North Plank Road Tavern Restaurant Review in Newburgh: New American Food and Dining in Orange County
North star: The North Plank Road Tavern offers New American cuisine in a vintage setting
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From the farm: Crispy skin chicken — from Fitzgerald Farms in Accord — with charred spring onion
We started with the very good house-smoked trout, which was so lightly smoked that the delicate taste of the fish came through almost like sushi, yet was flavorful enough to match the bed of lemon-spiked yogurt it sat on. (Kogler said later that he believes most smoked fish is overdone, so he uses a light wood like apple to control the smoke-to-fish flavor.) Marinated beets and goat cheese were an enjoyable pairing, although the beets were slightly too assertive for the sprinkling of pistachios and Brussels sprout leaves to make much of an impression.
Our server presented me with a very serious-looking steak knife before she brought out my grilled hanger steak, but the slices of meat, perfectly done, were so tender that a dinner knife would have been fine. Kogler’s rich, kicky take on a Mediterranean chimichurri sauce — with oven-dried tomatoes and pepperoncini added to the usual garlic, parsley, and so on — was a terrific topping. The roasted fingerlings were wonderful, too, but being in a meat-and-potatoes mood, I’d have liked a less dainty serving.
A view of the tavern’s exterior
The standout dish of the night was garganelli pasta with mushrooms and house-made duck confit. It smelled so enticing, we sniffed the air for a few seconds before tucking in. Silky egg pasta, rich duck confit, nutty beech mushrooms, peppery leaves of arugula, and a sprinkling of Romano cheese to top it off — the whole thing was bursting with flavor.
A pretty strawberry shortcake with marinated berries and whipped cream dressed up with maple syrup was moist, fresh, and as good as it looked — the perfect summer dessert. There’s usually a choice of three desserts, two of them driven by what’s in season, and the third — little drum roll, please — beignets! Never trust anyone who doesn’t like beignets. Kogler’s are irresistible little balls covered in cinnamon sugar that come with two dipping sauces, a custard, and a chocolate ganache. (I loved the custard.) They were so good, I didn’t even complain about the rain on the drive home.
North Plank Road Tavern
Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Appetizers $8-$12; entrées $17-$25.