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Great new things at North!! [Armonk]

  • m
  • MRS May 6, 2012 11:28 AM

Last night, The Husband and I had another great dinner at North. We had a reservation, but happily chose to sit at the bar to eat. The Husband had the Tuna Tartare which he said was fresh, and flavorful. I had the Farm Egg. Delicious! A poached egg that was rolled in crushed hazelnuts and than quickly fried. Served over shaved asparagus and butter greens and lightly dressed.
After this course, we had what may have been the pasta I have ever had- hands down!! It was simply amazing. Paccheri with pancetta, wild ramps and parmesan. Outrageously good. Rich but light at the same time. I can honestly say I have never had anything like it, and would easily have a double order next time just to stuff myself on it. We were still talking about it this AM.
Next, the wild nettle soup which was tasty and earthy. I had never had wild nettles before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was garnished with hazelnuts and some creme fraiche which I swirled through before eating. We did enjoy it, but nothing was going to top the Paccheri.
For entrees, I had the soft shell crabs and The Husband had the Farm Beef. The soft shell crabs were lightly fried and served over guanciale and soft polenta. Heavenly. So flavorful and so light. The crab had the perfect amount of crunch and yet, the centers were soft and perfect. The beef was prepared 2 ways that he described as "yummy, delicious goodness". I didn't taste it because I was deeply engrossed in my soft shell crab.
We skipped dessert because we were stuffed and it was getting late. However, I do usually enjoy the skillet cookie w/ ice cream because, really, what's better than cookies and ice cream???

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  1. About how much does a dinner like this cost? Did you have wine or or drinks with it?

    (I have a birthday coming up and this sounds like exactly what I'd want to eat)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Elisa515

      I confess that I'm not%100 sure of the bill b/c I was using the ladies room when my husband paid the bill. I think w/out tip but w/ drinks it was around $150. However, we did have a number of drinks b/c The Husband sent a round to people who we knew. So that makes a difference in the bill.
      I think this would be perfect setting for a birthday dinner for you. It will definitely feel special. Do get dessert!!! Happy Birthday!

      1. re: MRS

        Thanks! I think it would be fun to go somewhere new (for us), and your enthusiasm over the past year for North is infectious. We clearly have similar taste in food. That egg dish and the soft shell crabs especially jumped out at me--and the pasta sounded amazing.

        1. re: MRS

          We've got a reservation for dinner for Wednesday, June 6 (used Open Table). Yes my birthday was in mid-May, but this is the first weekday night that I had available. Really looking forward to it and will report back. Thanks to your enthusiasm, we're trying a place that's new to us!

          1. re: Elisa515

            I might suggest phoning ahead and letting them know that it is your 1st time to the restaurant and that it is your birthday...Happy Birthday!!

      2. I have enjoyed every meal I've had at North, and this sounds like another one I could get behind. Great report, MRS!

        1. Thanks! I look forward to hearing what you guys think if you end up going and trying out some of these new dishes. Please share your thoughts!!

          13 Replies
          1. re: MRS

            Should be in a couple weeks. While my birthday is next week (note my handle), I'm working every weeknight from May 14-24. Since we don't need babysitters anymore, I figure going on a weeknight will make it easier to get in and have a leisurely dinner--so, looks like the week after Memorial Day. Seriously looking forward to the occasion!

            It didn't look like North is open for lunch, did I miss something? I looked at the menu online, thought it might be interesting to have a lunch tryout.

            1. re: Elisa515

              i thought it was. I have eaten there for lunch. Perhaps they don't have a lunch menu posted? I'd give a call and just ask. Lunch was very nice, but we LOVE our dinners there for sure.
              Happy Birthday in advance!

              1. re: Elisa515

                Open Table takes lunch reservations for North, so presumably lunch is an option.

                Personal gripe:
                Attention restaurant owners: vet your website. Streamline you website. Ask others to give you feedback on your website. Keep music in your dining room and off your website.
                Bloated, slow to load sites can hurt your business.
                Hours, phone number and address should be readily accessible and not subject to a website scavenger hunt.
                Post your menus (with prices!) and keep them up-to-date.

                You're welcome.

