Last Saturday, I had the good fortune to make a return trip to a gem of restaurant near my workplace called the Tarry Lodge. The restaurant is located in Port Chester, NY which is a working class kind of town that is flanked by shi-shi-er Greenwich, CT and Rye, NY as well as slightly more down to earth Rye Brook, NY. If you drive through Port Chester you might think that it’s a place whose hey-day has come and gone and in fact, at one time it did enjoy a vibrant period as a real port city.
I am sure if I said the name Mario Batali it would probably mean something to you. Tarry Lodge is a joint venture of Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich (the son of Lidia Bastianich, also a vintner). The chef is Andy Nusser (who has a long history with Mario) and manager Nancy Selzer.
It seems weird because the Tarry Lodge is in a very antique New England-y looking building that is all painted and dolled up but its surroundings are a bit shabby. Once you enter, however, you could well mistake yourself to be in a restaurant in New York City. The food really is top notch quality as well.
The food is authentically Italian and the menu also features artisanal pizzas (though I have not sampled those). Roberto’s mom and I shared the Tarry Greens with White Bean Vinaigrette and Burrata with Fett’unta which were both extremely delicious. In case you don’t know what burrata is, it’s a mouthwatering, delicious cow’s milk fresh mozzarella with a creamy center. It is very buttery and so soft as to almost be more creamy than a solid. It was served with thick shaved asparagus and greased (olive oil?) toasted bread. Unfortunately, I didn’t snap a photo.
Next, his Mom and I both ordered amazing Garganelli with Funghi Trifolati. I never saw this type of pasta before in my life and I am born of Italian immigrants. According to Wikipedia “Garganelli are a type of egg-based pasta formed by rolling a flat, square noodle into a tubular shape.” The mushrooms were so delicious, the meal immediately brought me back to similar Funghi pasta dishes that I ordered time after time while in Rome. Mushrooms are better in Italy. I don’t know where the mushrooms in the dish come from, but maybe they are from real Italian mushroom spores or something, they taste pretty close to the real deal. So so good.
By the time dessert came around, I was pretty full, but someone at the table ordered the Pannetone Pudding with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. Pannetone is an acquired taste, but it was an interesting menu item…I never me a Dulce de Leche Ice Cream I didn’t like.
I am happy to have been turned on to this place and lucky it is close to where I work. I hope to go back again soon. If you are ever in the area and need an elegant delicious Italian meal it should be on your radar. Apparently, there is also a sister restaurant in Westport, CT.