I had been to New World before, but not in several years. In fact, the last time I was there I was still in my “only eat white foods” phase; my diet consisted of mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, and lots of ice cream (usually cookie dough). This made Ric Orlando’s colorful menu an unappealing one to say the least. After having outgrown that phase (thankfully), I was eager to return to New World to experience it again. What was more was the fact that during my time away Ric Orlando had gone on the Food Network show, Chopped, and won! Dining here again was a must.
As my parents and I walked into the restaurant, we saw the warm orange walls of the dining rooms filled with table tops that are works of art themselves all situated under a deep blue ceiling. Each room is decorated with artwork and souvenirs from around the world, reiterating New World’s global theme and creating a lively atmosphere.
Our table was on a banquet in the corner of the dining area closest to the kitchen. From my seat I had the added pleasure of being able to peak through the windows and see the chefs in action. We immediately placed an order for the blackened green beans, a dish that New World has become known for and one that my dad especially enjoys. We then continued to look over the menu, which I was pleased to find had several vegetarian and vegan options. I ended up ordering the blue corn crusted seitan with tomatillo salsa, brown rice, black beans and seasonal vegetables. My dad ordered the fried calamari and a Vietnamese salad and my mom got the vegan penne a la vodka with red onions, roasted squash and cashew butter.
Along with our green beans appetizer, our server also brought us a complimentary low-fat bean spread with toasted bread to start off with. This spread was absolutely amazing! It had so many levels of flavor and was unlike any spread I had eaten before.
The beans were fantastic in a very different way. Drenched in spices, they delivered a punch of flavor as soon as I put one in my mouth. And it wasn’t just flavor- it was heat. I was thankful to have the bread to calm the intensity in my mouth. And yet, I wouldn’t have reduced the spice at all. It gave the dish impact.
When my seitan dish came out, I was surprised to see how big the portion was! Despite my best efforts, I could not eat more than half. I wanted to, though. The earthy yet almost sweet flavor of the corn crusting paired well with the acidic tomatillo salsa. My only wish was that there was a little more salsa.
My parents both enjoyed their meals as well. My mom was pleased with how much the vodka a la penne tasted like the traditional dish even though this one was vegan.
My dad, who has a weakness for calamari and has tried it many places, ranked New World’s as being about a 8 out of 10 on his scale- an admirable score (so far Jack’s Firehouse in Philadelphia, PA is the only place who’s calamari has gotten a 10). The coconut sauce served with the dish added a sweet note that was different from most other fried calamari. He enjoyed his salad as well, although he thought it could have had more peanuts on it.
While the desserts all sounded fantastic (especially the pomegranate crème brulee), we were too full to order any. The check came to about $26 per person, a good price for the amount of food we received, and I would gladly pay it again.
New World Home Cooking is a truly special addition to the restaurant scene in Saugerties. Ric Orlando takes risks on his menu that make it stand out from others. He has created an establishment that provides a well rounded and unique experience to its patrons.
New World Home Cooking
1411 Rt. 212
Saugerties, NY 12477