WHEN FOOD MAKES YOU LAUGH or The Importance of going to Rhinebeck NY ,
a food play in 3 acts
Natalia – the food guru of MAZA. Even on a 3-day trip I leave NY with 2-grocery bags from Eataly, just in case I don’t find a good store. Christopher (type of garlic) has a speed pass on my list.
Martin – designer and photographer of MAZA.
Gogo & Pavleta – free spirited friends, always hungry for new adventures.
The Local – the primary suspect in the local culinary crime scene.
Act I – The Secret Ingredient
The first time I went to “The Local”, my friend Gogo insisted I sharpen my taste buds and solve the puzzle of the secret ingredients of its dishes. I was amused that someone would think there is a special ingredient to make food more desirable. I was in a great mood, a 3 day weekend had just started and the bartender made me amazing cucumber-infused vodka with fresh watermelon puree that was a sign of the “beginning of a beautiful friendship”. We arrived late and we were the last table in the restaurant, however they treated us as if they had just opened the restaurant. We got a lovely table on the second floor with a view to the terrace with red umbrellas and a glimpse of the beautifully crafted wooden bar downstairs. The waiter walked us through the whole menu and specials as he was preparing the stage for the magnificent play.
We started with complimentary “amuse”, small bites of perfectly prepared golden fritters. So smooth from the inside and playfully crunchy on the surface, they melt quickly and left me longing for more, but not for long. We continued our culinary journey with fried oysters-“Asian Style” with furikake, panko and Cantonese sweet and sour sauce, served in the oyster shell. Then we ordered one baby arugula & Roasted beets salad, but it was impossible to resist ordering 2 more. Then we had deconstructed “borscht” tacos with braised shortrib and the mouth watering thai fried brussel sprouts with crisp pork belly.
With each bite the stress, accumulated during the week, was taken off gently layer-by-layer slowly and seductively.
By the time we got the entrees the magic happened- we were all laughing, filled with so much joy. I felt light, free of the weight of the stress; the pressure between my eyes was gone. It was a magical moment. With the power of this great food I was able to channel to my free spirit. I laughed to tears. This was one of the greatest moments I shared with my friends. It was a precious moment to look at their happy faces. I never experienced in my life such reaction provoked by food. I felt completely intoxicated from the beautifully prepared delicious food and Chef’s artistic mix of fresh organic ingredients.
Act II – Don’t Panic
We experience the surrounding through our senses – we hear, we see, we smell, we touch, we taste. Our memories are created by these 5 senses.
The way it works is brilliantly simple. Gangs of excited neurons run to the brain to report the experience and the result is “Bada Boom” – an explosion of thousands of impulses and if you are lucky at some point you will reach the level when the brain can’t control the stream and this is when you experience the revelation – pure joy and happiness.
What is the Secret Ingredient?
It was a well-crafted dream. It takes time, dedication, persistency, discipline and a lot a creativity to get to the place where Chef Wes Dier is.
The journey stars from the moment you enter the restaurant. Your first bite is not the “amuse” but the welcoming smile of Bryn, Chef’s wife. The interior of the place is crafty Provencal style filled with personal touches. The Bar is salvaged from the Chef’s previous restaurant and still has the Number #40 plate. The open kitchen has a beautiful artisanal etched glass that casts sunny stars on the natural edge wood countertop in the afternoon . You see fresh flowers from the garden. The whole place smells like home and makes you feel welcome and loved.
The food is prepared with fresh organic ingredients from the local farms and is extremely well executed, without being overwhelmingly complicated.
Act III – The Gesture
The award winning Hudson Valley Chef Wes Dier was very kind to share these great summer arugula dishes for our MAZA readers.
Natalia & Martin
‘WILD for BABY ARUGULA’ – three simple, enticing & delicious arugula recipes from Chef Wes Dier of Rhinebeck’s acclaimed eatery ‘the Local’. Inspired by the exquisite , seasonal baby arugula from Sky Farm in Millerton, NY
EDWARD’S 14mo. AGED ‘SURRYANO’ HAM & SKY FARM BABY ARUGULA ‘ROLLS’ with fried olives, dehydrated tomatoes, lemony white balsamic emulsion & Old Chatham camembert croutons.
ROASTED MIGLIORELLI FARM GOLDE N BEETS & a SALAD of SKY FARM BABY ARUGULA with orange fennel vinaigrette, Cambazola cheese pear mostarda & spiced pecans.
PHYLLO WRAPPED COACH FARM GOAT CHEESE & SKY FARM BABY ARUGULA with grenadine pickled onions, fig jam & toasted crostini
THE LOCAL RESTAURANT & BAR IS A FIRST CLASS EATERY LOCATED IN THE VILLAGE OF RHINEBECK. OWNED BY CHEF WES DIER, (FORMALLY OF 40 WEST RESTAURANT), AND WIFE BRYN BAHNATKA – THESE TWO LOCALS HAVE PUT TOGETHER AN EXPERIENCE UNPARALLELED IN THIS HISTORIC VILLAGE. WITH AN EMPHASIS ON LOCAL FARMS AND RESPECT TO REGIONAL PRODUCTS THE RESTAURANT IS WORTH THE TRIP FROM ANY DESTINATION.
38 w.market st. Rhinebeck, NY
(845)876-2214 – RESERVATIONS
DINNER – TUES to SAT – 5:30 – 10PM
BRUNCH – SUN. 10:30 – 3PM
SKY FARM – / BABY ARUGULA – www.skyfarmsalads.com
EDWARD’S – / AGED HAM – www.edwardsvaham.com
OLD CHATHAM SHEEPHERDING CO. – CAMEMBERT – www.blacksheepcheese.com
COACH FARM – GOAT CHEESE – www.coachfarm.com
MIGLIORELLI FARM – BEETS – www.migliorelli.com