First Taste at Tarry Tavern, Tarry Lodge Workers File Suit, Sunday Deals at Xaviars and Big, Bad, Delicious Marrow Bones

Tarry Tavern

Tarry Tavern was having a bumpy opening. Not only did owner Henry Cabral part ways with his original chef, ex-Jean-Georges’ Gregory Vernick (practically moments before Tarry Tavern’s vaunted debut), but three days after it opened, Tarry Tavern’s doors were shut, according to Cabral, with minor code quibbles. Folks, we’re talking Maalox time for this first-time restaurant owner, but Cabral came up with a quick save by hiring Chef de Cuisine Grae Nonas from his sous position at Tarry Lodge. Rob Wolf, formerly at Jean-Georges, will be stepping in as Tarry Tavern’s sous.

To be honest, we visited Tarry Tavern only five nights after its opening, and things were still understandably shaky – but this is a First Taste, after all, and it’s way too soon for a critical review. Here are some impressions of what we found at Tarry Tavern:

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•    Henry Cabral is a devotee of Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern, and one can see evocations of that New York City icon wherever one looks. Not only does Tarry Tavern use produce as décor—like tabletop wheat stalks in farro-filled vases—but the new spot also adopts Gramercy Tavern’s high/low menu system. Though 58-seat Tarry Tavern can’t afford the seating separation of the larger restaurant, you’ll still find a more casual, homey “tavern” menu offered next to an upscale “market” menu. Confusingly, both of Tarry Tavern’s menus are available wherever you sit. In fact, both are presented in the same weighty folder. There is a buck or two difference between “tavern” and “market” apps, while “tavern” mains run $12 to $16, and “market” mains $20 to $25. Check out the full menu here to see dish listings.

•    In keeping with a tavern feeling, there’s a lot of wood and paneling in this long, narrow space. Up front, an oaken eight-seat bar invites single diners, while, across from the aisle bar, the “tavern” is represented by a few wall-flanking tables. In the back, the room opens up to offer more tables, all draped in white cloths and decked with neatly folded white napkins. This lends a slightly formal note to all that clubby wood. On the tabletops, look for cute, totally steal-able salt and pepper grinders: Given all the Splenda-lifters out there, I wonder how many of these suckers will be left in two weeks.

•    Tarry Tavern’s wine list is cheapskate-friendly, with several attractive bottles in the $22 to $30 range. This seems like a wise ploy to lure partiers for booze and tavern bites, though we admit it’s also a courtesy for penny pinching midweek diners.

•    Massive portions are on order at Tarry Tavern, and include large (unfortunately firm) sections of house-made burrata with heirloom tomatoes, basil and aged balsamic. Though we encountered a couple of goofs (like very undercooked pork chops), Chef Nonas is slinging lots of delicious flavors. We liked a funky, very carnal, veal marrowbone with fennel and radish salad—with a touch more salt, these bones would have been divine.

•    Side dishes cannot not be ignored at Tarry Tavern. Two perfectly crusted filets of local trout arrived with taut, compellingly springy “Magic Hat” wheatberries, made even more luscious with a tiny dice of salty/porky choriço. Yum.

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•    Though earnestly house-made—which deserves points in my book—desserts at Tarry Tavern are not yet up to speed. In one of the hottest summers on record, we saw a warm peach cobbler and a warm (not to mention, out of season) apple pie. Best was a very generously portioned, if not detailed, cheese plate served with a stellar truffled-honey drizzle. Could have downed a pitcher of it.

In all, it’s early times at Tarry Tavern but Cabral’s heart is in the right place. We’ll certainly be checking back for more of that trout and choriço-flecked wheatberries.

Summer Steals

Bistro Rollin Summer Seafood Weekends and Big Red Nights – weekends all summer, Thursdays year round

Bistro Rollin crawls back from the flames with two great dining deals.
Summer Seafood Weekends, described as a “natural extension of a French bistro/brasserie. When you walk by many Parisian bistros, you will see the street side displays of oysters, clams, mussels, langoustine or lobster, and other seafood. All set in ice and beautifully displayed. We can’t quite match that, but we will be serving steamed lobster with fingerling potatoes and Chef Lozano’s wonderful celery-root cole slaw, a “Plateau” of cold seafood for up to 3-4 people with lobster, oysters, little neck clams, mussels and shrimp. Our terrific Bistro Rollin bouillabaisse served with croutons and rouille, plus our summer fish entrees, wild Red Snapper in Papillote, Oven Roasted Monkfish on Home Made Potato Gnocchi, and Pan Roasted Salmon with a Horseradish Crust over Ribbons of Summer Vegetables.” 

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Big Red Nights (Thursdays) 
From Bistro Rollin’s site: “In addition to our existing steaks, we will be offering great filet mignons and will also offer our Angus New York Strip in a 14-oz portion size in addition to our normal 10-oz serving. You will also find on our menu now Beef Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine and of course our great Bistro Pair these with some of our great red wines. We will offer a selection each week by the glass as well as by the bottle. Great Cabernets from California and Washington State, Sumptuous Rhones from France, Terrific Cabernets from Argentina and much more. Finish your meal with our cheese plate and you have the perfect Thursday!”

Xaviars at Piermont Farm-to-Table Menu (5-8pm, Sundays $55 per person, five-course menu) From the site: “This week, perfect Pomona Peaches from Conklin’s and Sweet Honey-Orange Melon from Talligerro’s in New Paltz…Dine’s Farm Eggs, Tuscan Kale, Heirloom Pork….
As the summer moves along, Chef-de-Cuisine George DeMarsico and I continue to scour and haunt our farmers’ markets looking for the best these sources have to offer. We bring these finds into our larder as center-pieces, seasonings, sauces, and garnishes for our menu presentations. We are proud to incorporate the authentic goods of our intimate region—from field, pasture and orchard to waters fresh and waters salty. We prepare a new five-course menu as inspired by the weeks offerings in our market visits. Bon Appetit!” 


Bone Up with Veal Marrow Bones, Fennel and Radish at Tarry Tavern

 It’s all about sizzling, fatty marrow and scooping it out with cruel demitasse spoons. These Flintstonian morsels have all the primal appeal of gnawing on your kill by the fire, but these DNA-filled mouthfuls are paired with a sophisticated fennel and radish salad. Brawny and fatty, yet paired with crisp and refreshing greens, this dish is our idea of a bone in the throat.



Servers at Tarry Lodge Join Batali/Bastianich Suit, Claiming Illegal Tip Skimming for Sommeliers!

Oh, snap! And just when Joe Bastianich has slimmed down and perfected that withering hazel stare on Master Chef. In a mounting suit filed by workers from Babbo and Tarry Lodge, the high-flying restaurant pair are accused of dirty dealing. Tough PR for B & B just now, and just when they’re about to launch Eataly, a giant, euro-style food hall in Manhattan. I’d hate to be our neighbor Joe right now, but I’d love to be his lawyer—or, at least, cashing his checks.

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