10 Can't Miss Dishes
(page 6 of 10)
Over the years, the menu at the Arch morphed from delicious, classic French fare to delicious eclectic dishes with a thought for one’s cholesterol level. Throughout the transition, what have been described as “dessert soufflés to die for” have remained a staple.
When people talk about the Arch, they use words like “Old World,” “classy,” and “pampering.” The 1918 stone house has a pretty carpeted dining room with silk curtains, gold walls and a fireplace. Soft lights cast a flattering glow. Most who go like to dress up and linger.
It’s romantic (and a little expensive), but as unstuffy as the amiable chef-owner, George Seitz. Seitz arrived in the Hudson Valley from Düsseldorf in the 1960s, coming via Panama, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Miami, and Long Island. “We have a saying in German: Man thinks and God guides,” says Seitz in the short version of how this journey came about. Seitz worked at the original Arch in North Salem, then bought the place, and took the name with him when he reopened in Brewster in 1977.
Here’s one of his favorite tales: In the early days, a party of three arrived to find their reservation missing and the restaurant packed. “We found a rusty terrace table, and they had to sit on old soap barrels,” Seitz says, bursting into laughter. “But I fed them, and didn’t give them a check. Next morning, Craig Claiborne’s secretary called!” Claiborne, probably the most influential food critic of the time, had been one of the three. “I said, ‘Please tell him it was just a bad dream,’ ” Seitz recalls. “But his secretary said, ‘Mr. Claiborne enjoyed it tremendously. He just wants to know what you’d charge.’ That put us on the map.”
Keeping them on the map ever since has been a menu of sumptuous dishes like beef Wellington, roast loin of Japanese Kurobuto pork (“wonderful flavor,” remarks Seitz), grilled antelope, and crispy sweetbreads. “The beef and veal are organic, grass-fed,” says Seitz. And as for desserts, those delicious soufflés come in flavors like chocolate, raspbery, toasted coconut, or Grand Marnier.