Photos courtesy of Jensen DiBattista
This popular Rockland County eatery has revamped its concept, introducing chef-led tasting menus and creative interpretations of bar classics.
With a modern industrial aesthetic, the DVine Bar in Sparkill welcomes customers for a totally unique dining experience. From the atmosphere to the evening four-course tasting menu, the restaurant strives to keep its food delicious and distinctive.
before 2021, DVine Bar mostly served pub fare like burgers, sandwiches, fries and sliders. However, during the pandemic, owner Robert Joseph Printz decided it was time to rebrand the restaurant.
“I had an idea to shorten my employees’ work week, and I knew the only way we could do it was by shortening the menu,” says Printz. “I didn’t want to limit the variety of dishes for our customers, so we came up with the idea of having a menu that changes every two weeks.”
The four-course menu is created by Executive Chef and three-time Chopped Champion, Chris Holland. Holland joined DVine Bar in 2014 and has worked there ever since.
Of course, his culinary journey has been long and full of challenges. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2009, Holland decided he wanted to spend his time in the kitchen. Cooking food for others allows him to be creative, passionate and give back to the community.
Heavily influenced by his childhood in Fort Lee, NJ, Holland’s food combines many Asian flavors and techniques. Despite his penchant for elaborate and elegant meals, Holland still loves to cook up greasy bar dishes like burgers and bacon sliders.
Holland is always looking for new ideas for the ever-changing tasting menu. Of course, he is always looking for new dishes and novel flavors that go well together.
“One of the things I’m committed to is that every course has a vegan or vegetarian option,” says Holland. “The tasting menu allows me to dig deeper and invest more time in each individual dish.”
The DVine Bar’s four-course tasting menu offers plenty of customization. In addition, customers can choose between three different dishes for each course. For example, shrimp kumquat salad, smoked lentil tostada, and lobster bisque could be options for first courses. Then, savor second-course dishes like scallop and pork dumplings, polenta with porcini mushroom ragu, and garlic parmesan wings.
After that, customers can choose from the third course of the menu. These include dishes like winter squash korma, butter-poached lobster tail and beef tataki. Just when customers are starting to feel full, it’s time for course four. For the fourth course of this tasting menu, the restaurant offers hearty main courses. Previous fourth courses include halibut piccata, chicken parmalade, and ossobucco cassoulet.
Typically, Holland’s menus include a vegetarian or vegan option. However, special accommodations for vegan guests can be set up (with advance notice).
Although the set price for the tasting menu is $85 per person, Printz recognizes that this may not be feasible for everyone. Recently, the Sparkill Chef spot offered reduced prices on certain days. Stay tuned to social media for similar announcements.
Customers can add a matching drink to each course (additional cost). A coalition of Printz, DiBattista and their resident bartenders are crafting the drinks menu. Enjoy unique flavor combinations with premium wines, sake, beer and specialty cocktails.
“Working with Chris on a daily basis has really opened my eyes to food and drink pairing,” says DiBattista. “Drinks and food can somehow be one and make the experience even more enjoyable for customers.”
After feedback from customers who had missed some of the old dishes at DVine Bar, Printz and Holland hosted pub nights on Tuesdays. Popular dishes on the pub’s menu include duck wings, teriyaki broccoli bites, nachos, bacon sliders and shepherd’s pie.
While DVine Bar’s menu changes frequently, the restaurant uses locally sourced meats and produce year-round. For example, the restaurant always sources its duck from D’Artagnan Farm in Pawling. An advantage of the tasting menu is that Holland can always prepare dishes with fresh and seasonal ingredients.
“Customers get a good taste of the DVine Bar because we keep it interesting by constantly changing it. We are now offering better quality food and ingredients, which keeps the menu interesting for customers while also freeing up time away from the restaurant for my staff.”
The DVine Bar offers a balanced mix of fine dining and fried food to satisfy the desires of a wide variety of guests.
The restaurant is currently working on a New Jersey-style fried hot dog menu. The special “ripper” menu is for delivery only. Choose between 100 percent Wagyu beef and Beyond Vegan dogs. Then customers choose their mustard, toppings, and whether they want it fried or not.
“The concept was inspired by Chris’ roots growing up in Fort Lee with Hirams and Callahans very close by,” says Jensen DiBattista.
A rotating menu and an emphasis on seasonal food and drink pairings encourage repeat visits. You never know what you’ll discover in Sparkill.
Also see: Flores Tapas Bar spotlights shareable Spanish dishes in Wappingers Falls