By Carolyn Johnson
readers and asked where I should go to research this exciting annual
celebration of local restaurants. Respondents enthusiastically
recommended the modern American cuisine at the one-year-new Aqua Terra Grille in Pearl River. The natural beauty and ambiance is delightful,
and brunch features the freshest seafood and mouth-watering
appetizers, such as the Baked Lobster Mac-n-Cheese and Fiery Asian
Shrimp. We enjoyed the salmon and Omele-Terra, featuring Applewood
bacon, wild mushrooms, sharp Gruyere, and a field green salad. Aqua
Terra combines the elements of water and earth to create a
mouth-watering menu in a relaxing, aesthetically delicious atmosphere.
I met with Stacy Lambos, who owns and manages the restaurant with her
husband. Her family has been in the restaurant business for forty
years, when the Pearl River building was “The Hudson Bay” seafood
restaurant. They also own The Harbor Restaurant in City Island in the
Bronx. They hope their son, who just graduated from Culinary Institute
of America, and is working toward a degree in hospitality in Florida,
joins the business in time.
One year ago, Lambos opened the Aqua Terra Grille, hoping to create a
family friendly atmosphere. They were immediately well received, with
diners and people looking for something beyond the local pubs. While
the restaurant is beautiful, Lambos welcomes casual dress. There is
live music and dancing after 9 pm on Saturday nights, a popular ladies
night out spot, where skini-tinis fly over the bar by the dozens. In
the summer, the restaurant’s open patio is popular for dinner and/or
Aqua Terra Grille is housed in the former home of the founder of Pearl
River, Julius Braunsdorf. In 1864 he purchased his farm and built his
home there. He then built the largest factory around, and brick
tenements to house workers in his sewing machine company. Pearl River
named for the pearl-bearing mussels people found in Muddy Brook.
I found a pearl in celebration of restaurant week. Now I encourage
you to do the same, from March 18-31.
To tell us about your favorite Rockland County restaurant this month,
visit our webpage, or write firstname.lastname@example.org.