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Ca'Mea in the Press

Local eatery, fishery make waves in D.C.

By Tom Casey
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
Friday, September 30, 2011 2:09 AM EDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The movers and shakers of Washington D.C. recently had their chance to get a taste of Hudson as a part of the 10th annual New York Farm Day.

Ca’Mea Ristorante partnered with Local Ocean of Hudson to represent both the state and the city in the nation’s capital, serving dishes to both legislators and constituents.

Ca mea senator Gillibrand

“We're really proud, we were really happy to do it,” said Roy Felcetto, owner of Ca’Mea. “It’s an honor.”

Utilizing fish provided by Local Ocean, and corn and tomatoes from Eger Brothers farm, Ca’mea chefs prepared three dishes for their tasting event menu.

Those attending were able to chose between Cerviche of Dorado, corn salad with Branzino, basil, tomato, scallions, lemon and extra virgin olive oil, and grilled Branzino with fennel-infused olive oil and herbs.

“The use of local ingredients mixed with their international expertise really created a magnificent and delicious dish,” said Local Ocean V.P. Raymond Mizrahi. “The guests kept coming for second and third helpings.”

The Sept. 20 event was hosted by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Greenport, the first New York senator to sit on the Agriculture Committee in almost 40 years.

Farm day was first hosted by Secretary of State and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton. The event offered options from farms and vineyards across the state to bring attention to the state’s vast agricultural industry, and remind legislators to think New York when creating policy.

“The purpose of this event is to show New York is a prime agriculture producer and an agriculture state,” said Roy Ben-Itzhak, CFO of Local Ocean. “We’re very proud to be here.”

Felcetto said he hoped the event would shine a light on the area.

“It’s a great cause,” said Felcetto, “I think it’s really going to help the state the more we let them know where we are and who we are.”

Ben-Itzhak echoed the sentiments for the fish farm, which raises saltwater fish in a fully-contained zero discharge environment.

“Our goal is to show what Local Ocean is about and to raise people’s awareness of what’s going on in Hudson, New York,” said Ben-Itzhak. “Local Ocean is proud to be a part of the Hudson family and to do the pioneering as we go and we look forward to many more events in the future. More

Under the Tuscan Sunset
by B.A. Nilsson on October 13, 2011

The red rays of a picture-book sunset barely penetrated the walled-in garden space in which Ca’ Mea features outdoor dining. The corrugated wall of a tall building obscures one side; fencing and foliage cover another. Each table is umbrella-protected, another light diffuser. But the day of our visit couldn’t have been lovelier, imbuing the patio with the warmth of a balmy Italian countryside.

And the changeability. As the sky darkened, the patio turned gloomy, unsettling. Then a magical thing happened. One of the hosts went from table to table, turning up the flames on the hurricane lamps. Our eyes made their night adjustments. The patio was lovely all over again, this time nighttime lovely. I’ll bet they sell a lot of after-dinner drinks.

Ca’ Mea, a dialect rendering of “casa mea,” is the nearly nine-year-old complex of restaurant and guest rooms (there are nine, spread between two buildings) on a downtown Hudson corner. Owners Roy Felcetto and Max Cenci aim to create a taste of both Tuscan food and hospitality, and Cenci, who doubles as chef, has hands-on experience, so to speak: He also owns a restaurant in his native Cortona, Italy.

The wholly a la carte menu presents manageable numbers of the various courses—typically six or seven choices per—arranged as one would progress through your typical four-hour Tuscan meal. Among the antipasti are a smoked salmon carpaccio ($13), calamari sauté with capers and olives ($11), pancetta-wrapped asparagus ($12) and a grilled vegetable plate ($11) Were this the Italian countryside, the pancetta and veggies probably would be obtained locally. Ca’ Mea splits the difference, so to speak, by importing such items as processed meat while seeking local meats and vegetables.

The day’s appetizer special was ceviche of dorado ($15), laying strips of the rich, citrus-marinated fish atop garlic croutons and golden peppers. Ceviche is essentially a cold-cooked fish, the citrus doing the finishing work while imparting an acidic edge to the flavor. In this case, the flavors blended nicely.

