I’ve written before about this culinary gem in Nyack, New York, which recently got its liquor license. Their copper bar is a stunner and a fine place to slurp freshly shucked oysters until your table is ready in the adjacent dining room. While not much of a cocktail girl, I will tell you that the wine offered at8 North Broadway is curated with significant care and favors small producers. I highly recommend their Food & Wine presentations called EAT, SIP, MINGLE AND LEARN and have found them to be sensuous and equally tasty and educational. One particularly notable program brought in (painfully handsome) Franco Antias and Ramon Del Monte of Vinaio Imports. This Spanish group distributes directly to 8NB and has an amazing Spanish wine portfolio. The evening included four of their spectacular wines.
Executive Chef Constantine Kalandranis started the evening with crudo of spanish langoustine chorizo oil and paired it with a rose pedro ximenez sherry.
Basque potato croquettes followed flavored withasiago cheese, smoked paprika and scallion. This course was served with temperanillo.
This Bacalao was intensely flavored yet light. It was served with Boqueron, an albarino.
GRILLED SPANISH OCTOPUS gets heat from smoked paprika and is served with potato, soft egg and caper. Grenache poured for this course.
Dessert consisted of warm chocolate and port custard with crushed marcona almond and cinnamon, served with port. Decadent.
While all the wine served was very special, this was my favorite:
8 North Broadway’s next Eat, Sip, Mingle, Learn event is October 15. It will be an Octoberfest theme and feature Captain Lawrence from Elmsford, NY as special guest. This event will focus on a beer inspired menu, as well as pairing all of Captain Lawrence’s special brews comprising four courses with beer pairing. The food demo is $75 per person which includes tax (not gratuity). It starts with a 6:00-7:00PM meet and greet with hors d’eouvres followed by the 7:00PM presentation.
Other autumn happenings include:
– Every Tuesday ½ priced bottles of wine and Wednesday is $1 oyster night at the copper bar.
– Sunday brunch with a $9 menu- every item on the regular menu condensed into smaller plates all for $9 each 11:00AM-4:00PM. Sunday supper follows starting at 4:00PM. Talk about a lovely way to stretch out a Sunday.
– Every evening at the copper bar, all menu items are $9.
While online reviews and friends’ recommendations may be influential in selecting a restaurant, the endorsement of having chefs dine at your digs may be incomparable. At 8 North Broadway, the 8-month old Mediterranean bistro in this Rockland County river town, local chefs are clearly fans. During a recent visit, Peter Kelley of Xavier’s, Freelance Cafe and X2O was at his usual place at the gleaming brass bar with his wife, enjoying dinner and cocktails. Matthew Hudson of Hudson House is also a frequent patron. 8 North Broadway has a steady group of regulars from other local restaurants as well who congregate at its bars and dining room tables, enjoying libations (thanks to its new liquor license), small plates and the warm ambiance of old and new friends.
The restaurant’s carefully curated wine menu is broken down into Bubbles, Rose, White and Red categories as well as a Local Keg Wine which is Eco-Friendly. Some noteworthy wines include the Chenin Blanc (Paumanok, North Fork L.I., NY ’12, $15|$46), Assyrtico (Argyros, Santorini, Greece, ’11 $12|$36), Gavi (La Lancelotta, Gavi. IT ’10, $38) and Pinot Noir (Chad, Carneros Reserve, Napa, CA ’11, $13|$46), all delicious and harmoniously paired with small and large plates or on their own. Richard Mitchell, GM and wine sleuth, has excellent suggestions on pairings and is impressively knowledgeable about the small wine producers and their products’ nuances.
Small plates I recently enjoyed include Fresh Shucked Oysters served with sea salt, horseradish and seasonal mignonette ($3 each), Grilled Pita (made on premise and addicting) and Dips served with cucumber yogurt and simmered eggplant ($10) and one of my favorites, Long Island Tomato Salad which includes baby cucumber, feta, olives, mint and is dressed with red wine vinegar ($12). I loved the big chunks of meaty feta combined with the sweet tomato, perfume of mint and bright acid of the vinegar in this salad. I highly recommend the delicate yet robustly flavored Day Boat Scallops, which are served with micro baby strawberries, toasted almonds and herb vinegarette.
