From Nyack to Northvale: The Legacy of La Casa Formoso

“Salumeria” is Italian for a cured meat shop and they may be found in larger cities but we are lucky enough to have one close by in a small town. La Casa Formoso, a New York City style deli in Northvale, is such a place. Here, customers can find quality meats, cheeses, pastas and olive oils not available in local supermarkets. They use old pasta recipes from Brooklyn and get the best sausages from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Fresh ravioli (never frozen) is delivered a couple of times a week from Pastosa Ravioli, a franchise with seventeen stores in New York City and the bread is delivered fresh from the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. The store also has a bakery feel to it with cannolis and cookies made to order moments before you get them.


In Our Backyard - October, 2012

Michael Phelps, Misty May-Treanor, Serena Williams – move over. There was one Olympic sport left out of the London festivities this summer that makes these kids look like slackers…ok, slackers with really toned abs. What sport am I referring to? Grocery shopping in Rockland. That’s right, I hereby propose that the two hour suburban steeplechase required to pull together a few bags of moderate to high-end groceries is the local challenge of champions.


In Our Backyard - May, 2012

Foodie alert - there’s a new catering company in town. Palisades resident Stephanie Cardenas has fused her Mexican heritage and Texas upbringing into Blue Taco, a homegrown operation featuring healthy farm-to-table Mexican classics with a Texan twist. While her ultimate goal is to create a wholesale line of Tex-Mex products for grocery stores, she currently caters everything from small family dinners to parties for 100 guests. Blue Taco’s complete list of products is on its website, but Cardenas is happy to work with you on whatever menu you may need. On most weekends she also sells a selection of soups, tacos and salsas at the Palisades Indoor Farmer’s Market.


Local Produce a Short Drive Away

You’ll find Stokes Farm tucked into a suburban neighborhood on DeWolf Road in Old Tappan just off Tappan Road. It was one of the original twelve farms that participated in New York City’s first Greenmarket in 1976, a concept of urban planners Barry Benepe and Bob Lewis. Their mission was to provide a vehicle for small family farms to sell their products directly to consumers and present New Yorkers with access to the freshest, most nutritious locally grown food the region has to offer.


In Our Backyard - o lar

For those of you who don’t smoke however, there’s post-insulation pleasure to be had in Piermont at a new restaurant called o lar, a tiny gem of creatively combined Mediterranean, Italian and Spanish food traditions. O lar means hearth or home in the Galician dialect of northwest Spain and partners Miguel Dominguez and James Corona have basically pulled a few tables and chairs around their magnificent mound of a pizza oven, carefully edited the menu, and opened one of the best eating establishments to hit Rockland in years.


In Our Backyard - December 2011


I have to confess; eating out in Nyack is something I generally avoid – especially on weekends. But thatʼs changed since the opening of Murasaki, a modest home-style Japanese restaurant where everything, if not always artfully served, is fresh, fresh and fresh. The décor is simple, almost non-existent in fact, with a small sushi bar and about ten tables. No hi-tech lighting or fussy tablescapes here, just tasty and sometimes vaguely Americanized food. In fact, the relaxed simplicity makes me wonder if this is how a mom & pop place in Kyoto might feel - that is, if mom or pop had spent some time in the States and werenʼt sticklers about authenticity… or aesthetics… or doing anything more than serving really good food at fair prices.


In Our Backyard - October 2011

There was a quiet culinary happening back in early summer that offers hope to Rockland foodies desperate for a little more dining sophistication. Chef and owner of the Commissary restaurant, Daniel Foti, and Joe Printz, owner of the Grape D’Vine wine shop, joined forces to pair a wine tasting with a fivecourse prix fixe meal. Foti and Printz first selected the wines, then Foti designed a seasonally inspired menu to highlight the food and drink equally. Invitations were sent and responded to via email, and at $60 a head, the event was fully booked within a couple of weeks.


Restaurant Review March 2011 - Coppola's

Coppola’s Sparkill
500 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976
(845) 680-2626

Coppola’s, the Italian American restaurant built on the site of Tony’s Lobster House in Sparkill, has been a longtime coming, but it has finally opened its imposing doors to the public. The restaurant’s size and scale suggest grand aspirations for our little corner of the world, but a sleek interior of honey beige banquets, muted modernist lighting and a chic mix of wood, leather and stone deliver a room that Dean, Sammy, Peter and Frank (that’s the 60’s hipster “Rat Pack” for you youngsters out there) would have felt right at home in.


