Seated opposite Executive Chef Scott Riesenberger and co-owner David Breschel it was apparent that both men were living out a dream. In Reisenberger’s case it was to create a style of cooking that has evolved through his interaction with a “Who’s Who” of Executive Chefs in the culinary world, namely Paul Liebrandt at Corton , David Bouley at Bouley, Rocco Dispirito at Union Pacific and Alain Ducasse at The Essex House. Prior to working with these leading New York City chefs Riesenberger began his career fourteen years ago in France with the legendary Michelin-starred Chef Marc Meneau at L’Esperance and he also worked with Michelin-starred Chef Marc Veyrat at L’Auberge in the French Alps.
Riesenberger has found a remarkable environment in which to prepare and present food, namely, the new Hudson Restaurant at the Haymount House in Briarcliff Manor. After nearly one and a half years of extensive renovations, the historic Haymount House located at 25 Studio Hill Road has reopened, with views of the Hudson River and a farm-to-table style of dining that, according to Executive Chef Riesenberger, will have the sophistication of the best restaurants in Manhattan minus the pretense and price. “Our goal at the Hudson Restaurant is to offer our patrons a place that they return to often rather than just on special occasions. We have made our price points as low as possible while keeping an extraordinary level of restaurant quality. Our food and the quality of service will reflect our dedication. My personal approach to cooking is one ofconstant evolution. Depending on the month and the seasons, our menu will reflect inspiration and diversity. I truly want to provide an extraordinary dining experience for the people who visit us. It’s something I am passionate about,” he said.
Walking into the Haymount House and the Hudson Restaurant, an inviting atmosphere pervades immediately. The attention to detail and the beauty within the building carries from room to room and nook to nook. It is truly a destination and one that Riesenberger and David Breschel hope patrons will visit frequently, for dining, special events, or simply to have a drink at the bar which offers seating around its marble countertop or in alcoves that bracket a brick fireplace filled with candles for soft and subtle lighting.
“The seasons are changing and I cook with a lot of inspiration, so in addition to a particular dish that patrons come here for, I will have new items on the menu as well. I want the freedom to change with the seasons,” he noted. We asked about a sampling of a dinner at the Hudson Restaurant to get an idea of the types of food Riesenberger is currently preparing late spring. “I have wild ramps, peas, mushrooms and fava beans that have come in from local farms because the season has been favorable. Today I am making an asparagus vichyssoise, crème fraiche, American sturgeon caviar and rye toast. That, to me, is an introduction to the spring. It is light and refreshing. I will have a very light risotto on the menu as an appetizer that is finished with grilled ramps and ramp butter. It is like spring in a bowl with peas and fava beans as well. I finish it with a little whipped cream which actually lightens the texture of the risotto. On this we place poached farm hen egg and pancetta vinaigrette,” he said. On the entrée side of the menu ricotta ravioli, day-boat halibut, maple-glazed Berkshire pork belly, Hudson Valley duck breast, grilled lamb loin and veal tenderloin, each prepared with an exciting variety of vegetables. As a college student at Fordham University David Breschel became close friends with a Jesuit professor, Robert Gleason. It was Gleason who first took Breschel to the Haymount House in 1978 and its restaurant Maison Lafitte which at that time was the longest running French restaurant in Westchester County. Breschel was taken by the beauty of the landscaped grounds around the Haymount House and with the style and presentation of the restaurant itself. “It was a traditional and old-style French atmosphere. The owner Giovanni and his waiters lived upstairs. The atmosphere was very warm and welcoming. Over lunch Fr. Gleason and I would talk about theology and philosophy. He loved being at Maison Lafitte and everything about the Haymount House,” Breschel said. He went on to add that as a young man he had wanted to become two things: one – a restaurant owner and the other – a lawyer. “Things have come full-circle for me now,” he noted with a smile. Breschel, along with David Darmanovic, William Gray and Joseph LaRosa are the owners of the Hudson Restaurant. He also accomplished his other wish and is a criminal defense attorney in Manhattan.
“This place has great history for me and many wonderful memories,” Breschel noted. It’s his intent to share all of it with patrons looking for a unique dining experience, a special event or a casual drink around the bar. “Scott and I want the Hudson Restaurant to be an everyday kind of destination,” he added. “Everything on the menu will be special,” he said.
The Hudson Restaurant seats 70 currently with an adjacent dining and special event area that can seat up to 200 people. Its outdoor porch with a Hudson River view will offer dining as well as a place to enjoy the beauty of the grounds and a sunset to match. Breschel agreed with Executive Chef Risenberger about wanting the Haymount House to be a regular destination for people looking for a beautiful environment, intriguing food, an extensive wine list and exceptional service. “We want people to come in comfortable attire and enjoy themselves. This is going to be a ‘welcome home’ kind of place,” Breschel added. A Mother’s Day brunch has been planned and the grounds should be in full bloom to complement the warm and colorful interior of the restaurant. In addition, starting May 1, a casual bar menu will be introduced.
[blockquote class=blue]For further information call (914)-502-0080 or visit
www.haymounthouseny.com. Reservations can also be made at opentable.com.[/blockquote]