Four salads include an endive-radicchio-arugula mix, arugula with citrus and pecorino, seasonal greens with sun-dried tomato and gorgonzola, and good old Caesar, each $8.50. We ordered a salad special, whose inclusion of pears, cherry tomatoes and gorgonzola boosted its price to $12. No dressing was immediately evident, which proved to be a good thing: The salad was vinaigretteishly anointed with a restrained hand, so the ratio was just right.

Soup of the day ($6.50) was leek. Not cream of. No potatoes. Just leek purée in vegetable stock, a reminder of the charm of simplicity and a celebration of a flavor that’s otherwise always a supporting player.

Homemade pasta figures into most of the pasta offerings, such as linguine with shrimp and shiitake mushrooms ($19), ravioli stuffed with eggplant and ricotta ($18) and gnocchi in pesto ($18). Homemade pappardelle in a shiitake and porcini mushroom sauce ($19) usually would never be my first entrée choice, but I’m trying to cure myself of predictably zeroing in on great big meat dishes. And so for it I went. It proved to be my favorite of the three entrées we sampled. The twisty noodles were an excellent vehicle for the sauce, the deep, earthy flavor of which not only filled the palate exceptionally well but also complemented my glass of deep-hued Montalcino. More

Destination: Hudson Valley

A rural haven nestled between New York City and Albany, is becoming a leading player in the farm-to-table movement.

Published on Oct 6, 2010
By Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

Carlo and Dominique DeVito, the husband and wife vintners who founded Hudson-Chatham Winery.

The Hudson Valley, a rural haven nestled between New York City and Albany, is becoming a leading player in the farm-to-table movement. With a host of restaurants offering locally-sourced produce and a new generation of farmers, cheese-makers and winemakers with a commitment to sustainable agriculture, there's a slew of dining options.

If you need to get out of the city and connect with nature, jump in your car, hop on a train, or grab a Zipcar. Head for Hudson (filled with antique stores and restaurants, and home to a Saturday farmer’s market) and then branch out towards Ghent and Chatham, or explore the Hudson Berkshire Beverage Trail, which borders Massachusetts. Featuring five wineries, a brewery and a distillery, this diverse collection of artisanal producers also offers handmade cheese, estate grown produce and delicious baked goods.

A drive along this route offers scenic views of panoramic vistas between the Berkshires and the Catskills, with glimpses of the majestic Hudson River threading its way through the fertile valley floor. Visit Chatham Brewing for small-batch ales, Brookview Station Winery for their Whistle Stop White, Furnace Brook Winery for their Sparkling Moscatel, Harvest Spirits for their apple-based Core Vodka, Hudson-Chatham Winery for award-winning wines, Les Trois Emme for the unique tasting experience, and Tousey Winery for their delicious Cabernet Franc.


Ca’Mea Ristorante: Chef Max Cenci uses local and imported Italian ingredients to recreate the cuisine of his native Tuscany. All pasta is house-made, and specials may include sweet potato and ricotta ravioli with butter and sage, or lamb chops Milanese with bruschetta topping. A focused otherwise-all-Italian wine list is complemented by selections from Hudson-Chatham Winery. The adjoining Inn at Ca’Mea offers nine stylishly renovated rooms in walking distance of all Hudson has to offer. More

Grape Festival at Ca’Mea in Hudson New York

By Gabe Sasso on November 1, 2010

As you can probably imagine I’ve been to wine tastings of all shapes and sizes, winemaker dinners and the like. Quite frankly I thought I’d experienced every type. That was until I heard about The Grape Festival that was held last week at Ca’Mea Restaurant in Hudson NY. This event was put on by Importer Quintessential Wines in association with the restaurant. Quintessential Wines is an importer of wines that I’ve been familiar with for a number of years. More so I’ve been impressed with their overall portfolio which focuses on family owned and operated wineries the world over. Each of these wineries features not only handcrafted wines, but a good story to boot. So when I heard that they were going to pour 17 of their wines at Ca’Mea in Hudson and pair them with Italian food I was in. Great food and wines with names like La Tunella, New Age, Valentin Bianchi, Simonsig, Two Angels, Koyle, Tinto Figuero, Fratelli, Quinta Do Vallado, and Dead Letter Office? Try to keep me away!

