Archive for the ‘Dinning in the Hudson Valley’ Category
Hello Hudson Valley! Okay so you all know that my honey and I totally enjoy dinning at various restaurants in and around the Hudson Valley. We are always eager to seek out the newest and greatest restaurants, cafes, and other special eateries! What better way to try out a few new places than during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2011!
A quick summary (for those that may not fully know what restaurant week is) about Hudson Valley Restaurant Week: this year some 160 restaurantswill be participating. Participating restaurants offer a 3-course prix fixe lunch for $20 and/or prix fixe dinner for $28. This is a wonderful way to experience restaurants that you may not have otherwise visited or hadn’t had the chance to visit!
So with my honey working part-time several evenings during the week and many of the participating restaurants don’t include Fridays & Saturdays, we were limited on the number of evenings we had available but we selected three. One had been on our list for some time we just hadn’t had the chance to get there and two were elected last minute.
The Birdsall House located at 970 Main Street, Peekskill, NY – in a word, WONDERFUL! We had wanted to visit this restaurant for about the last 6 months and just never seemed to be able to get there. So because we had such limited time during restaurant week we made sure Birdsall House was on our list and we weren’t disappointed!
Owners Tim Reinke and John Sharp have done an amazing job in preserving the 1940′s look and feel of this bar/tavern now top shelf restaurant too! We loved the mix-n-match authentic furniture which provides an eclectic interior. The cool leather booths, wooded tables, black and white checked floor with old-fashioned sky light all contributed to maintaining the feel of that 1940′s bar/tavern appeal.
Kevin, our waiter, was extremely friendly, very helpful and completely made us feel welcome. There is something to be said when the owner, the chef, your waiter/waitress or any of the staff of a restaurant go out of their way to be friendly and sincerely make you feel welcomed and that they honestly appreciate the fact that we visited their restaurant! Hats off to the Birdsall House staff!
The Birdsall House was actually across the street from its current location and was a B&B where George Washington frequently stayed. The current Birdsall House was formerly Connelly’s Bar (my grandfather apparently was known to have visited Connelly’s from time-to-time). What’s even more special for me personally is the fact that all the beef used at the restaurant comes from Hemlock Hills Farmalso located in Peekskill, NY and (here’s the special personal touch) the farm is owned by my mother’s cousin! As a child, I visited “Aunt Katherine on the Farm.” Because I had a “1st” aunt named Aunt Kathryn, we always referred to my mother’s “1st” aunt my great or “2nd” aunt as Aunt Catherine on the farm.” Farmer John, as Birdsall House owner John Sharp referred to) is my 2nd cousin. Not only is the meat local but most everything else too from their cheeses and famous locally brewed beers!
Now for an ever more unique and special treat, the Birdsall House owners utilized the wide open wall space to project some of the best old movies in silent!
So the first course for me was the Lentil and Chick Pea Salad: Fresh green lentils, wheat & spelt berries, parsley, radicchio, Meyer lemon vinaigrette and my honey had the Sausage & Cheese: House made pork and fennel sausage, Adirondack black wax cheddar, porter and caraway mustard, mesclun salad! Then our main course; for me was the Jerk-Spiced Shrimp Skewers: Collard greens, curried okra & tomato, habanero hot sauce – and yes, it was hot! While my honey enjoyed the Braised Pork Belly: Portobello mushroom broth, soft-poached egg, crème fraiche, scallions. Okay so while you all know that normally my honey and I share a dessert, we both had our own during restaurant week! Hey this way we had the chance to sample as many wonderful dishes as possible! For me it was the Sorbet Trio and my honey had the Apple Bourbon Bread Pudding: Nutmeg whipped cream toasted pecans!
Amazing food, wonderful setting and gracious owners – watch the video and I’m certain you too will want to go this great hot spot - we will absolutely go back!
