The Dining Room isn’t the sort of place you go to for the same dish on repeat. That’s just not Executive Chef Gregory Stott’s style. Instead, it’s the type of restaurant in which no two meals are exactly the same, so there’s always an excuse to plan a return visit.
“The menu is constantly changing,” Stott, a former Food Network Chopped semifinalist, enthuses. “Every single day, there is going to be a tweak.”
For Stott, who commenced his culinary career a little over 22 years ago after pivoting from finance, the opportunity to flex his creative muscles is precisely why he was attracted to helming the foodie operations at The Dining Room. After forays at eateries such as Café Panache in Ramsey, NJ, St. Eve’s in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, and The ’76 House in Tappan, he knew it was time for a position that would allow him to do something different. So, when he and The Dining Room’s owner Paul Bailey, who also operates Bailey’s Smokehouse in Blauvelt, Bailey’s New City, and Nanuet Restaurant, linked up, they knew they were ready to test-drive a new concept in Rockland County.
What to Expect at The Dining Room
At The Dining Room, which opened in early January, Chef Stott leans into an array of cuisines, with a focus on using seasonal, top-quality ingredients. On any given night, diners could be digging into the best-selling French onion soup, for which Stott prepares a 48-hour beef broth and incorporates imported gruyere cheese along with onions caramelized for 16 to 17 hours, or the savory pork chop, which at press time was served with Brussels sprouts and a ginger sweet potato puree. Pastas are a regular feature on the menu and made in-house daily, although their exact presentation varies with the seasons. And don’t skip out on the slow-cooked, beautifully braised meatballs when available; they often don’t last long.
“That’s the beauty of the size [of the restaurant],” Stott notes. “It’s manageable. It doesn’t even tempt you with shortcuts.”
To his point, The Dining Room is a comfortable, intimate affair with 65 seats and a full-service bar. It offers dinner nightly on Tuesdays through Sundays and brunch on the weekends, which means visitors can stop by for a meal during the week or a special outing on the weekends. No matter what, diners can rest assured that everything is fresh and from scratch, and that includes desserts.
“I have a background in pastry,” Stott explains, adding that he would often do stages with the pastry departments of the restaurants in which he worked. “All the desserts here are made by hand and they’re made every single day. It’s almost like cooking at home.”
On weekends, brunch gets the same special treatment, and diners can expect a range of offerings that hit both sweet and savory profiles. Chicken and waffles are a classic, but Stott jazzes them up with cheddar-jalapeno cornbread and hot honey. Likewise, eggs Benedict get the all-star treatment with the addition of braised short ribs and grilled ciabatta. For the sweet tooth in the group, the stuffed French toast pairs Nutella and banana with a cornflake crunch for a dish that will have everyone begging for a bite.
While the restaurant is still warming up in the Hudson Valley, Stott is excited for all that the coming weeks will bring. He notes that the arrival of springtime ingredients will signal a number of menu tweaks, and adds that the warmer weather is the perfect time for The Dining Room to do more with off-premises catering and private events. As a past participant of community to-dos like A Taste of Rockland and Cornucopia by Meals on Wheels Rockland, he looks forward to remaining an active participant in the region’s dining scene.
For owner Paul Bailey, the addition of The Dining Room is an exciting new endeavor amid his other operations.
“I’m definitely looking forward to building the business,” he notes. “I’m excited to see the growth of this restaurant, which I think has a great future. We’re putting the time in and seeing where it goes.”
The Dining Room
135 East Erie St, Blauvelt
Dinner: Tuesday – Sunday; Brunch: Saturday – Sunday