As usual, dinner was sublime. Roasted Hiddenfjord King Salmon ($32), House Made Cavatelli ($10|18), Pan Seared Pork Chop ($32), Slow Roasted Baby Goat ($29) and Pan Roasted Delmonico Steak ($34) were our picks and all of were deftly prepared. Dessert included two delicate locally made gelatos, one lavender scented and the other sesame – both outstanding. A tender almond-based gluten-free petit four sized cake was also enjoyed along with chocolate pot de creme served with yogurt panna cotta and almond biscotti. I feel obligated to order a large plate whenever I visit because I love the food so much, yet I realized on this visit that multiple small plates are a rather delightful (and perhaps summery) approach to dining at a restaurant like this that has such a robust array of temping options.
8 North Broadway will be hosting its third Cooking Demonstration on August 6th which begins at 7PM. A meet and greet will begin at 6PM. The cooking demonstration is Spanish-themed so the dishes will have a heavy Spanish influence with both the ingredients and spices. Chef Constantine Kalandranis will demonstrate how to prepare each dish as guests are tasting the food. There will be a pairing tutorial where the meal is matched with wine or beer. The wine comes from a boutique wine importer from the Bronx, who will also be a special guest at the event. The $75 per person cost includes a four course meal served with a wine pairing. Spaces are limited. Reservations required.
Constantine Kalandranis is a humble, poetic man and a very talented chef. At 33 years old, he’s proving to be a savvy businessman as well. It’s likely that his Nyack, NY patrons at 8 North Broadway, open since December, agree on all counts. A native of Astoria, Kalandranis has a passion for prime seafood, meat, produce, bread and pastry and organic ingredients, frequently sourcing from Hudson county and neighboring regions and importing fish from around the globe. The quality of ingredients shows in dishes, elevated by simple, thoughtful preparations that are Mediterranean at their core. Kalandranis helms the kitchen with chef Hichem Habbas, another native of Astoria. From his earlier days at Anthos, Exo, Gus & Gabriels, Kalandranis brings with him a deep appreciation for smart, straightforward executions that elevate pristine ingredients. No corners are cut. Everything on the menu is made fresh from scratch daily, using organic ingredients when possible. Flat and pita bread are hand rolled and baked on premises, served steaming from the oven or charred from the grill. Olives and fragrant fresh herbs abound here, creating food that is both sensuous and satisfying.
Phone calls in the wee morning hours inform Kalandranis about the best seafood offerings, with decisions made between two and three AM that will influence the menu, which is printed several hours later. This translates into a vibrantly fresh, fluid menu with lovely surprises for patrons eager to experience new types of fish or traditional proteins that are true to their authentic, free-range flavors. Meats are given equal consideration and heft, most sourced from farms within 200 miles of the restaurant.
Like Kalandranis, Richard Mitchell, general manager, is a class act. His polished style brings a humming efficiency to the front of the house, where wait staff are attentive, knowledgeable and friendly. Staff is young, confident and good looking, creating a relaxed energy that puts diners at ease. While there’s a comfortable distance between tables, the atmosphere seems to invite easy chatter between tables, sparking discussion of dishes. The Nyack zeitgeist is warm and convivial and 8 North Broadway’s patrons are clearly at home here. Regulars are warmly welcomed and newcomers made to feel at home. The bar teems with solo diners and small groups sharing mezze and wine.
Subsequent visits indicate that the restaurant is beloved by area restaurateurs and chefs alike, with its Monday nights bustling with the owners of Nyack eateries stopping in for dinner or simply a drink at the lovely brass bar, which seats 16.
The 48-seat restaurant open for lunch in the fall. Sunday brunch starts at 11:00am and is more suitable for younger patrons than weekend evenings.