Our 2nd restaurant was Opus 465 – 465 Main Street in Armonk. Voted Best of Westchester 2009, we dined here on Saturday evening, the night of the Super Moon! The setting was a bit more formal – the service was polite and the food was prepared perfectly! As the dining room upstairs was quite full, our waiter was busy-busy as he attended to many tables. I started with the Blue Apple Salad: Mesclun greens tossed with diced apples, glazed walnuts, crumbled bleu cheese and reduced balsamic vinaigrette while my honey had the Soup Sampler: mini cups of Lentil, Crab Corn Chowder and Cream of Broccoli which all three were excellent! We wished we could have ordered a pint of each to go! For our main course, I had the Half Moon Tilapia: Tilapia fillet pan roasted with asparagus and sun-dried cranberries in a chardonnay sauce (I had mine prepared w/o the mushrooms – sorry to all you mushroom lovers) and my honey enjoyed the Chicken Scarpariello: Breast of chicken sautéed with crumbled hot and sweet sausage, roasted red peppers, spicy pepperoncinis, garlic, white wine and crispy potatoes. And now for the finale – dessert – I totally enjoyed the Smores while my honey wrapped his fingers around the Banana Wrap!
On to our 3rd, and unfortunately our last, restaurant of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2011 - Traditions 118 – 11 Old Tomahawk Street – Route 118, Granite Springs, NY - OMG, all I can say is… OUT OF THIS WORLD! Mike, our server, was cheerful, the atmosphere was friendly and inviting and the food was simply delicious!
I started off with the Strawberry Apple Season Salad: Mesclun green topped w/sliced apples & strawberries, caramelized walnuts and gorgonzola cheese in whipped strawberry vinaigrette. I was in heaven with this salad which is now among the best appetizer salads I’ve ever had (my other favorite was a Celery Root-Beet Apple salad I had last year during HV Restaurant Week at Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill – Cold Spring NY) while my honey had the Meatball Salad: Chopped Romaine lettuce, tossed w/EVOO & aged balsamic, finished with shaved parmigian, their “Homemade Honey Ricotta,” and a giant meatball with a touch of marinara! Of course I tasted the Meatball Salad (just to make sure it was good for him of course, LOL) it was wonderful!
On to our main course, I had the Saccette: Imported Italian “Pasta Pouches,” filled w/three cheeses, tossed in a tomato cream sauce with fresh peas (I had mine prepared w/o the mushrooms). This dish was amazing! The pasta was al dente and the sauce was over-the-top creamy! My honey had the Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin: A thin prosciutto coating, served w/caramelized onions in sweet demi glaze! Somehow hmm hmm good takes on a whole new meaning here! Our one neighbor had the New Orleans Paella: Slightly spicy tomato-based chicken, chorizo sausage, mussels, clams and shrimp while his wife enjoyed the Chicken Rocco: Light crusted chicken cutlet, stuffed w/goat cheese, grilled asparagus, & sun-dried tomato, finished w/touch of white wine gravy . . . so tell me, are you hungry yet!
Now let’s not forget the dessert, my honey always says, “there’s always room for dessert” and this dessert is not to be missed! The ladies had the Ice Cream Crepe: Warm delicate French crepe, filled w/vanilla ice cream, finished w/maple syrup, chocolate, raspberry puree and fresh cream while the men had the Waffle Sandwich: Fresh Belgium waffle, vanilla gelato, a dash of maple syrup, fresh berries & cream – too delicious!
For me personally, the so-called “cherry on top” was having the owner Michael stop by our table just to say hello, ask about our satisfaction with our dinner and thank us for visiting Traditions 118. It is that kind of customer service that is missing in so many places today and yet is so important to overall success. Special thanks to owner Michael & our server Mike for making our evening wonderful!
Combined with great company, having our neighbors join us for this diner, fabulous food, very warm and inviting environment made for one of the best dining experiences we during restaurant week!
Overall we loved all our dining experiences during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. There is still a couple more days if you haven’t yet dined at a participating restaurant! We thank all the participating restaurants and their staff for hosting such an outstanding event! We look forward to 2012!
