213, Box 96
High Falls, NY 12440
Best Caesar Salad,
Ulster County 2003
Chef John Novi
The Caesar Salad created by
Chef Novi and his staff was a winner! Tasters from the
festival gave it the highest ratings in the "Best Traditional"
category, tying it with the Rosendale Cement Company. As a main
judge at the event, I would have to agree with the majority in lining it
up with the winners, but I would place it under the "creative"
category. The addition of smoked
tomatoes, herring filets and tobasco gave this dressing a truly unique yet
delightful twist. But you don't need to take my word: these two winning
restaurants are just a few miles apart on the same road (route 213), in
High Falls and Rosendale, NY. Do your own tasting; you'll find the
effort worth the trip!
About Chef Novi
Always interested in combining the foods of the world
with fresh, locally grown produce, Chef John Novi does not limit his
culinary skills to one nationality. He incorporates the familiar and the
unfamiliar, using traditional foods and flavors in traditional and
non-traditional concepts, for consistently successful marriages of food
Chef Novi restored the Canal House 30 years ago from
a stone Tavern built in 1797 to serve workers and travelers on the
Delaware & Hudson Canal. Original fireplaces, wide wooden floorboards,
and a marvelous collection of antiques, maps, and local folk art
decorate the historic building, which is home to the two restaurants: "Depuy
Canal House" and "Chefs On Fire".
wonderful eating experience awaits you in this warm, intimate country
On Fire (at Depuy Canal House)
Downstairs from Depuy Canal House is
"Chefs On Fire", located in the buildings stone cellar. It
is a small, casual restaurant with basic chairs and tables, known mostly
for its wood fired oven baked pizzas. I wasn't quite sure what to
expect, but I thought I'd give it a try.
Then came the pizza and caesars.
Pizza - I'm not here to review, but it was delicious!
The caesar salad was presented with
"tomato bread salad" on top instead of
croutons. This topping was made from olive oil moistened whole wheat
bread, mixed with tomatoes and pecorino cheese.
The bite sized lettuce was nicely
blended with both leafy green portions of, and hearts of romaine, and the
first bite was enticing. The tomato bread salad, although soft and not
crunchy like croutons, added to the flavor, and was an interesting
diversion. To increase the "zing", I added more freshly ground pepper. It was a nice salad: "subtle in
flavor and pleasant to the
great red wine/blend, to try while you're there:
du Rhome", from South Africa)