Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

Peekskill eats up new restaurants – LoHud

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

patio

The historic City of Peekskill is known for its proximity to New York City, spectacular Hudson River views and a vibrant art district. Now, it’s also known as an up-and-coming destination for foodies. The town’s many recently opened restaurants have made Peekskill the place to go for those seeking sushi, tacos, simple seafood or a locally sourced burger, as well as American beer, bourbon, margaritas or craft cocktails. One such restaurant, the Hudson Room, was just voted as one of Top 100 restaurants in the country by Open Table.

A big reason for this restaurant boom is Louie Lanza, a driving force behind the city’s revitalization and owner of seven new restaurants in Peekskill. Lanza says, “We joke about Peekskill becoming the seventh borough, maybe the next Brooklyn. We are trying to keep it a cool, unique city.” A 50-minute train ride from the NYC, Peekskill is often overshadowed by Cold Spring and West Point as an easy day trip, but Lanza hopes to change that. His goal is to make Peekskill a dining destination, filled with waterfront restaurants, entertainment venues and lots of local fare. “We are the start of the Hudson Valley, in my opinion, and we want to be its hub. People can start here and then head to Cold Spring,” Lanza says.

Lanza was a fixture in the Manhattan restaurant scene, owning 12 restaurants including Josie East and West, Josephina, Better Burger and Citrus Bar & Grill. Lanza explains that he “had been in the area for eight years through the Hot Rod Hotel in Buchanan and Lanza Farms in Garrison. Three years ago he sold his Manhattan apartment and bought seven buildings in Peekskill. Then, as he says, “I thought: ‘I have to get back into the restaurant business.’” He’s since opened the Hudson Room and Taco Dive Bar, with two new ventures — Buns-and-Bourbon and Eagle Saloon — opening soon. Lanza says, “Buns-and-Bourbon is good junk food with a twist, serving fare like Kobe beef hotdogs and Lanza beef burgers.” Opening in June, this waterfront spot has outdoor seating and features char-grilled, sustainable burgers, dogs, Po’ Boys and more, plus 99 bottles of Kentucky, New York and American brown spirits, in a barn-industrial-chic decor. The venue will offer Westchester’s only private mezzanine “bourbon cage” dining, as well as a music stage.

Lanza says the Eagle Saloon is “a take on the old saloon and decorated with incredible photos of eagles to reference its waterfront location.” Coming in the fall of 2016, the Eagle Saloon will feature regional tavern cuisine, all-American spirits and beer, the longest bar in Westchester and include a private event space and singer-songwriter stage.

Later this year, Lanza and a group of local business owners will open Factoria at Charles Point. This 14,000-square-foot, elevated space will feature the largest outdoor waterfront dining area on the river, an event space and adjacent arcade, complete with shuffleboard. Lanza describes the restaurant there, Trattoria Coastal, as “a coastal beach bar serving simple seafood, great sides and a raw bar.”

Lanza’s vision extends beyond these restaurants: He wants to “connect the marina and the waterfront to keep the downtown vibrant. We are finalizing the lease at the Peekskill train station for Taste of New York marketing there.”

Lanza attributes the Peekskill revitalization to the combined efforts of business owners, politicians and civic leaders. “It’s everyone working together. I was here at the right time to bring this expansion to the next level, but we all work together. It takes the vision of the business owners, and everyone, including the mayor, has been supportive.”

What’s good for business is good for the community. Lanza continues, “Not only are we making Peekskill a cool destination, but we are also training employees, giving them a chance and providing jobs.”

For more information on Peekskill and its restaurants, visitwww.hudsonhospitalitygroup.com or gopeekskill.com.

Original article – http://www.nydailynews.com/services/peekskill-eats-new-restaurants-article-1.2676497

Review: A Mexican ‘Taco Dive Bar’ That’s Anything But – NY Times

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

The name of Taco Dive Bar, a Peekskill newcomer, suggests an emphasis on drinks, and they are good. The house margaritas are strong and tasty, made with 100 percent agave tequila, a touch of agave syrup and fresh lime, and the tequila-rich bar offers a full menu of reposados and añejos, both varieties of aged tequila, as well as the usual fare.

But “dive bar” is more of a playful wink than a reality. Louie Lanza, the chef and owner, puts the same focus on quality and flavor into his food that he does into his drinks. The tacos, and the rest of the menu, are reason enough to seek out the restaurant.

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The shrimp taco, flavored with a corn and red pepper tartar sauce.
Credit: Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times
The tacos aren’t the supersized meals-in-themselves you’ll get at some places; take several bites and they’re gone. But the subtle white corn flavor of the shell, and the fresh, bright tastes will stay with you. The ground beef taco, made with a sprinkling of queso blanco, some shredded romaine and splash of pico de gallo, is delicious. Pickled vegetables offer a sharp, welcome contrast to the hearty, tender meat in the smoked brisket taco. And the fried shrimp taco is full of wild shrimp, flavored with a creamy corn and red pepper tartar sauce.

Some tacos miss the mark, including the dull citrus chicken and the dried-out barbecue pork. But there are plenty more to choose from. The kitchen offers its taco fillings in a bowl over steamed Japanese sticky rice, and the smoked seared pork belly was especially good this way. Made with a maple balsamic glaze that brought out the sweetness in the meat, some shredded romaine, tomato and a dollop of guacamole, the $5 dish was big enough for a full meal. Taco fillings are also available over greens.

