Half Moon Restaurant to Set Sail

Irvington resident, Archangel (Angelo) Liberatore, and his Dobbs Ferry partner, Bruce Bernacchia, are set to open the Half Moon restaurant in Dobbs Ferry on a piece of waterfront property with 180 degree views of the Hudson River. Liberatore and Bernacchia are best known locally for their Harvest on Hudson restaurant which opened in 1998. In addition, the two men own the Harvest on Fort Pond and the East by Northeast restaurant at the Stoneline Inn, both of which are in Montauk.

Bruce Bernacchia’s father, Arthur, started the Liberty Lines Bus Company in the 1950’s and the Company has remained family-owned to this day.

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Angelo Liberatore and Bruce Bernacchia

Bruce is the current CEO and President of Liberty Lines and by his own account he and his siblings have fanned out into other creative efforts that include combining real estate with exciting restaurants.

Angelo Liberatore has lived in Irvington for the past six years and prior to that was a Yonkers resident for forty years. He was named Archangel after his father who emigrated from Italy where he had been a chef. The youngest of five children, Angelo started working at age 12 in his father’s New York City restaurant, Tony’s Italian Kitchen, on Broadway at 79th Street. His father then purchased Casa Del Monte and also the very well-known and patronized La Manda’s in Greenburgh. Wanting to broaden his base and experience Angelo attended the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in 1982. He built his first restaurant and called it Off-Broadway on the corner of Broadway and Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry. "That restaurant offered fine and contemporary dining," he said at a recent interview. He owned the restaurant from 1987 through 1997 and it was during this time that he met his current partner, Bruce Bernacchia.

The first venture that the two men tackled was an abandoned piece of property on the waterfront in Hastings-on-Hudson. Zoned "industrial" the land had been used as a truck garage and terminal. In 1991 Bernacchia and Liberatore started to work with the Village of Hastings on Hudson and went through the various environmental steps under the SEQRA regulations. In 1997 the actual construction began for the Harvest on Hudson restaurant, and in June of 1998 it opened. "At Harvest we have a great neighborhood restaurant and it is truly a destination on the weekends for many people. It offers wonderful dining, incredible views and a special atmosphere. We also hold celebrations in our garden and make our own wine. We have lots of fun there," Liberatore said.

With the Half Moon restaurant Angelo Liberatore is looking to create a very casual dining experience and one that is different from the Harvest.

"We will specialize in meat, seafood and cheese dishes with the emphasis on a casual and fun style restaurant. There will be everything from lobster rolls, to steamers and we will incorporate a "plancha style" of cooking which originated in Spain. Foods will be cooked on high heated griddles which is a clean and simple way of preparation. Pork, Lamb, Seafood, Salmon and Striped Bass dishes will be prepared this way," he said. In addition the Half Moon restaurant will develop a network of local farmers and artisans for their meat, cheese, produce and spirits. Seafood will be brought in from the markets that supply the Montauk restaurants.

The Half Moon will have both southern and northern facing patios. The "Beach Bar" on the southern patio will provide casual dining along with a variety of sangrias and buckets of beer. On the northern patio a full-service menu will be offered as it will inside the restaurant. "We will be able to offer our patrons private events on the weekends where we can seat up to 200 people. The Half Moon is going to be a great place to come and enjoy the food, in a casual atmosphere that includes a phenomenal riverfront view," Liberatore added.

For more information about the Half Moon restaurant in Dobbs Ferry, call (914) 693-4131. For Harvest on Hudson in Hastings, call (914) 478-2800.

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About the Author: Robert Bonvento