                1. re: mrsdebdav

                  I agree, their website is horrible. It annoys me every time I look at it. And don't even try loading it on a mobile phone!

                  I really like the food at North, but I've never been there full price, only during Restaurant Week. It's a bit too expensive for a casual feeling restaurant for me to justify going there on a regular night.

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    I have not been to North, but I just looked at the website. While I certainly don't think it is the best design, I had no trouble with it loading and I found the menu (with prices, though I don't know if it is current?) and phone number and address pretty easily.

                    All the information is on the bottom left side. Again, not a great design, but really not that difficult to find the information.

                    1. re: valerie

                      There's no info on the website about days and hours of operation; the menu doesn't give one any sense that there are lunch hours.

                      1. re: Elisa515

                        We weren't able to load the website on any computer, but apparently it wouldn't have made a difference. We made reservations for 1:30 on Saturday, so we knew they were open, but what we didn't know was that it was only a "brunch" menu which consisted entirely of breakfast, burgers/sandwiches, and a few pastas. Not that we were expecting haute cuisine, but given how much North makes of their farm-to-table philosophy I expected a little bit more to choose from than what I'd get from the Beehive. The burgers were delicious (and huge) but I'm not sure we would have gone there if we had known the menu in advance.

                  2. re: mrsdebdav

                    I agree totally! Any sound is terrible, and theirs made everyone in my family glare at me. Lots of links to learn about the lovely people involved in the restaurant, no info on days and hours of operation. Unwieldy menu with much repetition over the five pages. Luckily, MRS is such a good ambassador I still want to go.

                    I noticed the Open Table reservation availability, but since I have never made a reservation that way, I wasn't sure how trustworthy it was.

                    1. re: Elisa515

                      Open Table is totally trustworthy. I've used it for years. It's very convenient and you can change/cancel online should that be necessary.

                    2. re: mrsdebdav

                      North: one of the worst restaurant web sites I've seen.

                      1. re: mrsdebdav

                        You read my mind. I couldn't agree more. I hate that website. I know what baseball team they like but couldn't find the essentials of the restaurant. Needless to say I haven't been to the restaurant yet.

                        1. re: GIOny

                          I really think they do themselves a disservice with the awful website. Now there's no menu at all. Is it really that difficult to design a navigable website? If I hadn't been there before, I would totally be turned off. Maybe someone should send them the link to this thread...

                        2. re: mrsdebdav

                          So agree! I if I cannot see prices on a website I don not go at all. I am on a budget so its nice to have an idea about how much I will be spending. They loose customers that way. I think in mpo...

                    3. Maybe I keep overlooking where it's mentioned in the thread, but where is North? Western NY, Adirondacks Long Island, Westchester...?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Scott_R

                        It's a big state, doesn't help most folks to post a name without a town, does it?

                        1. re: mcf

                          It is frustrating not to see an address or a link. North is located in Armonk, NY.

                      2. I am sorry that I didn't post specifics about the address/location of North. I made the bad assumption that people had seen my previous posts about North, and knew what I was talking about. My bad. Its in Armonk , NY. In Westchester County.
                        I guess because we eat at North semi-frequently, I never bother with the website. The menu changes often- sometimes slightly, sometimes more of an overhaul- depending on what their farmers, vendors , and purveyors have fresh and available for them. They won't use anything that isn't 100% terrific. So, i never know what we may or may not get there. And, that's fine with me. We like it that way.
                        I have used Opentable to go there, and I do use Opentable quite a bit for other spots, too. Totally reliable. We've never once had a problem with it. I love that I do it from my Iphone if I really want to.
                        I have no affiliation with the restaurant in any way save for the fact that we have been going since it 1st opened and we really love it there. We enjoy it and feel like it's a special spot for us. That said, it might not be for everyone. Be it the price, the style of food, the vibe, whatever...
                        But I was just so excited by our really delicious meal the other night that I felt compelled to share.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MRS

                          "I am sorry that I didn't post specifics about the address/location of North. I made the bad assumption that people had seen my previous posts about North, and knew what I was talking about."