As always, I wish you days filled with wonder - take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!
OMG! How else can I describe both my Valentine’s Day 2011 (which was a weekend long adventure filled with gifts & surprises) and my exceptional dinner at X2O Xaviars On The Hudson in Yonkers, NY. X2O sits in the water on the only turn of the century Victorian pier that is still in use on the Hudson River. X2O’s Main Dining Salon’s 25 foot vaulted ceiling and 3 walls of glass frame offers views of the George Washington and Tappan Zee Bridges, as well as sunsets over the Palisades.
We (probably more like me) have had X20 on our/my list of places to have dinner for about a year now. Being from Northern Westchester County, traveling down to Yonkers isn’t first on our “can’t wait” to-do list (nothing again Yonkers itself), but, X20 was high on the “must do” list.
My honey surprised me with roses Saturday morning as he informed me that this was Valentine’s weekend! As we set out that morning to go eagle watching/scouting, I had no idea what was in store for dinner or that there even was a dinner in the plan. So, you can image my surprise when I learned we had reservations at 6:30 at X20 Xaviars On The Hudson!
Where to begin…X20 provides the complete package – everything from the magnificent view of the George Washington Bridge/NYC skyline, the most pleasant/friendly servers (Chase was outstanding!) to welcoming conversation with the Maitre D Greg Vann. I was very impressed by the fact that Greg went out of his way to spend time chatting with us, showed us their wine room and overall made us feel welcomed. I think too, his sincere appreciation that we came to X2O was evident in his conversation, again making our experience all the more special! All these elements combined set the stage for what was nothing short of a spectacular dinner.
We started with a nice bottle Riesling as we toasted Valentine’s 2011. I began with the Winter Citrus Salad with Lump Crabmeat Ginger & Miso Dressing which was Blood Orange, Meyer Lemon & Grapefruit with Frisee while my honey started with the Lobster Crepe Mascarpone & Chives Sauce American with Star Anise & Tiny Salad – both were delicious leaving us eagerly anticipating our entrees!
I decided on the Braised Short Ribs of Beef Parsnip Puree and Fried Cauliflower Chili & Onion Crust with Asian Yam Chips. I completely fell in love with the parsnip puree and the fried cauliflower (which came highly recommend by our server Chase) completely exceeded my expectations!
My honey chose the Pan Roasted Hudson Valley Chicken Barley & Apple Risotto with Braised Fennel Foie Gras & Sauce Perigourdine.
Now for those of you that follow my blog and read my post on various places we have dined at, you know that we always share the desert, We decided on the Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake Grand Marnier Ice Cream & Orange Confit! HmmHmm GREAT!
For those that may not be aware, Peter Xavier Kelly (born in Yonkers, NY) owns/operates some of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the Hudson Valley. He was working in local restaurants at the age 14. While attending Marist College (for Business Administration), his love of the food industry was developed as he held a various jobs in various NY restaurants. He traveled to France to perfect his skills in the culinary world.
In his early twenties, this self-taught chef opened Xaviar’s in Garrison (which was closed and re-opened in its current Piermont location) and began his journey to success. To date, Peter owns some of the most renowned & acclaimed restaurants in New York State, all located in the Hudson Valley, north of New York City. Xaviar’s at Piermont, The Freelance Cafe and Wine Bar, Restaurant X & The Bully Boy Bar, and X2O Xaviars on the Hudson have all received popular praise and the industry’s most coveted awards and accolades. Zagat’s Survey (29 out of 30), New York State Restaurateur of The Year 1998.
Smitten surveyors say Peter Kelly “has done it again” with this “spectacular” waterside venue in Yonkers – voted Westchester/Hudson Valley’s Most Popular – that “more than delivers on the hype” with “knock-your-socks-off” “adventurous” New American cuisine matched with “magnificent river views”; add in a “stellar” wine selection, “seamless service” and a “stunning” room, and even if a handful huff “overpriced”, for most it’s a “triumph” all around; P.S. “try the prix fixe lunch – it’s quite a bargain”, as are the small plates in the lounge.
