Chef Matt Kay adds Chef de Cuisine Justin Ortiz to the Dobbs Ferry team.
A few short weeks ago, Cedar Street Grill celebrated its sixth anniversary as the “true American” go-to, pairing craft cocktails with their signature fried chicken and “angry” cauliflower. But this past weekend, chef-owner Matt Kay softly launched his new menu—and a new concept—at the Dobbs Ferry hot spot.
While Cedar Street’s commitment to flavor and local ingredients remains the same, Kay and new Chef de Cuisine Justin Ortiz (formerly of Wolf and Lamb and Michelin-rated The Breslin) added elevated offerings for a more upscale presentation without losing the American grill appeal. Fan favorites like the chicken wings, fried chicken, and Brussels sprouts will remain, however some dishes, like the Cedar Street burger received a slight “facelift” with the addition of in-house cured maple bacon.
But what packs the real punch are the newbies on the fall menu, showcasing the new techniques and detail Ortiz adds to the kitchen. Starters, for example, feature comfort-food items like tomato and carrot bisque with cheddar tuile, confit carrot, and micro basil, as well as chicken liver mousse served with crusty bread, pickled pearl onions, and spiced fig jam. Also a must? The warm popovers (made in-house) with gruyere, fennel seed, and honey butter.
The effort and benefit of “housemade” doesn’t end there, with an addition of made-in-house pasta dishes like ravioli with marscapone, cured egg yolk, sage, and parmigiano and the braised pork ragu cavatelli.
While Kay and Ortiz set out to offer more sharable small plates this time around, the entrée offerings fall in line with the flavor bar they carefully cultivated. The chicken pot pie, with its flakey, puffed crust, is a clear fan-favorite standout. The dry aged ribeye—at a sharable 22 oz.—with bone marrow, roasted garlic, and rosemary butter may be a close second.
“When I started to realize we were getting close to our sixth year, I started focusing on what’s next,” Kay said. “I knew I could naturally transition Cedar Street to be this great balance between family-friendly and first date spot. I just needed the right team in place. Justin was the key ingredient to be where I wanted to be.”
While Ortiz spends most of his time in the kitchen, the freed-up Kay makes the transition to running the restaurant in a front of house role. “Ensuring our customers receive the same stellar service only rounds out the experience at Cedar Street,” Kay said.
Cedar Street’s Saturday and Sunday brunch menu also saw a few small changes, however the popular $29.95 pix fixe pairing of a main course and unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, or bellinis is still available.