No words can possibly describe the Wild Hive Skillet Polenta with Eggs and sauteed greens. The menu offered “sunny side up”, but the server offered them whichever way I fancied, so I took them scrambled and they were cooked to perfection: lightly buttery and moist. Was there cheese in the Polenta? Who knows? There was something magical in there, whatever it was, that made me feel like going straight to the Blue Barn and spending $36 on an antique red silk dress from Shanghai. Last time I did that it was the biscuits and gravy from Diner in Williamsburg, and two dresses from Pima Boutique in the Girdle Factory on Bedford Avenue… circa 2001. Remarkable dining experiences that make me go shopping are as rare as rent-stabilized apartments.
There’s now a jar in the corner of the Upstate Dispatch office labelled Phoenica Diner Fund where the car repair jar used to be. We’ll be trying everything on the menu in the first month of the New Year because my New Year’s Resolution is to eat more. Starting with the Skillet Polenta and the Roast Beef sandwich, during which the roast beef melted in the mouth amidst the delicately flavored horseradish. If you’d like to know what fuels a sturdy 5-mile run, look no further and the diner is recommended to all cyclists passing through: this meal will see you through at least 30 miles. The Phoenicia Diner sources local ingredients where possible and when those local ingredients run out so do the items on the menu in which they appear, so get there early.
More important, Michael Cioffi, owner of the Phoenicia Diner will appear on my live radio show on WIOX Roxbury, New York, this coming Monday December 15th at 9am wherein we will crunch some data, cogitate and ruminate on what it means to own and run a restaurant in an hour-long show named The Economy of the Kitchen. Tune in.
Phoenicia Diner, 5681 Route 28, Phoenicia, NY 12464. (845) 688-9957.