From the Hudson Register-Star, August 19, 2006

01_DSCF0390Vico Restaurant & Bar, which opened for business earlier this summer, will celebrate the granting of its liquor license and full operation with a ribbon-cutting August 24 at 5PM.

Vico has already made a name for itself with customers for its inventive take on the cuisine of northern Italy’s Tuscany region as well as its relaxed atmosphere, which includes a deck and garden. This month, the 65-seat restaurant added a full bar and a complete list of Italian wines by the bottle and glass to its offerings. Says Chef-Owner Mark Ganem, “We’re delighted to be able to offer a full dining experience that reflects the tastes of Tuscany, from locally grown produce and meat to traditional Italian salumi and a great selection of wines perfect for the season.”

The menu includes dishes such as fresh pasta seasoned with saffron and baby zucchini, salmon with white beans and rainbow Swiss chard and a full selection of grilled items, including bistecca fiorentina, a thick, juicy porterhouse steak rubbed with olive oil and made famous by the trattorias of Florence. Even French fries get a Tuscan twist, seasoned with fresh rosemary and sage and a hint of cayenne pepper.

Ganem, who trained as a chef at a restaurant in the tiny Tuscan village of Vico d’Elsa (hence the restaurant’s name), came to Hudson via a circuitous route that began at Harvard University. There, the Boston native served as vice-president of the Harvard Lampoon, the university’s famous humor magazine, under then-president Conan O’Brien. Working together at the Lampoon, Ganem and O’Brien were also roommates and remain close friends. O’Brien attended the restaurant’s pre-opening event in June.

After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in biology, Ganem set off to New York City, where he worked as a journalist for such publications as Women’s Wear Daily and W magazine and was quickly promoted to Milan bureau chief. After two years in the grueling pace of Italy’s fashion capital, Ganem left to pursue a lifelong passion: cooking, at La Volpaia, a popular bed-and-breakfast and restaurant.

Ganem opened Vico with partner Adam Klersfeld, whose retail background includes a long career at Housing Works, New York’s innovative program to fund housing for homeless people with AIDS though a network of upscale thrift shops. As Owner-Manager, Klersfeld sees to the needs of Vico’s guests while Ganem heads the kitchen.

Vico Restaurant & Bar is open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday. The restaurant is located at 136 Warren Street, Hudson, NY. Call 518.828.6529 for reservations or visit the restaurant online at

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