I’m sure many of you also know that in 2007 Peter appeared on the Food Networks Iron Chef America and beat Bobby Flay in Battle “Cowboy Rib Eye.”
Can you tell we loved it! So now we want to experience the views, and oh yes, the food, during the daylight hours….so, my honey said we’ll just have to go back and do brunch!
As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!
As you know, my honey and I absolutely love traveling in and around the Hudson Valley, we completely enjoy waterfront dinning and are always on the lookout for new places to enjoy dinner, lunch or just a great cup of coffee and dessert.
With the winners of the 2010 Best of the Hudson Valley recently announced by the Hudson Valley magazine, we decided that we would make a conscious effort to try to visit a few of these places during our travels.
After our “wonderful” day spent at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome this past Saturday we pulled out our magazine to see where we could experience the BOHV while in Rhinebeck (Dutchess County). The winner was, the Terrapin Restaurant was voted the Best Restaurant in Dutchess County and was located in Rhinebeck!
It was early so we opted to dine outside on the patio to enjoy the somewhat brisk fall temperature while we dined. It was a typical early Fall evening with a briskness in the air which made us very pleased that Terrapin had these amazing heat lamps strategically placed on the patio. We were lucky and sat with a lamp on each side of our table keeping us comfortable. Situated on a fairly busy street in Rhinebeck we enjoyed and were pleased to see so many people mulling about the streets stepping in and out of the various boutiques and shops of Rhinebeck.
We started off with an absolutely delicious appetizer: macadamia-nut tempura calamari with pineapple dipping sauce that was great! I wish I knew the recipe for the pineapple sauce as I think it would be perfect on a number of meats and fish dishes!
The we both settled on “creating our own sandwich” and choose burgers. I had the veggie burger and my honey (supporting our local farmers) had the Hudson Valley cattle company beef 1/4 pound hamburger. The experience of “create your own” was different as you first selected the type of sandwich, then selected your bread, then sauce, then cheese, topping or extras. While both our burgers were very good, we think it was a bit pricy for burgers. Terrapin has mixed reviews on Zagat
but overall, if you are in the area you might consider stopping in, after all they were voted the Best Restaurant in Dutchess County!
Because we had purchased fresh baked apple cider donuts from Migliorelli Farm stand down the street with passed on dessert this time (I know, very unusual for us!) The Migliorelli Farm is located in Tivoli NY and operates farm stands in Rhinebeck and Red Hook. I’ve been purchasing their peaches, apples and other fruits & vegetables all season as they also have a booth at my local Croton-on-Hudson farmer’s market every Wednesday.
As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!
Okay, so you all know that I have lived here in the Hudson Valley my entire life and completely love living along the banks of the Hudson River and being swept away by the beauty the changes of seasons provides. As I’ve gotten older I’ve now come to also appreciate the abundant supply of various ways to learn and grow through a variety of events & activities focusing on a wide range of cultural and nature experiences
Now in its 4th year (my `1st – what took me so long to participate in this I don’t know LOL), Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is the largest, most successful dining event in the Hudson Valley. More than 140 restaurants in Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, and Columbia Counties are participating. And over 150,000 people are expected to dine out between March 15th through 28th
During the 14-day celebration, participating restaurants serve three-course prix-fixe lunches for $20 and/or three-course dinners for $28 (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). Many chefs feature products from surrounding farms and artisanal producers and offer wines, spirits and beverages produced in the Hudson Valley to complement your meal. So now the question was, hmmm, with so many great choices, where do we eat? Lunch or dinner?
After browsing the list of participating restaurants, we decided on Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill located at 91 Main Street in Cold Spring. I adore walking along the streets of this quaint village during early spring (before too many tourists start visiting). I can only image these streets filled with people years ago (before so much commercialism) walking along meeting friends along the way while shopping and dining.
