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O Lar...Piermont, NY (Rockland county)


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OK...I know, I know...it's not in NJ, LOL...but it's close enough. LOL.



O Lar is a small, somewhat mysterious, enigmatic restaurant, and aside from a few knocks you might hear from the negativity police...this place is excellent!!! It's nothing fancy. Some soccer club/country banners throughout the restaurant, different size/material tables, set up and laid out differently depending on the reservation schedule, and you have a somewhat cozy, a bit cramped, but nice little place. Yes, it can be cramped, but they will do their best to make sure you are comfortable. There's a bar there, but it's more for sitting and waiting, enjoying some sangria/wine, etc. -- but it's not a let's hang out at the bar kind of bar. They do not serve regular drinks/alcohol.



So, you arrive, walk in the font door and you are met by a hanging curtain...just a separation type of thing...so I pull back the curtain and BANG! There's a table right there. LOL. It was just the layout that night, and the people sitting there were OK with it. It wasn't overly intrusive. It was a bit of a tight squeeze to get by that table and a column to my table, but it was fine. So, it's small...did I mention that? LOL. Deal with the parking or lack of, deal with waiting for a table and the difficulty making a reservation, and don't expect a beautiful, romantic view of the river. You are going here for the food, although it is a "nice" experience as well. Small, cozy, fun if you are into different types of fun, and don't forget the food.



Right on Piermont Avenue, this place can maybe seat 20 or so. Most of the tables are tables of 2 and 4. When I was there they had 6 tables set up, a couple of tables for 2, a few for 4, and they were accommodating a party of 8. As far as the menu, style, etc. -- throw together Spanish, some Italian, and a bit of Mediterranean, along with a few others, a bit of this and that...and you've got an eclectic, unique menu ranging from salmon, to paella, to brick oven pizza, to unique pasta/sauces and "Spanish fries" as well as calamari and ceviche -- but everything was very, very good. A lot of flavor and taste. The owner is in the kitchen, taking orders, describing specials, meeting and greeting people, and who knows what else. He's all over. The menu is broad -- as in the offerings above -- but it's nice and short. The specials, are special -- and there was several. A lot of ingredients, layers of, and a lot of flavors and tastes.



No website. No menu online. Cash only. Sangria and wine only (maybe beer? I am not sure/don't remember). Oh, but they have a facebook page! LOL.



Bottom line -- they are doing it right! Everything -- taste, flavor, robust, hearty, and it's all there. The nuances of the flavor, ingredients, and it's all put together very well. This is a relatively new gem in Piermont and people are flocking there.



Try it. I will go back without question. A new favorite of mine.


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Speaking of Piermont, I heard that Piermont Pizza, which was one of the few places around that had a great slice of pizza, has changed hands and converted into a pub. So there goes a good place for a couple of great slices of pizza! Too bad.

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Heading back to O Lar...going to be in Piermont quite a bit, so O Lar is set...and another night I am heading over to Nyack to enjoy another night at Velo...was there recently and as always everyone enjoyed it. The same clients and I recently had dinner at Savini and La Vera Cucina...so the Italian food has been flowing and very good...

 

A couple I know went to O Lar last week...and they loved it. He's "in the business" and they both enjoyed all the food, flavors and tastes...

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Piermont Pizza?????

 

That IS a loss.

 

Not sure what you are referring to...but, regardless, Piermont Pizza had been for sale for a long time (possibly on/off, I don't know the details). It was no secret. I am on an email list of a business broker for bars/clubs/restaurants/etc., and I just looked -- it was first on the market (publicly) in Feb. 2012. It was advertised as the only pizzeria in Piermont with a beer and wine license. It also said "owner financing available" (just a side note). I think the price was about $125,000 -- I don't remember because I wasn't interested.

 

Anyway, now the Piermont Pub is open -- they are running a lot of specials, promotions, etc., as you would expect. They are offering "specialty pizzas" and there's a flat-bread section on the menu as well. I'll be in Piermont a couple of times over the next week or two, so maybe I'll stop in for a drink and see what's what.

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  • 2 years later...

OK...yes, it is not in NJ...also, it is in Piermont, which is right on the water, so it's not like it borders NJ...but...it is Rockland County, which borders Bergen County...and, it is close enough...and without question...worth the drive! Period.

 

This place deserves its own thread/post, here in the NJ room, and many people from Northern NJ, Bergen County, etc., who enjoy very good food, do look to and go to some of the nice restaurants in Rockland County. O Lar is the real deal. Period. I posted about it on the NY board a couple of years ago, but I just had dinner there last night and wanted to post here.

 

This place is a very small, almost enigmatic restaurant. It is "off the radar" to some extent, but it has a very strong following and reputation. If you google the place, read up on it, you will read a few knocks about a few things -- making a reservation, having to wait, even the owner being a bit rude at time -- but, keep reading. It doesn't matter, LOL. Why? Some of what you read is embellished and sour grapes, but that's a discussion for another time. Let's get to it.

 

This place is excellent!!! "Cute" decor, very small. Not fine-dining, but fine food. There are some soccer clubs, national soccer banners/flags throughout the throughout the restaurant. There are different size/material tables, set up and laid out differently depending on the reservation schedule. It is a somewhat of a cozy, a bit cramped, but very nice little place. Yes, it can be cramped, but they will do their best to make sure you are comfortable. There's a bar there, but it's more for sitting and waiting, enjoying some sangria/wine, etc. -- but it's not a let's hang out at the bar kind of bar. They do not serve regular drinks/alcohol -- sangria, wine and beer only.

