Having been part of Rye’s landscape for 15 years, Town Dock at 15 Purdy Avenue is home to many loyal patrons.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Having been part of Rye’s landscape for 15 years, Town Dock at 15 Purdy Avenue is home to many loyal patrons. Having been in the business since he was 15-years-old, owner Anthony DeLuca knows a thing or two about good, old-fashioned food and hospitality. The restaurant’s warm, casual atmosphere and piping hot comfort food are especially welcome in the middle of winter.
Traditional dishes are the popular eatery’s staples. Chicken pot pie, with a flaky crust and fresh vegetables, and Guinness beef stew with buttered noodles and baby carrots are two patron favorites. Mom’s Meatloaf is better than ever. “Instead of slicing it, we serve it whole, so it’s even juicier,” said DeLuca. Serving it with buttermilk onion rings is the pièce de résistance.
DeLuca attributes his restaurant’s success and longevity to “consistency and hard work.” He said, “We put out a good, quality product at reasonable prices and Rye’s a wonderful town, where everybody is so supportive.”
He also remarked that the influx of restaurants keeps all the eateries in town on their toes. He and Chef José Avelar, who has worked there for seven years, are always coming up with ways to improve dishes. This year, they won the Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the Rye Chamber of Commerce. Their secret? “We presented the traditional chili that we always serve at the restaurant,” said DeLuca. “It has the right combination of meat with the right amount of sweetness and spiciness. It’s the simplicity that everybody loves.”
Town Dock regulars also love the amicable, accommodating staff, a few of whom have worked there from the start. The old tavern feel, its nautical theme, red-checkered tablecloths, paper table covers, and wooden booths are part of the appeal.
Signature appetizers on the menu include cheddar-bacon potato jackets, Maryland crab cakes, and garlic shrimp, which Avelar makes sure are “sizzling and bubbling” when they get to the table. There are plenty of soups and salads to accompany the Dock 8-ounce charbroiled burger on an English muffin. As far as their sandwiches, DeLuca proudly stated that, “The beef brisket is always lean and tender, and the roast beef is always rare.”
In addition to fish, pasta, chicken, and steak entrees, Town Dock offers Tavern Specials for lunch or dinner. For $21, patrons have their choice of the chicken pot pie, meatloaf, or stew, as well as, fish tacos, fish and chips, or cavatelli with sweet Italian sausage and broccoli rabe. All come with soup or salad.
Coming soon is a new menu that will include gluten-free and heart-healthy selections. That said, make sure to pop in on Monday nights for 25-cent wings!
Town Dock is open Monday–Saturday from 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; and Sunday from 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Call 967-2497 or visit ryetowndock.com.
Hanger Steak with Mushrooms
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced into large pieces
Freshly ground pepper
Coarsely cracked black pepper
4 T. unsalted butter
1½-pound hanger steak, trimmed and pounded to ½-inch thickness
3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
16-inch rosemary sprig
1 c. dry red wine
¾ c. low-salt chicken stock
2 T. chopped fresh tarragon
Heat two tablespoons oil in heavy skillet. Add mushrooms, stirring occasionally until soft and golden, about seven minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Melt one tablespoon butter with remaining one tablespoon oil in the same skillet over medium heat.
Season steak with salt and cracked pepper. Add steak, garlic, and rosemary to skillet. Cook about three minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to cutting board; discard garlic and rosemary.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet. Add wine, stirring up bits until reduced to ¾ cup, about three minutes. Strain and return liquid to skillet. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to ½ cup, about five minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in three tablespoons butter. Stir together mushrooms and one tablespoon tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve thinly sliced steak over mushrooms and garnish with remaining tablespoon of tarragon.