The ever-changing menu is divided into four sections: small cold plates; small hot plates; main dishes; and additions. Desserts are posted on a separate menu and include a selection of house-made items and suggested wines to pair them with. A thoughtfully curated wine list showcasing elegant, small production Mediterranean wineries at reasonable glass and bottle prices is offered.
Mezze are meant to excite the appetite and 8 North Broadway executes these foreplay items beautifully. Small cold plates range from $7 for seasonal crostini of carviar dip, white anchovy and shaved red onion to $13 for shaved lamb loin carpaccio with lemon oil, pickled chick pea salad, dandelion and pecorino. All the offerings are designed to whet the appetite, mixing briny, salty bites with sparkling flavors of the sea. The local beet salad ($12) is delectable with Vermont feta, red onion, olives, kale, a silken hummus and the restaurant’s chewy, warm, hand-rolled pita.
Small hot plates are excellent for sharing. Sizzling Spanish octopus ($14) is served in a sizzling cast iron skillet, with charred vegetables and a red wine vinaigrette. The texture of the octopus was pleasantly toothsome, delivering a punch of flavor. Other hot mezze items include sardines a la plancha served with Sicilian bread salad and crushed pistachio ($13) and a lovely seared diver scallop ($14) with toasted almonds, braised cherries and sumac atop a puddle of that smooth hummus. If I had to choose one favorite item from this part of the menu, the scallop would be it. Its balanced smoky, salty flavors mingle with the delicate tart, tangy sweetness of the cherries, playing beautifully on the tongue. Go with the muscadet just to celebrate this winning appetizer, a Sevre Et Maine, David Duvallet, Loire, France, 2011 ($10/glass – $37/bottle), an ideal counter with bright fruitiness.
Gewurstraminer, from Warwick Valley Winery Upstate, 2011 ($9/glass or $32/bottle) is crisp, a fine choice for any of the mezze items. Even the Macon-Villages, Roux Pere & Fils, a French Burgundy, 2010, ($11/glass or $39/bottle) would also be worth considering.
In the Main Dishes category, seafood is sure to tempt, with multiple daily specials servers will describe and staples like grilled sea bass with bitter greens, lemon potatoes and capers (market priced). But don’t ignore the other proteins, like a Heritage Farm Pork Chop ($29) served with white polenta,sage, pork belly and tomato broth. Grilled Colorado Lamb ($36) is more deeply flavored and, well, lamb-y, than its Australian cousin. It’s plated with a Sardinian couscous, mint, pickled apricot and flatbread. Grass-fed beef ribeye ($39) is nicely charred, and served with addictive crispy yucca frites, melted onion and rosemary. This is another excellent non-fish option and beef lovers will enjoy its true beefiness and excellent marbling. Vegetarians have the option of a tasting plate ($22) with red quinoa, braised sherry mushrooms, bitter greens and legumes. Or they can also opt for multiple mezze items.
Additions range from braised organic beans with tumeric ($6) to white polenta with yogurt ($6) and are nicely portioned.
Desserts are homey and satisfying with plenty of options for those who are chocolate lovers, gluten-free and/or fans of yogurt, honey and nuts, which take leading roles on the menu.
8 North Broadway offers delicious, sexy food, polished service, a warm ambiance and another wonderful reason to visit Nyack.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 5:30pm and Sunday at 11:00am. Look for lunch in the fall. Reservations recommended. Private parties welcome. (845) 353-1200 • email@example.com www.8northbroadway.com
8 North Broadway, a Greek and Mediterranean boutique restaurant, has opened in Nyack, NY. The restaurant is open currently for dinner only but will soon add lunch and brunch. The menu emphasizes Greek and Mediterranean Fare using locally sourced ingredients.
Constantine Kalandranis, former chef at Anthos in NYC, owns the restaurant with a handful of partners. Chef Hichem Habbas turns out cuisine that is already getting favorable reviews online.