The Cookery Debuts Its DoughNation Pizza Truck, Birdsall House Branches Out, More Restaurant Openings, and Best in the Bash: X20’s Cowboy Burger
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Let the Nation Rise: The Cookery’s DoughNation Pizza Truck
To every great movement, there is a backlash—because, once you have enabled the excesses of Rush, you gotta have The Clash. It’s a correction, a revision, a move toward a more perfect balance. And, for exactly this reason, I love the recent trend of food trucks. In a restaurant world of neuro-gastronomy and $20 cocktails, food trucks offer a reformist snap to reality. In a truck, there’s no room for lighting designers. No linens. No diva waiters. Just food, often excellent, sold directly from cook to diner.
A food truck seems like the perfect match for Chef David DiBari. Since 2009, his Dobbs Ferry restaurant, The Cookery, has been making, according to DiBari, “progress toward greater simplicity.” Currently, Chef DiBari can be found dismantling whole suckling pigs at The Cookery’s tables, carving the roasted infant animals while wearing a T-shirt, towel on shoulder. For DiBari, who is not fearful of the transgressive aspect of this service (saying “most people like it—some people don’t”), it was only a matter of time before he’d break down the kitchen wall completely.
The Cookery’s DoughNation is the restaurant’s new mobile pizza oven, slated to debut on Friday, June 1 at the Dobbs Ferry Farmers Market (10 am to 3 pm). After that, it’ll appear at the Hastings Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, the Irvington Farmers Market on Wednesdays, and, on Friday evenings (from 5 pm on), at the Captain Lawrence Tasting Room. The truck offers four or five counter spots along the flanks of a Naples-made, wood-burning oven. Like The Cookery’s pig dinners, DoughNation’s style is confrontational. On its menu, you’ll find the following, clearly stated policies:
· There are absolutely no substitutions—don’t ask!!
· No, you can’t have extra anything.
· You can’t have half pie this, half pie that.
· You can’t have it extra crispy.
· You can’t hold anything unless you are allergic. And then I will need to see a doctor’s note.
And (here’s my personal favorite)
· There is a commodity pizzeria within every mile that will accommodate your request if the above does not appeal to you.
Basically, The Cookery’s DoughNation is saying, “This is how we do things and f*** you if you don’t like it.” Which tickles me just as it did when David Chang offered merely one vegetarian option at Momofuku Noodle Bar. Because, guess what? The customer is often wrong. I like chefs who set boundaries to protect the quality of their food.
The mobile oven will be fueled with a mix of kiln-dried oak, cherry, apple, birch, and olive woods and ash. For geeks, DoughNation’s dough employs a single fermentation and is made with King Arthur Flour Company flour (just like the fabled Franny’s). The dough will be topped with The Cookery’s house-made mozzarella, sausage, and pomodoro sauce combined with whatever farmers’ market produce looks best on that day. Come summer, DiBari is planning to use tomatoes from New York’s Orchards of Concklin farm and, soon, you’ll find Honey Locust Farm House stinging nettles on the pies. The debut menu that I saw included the following six pies, all priced between $10 and $12:
· Cookery Margherita (pomodoro, fresh basil, and Cookery mozzarella)
· Bianco (ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, and thyme)
· Asparagus (ricotta, garlic, and lemon olive oil)
· Prosciutto di Parma (fontina and green-tomato jam)
· Potato (smoked scamorza and caramelized onion)
· Nutella (raspberry powder and marshmallows)
Chef David DiBari
Look for The Cookery’s DoughNation pizza truck on Fridays at the Dobbs Ferry Farmers Market, then later at Captain Lawrence’s Tasting Room. On Saturdays, you’ll find them at the Hastings Farmers’ Market, and, on Wednesdays, at the Irvington Farmers Market. To keep up with the latest news, you can follow The Cookery’s DoughNation on Facebook.
HotFlash(es): Birdsall House Plans New Peekskill Venue, Gleason’s to Debut in August (ish)!
So there I was, hiding from my bosses at the Burger, BBQ and Beer Bash over by the grills, lost to their observation (so I thought) in the clouds of greasy burger smoke. In the haze, I saw one of Westchester’s coolest people, the dapper Tim Reinke of Birdsall House, who somehow manages to make that old man’s slicked-down, short-on-the-sides haircut look cool. There he was, in that snug Western-yoked plaid shirt…this dude is just slick. He mentioned that Birdsall is planning a new bar restaurant for Peekskill called Gleason’s, which will concentrate on Hudson Valley produce and meat (in the way that Birdsall House does), but Gleason’s will offer flatbread pizzas. Here’s a look at the prototype menu. Gleason’s will offer an eight-tap system that changes less frequently than the 20 taps at Birdsall and are organized by basic categories: According to Gleason’s site, those are “pilsner, IPA, pale ale, porter, hefeweizen, stout, rotating seasonal, and one ‘wallet-friendly’ beer.” Folks, it looks like there will be a wine, bourbons, Scotch, and a cocktail list that showcases an array of house-made bitters. I personally can’t wait for this one.
Open Right Now! These opened in last couple of weeks, as if they knew we’d be busy with Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend. I’m just saying.
In Irvington, MP Taverna
In Mount Kisco MTK Tavern
In New Rochelle, NoMa Social
And coming any second to Ardsley - Italian Kitchen
HotPlate: X2O’s French Cowboy Slider at Westchester Magazine’s Burger Bash
How is this for unfair, inconsiderate, and totally messed up? This week, our HotPlate only still exists in the memories and arteries of diners who managed to snag it at Westchester Magazine’s May 17th Burger, BBQ and Beer Bash. It’s X2O’s French Cowboy Slider, a totally unfair bid for the win that took super-beefy, ground aged steak, stuffed it with foie gras, seared it over coals, slapped it on a salty pretzel bun, and slathered it in spicy truffle and sherry mayo. Folks, it was beefy, it was drippy, it was luxurious—and it wasn’t playing around. For more pics from Burger Bash—and the entire Westchester Magazine Wine & Food Weekend—please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WMFoodandWine. Tag yourself!