How fortunate I am to have an anniversary that consistently falls during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week! This year my husband and I decided to celebrate at Piermont’s Pier 701—a premiere outdoor happy hour destination in the summer, but we’d never yet been inside to enjoy the splendid Mediterranean cuisine. We had what seemed to be a brand new waiter on a very busy, loud night, so we’ll stick to discussing the incredible food.
I started with a drink from their seasonal cocktail menu. Of the many tempting creations (including a pumpkin cocktail and a bacon Manhattan), I ultimately opted for the Angry Orchard Cider Sangria, a smooth, dangerously drinkable mix of Angry Orchard cider and apple brandy with chunks of fresh apple throughout. A perfect, refreshing autumnal cocktail. My husband chose a deliciously velvety malbec (chosen, unfortunately, before he opted to order the salmon)… which he promptly spilled all over the table and his loving wife. C’est la vie! I felt justified in sneaking more sips than usual from his replacement glass.
After enjoying a bit of bread accompanied by olive oil, tapenade, and olives, our first courses came up. I’d ordered the Roasted Fall Squash Tri Color Salad, featuring a blend of endive, radicchio, and arugula surrounded by big crescents of perfectly tender cinnamon-roasted squash and sprinkled with a generous amount of Roquefort cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds, the latter of which added a good crunchy texture. The hazelnut chardonnay vinaigrette was delicious and applied at just the right level. The squash was so tender it reminded me of a pear!
My husband chose the Provencal sauce for his Prince Edward Island mussels and really enjoyed the ample tomato & shallots in the thick herb broth.
My chosen entrée was the Herb Roasted Chicken, which wasn’t the most photogenic dish but made up for it in flavor. I’m not sure what kind of sauce was puddled on the plate, but it definitely enhanced the chicken and worked well with the starchy spaghetti squash and delicious sweet potato gratin.
My husband’s almond glazed Atlantic salmon was very mild with a rich spiced pumpkin beurre blanc. He felt the almonds added a nice contrast to the otherwise soft texture. The fish was accompanied by a quinoa pilaf with butternut squash, dried cranberries, walnuts, and arugula. I wound up eating a lot of that mélange myself since it was so deliciously autumnal!
Despite listing three desserts on the Restaurant Week menu, they wound up presenting us with most of the regular dessert menu as additional options. I chose the Pecan Bourbon Bread Pudding with butter pecan ice cream and bourbon caramel sauce. The contrast of hot and cold was wonderful, and there were generous chunks of pecan throughout both items. The sweet pecan paired nicely with the caramel, and the bread pudding wasn’t as sweet as the ice cream, which worked well (they didn’t ‘compete’). I’m still wondering what the little dots were throughout the bread—poppy seeds?—but whatever they were, it was all delicious.
My husband’s “molten chocolate cake” was also delicious, though misleading: there was no molten chocolate center, and the entire cake was quite a bit drier than we’d anticipated. As a regular chocolate cake, though, it was great, especially with the vanilla gelato that accompanied it.