Hello again! This is Roseann Healy with my final review for the fall edition of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.
The restaurant and bar scene in downtown Nyack is always lively, so on this past Thursday night, I decided to go with some friends to check out Velo Bistro Wine Bar. After hearing so many good things about this place, I thought what better time to try it out than during Restaurant Week.
Rockland native Anthony DeVanzo opened Velo in 2008 and fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning his own successful restaurant. Judging by past reviews and the crowd that was there on Thursday night, Chef DeVanzo must be very proud of a dream realized.
Walking into Velo, you immediately get a cozy, intimate, small bistro feel, the room buzzing with conversation.
Dining with my good friends Kevin and Christina, we were shown to a table by the window. All of us were interested in having wine for the evening, so our waiter suggested a 2009 Clos Julien Sonoma Chardonnay which was pleasant, not as full bodied as a typical chardonnay, but satisfying just the same. Although we decided to order off the Restaurant Week menu, my friend Kevin insisted we also try the Grilled Pizza appetizer that was on the regular menu. The pizza had a nice thin crust, with San Marzano tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, very tasty.
For my appetizer, I ordered the Panko Encrusted Baked Brie with Apricot Chutney. Beautifully executed, the baked brie had a light panko coating, the tangy sweetness of the apricot chutney a nice contrast to the warm and creamy brie underneath.
Christina and Kevin both enjoyed the Steamed Mussels appetizer with Peppers and Scallions, in a Walnut-Pesto White Wine Broth and Grilled Crostini. The flavor of the muscles in the walnut-pesto white wine broth was a refreshing change from the standard garlic butter sauce. The peppers and scallions added an amazing but not overpowering flavor. The grilled crostini was a nice accompaniment that completed this wonderful appetizer which in itself could have been its own entrée.
For our main course, Kevin and I decided we both had to try the Coffee Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Braised Cabbage in a Three Cheese Sauce. The coffee rub added a nice smokiness to the pork, and the tenderloin was so tender and juicy. The bacon braised cabbage with the three cheese sauce enhanced each bite of the tenderloin; I’ve never tasted anything like it. This entrée was so delicious, I asked the Maitre d’ to please ask the chef to include this on his regular menu and he smiled as if it wasn’t the first time he had heard this request about this wonderful dish. He mentioned that the chef will prepare seasonal menus to whatever fresh ingredients are in season. Oh well, I tried.
Christina was very pleased with her Porcini and Oyster Mushroom Risotto entrée with Pecorino Romano Cheese. The porcini and oyster ratio was plentiful. The oysters were sweet and tender and the risotto had a perfectly creamy consistency.
For dessert, we ordered two for the table. The first was Housemade Cardamom Spiced Pecan Donuts with Vanilla and Raspberry Sauces. The cardamom added a nice, warm spice flavor to the donuts, and the tartness of the raspberry and the creaminess of the vanilla sauces added to the overall flavor of this fall dessert. Our other choice, a Warm Brownie Sundae with Housemade Vanilla Ice Cream, was as delicious as it sounds.
Velo is another culinary triumph for the Nyack restaurant scene. Chef DeVanzo’s approach to food is adventurous the key being fresh ingredients and his dishes reflect that. What a wonderful evening with friends at Velo.