Just so we’re clear: I’m not posting this story, which ran in Sunday’s Journal News, to toot my own horn. Just wanted you all to know about a really great restaurant in Tarrytown.
Oh, and by the way, Liz Johnson became a mom yesterday: Samantha Grace Weber was born yesterday at 3:10 p.m. Liz promised to send me photos tomorrow.
Here’s why we love Chiboust:
Restaurants We Love: Chiboust
Look, I’m not knocking the farm-to-table movement—I’m just as obsessed with locally grown food as everybody else. It’s just that when I’m choosing where to eat on a Saturday night, I want a restaurant that can boast more than just greens grown next door. And that’s why I love Chiboust Bistro & Wine Bar—this dimly lit eatery, right across from Westchester’s famous Tarrytown Music Hall, has got it all: hip ambience, a terrific wine list, and a farm-to-table menu that’s full of surprises.
Chiboust has been around since 2004, serving French-Mediterranean specialties in a space that was formerly occupied by—can you believe it?—a Laundromat. And while washers and dryers may not conjure up images of glamour, today, the narrow square-footage, lined with tables separated by airy white partitions and backed by a long brick wall, feels romantic and cozy. It’s the perfect place for a pre-theater date, a long, leisurely meal, or to catch up with an old friend.
While the hip, but homey décor hasn’t changed much in seven years, the menu changes all the time—you can eat at Chiboust a few nights a week and never quite know what’s for dinner. And though much of the ingredients are accessible —they come from the Tarrytown, White Plains, and Ossining Farmers’ Markets, when they’re in town — trust me, few of us will cook up these wonders at home. Chef/Owner Jill Rose started as a pastry chef—she’s known for her outlandish desserts at New York City’s Aureole and Lespinasse—and since March 2010 she’s been heading up Chiboust’s kitchen, too.
On a recent visit, I started with the moules frites, mussels with a side of French fries. Steamed in a garlic-wine-herb-concoction, the mussels were so fresh I swore I could taste the salty air surrounding Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where they’re from. And the fries—a mix of sweet potatoes and regular old potatoes—were salty and crisp, but not overly so. Delicious. For dinner, I skipped the usual (if you can call them that) plats du jour, which included pan-seared Atlantic cod, little neck clams with chorizo, hangar steak with pommes frites, and lamb chops, and instead opted for the special: duck breast, in a bing cherry reduction, served with grilled asparagus over a sweet potato puree. The duck breast was tender and sweet thanks to the bing cherries; and the asparagus was charred crisp sporting that wonderful grill flavor you get from a expert sear. My husband opted for another special: Osso bucco, served over polenta, with haricot verts. The meat eased off the bone and had such a warming, hearty flavor it actually made me glad winter is on the way. The polenta was creamy without hitting that overly rich mark—as if you needed another reason to order this dish.
For dessert, the waitress brought out a tray with everything but the kitchen sink. Talk about hard to choose, there was an apple galette, flourless chocolate cake, a pistachio-and-white-chocolate tart, and a host of others. I opted for the chocolate cake and the pistachio-and-white-chocolate tart—both were good, but the flourless chocolate cake won for me, hands-down. Still, your dessert choices may be different than mine because like the rest of the menu, the dessert offerings are always changing, sometimes because of what the farmers are growing—and sometimes just because of the creative whims of the chefs in the kitchen.
For more Restaurants We Love, turn to the Sunday Life section in the Sunday Journal News.
14 Main Street
posted by Mary Lynn Mitcham