HVRW Spring 14: Union, Haverstraw

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Ever since writing about Unoodles last year, I’d been dying to try Jose David Martinez and Paulo Feteira’s original venture, Union Restaurant and Bar Latino, considered by many to be the best restaurant in Rockland. Hudson Valley Restaurant Week was the perfect opportunity to finally check it out!

The restaurant was, as promised, a diamond in the rough of downtown Haverstraw. Original tin ceilings soar high above rustic arches, gaslamp-style sconces, and bits of clay roofing, which, alongside a live tree festooned with lights, give the impression of dining in an outdoor portico (there is also an actual outdoor space out back, “Patio Metapan,” which I plan to visit in warmer weather—ideally after my baby is born, so I can enjoy the famous sangria!).

APPETIZERS

Chicken Quesadilla

Quesadilla de Pollo

The quesadilla de pollo had lots of cheese (some places skimp on that when there’s meat inside), and the chicken was chopped nice and small so it blended well with the other ingredients. The guacamole on the side was delicious and I slathered it on every bite.

Thousand Island Wedge

Thousand Island Wedge

While we still prefer the more classic blue cheese version, the Thousand Island wedge of iceberg lettuce with bacon, tomato, croutons, and queso de Cabrales was a zesty departure from the norm. It could have used more bacon, though.

 

ENTREES

Pollo Azul

Pollo Azul

The roasted pollo azul was incredibly juicy and fresh, with light, crispy skin. I honestly could have eaten the cheesy Cabrales potato gratin beneath it as a meal—every meal, for the rest of my life. A swoosh of bright-tasting rosemary jus, made from rosemary grown in the restaurant’s rooftop garden, garnished the plate and was devoured mainly by fingertip (I’m ever so classy when it comes to delicious sauces).

BBQ Center Cut Pork Loin

BBQ Center Cut Pork Loin

The BBQ center cut pork loin was also delicious, and I dredged each bite through the sweet, smoky sauce—yum! The spinach was a little oily but had a nice light taste with a slight smokiness.

 

DESSERT

Oh, dessert! We ordered two but wound up getting an extra. Too much to possibly finish but we certainly did our best!

Chocolate Marshmallow Tart

Chocolate Marshmallow Tart

The chocolate marshmallow tart was ridiculously good—super soft and pillowy. The chocolate sauce added little to this amazing cake; we preferred to swipe our forkfuls through the mild coffee ice cream, only discovering the pistachio crème anglaise towards the end (it was a smaller puddle than the chocolate sauce, and a similar color to the ice cream).

Banana Parfait

Banana Parfait

We enjoyed digging deep to get the bits of banana and sugared corn flakes that dotted the caramel banana rum parfait. The vanilla ice cream melted everything together into a sweet creamy soup. A long flaky cookie frosted in cinnamon sugar added some extra texture.

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

Our bonus dessert was the sweet, moist tres leches cake. The spongey texture reminded us of the chocolate tart, though this cake was milder in flavor and added the satisfying squish of the three sweet milks. It was topped by a firmer toasted meringue and accompanied by fresh, delicious mint fruit cocktail.

We both saw a lot of dishes on the regular menu that piqued our interest (I’ve heard amazing things about the pinto bean ravioli, and must try the spinach ricotta queso dumpling; my husband is excited to try the mussels and other enticing seafood selections), so I look forward to our next visit—perhaps a warm summer night out on the Patio Metapan, babe in arms and sangria in hand.

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About Author

Christine Gritmon is a freelance journalist for The Journal News, among other local publications, and occasional Small Bites blogger. A Rockland native, she graduated from Tappan Zee High School and Vassar College, and now resides in Pearl River with her husband and toddler son (who eats pretty much everything). Her favorite substance in the whole wide world is cheese.

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