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44 Tapas Lounge

Gambas

Few places take a town by storm like the recent arrival of 44 Tapas Lounge (or just “44” as locals refer to it) in Croton-on-Hudson.  The space formerly occupied by Salsa and most recently, Agave Azul, has come alive for area residents starving for a new venue.Co-owners Patrick Farley and Kyle Gallagher stepped in to create a restaurant/lounge centered around the Mediterranean concept of tapas or “small plates.” 

To newcomers, the origin of tapas began in Spanish taverns where patrons would cover their glasses of sweet sherry or wine with a small piece of flat bread to stave off fruit flies between sips.  Over time, tavern owners began placing small savory bites of food on top of the flat bread pieces for customers to snack upon.  Other cultures in the Mediterranean region adopted their own versions, too.  In Italy, they are referred to as piattini, and in eastern regions, you will find them called mezze. Whatever you choose to call them, they are simply prepared, delicious, and a great way to sample your way through interesting flavors and a great glass of wine.

 Anyway, back to 44.

 The color scheme remains the same as does much of the decor.  They have enhanced the environment with the use of votives on the walls, tables, and bar.  The barstools have been replaced by more stylish brown leather seating. The main entrance has been outfitted with comfy leather banquettes and side cubes to place your tapas and cocktail. Certainly, this has added to the lounge factor of the restaurant. The former agave field murals, were painted over  by artist, Michael Farley, with a modern abstract twist. Michael Farley presently studies at Maryland Institute College of Art.  Ambience has been kicked up a notch by intoxicating lounge music – – think Moby.

The owners are up to the task of making sure you are enjoying your experience as well as the likes of Jessica and Brie always with a smile, easy on the eye, and usually moving to the rhythm of the music.

New Year’s Eve was an evening to remember at 44.

In addition to their tapas offerings and other regular main courses, they composed a delicious menu just for the occasion.  Appetizers included pan seared Hudson Valley foie gras topped with a black mission fig chutney resting upon a truffled round of polenta.  Jumbo shrimp were the perfect foil for the creamy horseradish sauce served in a martini glass.  Finally, there was grilled quail with hints of thyme and rosemary served over a mixture of roasted shallots and garlic all resting on a bed of basmati.

Entree offerings consisted of an oven roasted New Zealand baby rack of lamb.  The lamb was crusted with black truffles and served with mashed potatoes made with roasted garlic and paired with tender marinated grilled asparagus. Next was the free range slow roasted cornish game hen.  The hen was roasted at about 240 degrees over many hours receiving a drizzling bath of a caramelized spicy apple glaze every 15 minutes by attentive chefs, Brian Newman and Gabriel Pollow.  The result was a crispy skinned bird the color of mahogany. The meat, juicy and tender. This was complemented by a basmati rice, pear, and raisin combination.  Finally, a grilled marinated veal chop of substantial size topped with a rosemary and crimini mushroom demi-glace.  There was a gorgonzola cream sauce for dipping along with truffled mashed potatoes.

Their wine list is presently the best and most diverse in town, pours are generous and prices in good order.

The evening was buzzing and the place was hopping.  Kacie on the waitstaff had a can-do attitude.  She worked like a machine and held her own.

A dj was brought to the scene and spun vinyl, yes… vinyl, all evening. Post-dining, tables were moved to the periphery and the floor became a stage for dancing, appreciating friends while allowing the cocktails and wine to carry one into 2008.

A newcomer has arrived in Croton and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t extend your welcome.

 44 Tapas Lounge

44 Maple Street

Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

914-271-2690

5 Comments

  1. Roberta wrote:

    This place sucked. The food was terrible. The shrimp (gambas) were like ones you find in a chinese restaurant. I expected 12 little shrimp in a clay pot like you find in Spain. The duck empananas, my father-in-law makes better ones. I do not know why people are raving @ this place. I wasted $60, luckily I had a $10 coupon!

    Monday, June 30, 2008 at 9:04 am | Permalink
  2. Jo wrote:

    A must try! The food is excellent, the presentation very nice, the staff is attentive and well-equipped, the drinks are amazing, (especially when Kyle is on duty). The atmosphere is cozy and warm and the owners go out of their way to make you feel special. It is a little pricey, but the experience is worth it!

    Friday, July 18, 2008 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  3. TRUTH wrote:

    This Blog When it was written raved about the food Chef Brian Created. Just want everyone to know that he is no longer at the establishment, yet his food and creations are still being used by the new chef. If the new Chef is doing such a fabulous job maybe he should make up his OWN menu and get some pics of his OWN food rather then using the previous Chef’s ideas and creations. You would think an executive Chef would want his food and ideas to shine and not take credit for those that were there before him.
    Just wanted to let everyone know that the great food you taste are the creations and original receipies of the Chef that was there before him. Get some pride and do something of your own! Any Professional Chef who takes pride in his Culinary Career Would have already insisted on using his ideas and not someone elses. What a SHAME!!!

    Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
  4. MiMi wrote:

    This is a wonderful restaurant with great food and a cozy atmosphere. However, there is one thing that really makes this place outstanding, and that is KACIE!!! She is sooo cute!!

    Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 4:50 pm | Permalink
  5. Missy wrote:

    44 has become a “kiddie” hangout. Beautiful bar now entertains a crowd that shouldn’t legally be drinking. Over priced drinks are hard enough, but to have to drink them next to minors is just pushing it. What started out being a “grown up” place to go now feels like a chuckie cheese. Food was never good, and watching the owners drunk is very umprofessional.

    Monday, December 1, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

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