Union Restaurant Thrives

union-restaurant001

The Union Restaurant is thriving amidst the worst economic fallout since 1939. Paulo Feteira, the maitre d’hotel, and David Martinez, head chef of Union, have combined their talents to bring about this blast of Euro-Latin fusion cuisine. Paulo and David are together twenty-year veterans of Peter X. Kelly’s Xaviar’s Restaurant and Freelance Cafe of Piermont. The two men’s resumes have ushered up valuable and overwhelming name recognition for Union Restaurant and have poised the Village of Haverstraw to become a regional restaurant destination; evidence of this exists every Friday night when New Jersey license plates line Main Street and Westchesterians are commonplace. The Union is THE anchor restaurant of Main Street.

dsc01169.jpgFine, formal wait service compliments Union’s atmosphere. Service here is impeccable; every plate is served with a new set of utensils, an army of waiters handle your every need. Union Restaurant is located in the historic, brick Pressler Building of New Main in Haverstraw, which was once home to a well-known clothing store that served the Village. Elaborate tin ceilings and a rear skylight harkens back to the gilded age of Haverstraw, when it was the “Brick Making Capital of the World” and when wealthy residents strolled the streets at dusk while they shopped storefront windows. Dark wood, stucco arches, and Latin American patterns and glass-work boast the Spanish subtleties of the menu. In the summer, a large, stone-paved patio is open behind the Pressler Building for plein air/al fresco dining.

dsc01166.jpgUnion offers up fine American cuisine with Latin flare, a wildly unique culinary fusion. None of the entrees are especially heavy and thereby leave room for all a la carte options, appetizer or any of the desserts. The lightly appointed plates, humorous twists of taste, and well-rounded menu make dining here a delight.

Paulo recommends the Arepa Columbian as an appetizer; the combination of sweet mango, moist corn cake, tangy pomegranate vinaigrette and smoky pan-seared shrimp dazzle the palette and raise eyebrows. For dinner, try the Tilapia al Sarten, a panko encrusted fillet served with spinach and whitedsc01180.jpg beans ragout, or the Vaca Frita braised skirt steak. The Chuleta de Puerco is also a favorite; a fine, crispy pork chop still on the bone is served beneath greens and grilled cherry tomatoes. Have the bartender serve up Union’s finest mojito, which is a favorite among many returning patrons. For a taste that is very different, to say the least, order the Yuca Au Gratin. Yes, Yuca is the oh-so-familiar South American root vegetable, and here it is served not unlike French potatoes – talk about fusion. Actually, Paulo himself is a refined combination of French and Latin backgrounds!

When I say the Union is the anchor of Main Street, I mean physically, tastefully, economically, and emotionally. Recently, the restaurant hosted its very own “We Care” event. Doors were held wide open for three days, during which all community members – poor, stable, old, and young – could sample the restaurant’s menu and fill their appetites for free. Union strongly believes that the restaurant has the dsc01171responsibility to support everyone during this economic hardship. Paulo relates the Village to a pond of swimming frogs – the strong frogs support the weak and hoist them up for a breath of air, so everyone can survive, so the Village doesn’t sink. Union Restaurant is giving back to Haverstraw in so many ways, a model that should be followed by all community members.

Union Restaurant has room to serve large parties including and not limited to corporate events, showers, large birthdays, etc. The restaurant will soon host live music on its raised stage in the front dining room.

Hours:

Sunday 12-9pm : Monday Closed : Tuesday-Thursday 12-3pm Lunch, 5:30-10pm Dinner : Friday & Saturday 12-3pm Lunch, 5:30-11pm Dinner

Maitre d’Hotel – Paulo Feteira : Head Chef – David Martinez

Union Restaurant and Bar Latino
22-24 New Main Street
Haverstraw, New York 10927
(845) 429-4354
fax (845) 429-4416

Visit Union Restaurant’s new website at www.unionrestaurant.net for menus and event updates.

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16 thoughts on “Union Restaurant Thrives

  1. I recommend the Union Restaurant in Haverstraw. The food was extraordinary and service was beyond my expectations. The appetizers were the beginning of a wonderful experience especially my choice of Tilapia for my main entree. The Union Restaurant is like no other dining experience in Rockland County and will be the beginning of a successful restaurant row in Haverstraw.

