Our Prize for Endurance
Okay, here’s a bit of great news. After suffering through almost a year of deprivation, distanced from friends and even family, with restaurants and theatres closed or greatly restricted, with travel banned, in short, living a life of bland sameness, we have been rewarded for dismal months of sacrifice. The famed La Crémaillère is back.
Peter Orthwein, the talented polo player and captain of industry, has purchased this gem of gastronomic pleasure. We are delighted to remind you that in Banksville, NY, just over the line from Greenwich, we have a true gourmet’s destination. Asked what elements made a restaurant his favorite Orthwein said, “Ambiance, I guess. Feeling good in a place, liking the food and not having to wait too long for it.”
In response to the question of whether there are any items on the menu which he enjoys especially, Orthwein recommended the Fruits de Mer, and the Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert. He added quickly that the restaurant does not have those items on its take out menu but will offer them when the restaurant reopens for on site dining.
In response to the question were there any skills he’d learned at polo which transfer to business, Orthwein said quickly, “Teamwork and building rapport” are valuable in any walk of life. He referred us to his manager, Robert Meyzen, whose father , Robert Meyzen Sr, opened the 1750 Banksville farmhouse as a restaurant in 1962, after being the chef at La Caravelle, in Manhattan. His son, Robert Meyzen, Jr, has been at La Crémaillère since 1974, and he revels in the friendships he has made over the years with his clientele. “ Many of them brought their children to the restaurant and now they bring their grandchildren here,” he said proudly.
Currently La Cremaillere is not open for in restaurant dining, but Chef Amarelli has created a take out menu available Thursday through Sunday. It includes children’s offerings:( a pasta dish, a chicken dish and a pizza) as well as an assortment of foods designed to travel well, in ecologically safe containers. For adults, there is a vegan dish, an assortment of salads, soups and appetizers plus standard items, such as, filet of sole and steak. “Some items you won’t even have to heat up,” Meyzen added, “if you live close to the restaurant.”
Meyzen recalls working during his school vacations at La Caravelle with his father, peeling potatoes and shucking oysters. “Like working in a coal mine,” he said, “starting in the morning and leaving after dark.” Expanding a bit on how La Crémaillère has changed since the pandemic of Covid locked everything down, he explained: “We lighten things up, we changed the tablecloths from the pink to a yellow, we honored our patrons’ request to remove the flowers from the middle of the tables, and we changed some of the paintings, but not the murals. Among the most heartening bits of news Meyzen shared with us is that much of his staff want to return. “We’re coming home,” they promised, ” as soon as you can reopen.”