7,000 BOTTLES OF WINE & A PRIEST-STRANGLER PASTA
Their stone wine cellar has 7,000 bottles of wine! The servers remember what you eat and drink! The restaurant’s owner sincerely asks about your children!
Where is this place, and do I need a reservation?!?
My husband and I recently discovered this Fishkill gem, Il Barilotto Enoteca, and no, you do not need a reservation. Zagat describes the restaurant as “sublime and romantic offering sophisticated, upscale Italian fare with personality—including mouthwatering pastas and always-appealing specials.” Wine Spectator has repeatedly awarded Il Barllotto its “Award of Excellence” for its collection of well-chosen producers and high quality wines. The red-bricked walls and belle epoque-era advertising posters create a cozy, welcoming haven. Many diners love eating at the large bar flanking one long wall of the dining room.
We were greeted by the owner, Scott Rosenberg, who enthusiastically shared the history of his restaurant. The building was originally a carriage house in the 1800’s and later Fishkill’s only pharmacy. In 2001, Rosenberg transformed the structure into his dream restaurant and knew that the building’s stone cellar was the ideal spot to store his 7,000 bottles of Italian wine. Yes, the restaurant only carries Italian wines! “I only wanted to offer Italian wines that were fairly priced, delicious, and difficult to find in liquor stores,” said Rosenberg.
Most of the staff has been with Rosenberg since the beginning. We chatted with our server who was happy to share her thoughts about the past five years at the restaurant. “I enjoy coming to work. Our chef, Ralph Bello, makes it lots of fun for the servers, and I love our customers. I know that every Saturday night after the 5:30 mass, one of my favorite couples will arrive. I know just where they want to sit, and I can usually guess what they will have to eat.”
After enjoying our Super Tuscan wine, we wanted to devour everything on the menu. I couldn’t resist the special soup of the day, Velutatta DiCavolfiore, a roasted cauliflower and winter pear soup garnished with crumbled goat cheese and roasted cauliflower florets. Delectable!
My husband (one of 5 boys) doesn’t like to share his food, but he finally relented and gave me a small morsel of his Pate All’Anatra, a Hudson Valley duck pate with house-made pickles, winter fruit compote, grain mustard, and grilled ciabatta.
I didn’t even offer him a bite of my entree, a casserole of layered eggplant, basil & mozzarella baked with a light tomato sauce. Our convivial chatting lapsed as he ate his panini stuffed with Prosciutto Di Parma, creamy robiola cheese and baby arugula. Some of the other specials included a risotto carbonara, a saffron taglionlini made in house and tossed with mussels and bay scallops, and a Rainbow trout steamed in Pappilote on a bed of shiitake mushrooms, shaved fennel and white beans.
Their dinner menu always includes a Mediterranean Sea Bass, braised lamb shank, Long Island duck breast and a grilled Faroe Island salmon. One of their most popular hand made pastas is jokingly called priest-chokers or priest-stranglers. Legend has it that this twisted pasta resembles a hangman’s knot and was originally created to suffocate an insatiable priest. The greedy priest supposedly ate too many too quickly. These ricotta cheese and spinach dumplings are lightly tossed with house made sausage, fresh peas, and a tomato cream sauce.
We were just too stuffed to even consider dessert, but when I return I’m having the warm Hudson Valley apple & raisin bread pudding drizzled with a caramel sauce and topped with a vanilla bean gelato, or maybe, the espresso laced semifreddo mousse with whipped cream and a chocolate dipped biscotto. Maybe, both!
“I love this restaurant, it’s my life,” said Rosenberg. You’ll love this restaurant, too, and it may just become a part of your life!
Il Barilotto Enoteca
1113 Main Street
Fishkill, NY 12524