Or you could just order several of the tasty appetizers. There is an excellent plate of four dips: guacamole, pico de gallo, warm bean and cheese and, my favorite, goat cheese topped with jalapeño red pepper jelly — a delightful combination of spicy and sweet, warm and cool. The accompanying chips are fried daily in-house.

drink
The house margarita, made with agave tequila, agave syrup and fresh lime.
Credit: Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times
The chili con carne is just the right thickness and made with both ground beef and brisket. Chicken wings are crispy and meaty with a maple-spiked hot glaze and a nice light ranch dip. And the salads are tasty, dressed in a hibiscus-infused cider vinaigrette. Mr. Lanza sources many of his ingredients from his own and nearby farms, as well as from favorite vendors he has cultivated. (All of his spices are organic and come from California.) Lanza Farms goat cheese is especially sweet and light.

Taco Dive Bar doesn’t offer dessert; instead the menu and servers direct you next door to the Hudson Creamery for ice cream and baked goods. Hudson Creamery is a fun place but it pulls you out of one of Dive Bar’s best assets: its atmosphere. It is rare to find such a diverse crowd in Westchester County. One night a group of teens sat at one table, a senior couple on one side of them and four middle-aged singles on the other. There is a racial and ethnic mix that is both unusual and welcoming. This is how it should always be, I felt on each visit.

I think the mix comes together because of the relaxed vibe of the place, but it must also have something to do with the combination of tastes on the menu. On Saturdays and Sundays there are brunch offerings, including a hearty breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, chorizo and jalapeño Monterey Jack. The Ranchero Diver layers soft tortillas with bean purée and fried eggs. But the pièce de résistance is the José Special: scrambled eggs with grass-fed beef, portobello mushrooms and spinach over a griddled tortilla. Tasting one as I looked through the restaurant’s big windows at the Hudson River and the hills beyond was the kind of calming, delicious start to the day I wish I had more often.

Taco Dive Bar
55 Hudson Avenue, Peekskill
914-788-8226

tacodivebar.com

Good

The Space: A funky, casual spot with big windows overlooking a park and the Hudson River and hills beyond, cater-corner to the train station. The restaurant has the usual TV screens, but this is a place where people actually look at each other. There are about 42 seats in the main space, and an overflow room with 50 more. Wheelchair accessible.

The Crowd: Diverse in age, race, ethnicity.

The Bar: The house margarita is worth ordering, made with 100 percent blue agave tequila, a touch of agave syrup and fresh lime ($10 frozen or regular). There are plenty of other cocktails ($6 to $11), a half-dozen drafts ($5.50 to $7), 20 or more bottled and canned beers ($4 to $6) and a healthy menu of regular tequilas ($8 to $28), reposados ($10 to $14) and añejos ($11 to $40).

The Bill: Tacos are $4 to $5 each; taco filling over rice or salad is $7 to $9; brunch entrees are $5 to $11.

What We Liked: The four-dip platter with chips (guacamole, pico de gallo, goat cheese with jalapeño red pepper, warm bean and cheese), chicken wings, local greens with goat cheese, chili con carne, fried calamari; pork belly rice bowl, beef taco, brisket taco, fried shrimp taco, breakfast burrito.

If You Go: Kitchen open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations accepted for five or more. Metered parking on street.

Ratings Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.

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Original article – http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/nyregion/mexican-restaurant-in-downtown-peekskill-taco-dive-bar.html

15 Must-Stop Restaurants On The Hudson Line – Taco Dive Bar – Westchester Magazine

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Taco Dive Bar
1 minute walk from Peekskill station

55 Hudson Ave, Peekskill

(914) 788-8226; www.tacodivebar.com

From the team that brought live music and Asian/Mexican/Southern fusion food to Peekskill via the Hudson Room, comes a fun new taco joint. Enjoy a wide selection of organic and GMO-free tacos in the trendy restaurant or on the outdoor patio (where the horns won’t let you forget how close to the train you are). From the train to guac in just a few minutes—that’s hard to beat.

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Original article – http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Blogs/Eat-Drink-Post/August-2015/15-Must-Stop-Restaurants-On-The-Hudson-Line/index.php/slide/Taco-Dive-Bar/cparticle/16#anchor

Restaurant Preview: Taco Dive Bar – Westchester Magazine

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Check out the newest taco spot only steps away from the Peekskill train station.

Located steps from the train station, Peekskill’s latest restaurant, Taco Dive Bar, serves a variety of organic and GMO-free tacos (e.g., Margarita-marinated chicken, black Angus brisket, portabella with goat feta) as well as apps like salads and tortilla chips with dip.

Taco Dive Bar comes from the owner of nearby restaurant The Hudson Room. Chef/owner Louie Lanza owned restaurants in New York City before getting into the restaurant business in Peekskill. Some of the ingredients used at Taco Dive Bar come from Lanza’s own farm (e.g., Lanza Farms goat cheese).

tacos-e1459015418415

 

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Original article – http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Westchester-Magazine/September-2015/Restaurant-Preview-Taco-Dive-Bar/