Cathryn’s was a hidden treasure that we hadn’t experienced on any of our visits to Cold Spring. This cozy restaurant is located on the corner of a charming courtyard, decorated with dried flowers, bottles of wine fill tall bookcases and beautiful bold murals and great swathes of sheer fabric hang down from the ceiling. It provided a soft, inviting and slightly romantic atmosphere.
You know how much my honey and I love to share our deserts, well we decided to share our entrée as well so we could enjoy a variety! I started with the celery root, beet, apple and walnut salad that was fabulous! I wouldn’t have thought of such a delightful combination for a salad but I’m glad I did and may now try to duplicate myself at home. My honey had the bean soup which was also very good. Then on to our shared entrées; we decided on the Pork Tenderloin with Remsburger Maple Glaze served with roasted potatoes with Brussels Sprouts and Carrots was done to perfection! The tenderloin was the tenderest loin I’ve had and the glaze was delicious! The second entrée was the Pan Seared Lemon Sole with Basil Hazelnut Crust!
Due to our busy schedules our dinner at Cathryn’s will most likely be our only opportunity to support and participate in Hudson Valley Restaurant week this year and we are thrilled with our experience! Did you visit any Hudson Valley Restaurants during this year’s event, if so share with us and our readers your experience.
Growing up with the Lake Meahagh and Hudson River in my backyard, I’ve heard my father tell stories of how this area once served as the Hudson Valley’s major ice industry. Yesterday we went to the 4th Annual Knickerbocker Ice Festival at Rockland Lake State Park in Rockland County.
We attended the lecture The Rise & Demise of the Hudson River Ice Industry: Urban Needs & Rural Responses presented by Speaker: Wendy Harris, Principal Archeologist, Craigsmoor Consulting. There where two points that stood out to me; the very same factors that were responsible for the rise of the ice industry were the very same factors that were responsible for its demise. Two of these factors were the demand and technical advances. The demand for ice became more and more important; first enabling the growth of the industry, later, unable to keep up with the advances with electricity (ice boxes, then refrigerators), lead to the demise. It is also amazing to me that the life cycle of such an important era of time only lasted approximately 30 years from start to finish (approximately 1835- 1865). Read more about the Story of Knickerbocker Ice Company and Rockland Lake and visit The Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain, Inc. or one of the many local historical groups.
Palisades Parks Conservancy
Parks and Trails New York
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York – New Jersey Trail Conference
Hudson River Valley Greenway
Hudson River Valley Heritage. Type “Rockland Lake” in the search box for great photo archives of Rockland Lake
Then it was on to see the ice sculptures. This year, four competing Ice Sculptors (Dan Bergin, Earl Covington, John Hedbavny, and Rob Patalano) were scheduled to participate. Unfortunately when we were there only three sculptors were sculpting and we were only able to see two of them. By the time we walked to the third sculptor, the sun (while making for a nice day) was too warm, making it dangerous for the ice sculptor to work unless wrapped in a covered tented area….darn. But, we did enjoy seeing two sculptors and their works of ice.
As an added pleasure, we were delighted to see and meet so many local artists as they set up their easels and painted the beautiful landscapes surrounding the lake! We enjoyed meeting Phyllis Tarlow of Phyllis Tarlow Fine Art / Portraits from Hartsdale. We watched and listened as Phyllis shared with us her love of painting landscapes and discovering new areas around the Hudson Valley to inspire her next painting! Thank you Phyllis for sharing your love of the Hudson Valley with so many of us through your paintings!
We also enjoyed meeting Marylyn Vanderpool local artist from Harriman, NY. Marylyn’s love of the Hudson Valley, her energetic spirit comes alive through her watercolors as she captures the beauty that surrounds us so eloquently.
We briefly stopped to listen to award-winning storyteller Jonathan Kruk Dressed in costume Jonathan tells colorful tales spun from the lore of historic Hudson Valley! Jonathan’s ability to truly capture his audience is amazing—you get drawn into his story and eagerly await the ending! Together with folk balladeer Rich Bala, they travel around the many villages & communities of the Hudson River and beyond since 1990, performing the region’s tunes, tales, and traditions at schools, museums, libraries, camps and historic sites. Thank you for sharing your storytelling talent with so many of us. You can also purchase Jonathan’s tales on CD.
