, vibrant flavors that work with this dish. The pork was soft and buttery, and the potatoes were so creamy. They weren’t kidding when they said “whipped potatoes.” The pork had an insanely smoky flavor that didn’t overpower everything else on the dish.
Once again we find ourselves staring dessert in the face. Every meal needs to have the perfect balance of sweetness right at the end, and there was no shortage of sweet confections at Aroma. I chose the warm Panettone bread pudding with orange creme anglaise and shavings of bittersweet chocolate. Warm and chewy bread pudding with the ultimate citrus sauce on and around it. Bittersweet chocolate tips the scales of this treat. I don’t have a lot of words for it, and I don’t think I uttered a lot of words while eating it. My mouth was always full. My husband topped off his night with coffee gelato drowned in hot espresso with fresh whipped cream and Alps Sweet Shop chocolate covered espresso beans. This was so decadent and honestly could have kept anyone up a few extra hours that night. It was absolutely worth it.
It has been a pleasure visiting different establishments for RW. I look forward to my next time at Aroma Osteria. Looking through the rest of the culinary treasures on their menu, I can hardly wait for my next meal there.