NYACK, N.Y. - Wednesday nights are oyster nights at 8 North Broadway in Nyack, which means $1 oysters.
Some Wednesdays the restaurant goes through 500 in a night but it’s only at 5 a.m. the morning of when Chef Constantine Kalandranis gets a call from his uncle, who is down at the fish market in the Bronx, to find out what type of catch he is working with.
“It works for us,” he said. Sourcing the vast majority of their ingredients from multiple local vendors is not nearly as easy as having everything dropped off all at once by a truck, but the effort is worth it.
8 North Broadway will mark four years of serving fresh fare in Nyack this December, having opened back in 2012 (they closed on the building the day Superstorm Sandy hit). In that time they’ve made a concerted effort to keep things local.
Kalandranis, who also owns 273 Kitchen in Harrison and 251Lex in Mount Kisco with partner Rich Mitchell, have a list of several local farms they use on a daily basis: Goffle Farm in Wyckoff, N.J. for poultry, Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie for cheese, Stokes Farm in Old Tappan to name a few.
It’s a lot of work, and they don’t want a gold star for their efforts; sourcing food locally should be the standard for restaurants, and the use of these ingredients shouldn’t be a selling point.
“It shouldn’t be labeled anything but a restaurant. But a restaurant’s requirement or responsibility, which is to the guest first but second to the environment and the farmers, is to use the best local product; even using local people as your employees,” explained Kalandranis.
Guests already walk through the doors with an expectation of fresh, local food, according to Kalandranis, likening the fervor for good food to the difference between cosmopolitan European football fans and those who live outside the cities: it’s religion to those in the countryside. And other eateries in Nyack are already on board with local ingredients.
For Kalandranis, “local” relates to the amount of time it takes for arugula or fresh fish to get on the plate. But the emphasis on the term extends beyond food.
“I think some of that is having a relationship with people,” said Mitchell, citing the personal email he gets from the owner of Greenhook Ginsmiths in Brooklyn, who thanks him when he places an order.
And there's more on their plate. Mitchell has the restaurant involved in a wine on tap cask refill program that features New York wines from Paumanok Vineyard and Zugibe Vineyard. (All beers on tap are also from New York.) And, the eatery is is gearing up to offer what Kalandranis called a “speakeasy” happy hour that will take advantage of the restaurant's copper bar,. Select cocktails will be featured alongside free tapas or appetizers Monday through Friday made from whatever ingredients are fresh and good.
If you're staying for dinner, the must-try dishes include the sizzling Spanish octopus, which is finished at the table in a hot pan to get the aromatics going; Mezze, consisting of nine chef-selected items that give a small taste of what the restaurant is all about, and, of course, those infamous oysters.
Go to www.8northbroadway.com/ for more information.