Monday, February 27, 2012

Saugerties, NY: New World Home Cooking

New World Home Cooking is one of my favorite Hudson Valley restaurants (I am yet to try Ric Orlando's New World Bistro in Albany, which apparently has a larger menu). The restaurant is painted in bright colors, the lights are dim (and Christmas lights bright), and it is always inviting. The menu has plenty of choices for the unadventurous eater, vegetarian/vegan, and those limited to a gluten free diet as well as choices for someone who wants to try something new.

Mr. D. and I visited on Saturday night; we should have planned ahead and made a reservation, but they were able to seat us within ten minutes or so. There are windows into the kitchen and I was pleasantly surprised to see Ric Orlando himself on the line (he came out later [for the three minutes I was in the restroom] to say hello to the table next to ours).

Note: Photos do not do any of my food justice, but I felt bad using my flash in the dining room.

So, there's this silly Food Challenge list of 100 foods to eat before you die circulating on Facebook. One of the foods both Mr. D. and I were both missing was sweetbreads; we were happy to see it on the NWHC menu (served in a lemon caper sauce with eggplant mash) and ordered it, despite Mr. D.'s quick google search and "you know these aren't breads. Or sweet. Right?" Epicurious says that "sweetbreads are the thymus glands of veal, young beef, lamb and pork" - so throat, gullet, neck (it can also be pancreas - heart, stomach, or belly). In short, I have no idea what we ate, but it was absolutely delicious. The sauce was so perfect, in fact, that we wound up using our table bread to soak it up.

For entrees, I chose the Korean fried chicken (with brown rice and cucumber kim chee, which was served in a very cute little jar) and Mr. D. had jerk chicken. Mr. Orlando provides a spiciness/hotness scale; Mr. D. chose a 3 for his chicken, but the Korean fried chicken was a 7 (the ratings were pretty accurate). I tend to like my spice a bit milder, but it was delicious nonetheless (just be careful eating the cucumber...I spilled the sauce all over my shirt each time I took a bite). The jerk chicken was also tasty, served with pineapple rice and greens.

Mr. D. decided he did not want dessert, but after I ordered the ginger crème brûlée (they feature daily specials and they come in mini-portions), he naturally ate half of it anyway. Crème brûlée is one of my favorite desserts; it's enough to cleanse one's palate at the end of a meal and provide some sweetness, but it's not heavy enough to bring you to the unhappy land of fullness. The ginger was perfect after my level-7 chicken and I could not have asked for a better meal.

Next, we will have to get to the New World Bistro Bar in Albany. If you are reading this, you should make that a priority as well.

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