This was to be my first trip to Hudson NY and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. What I found was a charming town with a downtown area that brings to mind old time Americana with a hip, modern flair. All located just off the Hudson River in Columbia County NY. Entering the restaurant I was taken by the homey vibe with Tuscan flourishes. Sure I was in NY, but the warmth of the staff, the ambiance, and the smells coming from the kitchen told me I could have just as easily been in a small town in Italy. Ca’Mea has been in operation for about 8 years. It was started by Roy Felcetto and his partner of late has been Max Cenci from Cortona Italy. His restaurant back in the homeland has been in operation for 18 years and is now run by his family. In addition to dining both indoors and in a courtyard garden Ca’Mea offers lodging. They offer two buildings with accommodations, one right next door and another a block away. Both are older buildings that have been lovingly restored and feature all the modern amenities one would expect from fine, country lodging. I stayed overnight myself and was really taken by the feel of the place as well as how it’s both right in the middle of town, but also serene.

So wine and food you ask, what made this tasting so unique. The host for the evening in addition to the owners of Ca’Mea was Al De Winter from Quintessential Wines. Al has been around wine for quite awhile and what he presented was a real eye opener for the eager group in attendance. The seventeen wines he poured and spoke about each represented a specific grape variety. From white through red and from Pinot Grigio through Petite Sirah, Shiraz and a Moscato D’Asti for dessert and a lot of other stops in between Al hit on 17 grapes, and eight different countries. Speaking about the grapes and their style as well as encouraging everyone to pair the wines with the food that was served seemed to open a lot of eyes. I spoke to some folks who weren’t necessarily wine drinkers but were regulars at Ca’Mea and they thought they’d check out the event. It’s fair to say that a number of people have a new appreciation and understanding of wine from the everyday manner in which Al presented good information about wine and why it works with a variety of foods. The bottom line don’t be afraid to try slightly unusual sounding pairings. The results might please you a great deal.

And speaking of food; oh what food. The items that Max prepared for the tasting were nothing short of sensational. Some of it was quite traditional like Pasta in Bolognese sauce, other things like a roasted apple topped with Mascarpone cheese, truly palate awakening. Potato Croquettes were delicious and addictive. Roasted pork wrapped in Bacon with an applesauce accompaniment was delectable, seasonal and a killer pairing with at least half of the 17 wines. Bottom Line, I didn’t taste a single thing that didn’t make my mouth water. Later on in the evening I had Gnocchi with fresh tomato and basil. There are many places I simply won’t order them because of the industrial tasting, heavy as marbles things that some restaurants try to pass off as Gnocchi. I was confident this wouldn’t be the case at Ca’Mea and boy was I right. Max makes his pastas in house, by hand. The Gnocchi was airy, fluffy and just imbued with the right amount of potato flavors. The fresh sauce, basil and cheese on top the appropriate accompaniment. Having the opportunity to enjoy this dish with a glass of wine talking about food with Max, Roy and Al made the experience all the better. We sat in the courtyard where heat lamps were ready to keep us warm if there had been a chill, but there wasn’t. It was the perfect Indian Summer evening.

