Photos by Alex Staniloff
The charm of timeless classics harmonizes with modern creativity, delivered from the theater of an open kitchen by the French husband-and-wife team of Chef Andrea Calstier and GM Elena Oliver.
The opening of Cenadou Bistrot represents “our vision for our future,” says Chef Andrea Calstier, who, along with wife Elena Oliver, is running both Cenadou and the soon-to-open fine-dining La Bastide by Andrea Calstier in the downstairs space. The couple hail from Provence, and Cenadou offers them the opportunity “to highlight and share with our customers the dishes and concept of bistro dining,” says Oliver.
After they closed their NYC restaurant, Papilles, they considered moving back to France. “We wanted to renew our contact with nature and have a closer connection to suppliers,” says Calstier. He notes he knew very little of the North Salem area, but when he and his wife saw the property, “we fell in love with the space and the town.”
Sipping cocktails or wines at Cenadou, whether alfresco in the tranquil outdoor space or inside at the charming bar, customers might imagine themselves sitting in the French countryside. But the cocktails pay homage to their location: Since North Salem is horse country, all of Cenadou’s cocktails are named for “the most talented horses in our community.”
Cenadou’s dining room seats 50, with a combination of banquette seating and tables. The seats are a soothing shade of blue and contrast with the light wood of the tables; gauzy curtains grace the windows which, when pulled open, provide striking views of the surrounding scenery, and look up to gaze at the architectural shapes of the lighting. When not looking up or outside, check out the action in the open kitchen, where Chef Calstier and his team put together the dishes that best represent the food of Provence.
One such dish is the aioli, which Oliver says, “is part of our identity; for us it’s a dish and not a sauce,” (which is how it is explained on the menu). The appetizer consists of poached seasonal vegetables, warm aioli emulsion, and boiled quail eggs. Seasonality comes through in the menu in dishes such as an autumn selection of a warm Ratte potato salad with fig leaf-cured bluefin tuna belly, fennel pollen vinaigrette, and black mission figs.
Look for such standards as an excellent mushroom risotto, featuring local mushrooms from Stewart Watson Farm or perfectly cooked and juicy roasted chicken breast, served with a winning purée, chicken jus, and olive crumbs. There are salty and crunchy pommes frites and be sure to leave room for dessert — whether it be a selection of cheeses or a phenomenal chocolate profiterole.
Cenadou is slated to be open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, while La Bastide will be devoted solely to dinner. “This property allows us to offer guests the same quality of food with two distinct restaurants offering two very different experiences,” says Oliver.
721 Titicus Rd, North Salem 914.485.1519; labastidebyac.com