bartaco: Duck, Pork Belly & Chorizo Tacos

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Located in Port Chester, New York, bartaco is one of the top taco joints in Westchester County, and for my first visit, I chose to try the Duck, Pork Belly, and Chorizo tacos.

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I have to preface this by saying that I enjoyed all three of these tacos, but as one can expect, I did like some better than others, so starting at the bottom:

Chorizo Taco

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All three of the shells in these tacos are soft, and very good, so I will not be addressing them below.

The chorizo meat was tender, sweet and spicy, and was accompanied by very strong veggies, that while good, tend to take control of the taco a bit more than than I would like. I liked this taco, but it wasn’t as good as the…

Pork Belly Taco

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I’ve really grown to love pork belly over the last couple of years, and this taco was no exception. The belly was thick, tender and fatty with a nice grilled texture, and had an extra acidic flavor component from the veggies. The two flavors mix together quite nicely, and will always be on my list of tacos to get, but if I was forced to choose just one it would be the…

Duck Taco

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Like the pork belly, duck is a meat that I have grown to love, nay, adore over the past two or three years, and this taco is delicious. The duck meat (which in my opinion is the steak of birds) was very tender, juicy and sweet, with a tiny element of spice contributed to it from the raw onion and cilantro. Even more so the pork belly, the vegetables included with the duck simply worked.

If you want good tacos at a fantastic price ($2.5-3.5), and that won’t fill you up right away, bartaco is certainly the place to go.

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Communal Kitchen: Communal Salad

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The last time I was at Communal Kitchen, I noticed an intriguing item on the menu, a salad. The reason it caught my eye was that this was no ordinary salad, it contained “Organic local greens, grilled peaches, aged goat cheese, sunflower seeds, duck bacon and buttermilk honey dressing”…and boy was it good.

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That is one of the prettiest salads I have ever seen in person. The local greens were very good, and that is saying something given that I usually don’t like darker lettuce that much.

The grilled peaches were fantastic, and proved to be one of my favorite parts of the meal, the aged goat cheese was delicious, and had that comforting thick texture that only goat cheese has.

The duck bacon was salty, and had a good combination of crunch and chew to it, while the sunflower seeds were an interesting addition, and the buttermilk honey dressing was smooth and sweet.

I loved this salad, and along with its flavor, the portion size was great, very plentiful, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

 

 

Communal Kitchen: Charcuterie Board and Pork Belly

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Located near the top of the Main Street strip in Nyack, New York, Communal Kitchen is by far one of the best restaurants Nyack has to offer, an thats saying something.

Let’s start off with their Charcuterie Board:

What I like the most about their Charcuterie is that it isn’t set in stone, they seem to be changing it on a regular basis. I ended up choosing some wild boar cacciatorini, soppressata toscana, duck prosciutto, raw milk cow’s cheese, and finally, goat’s cheese.

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Beginning with the cheese, the raw milk cow’s cheese was a bit dry and not creamy at all, and while not my cup of tea, was not offensive in the least, while the goat’s cheese was thick, creamy, and delicious.

The wild boar cacciatorini was really good, it has a strong, rough and wild flavor that differentiates itself from beef and pork in a major way. The soppressata was salty, had medium thickness, and had a nice spice to it, but the real star was the duck prosciutto. The duck was thick,creamy, smooth and had an element of fat that almost explodes in your mouth; utterly delicious.

Pork Belly with Miso and Kimchi

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This main course tastes as good as it looks, the pork cuts like butter, tender and moist on the inside, with a slight crisp on the outside, the pork flavor shines through and the fat content adds an even greater taste; the kimchi had strong spice to it, and the miso is creamy and delicious, and paired with the pork, makes this plate one of the best you will have.

This is for sure a must eat if you live in Westchester or Rockland Counties, and I can’t wait to go back to the Communal Kitchen for even more great food.

Bareburger: Wiki Wiki Burger

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It is very rare that I cover any kind of chain restaurant, even if they are a minor one, however, I will make an exception for Bareburger.

Bareburger has a wide variety of delicious sounding burgers, but on my first visit to the local burger joint, I decided to go with the delicious sounding Wiki Wiki Burger, which is made up of wild boar, Gouda, duck bacon, chickpea onions and grilled pineapple on a brioche bun.For my order however, I asked for no pineapple this time.

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This burger was absolutely delicious in every possible facet. While lacking in size, this burger seems bigger than it is due to the thickness of the meat inside.

Brioche bun was very soft, and was a nice rival texture to the thick, meaty wild boar; the duck bacon was thick as well, and very tasty. The chickpea onions were light and crispy, and the Gouda cheese, sweet and gooey.

