PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- It's rare to find a place in Westchester where you can eat, drink, hear live music and dance the night away. But perhaps even more unusual: Finding an egg on the menu that comes direct from the chef's farm.
More on the egg in a minute. The 13,000 square foot Hudson Room is unusual not just for its vast space -- it occupies what years ago had been Teller's Department Store -- but for its mission, printed on the menu. According to Chef/Owner Louis Lanza, the three-month-old restaurant is all about attention to detail, dedication to the Hudson Valley, and an awareness of civic responsibility for the growth and maintenance of the area's food resources. "It's important to know where our food is coming from," he stresses.
And though the menu is a diverse collection of what he calls "global cuisine" with items sourced from purveyors he's long had relationships with, the long-time restaurateur (at one point he owned seven restaurants in Manhattan; he's now down to two) is also very attuned to being true to the community. Case in point: All his desserts come from Hometyle Desserts Bakery , just down the street. He was also careful not to open a restaurant that would take business away from his neighbors.
"I'm offering something completely different than Birdsall House, Gleason's or Quiet Man," he says. "I'm trying to give a new twist to the Peekskill landscape and help take it to the next level."
That means fiddling with the live band selections, complementing what the Paramount next door is offering, and, of course, offering great food.
Which leads us back to that egg....the "sunnyside Lanza farms egg," found on the "Farm Salad," nestled next to frisse, romaine, grilled chorizo, grilled cauliflower, cabot cheddar-gouda cheese and maple-red wine vinaigrette, is from his 39-acre farm in Garrison where he also produces Farmstead goats' cheese, goat milk products, and maple syrup, among other items.
While food is his passion, he's just as meticulous about the cocktail list, which features New York State distilleries and inventive combinations such as "The Metro North" (Cognac, Grand Marnier and Sugared Rim), "I Did It Rye Way," (Rye, Orange-Maple-Cayenne Syrup, Lemon Juice and Hell Fire Bitters), and "The Dirty Westchester," (Bourbon, Black Dirt Apple Jack Brandy and Aronia Honey).
He's also incredibly devoted to revitalizing Peekskill so stay tuned. As a real estate owner in more than a few downtown buildings -- Lanza saw the potential of The Hudson Room building after noticing a "For Sale" sign on a morning coffee run to The Peekskill Coffee House and grabbed it up soon after -- there is more to this story.
The Hudson Room is located at 23 S. Division St., Peekskill, 914-788-FOOD; hudsonroom.com.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.