There is a bit of a dining renaissance going on in once-sleepy Tarrytown, and RiverMarket Bar and Kitchen is a welcome addition to the scene. Like many fine restaurants these days, they are leaning heavily on local farms for everything that comes into the kitchen, which is just great.
The food is good and they seem to be doing quite well. On a recent Wednesday evening, the place was hopping, with nearly every table full at 8 p.m.
A pair of seasoned restaurateurs are in charge here: Glenn Vogt and John Crabtree, of Kittle House fame.
It’s a handsome airy room in a new building, within the new Hudson Harbor condominium complex, with lots of glass and reclaimed wood and brick. We love the big squarish bar with plenty of seating on all four sides. Very comfy spot to come for a drink. There is also an actual market in front, with artisanal Hudson Valley produce, jams, honey and dairy.
The service was mostly good, with a slightly longish wait between courses. Everyone was very personable. The only real ding would be the baggy gray T-shirts that every single staffer wears. Not very flattering on everyone and way too casual for the room and the food.
What we tried
Green Herb and Arugula Fettucine: We went for the half order ($16) and it was enough to share. The green pasta is heaped with slow-braised lamb ragu, fresh mint and olives. Nice flavor combo and the tasty, crunchy bread on the table was perfect for sopping up the generous portion of sauce.
Maple Brook Farms Burratina: This green salad would have been slightly better if the creamy cheese on top (mozzarella on the outside, heavy cream on the inside) had been at room temperature instead of cold. The rest of it was great and we particularly liked the tiny, circular fingerling potato chips tossed with the lettuces, fava beans and radish slices. They were the same size as the sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes and gave the whole thing an interesting and salty crunch.
Pan Seared Barnegat Lighthouse NJ Sea Scallops: This was a generous portion with five very plump and perfectly cooked diver scallops (Vogt says they come in fresh every day). They were served with a slow roasted tomato fregula (a pasta that’s like Israeli couscous) and a lemon tarragon aioli. A heaping side salad of baby arugula on the plate added a nice bitterness to contrast with the sweetness of the scallops.
Grilled Block Island Swordfish: Too often, swordfish tastes oh so ho-hum, but this one had lots of flavor, with a roasted peach and heirloom tomato salsa, pea tendrils and creamy polenta tucked under the fish.
Drinks and dessert
There is a well chosen list of old-fashioned cocktails to try, and we were quite happy with our gin-based Aviation and classic Manhattan. The bartender wisely steered me away from one I was considering because he thought it would be too sweet. For wine, we decided to stay with the whole local-Hudson Valley thing and order a white Traminette from Whitecliff Vineyards in Gardiner. Perfect for our two seafood entrees and a bargain at $34.
For dessert, we loved our ice cream cookie: butter pecan semifreddo tucked inside a pair of cinnamon cookies, with caramel sauce and whipped cream on the side. Vogt says it’s a brand new addition to the dessert list. Bravo.
A typical Westchester crowd, on the well-heeled side.
The bar boasts an impressive collection of craft beers on tap.
What we will order next
The Stone Broke Farm burger looked pretty fab, and table after table was getting the plate of cookies that comes with a milkshake.
Downtown Tarrytown is quite the lively scene these days, for dining, shopping and hanging out. If you’re headed to a show at the Tarrytown Music Hall, this is the perfect spot for a pre-concert drink and a snack.
THE 411 ON RIVERMARKET
Cuisine: Farm to table
Entree price range: $18-$38
Great for: Big Groups, Date Night, Solo Dining, Excellent Desserts, Seasonal Menu, Craft Beer, Brunch, Cocktails, Dining at the Bar, Girls’ Night Out, Meeting for a Drink, Outdoor Dining, Going Out on Mondays, People Watching, Private Room, Romantic, Dinner with Grandparents, Small Plates, Special Occasion Dining, Wine List
Noise level: The full room was pretty clamorous.
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, till 10 p.m. Fridays and Saurdays, till 8 p.m. Sundays
Go: 127 W. Main St., Tarrytown, 914-631-3100, http://rivermarketbarandkitchen.com/
By Bill Cary