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If you want a fantastic burger that goes in a different direction than the typical (albeit great) beef patty and pork bacon combination, the Wiki Wiki from Bareburger is a great option. As mentioned before, Bareburger is a chain, so if there happens to be one near you, you should definitely check it, and the Wiki Wiki out.

Restaurant Week: Le Provençal Bistro

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For the third and sadly final Restaurant Week review (until its next iteration), I return to a fantastic French Bistro located in Mamaroneck, NY – Le Provençal Bistro.

Appetizer: Duck Confit Tacos

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I knew going in that Le Provençal’s Duck Confit was excellent, so I was interested to see how it tasted in a taco. The duck meat was tender and juicy, truly fitting for the steak of birds, and was topped with a semi sweet cheese and some salsa verde that leaves a slight spice in the back of your throat.

Joining the meat inside the shell of the thin tortilla were some slightly crunchy mushrooms, and some lentils; overall it was a very light and tasty appetizer that I would have again for sure.

Entree: Beef Bourguignonne

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This dish was somewhere between a pot roast and a stew (though easily more pot roast in nature). Everything on this plate is tender, and I mean everything; the fact that they gave me a knife is ironic, because I had no use of it at all.

The beef was cooked to perfection, and was very easy to chew; mixed in with the meat were soft carrots, mushrooms of medium thickness, and some supple oranges. The mashed potatoes and string beans were a nice accompaniment to the dish as well.

Dessert: Crème Caramel 

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This dessert was quite tasty, and tasted almost like a caramel gelatin; its sweet caramel flavor mixing perfectly with its light and jiggly texture.

I love Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. Its one of the only times you can get a three course meal of delicious food from quality establishments for an affordable price; and thats exactly what you get at Le Provençal Bistro.

Restaurant Week: Birdsall House

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This second Hudson Valley Restaurant Week review is coming a little late because I’ve been sick all week, but I am on the mend and am happy to bring you a review of dinner at Birdsall House in Peekskill NY.

Appetizer: Charcuterie – Duck Prosciutto 

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Duck is a great tasting fowl, I have previously called it “the steak of birds”, but it never ceases to amaze me in its flavor. Prosciutto is a meat that is usually ham, so to have it in duck form is a sweet delight.

The meat was thick, and had a great salty sweet flavor combination; and as is seen in the above photo, carried with it a perfectly manicured fat content. I didn’t want to stop eating this, so much so that I just leaned back, closed my eyes, and kept chewing until I could no longer; its that good.

Entree: Fried Chicken

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This chicken was served with strips of ham over a bed of rice and greens; it was served piping hot and had a nice crunchy skin that seemed to have some type of corn element to it. The meat was tender and juicy, very easy to get down, and one piece even had a lemon glaze spread on it.

The pieces of ham were smoky and even a bit spicy, and the rice and greens were pretty decent, although truth be told I’m not a fan of either in general.

Dessert: Maple Bacon Ice Cream

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Ice cream that tastes like maple syrup and bacon while resting on a waffle? Sign me up! The ice cream was sweet and sat in a scrumptious maple syrup sauce, along with a slight bacon flavor and some nuts on the side. The waffle was soft and rather easy to cut; the mixture of all these flavors and textures in your mouth at once is a nice feeling.

I would recommend hitting up the Restaurant Week dinner at Birdsall House; all in all it makes for a nice meal, especially the appetizer, and its one that everyone should try at some point in their lives.

Le Provençal Bistro: Duck Confit

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Le Provençal is a lovely little bistro located in the town of Mamaroneck, and when my friend came down and was craving some French food, this is where we decided to go.

For my meal I decided to try something I had never had before, duck, and oh boy was that a good decision because this is one of the best cooked birds I have ever had.

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This dish is making me say something I never thought I’d say; duck is the steak of birds; and when I say that, I literally mean it reminded me of a steak.

The meat was thick, but shredded easily enough to consume quickly (unlike some steaks that require you chew for awhile), and the port wine sauce that it was bathed in was sweet and delicious. This meal simply melts in your mouth, thats how good it is.

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I absolutely recommend that everyone who reads this tries this dish, it is one of the best meals, let alone birds, I have ever eaten. Not to mention that for such a fancy and high quality meal, it is very reasonably priced; and their wine selection is quite good.

It is also worth mentioning that, although unrelated to the taste of the food itself, the owners and staff are very nice, knowledgeable, and helpful, making the dining experience a good one. I hope you get a chance to experience it soon.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com