First Taste of Bedford’s New TRUCK; Vitticio Winemaker’s Dinner at Restaurant X; and Food World Shocker: Rainbeau Ridge to Lose Lisa Schwartz to Beijing!
First Taste: TRUCK
Here’s what I love about TRUCK, the new, brick-and-mortar restaurant in Bedford: It’s got great margaritas, a welcoming vibe, snappy décor, and a reasonably priced, family-friendly menu of Mexican(ish) standards. Wait—did I mention the margaritas? Let’s just linger there for a second. We’re talking a $10 glass of tart, sparkly deliciousness made of Puebla Viejo Blanco tequila shaken with lime, orange, Triple Sec, and organic cane sugar . While I’m at it, I’ll also mention the four beers in $6 cans (including 1st Amendment “Hell or High” and Butternuts “Pork Slap”); the $7 bottles (Abita, Pacifico, Peak, Firestone); and $7 draughts (Negro Modelo, Lagunitas, Ommegang, and Captain Lawrence). Oh, and there are two wines on tap (Gotham Project’s Chardonnay/Riesling Blend and Pacific Standard’s Zinfandel), plus intriguing mescals and tequilas, Boylan’s sodas, fresh squeezed limeade, and Mexican Coke. Basically, TRUCK wants you to have fun, and, Reader, I did.
But here’s what I don’t like about TRUCK. Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t shake the notion that TRUCK is to a Mexican taco truck what Pat Boone is rock and roll.
Let me elaborate. Though the name of this restaurant (and its menu) connotes trendy Mexican taco trucks, you’d never know it from this joint’s décor. First of all, this joint has a décor – and is not, in fact, a truck. But second, TRUCK’s interior is as tastefully Apple Pie as the Martha Stewart set. You’ll see rustic, rough-hewn boards and a back room screened by sliding barn doors (that are stenciled with the word “Bedford” in a faux-aged, Pepperidge Farm font). Up high —and it’s a pleasantly tall, vaulted space— there are little barn hatches from which one might expect to see hay pitched from the end of a fork. TRUCK’s chairs are robin’s-egg blue, while one interior wall verges on Martha Green, and, on the combination waiters’ station/podium/take-out counter, you’ll find pedestal stands bearing adorable (and, turns out, delicious) little layer cakes and vintage lemon bars. All of which just screams Mexican taco truck, right?
TRUCK’s Mexican/Southwest/Tex-Mex cuisine has also been tweaked toward up-county tastes, with “pigs in quilts” (no nitrate beef and pork dogs, buttermilk biscuit, honey Dijon and ketchup) joining posole, guac and chips, and light-on-the-lard, hard-shell tacos. The “enchilaco” (one very mildly chipotle-spiked cheese enchilada, one chicken tinga taco, cilantro-scallion rice, and black beans) came capped with a disc of thick, firm cheese that nostalgically hearkened to the days Hacienda Don Whatsisface—you remember, that sombrero-decked restaurant where you spent your tequila-drenched youth, eating chips and availing yourself of the purring alcoholic slushie machine. Or was that just me?
But here’s the thing. Even though I couldn’t shake the Pat Boone analogy, is TRUCK really trying to evoke Teca, the fantastic Mexican-for-Mexicans taco truck operated by the New Rochelle restaurant Tecatlitlan, which foodies hunt down for birria tacos at its regular spot near the projects at New Rochelle’s City Park and 5th Avenue? No, it’s not. Its site suggests that the name TRUCK references farm trucks rattling down Route 22 with their produce, and that’s okay – because there are no margaritas or craft beers available at Teca, and Teca doesn’t sling TRUCK’s amazing layer cake, either. On the street, there are no cozy, enameled tables, and you certainly can’t hang out for hours eating with your children or cracking into wonderfully thick chips with your beer-geek friends. In the way that bartaco references Baja surfer taco stands (but without the sight of grimy sand embedded in board wax), TRUCK is offering an idealized version of those happy chips-and-margarita joints, but without all that tacky, tourist headgear. Plus, TRUCK plans an actual food truck in the future, and, finally (and, simply), why the hell not?
Lisa Schwartz of Rainbeau Ridge Decamps for Beijing!
