The Hudson Valley is known for its farms, great restaurants, wineries, micro-breweries and distilleries.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns: Originally part of the Rockefeller estate in Pocantico Hills, The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture was originally a dairy farm. Today it is an 80-acre farm growing sustainable, healthful and seasonal food. They offer tours and programs including many for children. The Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant by Chef Dan Barber specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. I enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the Cafe & Grain Bar consisting of a perfect beet tartine, a tasty vegetable frittata and fresh chickpea salad. It is ranked number 49 in San Pelligrino’s The World 50 Best Restaurants. 630 Bedford Rd. Pocantico Hills NY.
Dutchess County Wine Trail: The Dutchess County Wine Trail includes Clinton Vineyards, in Clinton Corners, which is known for its sparkling wines from its Seyval Blanc varietal and Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, in Millbrook, which makes chardonnays, pinot noirs and cabernet francs. They are east of Hyde Park. Both have tasting rooms. Millbrook also has a Vineyard Cafe open for lunch from June through October.
For beer lovers, a recent article I read suggested Peekskill Brewery in Peekskill NY for its Simple Sour and series of IPAs, Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Newburgh Brewing Company where you can find 12 beers on tap plus food and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford, NY.
In New Paltz make sure to visit The Village Tearoom: This is the perfect spot for lunch or brunch. This 200 year old building and converted village tailor shop has a considerable amount of charm. I had a great frittata and salad. The chocolate cookie was also excellent! 10 Plattekill Ave.
Culinary Institute: The Culinary Institute, or CIA, in Hyde Park has a number of restaurants used to train their culinary students in the kitchen as well as in front-of-the house operations. The Bocuse Restaurant is the newest of the restaurants which recently opened and is named to honor Lyonnaise chef Paul Bocuse. It is in the space of the former Escoffier Restaurant that was the original teaching restaurant for 39 years. They also have the more casual Apple Pie Bakery, the more formal American Bounty Restaurant and the Ristorante Caterina de Medici for Italian specialties.
I loved The Bocuse Restaurant. The decor is elegant and contemporary plus there is a large window where you can watch the chefs prepare the food.
I loved talking to the students and found they were from all over the world. I had a lovely spring pea soup, a halibut entree that was beautifully prepared and a decadent chocolate dessert. I would make sure to book online before you go as they fill up during the high tourist season.
In charming Rhinebeck, NY make sure to check out these good restaurant choices:
Market Street: I enjoyed a great meal in this attractive, contemporary space in downtown Rhinebeck. I enjoyed a watermelon gazpacho and a baked salmon entree with corn pudding and fresh local tomatoes. They feature a number of salads, appetizers, pizzas, pastas, risottos and main dishes. The service was excellent.
Terrapin: A charming restaurant located in an old church building at 6426 Montgomery Street. Terrapin Red is a smaller, attractive bistro and bar in the opposite side of the building.
Calico Restaurant & Patisserie at 6384 Mill St. Since 1994, this is a highly recommended restaurant in the heart of downtown. In addition to dinner, they are open for lunch and for Sunday Brunch.
Le Petit Bistro: At 8 E. Market, this is a small, warmly decorated French bistro.
Hudson, NY is known as a great “Foodie” destination. Our new finds include:
On the way to Hudson is Tousey Winery. They have a tasting room, open Friday to Sunday, which features their reds, whites and rose wines. I enjoyed the pinot but felt their cabernet franc was the best. Their grapes are grown along the Hudson River, near Hudson, and the wines produced in the same facility as the tasting room. 1774 Route 9, Germantown NY, near Clermont.
Fish & Game: This is one of the top spots in town, set in a former 19th century blacksmith’s shop and features locally sourced items. It has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation Awards for best new restaurant and best restaurant design. The decor is outstanding and I enjoyed the experience. They offer a tasting menu but now offer an a la carte menu as well. 13 South Third St.
Ca’ Mea: I had a very good experience at this well-known Italian restaurant at 333 Warren St. I loved the Salmone al Tartufo with its black truffle vinaigrette. It has a warm interior and a lovely outdoor patio for Summer dining.
Cafe Le Perche: This is a perfect spot for lunch with a good list of sandwiches, salads and other entrees. They also have pastries, great cookies and sweets. 230 Warren St.
Tanzys – Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea: A casual breakfast and lunch spot at 223 Warren.
Lick Ice Cream: At 253 Warren, this is a colorful spot for great, gourmet ice cream.
REV Cafe, 742 Warren: This is a cafe in a former home that sells coffee, tea and more.
Swoon Kitchenbar: This is a very good restaurant in the heart of downtown. On Monday night they have a 4 course prix-fixe Meatless Monday vegetarian menu that is really excellent and a great value. Chef Jeffrey Gimmel was a James Beard Nominee for Best Chef Northeast in 2012. 340 Warren St. I enjoyed a very good meal with local friends.
Helsinki Hudson: This is a converted warehouse that is a restaurant and club. The restaurant has a warm atmosphere and specializes in Southern cooking. The Club Helsinki features musical entertainment every week. 405 Columbia St.