HVRW Spring 2013: Iron Horse Grill, Pleasantville


My hubby Bradley and I have been blogging about restaurants for LoHud on HVRW since its inception a few years ago. Donna blogs as Chef’s Tip, and she is the co-coordinator for Westchester Community College Taste of Westchester program. She has come to know quite a few chefs in Westchester and enjoys watching many of them participate in this great program.

Now we begin another HVRW, two weeks of exploring great places and enjoying creative and beautiful things to see and eat.  This year Liz Johnson has created a scavenger hunt, but I like to think of it more as a “treasure” hunt. We are blessed with great chefs who love to share their “bounty”. Now there maybe a “mutiny” when deciding on which of the over 185 restaurants to try and which friends to take along. We have made 7 reservations so far to try out some new spots and revisit a few favorites. Now that you have endured all the pirate references…enjoy our visit to The Iron Horse Grill.

One of the most gracious hosts, the chef not only blessed us with his fabulous food but sent out one of their signature drinks as a treat. Hibiscus flowers in Proseco – delicious and most beautiful as the bubbles make the flowers float and dance in the glass. All of their cocktails are a riff on train names as this restaurant is in the old train station set above the tracks. Across the street is their sister restaurant – Pony Express – a take out/eat in hot spot for a more casual meal and coming soon is Seahorse – right next door – for take out seafood fare. Are you getting the “train and horse” theme yet? Very clever!

Starting with appetizers and moving onto the main course, we shared our first of many dinners out with our great friends Doreen and Juan (pictured here enjoying his braised short ribs-100 points).

The romantic setting made photos a bit tough, (we promise to do better on the next set). You can see a lovely shadow of my finger (it is pointing to 50 points for Hudson Valley Duck).  The duck was quite tasty – moist yet crisp over a bed of smokey black beans and chorizo (photo for another 50 points).

Probably our favorite of the three entrees offered was the arctic char. While not from a local farm it was a buttery tasting fish but not oily. It was the most spectacular color orange and was served on a bed of forbidden rice (black rice). I had never tried this before (50 more for being adventurous) and it was nutty and “firm to the tooth” – al dente.  It resembled a cross between wild rice (although actually a grass and not rice) and Italian aborio rice (short grain). You can see it peeking out (50 point photo) from under the fish in a beautiful pool of delicious sauce that only Chef McGrath can make.

Here he is stopping for a moment to take a photo with us to mark our first adventure on HVRW-2013. (100)

Our desserts were fun! Blood orange sorbet over mango for Bradley and can you believe I ordered a cupcake after working so many years icing thousands of them at The Cupcake Kitchen? Dark chocolate with chocolate crunchies and vanilla ice cream.

Our terrific chef sent us a sample of his special shortbread cookies to end with a thoughtfully sweet treat.

Join us in the hunt! As this is one of the popular choices each time on HVRW, wishing you luck, but do try to get a reservation for HVRW. You will enjoy!

Total points: 400.

The 411 on Iron Horse Grill.



About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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