Did I mention how homey and terrific the ambiance and welcome at Ca’ Mea are? It’s as hard for me to overstate that as it is easy to see why this absolutely killer restaurant has a dedicated local clientele of regulars, who have become their friends really, eating there night after night. Let me put it another way, I live 100 miles away from Ca’Mea, making it hard for me to be a regular, but I can tell you I’ll definitely make the drive a couple of times a year, at least. If you’re local or travelling through the area I recommend Ca’Mea heartily. If you’re looking for a place to kick up your boots for a night or two, check into one of their rooms and enjoy their hospitality at the table and the Inn. Original Article Here

In a recent story by the American writer Lydia Davis, the narrator describes the precise conditions under which a woman can or cannot drive a car. She cannot drive, for instance, if there are too many clouds in the sky – and she can’t have music playing if there are also passengers in the back. If there are two passengers and also a small caged animal, as well as music playing, she cannot speak while driving. Towards the end of the story, conditions complicate even further until a particular experience comes into focus. “If the man next to her opened his newspaper so wide that its edge touched the gearshift,” she writes, “and the sunlight shone off its pages into her eyes, then she could not speak or listen while trying to enter a large highway full of fast-moving cars, even if there were no clouds in the sky.”

My mind turns to this story when, sitting in the passenger seat of Lydia Davis’s family car on a muggy, cloudless day, our conversation (about the poet John Ashbery, who lives nearby) suddenly stops; Lydia Davis is preparing to park. I think of the story again as we settle down into Ca’Mea, a family-run Italian restaurant in the picturesque town of Hudson in upstate New York, to engage in another everyday feat of multitasking: talking about books while eating lunch. More of the Original Article Here

Excerpt From Every Day in TUSCANY by Frances Mayes - author of Under the Tuscan Sun:

Ca'Mea's Sister Restauant in Tuscany
Frances Mayes Every Day In Tuscany

By one o’clock, rich aromas of chefs’ special sauces drifted from the doorways and we rushed into Santino Cenci’s Trattoria Toscano, suddenly starving. Every day Santino offers a homey specialty, such as veal shank, beef stew, or polpettone, his version of meatloaf that banishes forever my old dorm-food associations with that dish. He makes terrific pici with the classic duck sauce. I’ve never seen it elsewhere, but he makes a leek sauce as well. Santino always comes out to say hello and make sure everyone is eating well. ”Do Americans order pici” I asked him. ”Yes – always the duck. There’s not a picio left on the plate.” Ah, there’s the singular again, which doesn’t legally exist.

Obviously, the local wines go well with pici. Cortona’s hills are attracting big attention among winemakers recently. Of course, this area always had wine – from someone’s Uncle Anselmo’s to the prestigious vineyards Avigonesi and Poliziano, between here and Montepulciano. Now we have several DOC wines and everywhere a new awareness of wines not stored in the family cantina demijohn. With my pici on Liberation Day, however, I told Santino’s son, Massimo, ”I don’t want to drink any wine. Only water. I have work to do.” He rolled his eyes and threw up his hands. In a few minutes he brought over two glasses of wine anyway and we drank them.

Photo from Bringing Tuscany Home by Frances Mayes' - author of Under the Tuscan Sun:

from right to left -
Santino Cenci, Frances Mayes, Massimo Cenci (chef/owner of Ca'Mea), and Max's Polizioto Friend from Italy
Photo by Steven Rothchild

Local Ocean fish hit area restaurants

By Jamie Larson
Saturday, June 12, 2010 2:12 AM EDT
After moving into an abandoned KAZ Inc. warehouse to set up a one-of-a-kind aquaculture farm, Local Ocean has begun to see the fruits, or rather fish, of their labor.

In the past few weeks the fish farm located on Route 9G in Greenport began selling small batches of their aquatic livestock to local restaurants. The business is currently working to expand its operations with the construction of a much larger facility behind the one currently in use.

Local Ocean officials said the first few fish being gobbled up by restaurant patrons is a realization of more than a year of hard work and collaboration between the company and Columbia County agencies.

In the past two weeks Local Ocean dorado and fluke have been served at Warren Street restaurants Ca’mea and Vico in Hudson and Jack’s Oyster House in Albany. Local Ocean has also supplied fish for dinner events at the New York state Governor’s Mansion.

At Ca’mea, manager Brigget Bullard said the Local Ocean fish they’ve served have been extremely well received and they sold out both of their orders. “It’s always great to support local business,” Bullard said. “It has been a hit for us we’ll definitely be ordering again.”
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