Tucked snugly in a circa 1910 brick storefront just a 5 minutes walk from the train station on Pelham New York’s 5th Ave., Bistro Rollin recently opened to the immediate praises of the New York Times and local media. “5th Ave desperately needed something more than red sauce Italian and pizza,” says Bistro Chef Manny Lozano.
Chef Lozano should know, he got the cooking bug in high school working in his friend’s parents
Italian restaurant. This curiosity and budding talent carried him to sous-chef in L’Absinthe’s award-winning kitchen for 6 years before jumping at the opportunity to help develop Relaix and Chateau Winvian‘s on-site restaurant. And then Lozano got a call from Arthur and Barbara Bratone, a couple just about to open a restaurant of their own, right back in Manny’s home turf…Westchester County’s Pelham, a mere 10 minute drive to the Bronx and a half hour train to mid-town.
Arthur and Barbara knew they wanted to source as much organic, locally-grown produce as possible primarily through Lieb’s Farm in New Rochelle and Pelham-owned Altobelli Farm in Kinderhook. Only wild or sustainably farmed seafood and meat free of any unnecessary antibiotics and hormones would do. Chef Manny developed a winning bistronomique menu utilizing French cooking techniques to quickly shape these fresh, top quality ingredients into elegantly prepared yet down-home comfort dishes.
Bistro Rollin’s signature plates are served in a dining area warmly empaneled with handcrafted wood by a local cabinetmaker, white tin ceilings
overhead, and large beveled mirrors strategically placed on the wall reflecting and deepening the restaurant’s overall historic vibe. Favorite dishes include a salad built with a melange of roasted seasonal vegetables and New Orleans crab cakes packed with large chunks of tender crab served on a bed of celery root slaw. I couldn’t resist ordering their risotto of the day. Which is just what the name implies, ingredients subject to change each day depending on chef selected seasonal ingredients.
On my next visit, I’m bellying up to their handcrafted oak and granite bar designed to
invite intimate conviviality rather than homogenized bar room banter found at so many other neighborhood watering holes. A perfect setting for savoring an ambitious selection of local brews as well as small batch artisanal liquors like Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, Kings County Bourbon, and COMB gin & vodka from Port Chester’s Still the One Distillery.
Photos courtesy of Conran PR & Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a sponsored tasting.