Long a fan of Chef Jon Geneau, when he surfaced at Rhubarb I knew I’d have to make that pilgrimage to Indian Point to check it out. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Linda and I drive out to see what his kitchen was serving up.
Rhubarb was operating as a fine dining restaurant under prior ownership, and I never quite got that. I know it’s next to the higher end Oceanstone Resort (the dining room was once housed in the main building of the inn), but I can’t imagine how it fared during low season.
In any case, it’s a lovely, relaxed atmosphere here now; lots of wood without being heavy, an old upright piano, local artwork on the walls. We’re seated on the deck, where we can see the ocean over the tops of the trees and enjoy what little breeze there is.
It’s a busy place on this night, most of the tables inside and out occupied, but the service is flawless. Attentive without being cloying, professional without being stiff–perfect fit for this type of restaurant.
The menu is small, but varied; the dishes are deceptively simple. Sometimes, the simple things are the most difficult to execute. Because there’s not a lot of elements, there’s not much room for error, and nor will the diner be distracted by anything other than flavour.
Geneau’s cooking is as good as I remember; a clean, uncluttered flavour profile that lets the ingredients shine. We love the delicate biscuits (made on site, in the Back Door Bakery in the basement) that start the meal. Linda is delighted by her portobello mushroom burger, declaring it one of the best she’s ever eaten. My buttermilk fried chicken is the stuff comfort food dreams are made of–light, crispy batter; juicy, tender chicken with little grease. The chicken comes with mashed potato, but I’ve opted for the hand cut fries and although I gaze longingly at another diner’s mashed, I stand by my choice. Next time.
With fresh local strawberries, and the same fluffy biscuit that started the meal, the strawberry shortcake is a no-brainer for me. Being a rhubarb fan, Linda has the strawberry rhubarb crisp. Fabulous, the both of them.
But don’t take my word for it–take a drive to Rhubarb, and see for yourself.