 

Arrive, walk in the front door and that's it. There is the end of a table right there. It is a bit of a tight squeeze to get by that table and a column, so that you can get to the other tables, but that too is fine. So, it's small...did I mention that? LOL. Deal with the parking or lack of, deal with waiting for a table and the difficulty making a reservation, and don't expect a beautiful, romantic view of the river. You are going here for the food, although it is a "nice" experience as well. Small, cozy, fun if you are into different types of fun, and don't forget the food.

O Lar is right on Piermont Avenue, next door to the recently closed Portofino. They only have 6 to 9 tables or so, depending on how it's set up and the reservation schedule. Last night they had a table for 8 and the rest (7 more, were tables of 2, and one was for 4). Now, onto the menu -- throw together Spanish, Basque, some Italian, and a hint of Mediterranean, and you will get pasta, seafood, steak, fish, along with a few others, a bit of this and that, and so on! What you have is an eclectic, unique menu -- ranging from salmon, to paella, to brick oven pizza, to unique pasta/sauces, ceviche, octopus, calamari, and "Spanish fries" and much more. Everything is well laid out, explained, and has the personal flair of the owner, Michael. Some refer to him as a mad scientist -- so be it -- he does it, does it excellent, and you enjoy it. Last night everything was excellent, as it always is. I've been going to this place regularly for a couple of years now. A lot of flavor and taste. The owner is in the kitchen, his son is taking orders, describing specials, they are both meeting and greeting people, and who knows what else. Michael is now more in the kitchen than anything and that's where is excels. The menu is broad -- as in the offerings above -- there's excellent depth and scope, but it is also nice and short. The specials, are special -- and there was several. A lot of ingredients, layers of, and a lot of flavors and tastes.

Last night when I saw the specials I knew it was going to be an amazing night. The special pizza was excellent -- sausage, smoked mozzarella, buffula mozzarella, broccoli rabe, and more. Excellent flavor, taste. There is a stone/brick oven type pizza in the corner of the kitchen. O Lar is known for these various pizzas -- with all types of toppings, from the traditional to the eclectic. We also had the scallop ceviche, with chopped onions, prepared in a full of taste, yet light, lemon, light buttery, herb, vinaigrette. Can't describe it, but if you like ceviche -- get it! We also had the calamari -- and this is Michael's version of calamari -- lightly, but perfectly fried, thin-cut, served with an organic tomato dipping sauce and another sauce, a bit orange and full of flavor! I don't know what it is, but it was great! I liked it better than the tomato sauce.

We also had the pappardelle, which was served with a touch of fresh ricotta, parmesan, and a short-rib ragout...flavor on top of flavor, taste on top of taste, not overpowering, excellent balance, came together perfectly...and simply excellent!

Every dish was super. The regular menu has more than enough -- but the specials were really something. I forgot to take a picture of the menu, but even if I did, I don't know how to post pictures here, LOL.

I can go on and on. Here's some details you should know:

1) No website.

2) No menu online.

3) Cash only.

4) Sangria, wine, and beer only (limited beer, foreign, specialty, unique, whatever you want to call it, but there is no focus on beer. The wine list is extensive, but focused on foreign as well -- Spanish, a few Italians, etc.).

5) Make a reservation! Call in advance.

They do have a Facebook page.

Bottom line -- they are doing it right! Everything -- taste, flavor, robust, hearty, and it's all there. The nuances of the flavor, ingredients, and it's all put together very well.

Try it. It is a favorite of mine.

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In spite of all that, you enjoyed it.

 

Sounds like a great discovery, although I can see why some elements would be off-putting.

 

Paul, personally, I never found any of those issues a problem for me. People complain there is no website. I get it. I don't have a problem with it -- the owner's decision. Small place, he's booked, over-booked, solid, every night, has a waiting list, etc. His call that he doesn't need one. The cash only deal is a problem for people -- it is not on the menu (I don't think). It might be on their Facebook page. So, some people say it surprised them, caught them off-guard, etc. I get that. No menu online -- same same, owner's call. Parking -- well, people complain about Ridgewood, Montclair, and so on. I get it. It's the price of living, dining, experiencing, etc., Northern NJ, and in this case Piermont.

 

Like Yogi Berra had said -- no one goes there anymore because it's too crowded. LOL.

 

The owner, Michael, somewhat marches to beat of his own drum. He's a self-expressionist and I get that. He loves doing what he's doing and he's not into a lot of other stuff. I've read he can be stand-offish, and has been a bit curt with people who complain or whatever. I've never experienced that. It's hard to get a reservation -- but -- that's the same with plenty of places. He does the best he can to accommodate people, and there are two sides to every story, LOL. So, maybe he can be, maybe he isn't...I've never found that.

 

O Lar is one of my favorite places...without question. I go often and I very much enjoy it every single time! Saturday night was a gastro-experience and it was excellent!!!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Another recent trip to O Lar...excellent!!! As always. Crowded, as always. Worth it? Absolutely, as always!!!

 

Highlights were the pappardelle with a lamb ragout, busting with flavor, taste -- perfectly executed. I decided to go with the paella -- and Michael's (the owner/chef) version of it is excellent. We also had his version of the meat-lovers pizza -- perfectly thin, delicate, but just sturdy enough crust, with just the right balance, loaded with flavor from the various meats -- this was excellent. I am not a thin crust pizza fan, but I've ordered one of the pizza's here almost every time I go, and every time it is excellent! White sangria was delicious, service excellent and overall just another very enjoyable experience. Michael and O Lar are simply a gem in the gastro-community of Rockland County.

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