Angelo Rubino, owner of the Two Spear Street restaurant in Nyack, hired an executive chef in 2010 and gave him permission to change the menu. The chef soon replaced every entree except one.
Angelo had done much the same thing in 2007, a couple of years after he bought the restaurant, then called Lena's. He closed the eatery for one day, changed its name to Two Spear Street, and replaced the classic Italian food on the menu with contemporary American dishes.
The new executive chef, Kyle Rubino, 22, is a recent graduate of Southwestern New Hampshire University's culinary school in Manchester—and let us hasten to add that he was quite familiar with Two Spear Street and its patrons when he changed the menu. He first worked there as a dishwasher and later as a waiter while attending Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, NJ. He was also, as you may have surmised, Angelo Rubino's son.
Kyle Rubino had only a causal interest in food growing up in Wesley Hills in Rockland County; he liked cooking omelets, barbecuing and fixing his own lunch. But his favorite pastime activity was playing Little League baseball—he played catcher and third base for a travel team.
But food was important to the Rubino family when Kyle was in his teens. His father Angelo owned a catering business called Continental Caterers located in the Comfort Inn in Nanuet, NY; he also catered events at a nearby golf club and in 2005 bought Lena's. While in high school, Kyle worked at all three of his dad's establishments at one time or another, sometimes in the kitchen and other times as a waiter.
Angelo Rubino has worked in the catering industry since 1975. He started Continental Caterers in 1991 and moved the business to the Comfort Inn in Nanuet, NY in 1996. He currently owns The Nyack Seaport, a catering facility capable of hosting affairs for up to 200 attendees.
Angelo's other son, 21-year-old Trevor, is in charge of the front of the house at Two Spear Street. He was an undergraduate at the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT where he was enrolled in the Hotel and Restaurant Management program. He is now attending the Hotel/Resort Management school at The College of Westchester in White Plains.
Daughter Valicitie Rubino, general manager, graduated from Albertus Magnus High School in Bardonia, NY, worked in an executive capacity at Bloomingdale's and joined the restaurant staff five years ago. She is currently enrolled in a hospitality management program at NYU in New York City.
Kyle says the most popular dishes at Two Spear Street include:
- Stuffed Chilean sea bass filled with roasted tomatoes and arugula and served with potato parsnip puree and lemon caper cream sauce
- Stuffed veal oscar filled with crab and asparagus and served with porcini mushroom, mashed potatoes and Bearnaise sauce
- St. Louis style ribs with corn on the cob, potato salad and corn bread
The current winter menu includes whole baked Branzino ($21), crab and scallop ravioli ($21), Osso Bucco ($24), citrus poached sole ($24), seafood Bouillabaisse ($25), Milanese veal chop ($25), pan seared New York strip sirloin pepper steak ($26), grilled rib eye steak ($27), New Zealand rack of lamb ($28), carmelized sea scallops ($28) and fillet mignon ($29).
Appetizers range from salads and calamari to Maine lobster tail. Popular desserts include molton chocolate cake and an apple empanada.
An expansive terrace now under construction will permit al fresco dining with a view of sailboats navigating the Hudson River when warmer weather arrives.
Two Spear Street serves dinner on Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Two Spear Street, 2 Spear Street, Nyack, NY. 845-353-7733. www.twospearstreet.com