CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Sala On Hudson, Croton's newest restaurant, opened Saturday evening. The inter-regional Spanish restaurant and tapas bar is at 44 Maple St., Croton, and is open nightly for dinner.
"When I was in college I was fortunate enough to study a semester in Spain, and fell in love with it," said Michael Jannetta, co-owner of Sala On Hudson, also known as "Sala de Espana." Jannetta's first visit to Spain was to the centuries-old military city of Segovia, about 60 miles northwest of Madrid.
Sala, which means "living room," is co-owned by Jannetta and his wife, Shahla; the chef; and another partner. Jannetta also owns Sala One Nine, on 19th Street in Manhattan, and Rye House, on 17th Street in Manhattan.
Sala On Hudson is modeled after Shahla and Michael Jannetta's first "Sala" restaurant in the Bowery, which they operated for 13 years. The pair now live in Garrison, N.Y., and have two children.
The Sala On Hudson menu was crafted by a Valencian chef, with whom Michael Jannetta still staysd in close contact. Currently, the restaurant is headed by Greg Johnson, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who worked under celebrity chef Mario Batali and cooked at Fresco By Scotto in midtown Manhattan.
As a consequence of the Valencian chef who crafted the original menu, Jannetta said, paella, the Spanish rice dish, remains one the specialties. However, a dish that diners may not find everywhere is Sala's garlic shrimp, Gambas al Ajillo.
Jannetta said the famed Andalucian dish is authentic and fills a hole in Spanish cuisine in America. "Spanish restaurants are scared to do it right in the United States," Jannetta said.
Brunch, lunch and craft cocktails are additions Jannetta said he's hoping to incorporate in the future. Tapas' prices range from $5 to $12, and entrées are up to $23.
The restaurant is bringing as many as 20 full-time jobs to the village. Jannetta said he still is looking for experienced bartenders, table busers and runners. Shahla Jannetta said she spotted the former Tapas 44 location, before her husband became interested.
"I actually saw the space before my husband found out about it," she said, adding that she thought it was still open because of the tables and chairs left by previous owners.
The restaurant is open Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. The bar offers a buy one, get one happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on draft beer, sangria and Spanish wines. Ladies night out is Thursday evenings starting at 7:30. For more information, call Sala at 914-862-4100.