This past weekend was my mom’s birthday and to celebrate we went to Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, NY. It’s part of the Batali/Bastianich culinary empire/mecca/world domination. I’ve been here several times and have yet to eat something I didn’t like. In fact, they have one particular pizza that is right up there at the very top of my list of favorites. It is by no means the best pizza, their crust can get a bit soggy, but it’s one of my ultimate favorites. On this trip to Tarry Lodge we didn’t get it because the birthday girl wanted to try something different but I have to mention it anyway: goat cheese with pistachios and truffle honey. Oh my god. Heavenly! The flavors go together so well that I actually have dreams about it. Tangy goat cheese, sweet honey, earthy truffle, and salty pistachios. PERFECT.
Moving on to the actual meal. We started off with the clam pizza with garlic and oregano. Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven is the best clam pie I’ve ever had and sadly this pizza was no match for it. The clams came still in their shells, which looks cool, but isn’t practical and ends up making the crust really soggy from the clam juice. The flavors were good but it didn’t quite measure up to my expectations.
Rick ordered the bavette pasta with mussels and charred corn. I had never heard of bavette as a shape of pasta (there are just so many of them out there!) but it’s a long, slender, flat ribbon pasta, sort of like tagliatelle. Anyway, this one came with spicy mussels and corn. I thought it was interesting. I’d never had a pasta like it. The corn had a nice smokey flavor that blended well with the briny spice of the mussels. Definitely tasty.
I ordered the linguine with clams, chilis, and pancetta. You can never have too many clams in one meal! Anyway, I’m a sucker for linguine con vongole. The spice was good, the pancetta was salty and fatty but I could have used a few more clams. Don’t be so stingy Mario! All in all, it was a well done pasta.
My mom ordered the special of the night, which was crispy skate alla putanesca. Putanesca, for those unfamiliar, is a tomato sauce made with anchovies, olives, and capers. I only tried a bite of this but I remember it being good. I don’t think I’d ever had skate before and it tasted pretty much how I imagined it – a flakey white fish.
I’ve tried almost all of their pastas and each one is done well. The service is friendly, though it can be a bit inattentive during busy nights. The space is beautiful and the restaurant is almost always crowded. Batali and Bastianich do it again!