Sister Act

I'm not the best at philosophy and logic but I know a few things. I love Italian food. I love the Hudson River. Therefore, I love Italian food near the Hudson River, which , in its newest form, can be found at Red Zebra in Sleepy Hollow.

The sister restaurant of Sweetgrass Grill in Tarrytown, Red Zebra folds in nicely to downtown Sleepy Hollow. Sweetgrass is a casual, farmer's kitchen with locally sourced ingredients where Red Zebra, which also sources from local farms, focuses on an Italian menu in a more polished setting of dark, sleek tables and exposed brick walls, evoking a trattoria feel. 

The drink menu has unusual takes on classic drinks for example, rum and Coke. Using Italian soda, campari, rum, lime and orange juices, the drink becomes a more refreshingly refined version of itself. Currently I am drying out for January so the knowledgeable bartender Elaine suggested a yet to be printed mocktail: their variant of a Creamsicle. Using soda, a mango strawberry syrup and almond milk (trust me, it's good) I had a satisfying start to my meal. Elaine said it could be made with regular milk as well, showing their eagerness to please a wide array of guests.

The menu follows a pizza/pasta/entree set up with some twists on favorites. My root vegetable gnocchi were wonderfully colorful and al dente and topped with crisp kale chips and tender sauteed mushrooms. The braised oxtail ragu with a perfectly poached egg over papardelle that my friend ordered was saucy, deep and (thanks to an oozing egg yolk) creamy.  I already have one return visit planned to solely try this dish. Some of the dishes can be made gluten free or vegan with separate pasta but there are also vegan friendly entrees like stuffed poblano pepper with quinoa, mustard greens, mushrooms and sofrito.  It was nice to see that options existed and that substitutions could be made but the staff needs to be better informed on the difference between vegan versus vegetarian. They were extremely eager to accommodate but to prevent confusion it would help if employees had prior knowledge on this topic.

We received some complimentary zeppole from our server which were thick, doughy pockets topped with lemon that was more floral than citrus. It reminded of my great aunt's addicting pizelles, you can't stop at one bite. Logic says that we liked the food, we enjoyed the service, therefore we will be back. Until the next dish, ciao!