Page 13 - The Valley Table - January/February 2021
P. 13

                                 MEET THE MEADS OF THE HUDSON VALLEY
Made with fermented honey and water, mead is thought to be the oldest alcoholic beverage in existence. It’s also one of the rising trends in the Hudson Valley craft beverage scene, thanks in part to its diverse flavors and varieties. Here are three bottles to try the trend. —Sierra Guardiola
Slate Point Meadery Honeybee
Made in the traditional style with just honey, water, and yeast, this mead showcases raspberry blossom honey from Howland’s Honey in Berkshire, NY, for a slightly sweet, floral taste. Poughkeepsie;
Royal Meadery New York Apple Cyser
A semi-sweet, wine-strength, still mead, this apple version is made with New York State wildflower honey and fresh pressed apple cider. Delmar;
Mysto Meads Basil Mint
This dry, complex, flagship mead drinks like a fine white wine with light citrus notes that pair well with many foods. Carmel;
As COVID-19 promises to transform almost all aspects of the restaurant industry, the inequity of gratuity-
based compensation is once again at the forefront of some Hudson Valley restaurateurs’ minds. In New York State, labor laws prevent front-of-house employees who provide direct service to customers, like waitstaff, bartenders, and bussers, from sharing tips with the chefs, cooks, and dishwashers in the back of house.
“A waiter can open a $100 bottle of wine and get tipped 18 to 20 percent, but he didn’t do anything extra. The kitchen guy doesn’t have that luxury,” says David DiBari, chef and owner of The Cookery and The Parlor in Dobbs Ferry, as well as the recently opened Bus at Salinger’s Orchard in Brewster. Since 2018, DiBari’s restaurants have added a 3% “Kitchen Share” fee to diners’ bills to bridge the pay gap.
At Bia in Rhinebeck, the pandemic incentivized owner Kyle Kelley to eliminate tipping in favor of an automatic 20% service charge. “We didn’t want to ask tipped workers to come back for $7.50 an hour, risking their health and the health of their families during a pandemic,” explains Kelley. “This model guarantees some measure of income security, regardless of how busy it may be on a given night. We are asking our staff to follow all sorts of new protocols. A higher hourly wage is commensurate with those duties.”
When Chef Constantine Kalandranis rebranded 8 North Broadway in Nyack and 273 Kitchen in Harrison to The Greekish meze bar, he also eliminated tipping. The front-of-house staff is now comprised of four managers, who
earn higher wages. Optional gratuities go into a bonus-and-promotion
fund. “Everyone gets paid well,” says Kalandranis. “The bonus program [helps cover the cost] if they get a promotion or paid vacation.”
—Samantha Garbarini
Kyle Kelley
       David DiBari
  Constantine Kalandranis

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