Finger Lakes Restaurant Week Spotlight: Red Newt Bistro
One of the pioneers and champions of farm-to-table cuisine in the Finger Lakes,
at Red Newt Winery in Hector, New York is known for its thoughtful menus that pair well with its extensive wine list.
Executive Chef Brud Holland has been with the bistro since 2011, working to redefine classic comfort food, upscale restaurant classics and wine pairing experiences.
Red Newt Bistro is so dedicated to local, that last year’s Restaurant Week inspired the kitchen staff to design their 2013 menu entirely around local products. The new menu was revealed with the bistro’s seasonal opening in April and, says Holland, “We’ve been doing restaurant week for two months already!”
He and his staff strive for what he calls “simplicity, and the essence of the Finger Lakes” in their dishes.
Everything – and he means everything – on the menu is hyper-local and seasonal, from the duck cooked confit-style in pork fat (three miles down the road, or else from a farmer in Penn Yan), to the grilled Romaine salad with pea shoots and a creamy “100 brix” dressing.
To make the dressing, Holland reduces Verjooz, a tart green grape juice, until it is ten times more concentrated. “It’s our version of a Caesar salad – without being a Caesar.”
Holland is even looking to source local herbs for his menu. And if they’re not available he he has a simple solution: grow his own. Holland is planning on cultivating his own herbs to supply other local chefs with the local flavor they crave. It’s that kind of fanatical dedication that makes the plates at the bistro so special. Eating at Red Newt is always a treat, but this Restaurant Week, it’s sure to be an experience.
Red Newt Bistro - 607.546.4100
Rochelle is a food and wine writer with a focus on seasonal cooking and sustainable agriculture. She’s also a classically-trained chef who spent the last year working on a full-diet, draft-powered farm in Central New York. Visit her at rochellebilow.com, on Twitter at @RochelleBilow or on Instagram at RochelleBilow to learn more.