The American Dream with a Local Twist West Main is a Piece of SoHo in Wappingers Falls
Feb 26, 2016 12:30PM
● By Christina Macchiarola
Anthony Michelin and Steven Wrobel
The American Dream is all about achieving success through hard work and determination. For Anthony Michelin and Steven Wrobel, that dream became a reality when they took a chance on opening a restaurant together.
When West Main Kitchen and Bar opened in Wappingers Falls, NY, its fun and eclectic menu changed a town’s perspective on healthy eating. Using natural, local and gluten-free foods, the restaurant turns wholesome dishes into blissful experiences that have customers—local and nonlocal—coming back again and again. Having West Main in Wappingers Falls is like bringing a piece of SoHo up north.
Michelin and Wrobel found a way to connect their passions in a way that benefits their partnership. As executive chef, Michelin works on creating the menu, which changes twice a year, and he’s more involved in the back of the restaurant. Wrobel, the restaurant manager, works on the drink menu and deals with the business side of the operation, such as the servers, the paperwork and the front end, which includes a 50-seat dining room and an upstairs banquet room for parties.
As Michelin’s wife is gluten intolerant, he knows how important it is to offer gluten-free dishes and other options for people with special dietary needs. Some of West Main’s customers will leave their name on a card stating their food allergies or restrictions, and Michelin will keep it in the kitchen for when they return.
Michelin recently took some time to talk to us about how he and Wrobel create their distinctive fare and help support local farms.
How do you come up with your menu?
Steve and our families often go out to eat to observe the foods around us. We love to change the menu and bring in new and creative ideas to add flare to the flavors and the different collaborations of food. We are big on Latin and Mexican flavors, and we’ve even started to add some Brazilian flavors to the menu for the coming year. If I see something that I like that is popular at the time, I’ll throw a bit of a Spanish twist on it. It’s good to challenge yourself as a chef. It’s very easy to get bored of the menu, especially if you’re making it. It’s good to keep you on your feet, trying new things that maybe I wouldn’t cook normally.
Why do you favor locally sourced ingredients?
If you’re using local produce, it puts money back into the community, and you’re investing your time and your money back into where you live and where you work when you have your business. People like to see that.”
How do you source your ingredients?
We purchase our meats from Hudson Valley Cattle Company in Woodridge, New York. We buy from farms in the area for their local, antibiotic-free, hormone-free chicken. Our steaks and short ribs are all-natural and hormone-free, as well as our wild salmon, which comes from Hunts Point, located in New York City. We purchase our seafood out of Brewster from Ace Endico, and the majority of their greens and other seafood comes from Pennsylvania. I don’t like what is being done to meat nowadays, and I know that people will pay for a local product that tastes better too. You can definitely taste the difference in antibiotic-free foods … I try to get things here and there to find a balance of natural and organic. I try to find a balance of what people can pay for in the area … The desserts are all made in-house with the help of our staff. The flavor of the dessert menu changes throughout each season. In the fall, we purchase most of our fruits from Meadowbrook Farm in Wappingers Falls.
What’s your end goal for West Main Kitchen and Bar?
If you do it right, success will come.
West Main Kitchen and Bar
New American cuisine
2710 W. Main St.
Wappingers Falls, NY
Christina Macchiarolais lives in Wappingers Falls. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and is a freelance food writer. Connect with her at [email protected]