Food for Thought: Rivermarket and Suzanne’s Table

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| by Linda Viertel | 

Neopolitan Pizza Arrives at RiverMarket Bar & Kitchen in Tarrytown

Rivermarket-manRiverMarket Bar & Kitchen’s wood-burning oven is now open for business, offering Neopolitan-style pizza to local diners who might not have the good fortune to be able to travel to Naples. Owner Glenn Vogt is providing his customers with the real deal, and he’s had a lot of time to think about how he wants his pizza to taste. During the 18 months it took to garner approvals, permits and upgrades, he had the opportunity to experiment with his 800 degree oven and how ingredients reacted to the high heat. He and his pizzaiola chefs got comfortable with their new state of the art, Italian Pavesi oven, gas-assisted but fired with a combination of cherry, apple and birch hardwoods.

Vogt’s dough, made from premium 00 wheat flour, rises overnight, with a two-day fermentation period. This attention to detail gives the pizza dough real body and flavor, plus a crunchy base. Just two minutes in his hot oven is enough to afford his pizza the chewy yet crispy puffy edge that so characterizes Neopolitan pizza. The woodsy taste of his hardwood combination adds perfect flavoring to his naturally raised ingredients – a signature at RiverMarket. With a mission, and a visible motto on all servers’ t-shirts –“naturally raised,” customers can be assured they are dining on the same high quality ingredients on their pizzas that they have come to expect from RiverMarket’s classic menu.

Sausage and meatballs are made in-house, mushrooms are marinated in the chef’s own vinaigrette recipe, and the pepperoni is local. R&G Cheesemakers supplies the hand-crafted mozzarella (available for purchase in the restaurant’s entrance market); heirloom tomatoes, local arugula and Montauk clams provide added natural ingredient choices.

The basic tomato, mozzarella and basil (margherita) or white mozzarella and basil pizza can be ordered with your choice of sausage, pepperoni, wild mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, arugula , little neck clams or jumbo shrimp. And, come this fall, RiverMarket will be adding 5 or 6 additional signature pizza preparations featuring local and seasonal produce.

When you visit, take time to wander over to Vogt’s wood-fired oven to examine the unusual decorative tiles fired in ancient Spanish kilns that present a brick-like facing. Their unevenness and color give the oven a delicate, variegated color plus a sense of movement reflecting RiverMarket’s view to the Hudson River.

Before winter descends and the joys of sharing Neopolitan wood-burning oven pizza indoors becomes a hearty reality for RiverMarket customers, stop by during this fall’s warm final days and enjoy Vogt’s latest taste treat on the 100-seat patio with a treasured view.

If You Go: 

127 West Main Street

Irvington Welcomes Suzanne’s Table: Cooking and Catering

Suzannestale-p.20_0033Suzanne Hart’s love affair with food began long ago, though her new catering operation just opened September 9 at Le Moulin’s old location on Irvington’s Main Street. A popular resident for 25 years whose three children all attended Irvington’s public schools, she has been catering for the past five years and decided to offer her culinary talents to Westchester residents once her youngest went off to college. As she said, “It was time to launch a new career – sort of like having a baby.”

Everything Hart serves is made in-house, and her seasonal menu changes depending upon what farmers have on hand. But, until she runs out, her signature chicken salad with apricots and basil, will always be available, as will her golden beet, honey and goat cheese salad. For variety, try orange shrimp with yogurt, thyme grilled chicken, kale salad with citrus vinaigrette, or quinoa mixed with chopped tomato, mint, cucumber and red onion for a refreshing Mediterranean taste.  Specials highlighted on her store window’s chalkboard might offer Thai beef, a farro salad or chicken stuffed with basil, prosciutto and provolone for variety. Suzanne’s braised tarragon chicken salad gets its crunch from rainbow carrots, complemented by the earthiness of shitake mushrooms and roasted cipppolini onion sweetness. Every day presents new culinary possibilities for the chef/owner.

Suzanne’s healthy paninis, all made fresh to order, include kumato tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil or grilled vegetables with fontina; her delectable roasted turkey, apple, manchego cheese, and fig jam is a signature creation. The smashed avocado sandwich has become an immediate favorite, as has her egg salad with watercress, and dill on multi-grain bread. Roasted turkey with cranberry chutney and mayonnaise is served on a demi-ficelle, and her prosciutto offering is complemented by fresh ricotta, basil and roasted rosemary tomatoes. Having just opened, she is working toward expanding her panini, sandwich and salad offerings for the fall. A featured October item to anticipate will be a mélange of roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, sliced pears and pickled onion over a bed of field greens and topped with spiced pecans.

Balthazar bread provides croissants and breads, and Hilltop Hanover Farm’s produce graces the salad and sandwich offerings. Other healthy choices include Red Jacket Juices and Boxed Water is Better. Fresh-brewed GiacoBean Coffee, roasted locally by the owners of Antoinette’s Patisserie in Hastings, is on hand throughout the day; Suzanne’s home-baked chocolate chip cookies disappear quickly, so grab them while you can.

Suzanne’s says that her culinary influences, “Include everything from my sister-in-law Nina, to food authors like Laurie Colwin, M.F.K. Fisher and Elizabeth David, to the contemporary Yotem Ottolenghi. It’s that sensibility of wanting everyone around your table.” Suzanne embodies this homey concept in her cooking as well as her décor. Her new venue welcomes customers with generous herb-filled pots on the steps. Marble counters and tables provide seating in the comfortable white interior accented by charming steel grey wall stencils; country style pewter and antique enamel serving pieces decorate the store’s large hutch. An ample pine table for communal dining graces the back room, emblematic not only of her store’s name but also of her gastronomic congeniality.

Suzanne’s Table is a family affair as well. Husband Tom Casadei stops by to wash dishes, and their daughters were on hand to help open their mother’s new venue.“So many of my friends have contributed to this venture: some donated furniture, one presented me with the tulip photo. Charlotte Lyons, an artist for Trader Joe’s, created the chalkboard menu, and another friend stenciled the wall. The expression, ‘It takes a village’ was really true in my case.” Gathering around Suzanne’s table must have been a joy for family and friends, and now the rest of us get to find out why.

If You Go: 

75 Main Street | 914-231-9055 Call in order for pick-up Tues.-Fri.: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Website: coming soon

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