The Orchard Stands Out From the Thicket
I am fiendishly in love with the Orchard for no reason other than that I could imagine eating their Sliced Lamb Tenderloin with mint-creme fraiche orzo for dinner every night. My mouth waters just thinking of this tender and innovative spin on a British classic – lamb chops with mint jelly. The lamb is prepared at such a beautiful temperature, deep pink with a slightly charred exterior. The orzo is divine, slightly slippery as a contrast to the succulent lamb and mixed with a light refreshing mint creme fraiche. The dish is simply perfect.
Now that I’m through waxing poetic about a single dish, let me give you a little taste of what John LaFemina’s 3rd ‘Italian’ restaurant is like. Seemingly inspired by both, yes, an orchard and a cellar, The Orchard has a sort of warm subterranean glow. Miniature trees, boughs of twigs, and soft taupe-toned and light wood furniture gives a delicate and romantic vibe to the place, while the low lighting lends a sexy glow.
The menu isn’t quite Italian, though it does have a few recognizable flourishes such as cavatelli, veal bolognese and ravioli. The rest of the menu is international with drunken goat cheese salad, shrimp ceviche, lemon sole filet, and hudson valley duck breast. The food is good. The Hudson Valley Duck Breast has an intriguing char to it, which is nicely tempered with a sweet apple-raisin risotto.
The Orchard is a beautiful option for a date – it is romantic, laidback, and not too fussy. It’s also a great place for a chill dinner with friends, a wine-fueled evening with the ladies, and a swank spot to treat your parents.