Filed under Oh My God, we found this announcement:
It seems like every few years I write to our Rainbeau Ridge community with news of how we are morphing, taking advantage of new opportunities, adjusting to changes in the farm's lifecycle, personnel or outside circumstances.
The situation in this case is both unexpected and exciting—this fall I will be joining my husband to live and work in Beijing.
As it relates to Rainbeau Ridge, I am pleased to announce that the farm will continue to operate, but it will do so on a scaled-back basis. This fall, our kids' programs, for ages 2 through 6th grade, will continue as in the past and each of these programs is off to a fantastic start! However, in 2013, these programs and our In Lisa’s Kitchen cooking classes will be on hiatus. Our goat herd has been reduced and at the close of this season, the Rainbeau Ridge cheese operation will be on sabbatical. We are exploring the possibility of leasing our cheese facility to another producer during my absence. Our garden will be under private cultivation and we are thrilled that the land will be under less pressure but will still provide food for our bees and beautify the land.
With our terrific team staying on, we will continue to operate Rainbeau Ridge, keeping the farm as a working landscape. Although it will not be accessible to the public, I hope we can, at some level, still be a community resource as we have been for the past ten years.
We are proud of what we have been able to achieve and are gratified by the reputation we've built, the incredible, like-minded friends we've made, the awards we've earned and the tremendous positive feedback we've gotten from our customers.
I will miss walking through town and being greeted as 'the goat lady', the customers' praise at farmers’ markets and the sounds of kids (human and goat) on the farm. Thank you to everyone who has made this dream a reality for all of us at Rainbeau Ridge.
We look forward to sharing the next chapters as they develop. Please follow our website, email and new blog.
Vitticio Winemaker Dinner at Restaurant X
The Tuscan Estates of Viticcio and I Greppi with Sandro Landini
October 16, 6:30 pm
$125 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity)
For reservations call: Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar (845) 268-6555
From the invitation, “When such special friends to the restaurant as the Landinis come from Italy bringing such special wines, such an event demands a very special restaurant. Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar will be that special place when Tuscany comes to New York in October.
The Landinis combine a passion for the land and vineyard with pleasures of the ‘Cucina’ and dining table in the same way Peter Kelly does at his restaurants. The relationship between Peter and the Landini family goes back to the early 1980s. Peter was visiting the nascent Viticcio Estate as Sandro’s father Luccio was contemplating the planting of the single vineyard that would become the coveted ‘Prunaio.’ In the past decade, the Landinis have pushed westward to the Tuscan coast in Bolgheri with the new I Greppi Estate. Now they are making award-winning wines in two of Tuscany's most exciting regions, Chianti Classico and Bolgheri.
The cuisine and wine of Tuscany need no introduction here. It is well known that Tuscan traditions have influenced kitchens all over Italy and around the world. In addition, the wines of Viticcio have been lauded by such divergent wine magazines as Wine Spectator [Top 100 wines in 2004] and Decanter [Old-World British palates]. With their winemaking philosophy firmly rooted in the vineyard, Viticcio has artfully captured Tuscany’s velvety magic in a bottle. We will explore the terroir of Chianti and Bolgheri while enjoying the stunningly classic Chianti Classico and the Chianti Classico 'Riserva' alongside the deep and complex Prunaio; and then the Bordeaux-Killer Monile in a flight with the ‘young Turk’ Super-Tuscan Greppicaia. With dessert we will be treated to the luscious and a charmingly old-school Vin Santo Dolce Arianna.
Joining us for dinner and conversation will be Sandro Landini, owner of this wonderful wine estate. Sandro, a warm and charming host in Tuscany, will bring his Tuscan conviviality and conversation to Congers for one special night. He is well versed in all aspects of the wine growing/making on the estates.“
Machos Tacos at TRUCK
We dropped into Bedford’s newest and hottest restaurant for these crisp and mild tacos that reminded us why we fell in love with hard-shelled tacos in the first place as kids. Sure, hard-shell tortillas may have gone out of recent favor for the chic, miniature, soft flour version served at Mercadito and bartaco, but there’s something about the way that these suckers crunch, then yield to saucy flesh that feels just like home. Look for the Machos Tacos trio of tacos to offer one mild carne adovado (braised pork), one tasty chicken tinga (roasted corn), and one grass-fed beef; taken all together, they’re the perfect substrate for TRUCK’s excellent Power-Wagon Margarita.