Tarry-On: Tarry Fine Foods and Wines

Our wires are audibly humming with hot Tarry Lodge news—let’s hope all this rampant electricity doesn’t send our tree up in a fireball (though that might eliminate all that dragging-through-the-living room stuff; I’m still finding needles in my bookcases from last year).

Check out Greenwich’s skinny Marathon Man, Joe Bastianich, who—with newly svelter(-ish) partner, Mario Batali—is projecting a mid-spring opening of Tarry Fine Foods at the corner of Port Chester’s Mill and Main. This is a strictly B & B project. In addition, Joe and Mario will debut Tarry Wine Merchants next door.

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According to sources at B & B Hospitality Group (Bastianich’s and Batali’s over-arching Death Star), Tarry Fine Foods “will be an Italian-focused market, delivering the best foods of Italy and the world. The market will stock organic, sustainably raised (without hormones or antibiotics), dry-aged, ‘uber-prime’ beef; house-cured salume, the best cheese from Italy and the world, our own array of artisan breads baked on-premise, the best gelato in America, and all the accoutrements for a gourmet experience.” Yikes—did anyone warn The Kneaded Bread, right across the street?
Tarry Fine Foods dovetails nicely with Bastianich’s much-anticipated spring debut of Manhattan’s Eataly, which is destined to become the American Mecca of all things Italian. No grungy little import deli, Eataly will an outpost of the Turin original, an Italian market so sublime that it just had to come to New York. (Eataly NY’s planned space is vast: 42,500 square feet at 200 Fifth Avenue. Each shopping zone—pizza, salume/cheese, beef, vegetables, crudo, gelati, espresso, wine—will have its own dining area.) God knows these B & B folks have enough import juice. We’ve been to high-minded Minestro della Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestale events at two Bastianich restaurants. As far as I could tell, the bottom line was that dish-raggy Americans have been ripping off farmers with teal tubes of ‘Parmesan’ cheese. You know who you are, you venti-macchiato-swilling culture-rapers.

According to Bastianich’s people, “Tarry Wines will be opening up around the same time and will purvey both the greatest value and most sought-after Eurocentric gems: food-driven wines, hand-picked to pair with the ultimate food-shopping experience.” In case you don’t know, Bastianich was a founder of New York City’s Italian Wine Merchants, and he co-wrote the book on Italian wine, Vino Italiano. He owns three Italian vineyards and produces several critically praised wines—and we literally can’t wait until his wine shop comes to Port Chester.

But, how, you may ask, is Bastianich going to get into heaven? He’s single-handedly responsible for shipping half of Italy’s GNP across the Atlantic Ocean. (I’d hate to be lugging around his Jacob Marley-esque carbon debt.) Well, it turns out that Bastianich is a bit of an eco-warrior—not only does his site claim that he followed the Grateful Dead (Really? Hemp-n-Dred Joe?), but as this New York Observer piece details, he’s pootling around Greenwich and Manhattan in a biodiesel-fueled SUV. It leaves fluffy clouds of spent rice oil pleasantly redolent of Del Posto’s fried scallops, and we think he should have a bumper-sticker advertising the source of his mouth-watering exhaust.

Soon Westchester drivers will be hooking their souped-up cars to Tarry Lodge Frialators, too. According to the Observer, he’s “installing another ‘filling station’” up in Port Chester, where…interested Tarry Foods customers would get an allocation of biofuel based on what they spend in the store. ”We have so much of it,” said Bastianich, who pointed out he used to pay someone to cart away Del Posto’s 100 to 150 gallons per week of excess oil, but that it is now taken by Tri-State Biodiesel for free. Apparently, Bastianich is running his “antique Dutch picnic boat” from the Byram to Chelsea Piers on the stuff, too—and, yet again, I find myself purple with playa-hate.

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