In Our Backyard: Dec. 2010


271 Livingston Street, (Route 303), Northvale, NJ

Billed as a contemporary Japanese and Thai cuisine sushi bar, Bamboo appears anxious to please a few too many people to be any good. Happily, this calm little hideaway does pretty well with most of its pan-Asian fare and in spite of a practically in-the-parking-lot location, delivers a pleasant dining experience.


Restaurant Review: the Commisary

I think, I hope, I think, I hope our little area of Rockland is becoming a restaurant destination! We are seeing several new quality dining options spring up almost within walking distance, and one of these is Danny Foti’s new venture, The Commisary.


In Our Backyard - Dec. 2009

Im going to let you in on two not-very-secret secrets for excellent family dining at reasonable prices: Cassie's Pizzeria in Orangeburg and The Greek Village in Northvale, NJ.


In Our Backyard: LILO Pizza & Bistro

When a neighbor described the recently opened LILO Pizza & Bistro in the Tappan Plaza as a little piece of Manhattan, my interest was piqued. I mean, let’s face it, shoehorned in between a dusty train store and the fabulously tacky V&S Variety, the glam factor is zero. And when I learned that this is where owner Rick Pellegrino (former owner of Babbo Pizza in Piermont) “wants to make pizza sexy again,” I knew I had to go.


Oak Tree Inn: A Traditional Irish-American Pub

Saturday night at the newly opened Oak Tree Inn. It’s just after 6:30pm and the end of Happy Hour. Carpenters are putting the finishing touches on a roof over a portion of a back deck that’s sure to be a popular spot as the weather warms. Inside, a lively crowd in the bar seems to be ignoring the men’s semi-final basketball game blaring from three large TV screens.



EVERY Saturday extended thru June 27, 2009!
Rain or Shine!
Palisades Community Center
675 Oak Tree Road, Palisades

Special Events
May 9- Mother's Day Plant Sale featuring heirloom plants from Bumps & Co.
June 13- Annual Flea & Collectible Sale


Duke Ocean Grill

Come on, admit it, if you haven’t already checked it out, you know you’re curious about Tappan’s latest addition, the Duke Ocean Grill. Owned by Alvin Park of Manhattan’s Cafe Duke, this mega restaurant has swallowed up the former site of the Food World supermarket and is Rockland’s most ambitious eatery to date.


400th Anniversary of Hudson’s Historic Voyage

The 85-foot Dutch ship Half Moon sailed up the Hudson River nearly to Albany in September 1609 in search of a northwest passage to Asia. This year New York State celebrates that voyage as well as Champlain’s 1609 discovery of the lake named after him and Fulton’s initial 1807 steamboat journey on the Hudson.


Pots & PANS IN PALISADES cookbook available for purchase!

The first Pots & Pans in Palisades cookbook filled with recipes from Palisades residents was in the 1960's. Alice Gerard and Mary Tiegreen produced this 2008 edition filled with over 150 recipes.


The Sidewalk Bistro

Piermont is sporting a hot new restaurant. The Sidewalk Bistro, which opened May 29th in the spot where the Sidewalk Café had previously been, specializes in French bistro fare. Alsace-born chef and co-owner Alain Eigenmann who for seven years was executive chef at Provence in Manhattan describes the restaurant as more brasserie than bistro with simple but elegant food. Alain has partnered with Daout Celestin; for the past eighteen years he has been maitre d’ at nearby Xaviars. Close friends, they originally met while working at Raoul’s in Nyack twenty-two years ago.


Pots & Pans in Palisades

Almost 40 years after the last editon of our community cookbook, we are happy to announce the all-new Pots & Pans in Palisades!

Believe it or not, after nearly a year of work, collecting recipes, editing and proofreading, laying out pages, gathering photographs, and finding illustrations the cookbook is finally done!


Fall at Nyack Farmers' Market 2008

Held every Thursday, rain or shine, 8:00am-2:00pm in the municipal parking lot on Main Street in front of Riverspace, through November.

October 2: Story Hour 10:00 am
October 9: Music Together with Catherine Rubin 10:00 am
October 16: Bossy Frog Band 11:00am
October 23 & 30: Story Hour 10:00am

The last Market Day will be Wednesday, November 26, the annual day before Thanksgiving Market Day.