  2. I have gone to Union Restaurant a couple time and have great food and service both times. The best part of the most recent visit was the coconut rice pudding, although it has all been so good, it’s hard to pick. Good Luck with the restaurant, Paolo and David. I hope that other people find you and that you become their new favorite restaurant as well!

  3. This was in the Journal News today about the Pressler Building in Haverstraw. Apparently the Union hosted Mr. Oscar Pressler himself!

    HAVERSTRAW – When Oscar Pressler slowly stepped into a restaurant on New Main Street, his childhood memories rushed through his mind.

    “I swept this floor many times,” said Pressler, of Westport, Conn., motioning to the wooden surface, lighted through a skylight.
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    As he walked toward one of the dining tables in the spacious restaurant, his family members -including his children, a grandson, and a great-grandson -greeted him with a cheer of “Happy Birthday!”

    The restaurant, named Union Restaurant and Bar Latino, is in the building built in 1915 by Pressler’s parents, David and Libby Pressler. At that time, it was a home for Pressler’s retail clothing store. The Pressler family also lived there. Over the years, the building changed hands, and its interior was redesigned, but the basic structure – decorative ceilings, brick walls and floors -remains the same.

    To celebrate Oscar Pressler’s 94th birthday over lunch yesterday, he and his family gathered at the restaurant.

    “I spent most of my youth here,” said Pressler, who moved out of the village in the 1950s when he started a business in Connecticut with his brother, Joseph. “I went to school here in Haverstraw. When I went to school, there was only one building from kindergarten through high school. … I have many fine memories.”

    Pressler’s parents bought the New Main Street property in 1915 and built the current brick building to house Pressler’s Haberdashery on the first floor.

    The Pressler family lived on the second floor.

    When Oscar Pressler was 14, his father, an Austrian native, died of tuberculosis.

    He and his brother worked hard to help their mother run the business, Pressler recalled.

    “We were working at the store, with my mother,” Oscar Pressler said. “We were just working, working and working.”

    As he talked about his days in his old home, Mayor Michael Kohut stopped by to welcome the old-timer.

    Pressler greeted the mayor, who was elected to the position about four months ago, with “Congratulations!”

    “I heard that you were coming here today. This building is historically very important to this village,” Kohut said. “It has been around for a number of years, and it has been through a number of different owners and different businesses.”

    Pressler and Kohut, who is also a Haverstraw native, then discussed the different businesses that were based in the building, which is now owned by Steve Pettipas. The restaurant is owned by Paulo Feteira and David Martinez.

    “We’ve seen a lot of changes. What Paulo and David have done here is wonderful, and it’s a part of the revitalization that we’re hoping to take place throughout the whole village,” Kohut said, referring to the restaurant’s co-owners.

    Kohut handed a framed photo of the building and a certificate to recognize Oscar Pressler and his family’s footprint in the village and their contribution to the community.

    Noel Rappaport, president of A&N Rappaport Lock & Alarm Inc., also joined the occasion to present another certificate, representing Congregation Sons of Jacob. The Presslers had been part of the Haverstraw congregation.

    “We are so happy that his return to our community is for a joyous occasion,” the certificate read, referring to Oscar Pressler. “The congregation and the entire community are looking forward in six years for his return once again to celebrate his centenary.”

    In his birthday speech, Pressler said he never expected to reach his age, but that he was happy to celebrate it.

    “I’m very happy to be able to celebrate my birthday with all of you, and to be able to return to the scenes of my childhood, so to speak,” Pressler said. “I spent many happy years in this building, some not so happy ones, but that’s part of it.”

    And he added: “It’s a very nice reincarnation.”

  4. It’s so good, and such a fine atmosphere. I love union restaurant – it really is a bright spot in the Village!

  5. 97? A LONG LIFE! There’s a little trend where those who lived in Haverstraw have incredibly long lives. My great grandfather died when he was 99 (he lived on West Street), and my great aunt lived to over 102. Amazing.

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