                          There are probably at least several folks in all of northern and western NY who haven't any idea where North is. ;-)

                        2. We had dinner last night, and for the most part, it was another enjoyable meal.

                          To start, the bad part: We arrived on time for our reservation, but were not seated for 15 minutes while a table cleared. Normally, we wouldn't get too fussed about that, but, after being promised that they would help expedite cocktails at the very-crowded bar, no one helped take our order. We watched our table being prepared for an excruciating 10 minutes, as no one seemed available to set our table. Finally we were seated, and our cocktail order was taken, but it was another 20 minutes before we received our drinks, and that only after my husband went to speak to the person manning the desk at the door who had previously promised to expedite our drinks.

                          The good: We were given a roomy 4 top for the two of us, and our cocktails were comped. And the food, which was pretty darn good. After receiving our cocktails, we ordered the Wild Mushroom flatbread with truffled ricotta, arugula and lardo to share with our drinks. We've had it before, but it seemed particularly delicious this time. It seemed as if the mushrooms had been baked since they were very crispy, but not fried, and it really brought out the flavor. Next, we both had pasta. I had the Paccheri with ramps, pancetta, black radish and parmigiano. This was incredibly delicious, as MRS mentioned above. There was a spiciness too it that surprised me. From the black radish, maybe? Whatever it was, I just didn't want to stop eating it. My husband had the braised rabbit with olives and parsley over fettuccine, and I heard no complaints, just the happiness of a satisfied eater. For our mains, we seemed to have copied MRS: I had the soft shell crabs with guanciale, spring onion vinaigrette, greens and soft polenta. This was fantastic. I remember having soft shell crabs there last year, and they were minuscule. These were a much more generous size, and prepared perfectly. It was almost too much food for me, which wasn't the case last year. My husband had the beef, which was served with gnocchi, gilled ramps, oyster mushrooms and lemon. This had the beef prepared two ways, a slow-cooked beef brisket with slices of steak on top. My husband wasn't overwhelmed with the dish, and he felt that unlike a duck preparation where it is served two ways, this lacked a true raison d'etre. However, despite the seating and cocktail glitches, this was an extremely enjoyable meal -- particularly after the bar cleared out and we could actually hear ourselves think. We had asked for a table in the much quieter upstairs dining room, but it was unavailable due to a private party. I still prefer it. ALthough the downstair is very lively, it also can be very, very loud, making it difficult to hear your companion. Too bad they can't expand and put the bar area in more of a closed-off room...

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: roxlet

                            Nice review. When we were last there we found the service a bit frenetic but chalked it up to RW. I agree that the downstairs can get boisterous but i still like it better than the austere upstairs room. Especially on a beautiful night I would not want to be seated in the practically windowless (there are skylights) upstairs. If you don't mind me asking, how much is the soft shell crab entree? Sounds delicious.

                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                              I snagged a menu, so I have all the prices. Crabs were $29.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Thanks roxlet!

                            2. re: roxlet

                              Well, I'm glad that the food was as good as it was when we had it. I'd have felt awfully bad if you suffered an annoying wait, AND the stuff I raved about wasn't so good. The wait is something that we've just become used to...it will be better in a few short weeks when I am able to have cocktails again after 9 long months...:)

                              1. re: roxlet

                                one question for you- it was THAT busy on a Tuesday night??? OMG!!!

                                1. re: MRS

                                  It definitely cleared out by 8:45 or so, but it was packed when we got there. I think the private party closing off the upstairs for regular diners must have had something to do with it.

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    gotcha!

                              2. Finally made it to North last night and had a wonderful dinner! We were seated upstairs by a lovely hostess, and enjoyed outstanding service throughout dinner. For starters--the pumpernickel roll with sorrel butter could not have been a more delicious way for me to break my gluten free cleansing diet :)! For an appetizer we shared the flatbread with roasted wild mushrooms, ricotta and lardo--very very good. They were outof the wine we ordered, and substituted a MUCH more expensive bottle at the same price--that was awesome!! For mains we had the soft shell crabs, which were done over a bed of creamed corn and blueberries (?!?!), something I would never think of pairing, but which was delicious; and the beef two ways, which was also very good. For dessert we had an excellent cheese plate, consisting of a large serving of 3 local cheeses, local honey, chutney and nuts; and the cookie skillet with ice cream, YUM. Lest we seem to be pigs, I must state for the record that we did not finish dessert....Delicious food, excellent service in a pleasant space!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Marge

                                  Just came back from a very good meal there, and I agree on the soft shell crabs, cookie skillet etc. But for those here who praise the service, we found it slow, to the point of being a bit irritating. Not infuriating, but it certainly detracted from an otherwise memorable meal. Service was amateurish for a restaurant of this caliber.

