York: Armoury Square, Syracuse NY
Chef John D’Amore at the York in Armory Square has impeccably tailored his menu to praise meat and seafood using unorthodox pairings of fresh, seasonal and local produce. His menu is honest, raw and confident, and I knew this the moment I saw that Bone Marrow was incorporated.
Bone Marrow is forthright.
Sitting there, scraping the inside of bone for more fat, more juice, as some is already dripping down your wrist to your arm, you are forced to accept a feeling inside of yourself that leans toward savagery. Now, bone marrow with cran-apple chutney? It seems too rehearsed, taking away from the honesty of the marrow; a side-note to give the marrow appeal to the novice. It shouldn’t work, just as mussels and blue cheese shouldn’t work. The York is unorthodox, plates leaning towards not-kosher, something elementally wrong, which in its confidence and the ease of notes on the palette creates something that somehow belongs, a new voice which is praised among the traditional concepts that Syracuse has held onto for a long enough time.
I had the pleasure to talk to Chef D’Amore about his take on Modern American cuisine and how he is changing the landscape of Syracuse’s restaurant scene. His unorthodox pairings of blue cheese and mussels, of chutney and marrow, all serve to compliment the palette.
How Has Syracuse been accepting your menu?
“They love it. It’s new. The people here are used to traditional Italian. They love the concept of modern american.”
The chutney juxtaposed to the bone marrow, the blue cheese and the mussels, it is off the beaten track of Syracuse’s usual plates. The ingredients you choose highlight the bone marrow and the mussels, as the chutney brings a sweetness to the palette which pairs well with the savory marrow-
“I try to hit all points of the palette, the sweet, you’ll be feeling that in the back of your palette, and with the saltiness, it creates a balance.”
How have you incorporated fresh ingredients from Syracuse? I ordered the Lobster bisque, and you actually changed your dish to Lobster and Corn Chowder because you had seen that fresh corn was available from Rives farm, which is where you obtain a large amount of your fresh produce. Do you change your dishes often to reflect new produce that is made available to you?
“Yeah, every Saturday morning I’m at the market buying whatever great produce I can find and I immediately add it to the dishes.”
To keep with the honesty of the food in your restaurant, will you be keeping things seasonal? The marrow comes with cran-apple chutney, will that change?
“For fall, we are keeping the bone marrow on the menu, but we’re staying seasonal so we will be changing that to pear and fig for the fall.”
The York has an eclectic ambiance suggesting a Chelsea influence. Its decor carries an industrial chic vibe with refined elements; a poured concrete bar, chandeliers and wicker chairs with lounge-style seating. Like many things about this restaurant, the addition of a new voice in the culinary scene against the old steak houses and Italian restaurants crowding Syracuse is an honest rendition of what Syracuse’s restaurant scene has been waiting for. Lying back on a wicker chair after eating as many courses as I was allowed to order without the waiter becoming concerned of my protein intake, I saw the vision that Chef John D’Amore and Owner Danny Vault had in mind when bringing the York to Armory Square; a candid and thoughtful, distinct and delicious new restaurant.
If you go:
247 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY; (315) 701-0636
Type of food: Modern American
Sun. – Closed
Mon-Wed. LUNCH: 11:00AM-2:00PM
DINNER: 4:00PM-12:00AM (Kitchen open until 10:00PM)
Thurs-Sat. LUNCH: 11:00AM-2:00PM
DINNER: 4:00PM-2:00AM (Kitchen open until 11:00PM)
Sit Down/Take Out/Both: Sit Down