- courtesy of Mangalitsa
In 1998, Matt Lombard was looking for a job. He found one at Osteria Pane e Salute, a café and bakery in Woodstock that morphed into a restaurant and recently closed its doors. Twenty years later, after having studied environmental science, worked as a farmer and put in a five-year stint at Twin Farms — an elite inn in nearby Barnard — Lombard will soon open his own restaurant in the former Osteria Pane e Salute space with chef Nick Laurendeau.
Called Mangalitsa after a hairy, Hungarian heritage pork breed and slated to open the last week of September, the restaurant will have an ever-changing menu featuring seasonal products, including those that Lombard produces. In addition to the eponymous pigs, he raises chickens and ducks and grows herbs and flowers.
At the eatery, those products and others from the area will be offered à la carte in the form of small plates and shared entrées, or as part of a prix-fixe tasting menu. The cuisine, Lombard noted, will be "casual fine dining," meaning he'll serve a burger, a ramen bowl and other affordable fare in addition to some pricier offerings.
Mangalitsa will have a liquor license and serve a small selection of cocktails as well as beer and wine. The goal, Lombard said, is to craft drinks one can't find anywhere else in the area. "We want to offer wines that have the potential to showcase the food, while being showcased themselves," he said. "Pairing is a big priority of ours."
While Lombard and Laurendeau don't plan to talk a lot about being farm-to-table, community spirit is embedded in the choices they're making. "Sustainability is not just about the environment," Lombard said, "it's about the community. The best thing you can do is source close to home. I'm willing to stray from organic to support the guy down the road."