                                2. I know this is an old thread, but we went to North last night after not having gone for over a year. We really had a great experience, mostly because of our server. The one year absence was because our last experience was so bad, food, service and lack of air conditioning that we decided to take a break. Last night we had a great server. She was knowledgeable and when we ordered a particular bottle of wine she described it a certain way then came back to tell us that she checked with the sommelier and suggested one that fit our tastes better. She knew every detail of every dish and was able to suggest things for my husband who has a dairy allergy. My husband had the hammachi appetizer with blood oranges and the rib eye with short rib as his main. Both were fantastic. The best part of my meal was an amazing carmelized onion foccacia ( had butter so dh could not eat it) served with butter with apple and rosemary fleur de sel. I had the whole pork with crispy potatoes. The potatoes needed salt and the pork, which I had been dreaming about all day, was dry, so the server brought me some of the jus. We had discussed dessert with the server but I said that after the pork there was no way I'd be able to eat dessert. After we finished our meal a bus boy brought a bag to our table, which I presumed was the left over pork. It was not - it was the chocolate dessert our server had told us about. She gave it to me to try at home. We were blown away but this woman. We had told her that a server can make or break a meal, and I am a firm believer in that. She made this one for both of us!

                                  1. Has anyone been back to North recently? We are going there for dinner tonight and I was wondering what, if anything, was new.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      We went about a month ago. They had some great new cocktails. I had some sort of sangria concoction that was awesome! Some new desserts too...

                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                        Sangria is very appealing for some reason (maybe the article in today's NY Times?). I'll have to try that. What did you eat?

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          We had gnocchi and a salad to start. Both were fantastic, and eaten with way too much of their buttery foccaccia. . I had the burger, which I saw someone getting when we were there for RW, and it was, bar none, THE best burger and fries I think I have ever had. (Kittle House's is amazing too, but North's fries are better.) I think it came with pork belly on top of it if I remember correctly. I could only manage half of it, so I brought the rest home for lunch the next day. My husband had the veal osso bucco, which he devoured. We shared a skillet for dessert. They're making their own sodas and juices now, and I think that' what went into my cocktail. I wish I could remember more details of the drink.

                                          Report back, I'm getting hungry thinking about it!

                                      2. re: roxlet

                                        We ate there last weekend and while they were already out of the scallops with ramps by the time we sat, ( boo!) I had a fabulous halibut with lotus root! Also, the kale-quinoa salad is outrageous.

                                      3. We had a nice meal at North, but we were extremely disappointed that the upstairs was being used for a private party and was therefore unavailable. The noise downstairs was pretty deafening.

                                        I started with the sangria, which I liked a lot, but it seems that it takes forever to get your drinks. This happened the last time we ate there as well. With the drinks, we shared the flatbread, which is, as usual, wonderful. For appetizer, I had the hazelnut crusted farm egg with purple asparagus. It was fabulous, and outshone everything else I ate. My first impetus was to order three appetizers -- the egg, the chick pea fries, and the tuna tartare, but instead I went with the egg and the osso buco as my main. The osso buco was a fail for me. It was underseasoned and the potatoes with it had an off taste. I gave the uneaten portion to my son, and he didn't finish it. He started with the carpaccio. It was served with frico and what looked to be a balsamic glaze. He had the squid ink pasta as his main, but he thought it seemed more like an appetizer than a main. My husband started with the gnocchi and went on to the roasted pig, which he liked a lot. I think we all felt that the kitchen had lost a few steps since we were there last. Also, the addition of various gluten-free options seemed to have narrowed the choices. For example, there was only one bread offered if you didn't want the gluten free bread.

                                        I'd give the meal a B overall.