A Hotel Restaurant Worth Trying
Noma Social, New Rochelle
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Most people don’t go to hotels specifically for dinner, but, in this case, they’d be missing out. NoMa Social, worth a trip into the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle, is known for tapas, cocktails, and dancing, but it’s so much more than Happy Hour (which is, however, a deal, with $4 tapas and drinks from 4 pm to 8 pm, Monday through Friday). Since his days at Port Chester’s F.I.S.H., Chef Bill Rosenberg has exhibited consistent talent, with a flair for the seasonal.
Bartenders have similar flair. In addition to a cocktail list 20 deep, there’s always something special, like one night’s Crop Cup (Crop cucumber vodka, sliced cucumber, mint, fresh citrus juice, and club soda) and new wines (with evocative descriptions referring to deep fruit flavors and hints of this and that). Or, you might go for a pitcher of sangria, or Pilsner Urquell on draft.
Twenty-five tapas range from blistered shishito peppers to sobrasada tosta topped with a quail egg. Don’t miss the asparagus à la plancha—New Jersey asparagus topped with a poached farm egg and curls of crispy speck—which, as far as I’m concerned, could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Octopus in Purgatory smolders in toasted garlic and chili flakes; shrimp Marsala is less intense, but flavorful. Burrata, topped with ripe tomato salad and served on firm bread, has the buttery quality it’s named for, but trying to cut the bread was a bit of a distraction from the cheese. Perhaps our favorite was the ham-and-cheese croquetas with black-pepper aioli, which bowled us over with light, creamy filling.
Seasonal specials are always worth considering. My friend and I, jonesing for seafood, opted for sautéed first-of-season soft-shell Florida crabs stacked atop jasmine rice with soft strands of fiddlehead ferns, piled high with microgreens, on a plate slashed with roasted red-pepper purée and sweet corn coulis. Delicate fennel-spiced rare tuna came with tabbouleh amplified by black-olive vinaigrette.
Desserts, also made by Chef Rosenberg, are delicious and fun. Hudson Valley apple tart, for instance, is a triumph of light pastry and tender apples, topped with caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream.
1 Radisson Plaza, New Rochelle (914) 576-4141; www.nomasocial.com