The Dish: David DiBari

The Dish: David DiBari
The Dish: David DiBari 04:05

Chef David DiBari knows Italian. As a boy, David DiBari helped his grandmother in the kitchen and at just 14, scored his first restaurant job. Not long after that, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and quickly became one of the youngest chefs to earn an excellent rating from the New York Times. 

He now owns two highly respected eateries in Dobbs Ferry -- The Cookery and The Parlor -- as well as Doughnation, a food truck that features a wood fired pizza oven.

Here are some of DiBari’s signature dishes.

Rigatoni with bone marrow 

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 portions


1 cup onions, sliced
2 cloves, garlic thinly sliced
6 bones split, marrow from whole marrow bones (femur) split length wise
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Madeira
2 lbs rigatoni, fresh pasta
4 cups pasta water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
8 each, 3-inch tube cut marrow bones with marrow intact 


1. Place tube cut marrow bones in a roasting pan, narrow side up.

2. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until marrow is tender to the touch; remove from oven and set aside.

3. Cook pasta in boiling water, (follow directions on box if using dry pasta).

4. While pasta is boiling, add butter and marrow to sauce pan on medium heat, brown onions and garlic in the marrow and butter until both are golden brown. 

5. Add Madeira and reduce by half. 

6. Using a hand held strainer, remove pasta from water and add to sauce pan. Add about 2 cups of starchy pasta water to the sauce pan. 

7. Allow the pasta to cook down in the liquid until the liquid thickens and glazes the noodles. 

8. Turn off the heat and fold in cheese.

9. To serve, plate and serve with roasted marrow bones and finish with bread crumbs. 


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 
Yield: 8 portions


2.5 lbs ground beef
5 eggs
2 cups Parmesan, grated
1 bunch Parsley, chopped
3 tbs garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1/4 loaf brioche, torn into small pieces 
1 cup milk
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups tomato sauce 


1. Soak brioche in milk.

2. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

3. Form into 6oz ovals.

4. Cover bottom of baking dish with 2 cups tomato sauce, then add meatballs. 

5. Distribute remaining 1 cup of tomato sauce over top of meatballs.

6. Cover with layer of aluminum foil.

7. Bake a 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 50 minutes.

8. To serve, arrange on platter. Serve with grated Parmesan, olive oil and parlsey.

Crispy octopus with smoked Marinara 

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2.5 hours
Yield: 8 portions 


1 octopus whole, legs removed
4 cups white wine
1/2 carrot, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
12 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon, sliced
Flour as needed
Salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients for smoked tomato marinara

1 lb peeled canned tomatoes, smoked
3 garlic, minced
2 tbs basil, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp (plus more if desired), chili flakes
Salt to taste
1 tsp, red wine vinegar

Ingredients for pistachio salsa 

2 cups pistachios, chopped
3/4 jalapeno, chopped
1 1/2 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion, chopped
3/4 tbs mint, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cups, extra-virgin olive oil 


1. Add cleaned octopus head and legs to a large roasting pan with wine, carrpt, onion, celerly, garlic and lemon. 

2. Cover with aluminum foil and braise at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours.

3. Dredge braised octopus in flour and fry until crispy and golden.

4. To make smoked tomato marinara, crush smoked tomatoes with hands and mix with other ingredients. Let stand. 

5. To make pistachio salsa, combine all ingredients except lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in lemon juice and then olive oil to form a sauce. Season to taste.

6. To serve the dish, spread marinara on platter, arrange octopus on top and top with pistachio salsa. 

Charred baby romaine salad 

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes + 1 day for beets to pickle
Yield: 8 portions 


8 baby romaine lettuce heads or 4 large romaine lettuce heads cut in half
1 cup aged goat cheese
2 whole beets, pickled and sliced thin slices
Salt and pepper to taste 


1. Make pickle beets at least one day before.

2. Grill or griddle half romaine head.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste.

4. To plate, arrange romaine on platter and layer with finely shaved aged goat cheese and pickled beets. 

Ingredients for pickled beets 

2 beets cut into 1/8” thick slices
4 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbs pickling spice 


1. Combine all ingredients except for beets in a large pot.

2. Bring to a boil and pour hot liquid over sliced beets.

3. Store in airtight container for 24 hours. 

Chocolate polenta 

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 portions 


1 1/4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup dry fine white polenta
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup graham crackers, crushed
2 cups marshmallows 


1. Heat cream, milk and sugar to a boil over high heat. Be careful not to scald.

2. While whisking constantly, slowly add polenta.

3. Cook whisking constantly, approximately five minutes or until polenta is fully cooked and no longer grainy.

4. Allow to cool to warm to the touch.

5. Stir in chocolate until well combined.

6. To assemble -- In a glass baking dish, layer the bottom with half of the graham cracker. Pour in half of the chocolate polenta mixture, then top with marshmallows and repeat. Place under broiler for 2-4 minutes until marshmallows are golden brown. Serve warm.

Bee’s knees

Yield: 8 portions
Prep time: 10 minutes 


14 oz saffron infused gin
6 oz honey simple syrup
4 oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed


1. To make saffron infused gin, add two pinches of saffron threads to one bottle of gin. Let stand for 24 hours and strain. 

2. To make honey simple syrup, combine 3oz each of honey and water. Simmer for three minutes until honey is dissolved. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. 

3. Stir all the ingredients to combine. Chill and serve over ice.