Whew, as if the day hadn’t been exciting and different enough, we held true to our love of dining in the Hudson Valley and decided on Henry’s on the Hudson located at 634 Main Street, Peekskill, NY. We enjoyed a delicious dinner overlooking the Peekskill Bay on the Hudson River all the while listening Mike play his guitar. Mike’s selection of songs was fabulous! Mike’s relaxing music combined with the spectacular view made for great evening.
I enjoyed shrimp over angel hair pasta and my honey satisfied his taste buds (and stomach LOL) with chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. But wait, oh yes, those of you that follow my dinning in the Hudson Valley excursions know that we love dessert! My honey’s famous line is “there is always room for dessert”! Tonight being no exception we shared the Chocolate Explosion which was a dark, dense chocolate decadence in an individual dessert with a rich creamy ganache oozing from the center and served with creamy vanilla ice cream…. oooohhh the most “wonderful” ending to a “wonderful” day!
As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!
Okay so many of your already know that my fiancé (a.k.a. “my honey”) and I enjoy traveling around the Hudson Valley and we enjoy eating at the many delectable restaurants (especially those along the Hudson River providing waterfront dining) we are surrounded by.
Lucky for us the 4th Annual Hudson Valley Restaurant Week begins March 15th and goes through March 28th! During these 14 days, your can enjoy three-course prix-fixe lunches for $20 and/or three-course dinners for $28 (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). With so many “wonderful” farms across the Hudson Valley, many of the chefs include locally grown products to compliment your meal and provide an even greater sense of all the pride and beauty the Hudson Valley has to offer.
So whether you are in Ulster or Westchester, Columbia or Dutchess or any of the 7 surrounding counties, why not try a few of the nearly 90 restaurants participating in this “wonderful” event.
We have had the pleasure of dinning at four of these restaurants and are looking forward to adding as many more as we can to our list of dinning experiences during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. As always, we look forward to sharing our dinning experiences with you and encourage you to share your dinning experiences with us by leaving a comment below.
As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!:)
With the forecast for New Year’s Eve being a bit of a wintery mix, we decided to go out to dinner tonight and enjoy a quiet evening in tomorrow night watching the ball drop in Times Square ushering in 2010.
We started off by sharing the TRICOLOR SALAD WITH CRISP CALAMARI “CROUTONS”, Lemon Vinaigrette which was delightfully different and uniquely flavored with the Lemon Vinaigrette.
Then, we of course had to sample the dessert. True to form, we always split the dessert so tonight we indulged in the CHOCOLATE MARQUIS with Pistachio-Mint Ice Cream as I also enjoyed a delicious cappuccino!
The Iron Horse Grill received high ratings from Zagat (26 – 22 – 25). Normally I do not have a great desire to return to a place once I have been there, however, I must say, I would return to the Iron Horse Grill without hesitation.
We found another great restaurant offering beautiful water views that we love so very much and warm and inviting service at the Lakeview House Restaurant overlooking Orange Lake in Newburgh, NY. Located at 343 Lakeside Road the Lakeview House is close to home for us yet the setting and environment swept us away to a feeling of being at a resort dinning location.
The Hudson House River Inn located at 2 Main Street on the serene waterfront approximately 100 feet from the beautiful Hudson River in the quaint village of Cold Spring, NY in Putnam County. Cold Spring is well know for being a quaint antique shopping village.
Dinner was absolutely amazing and delicious. I enjoyed fillet of sole stuffed with crab-meat and summer vegitables! Of course we started with a spectacular appetizer for two which included homemade Maryland crabcakes, shrimp cocktail, fresh mozzarella and beefsteak tomato w/basil, baby arugula drizzeled w/extra virgin olive oil – what can I say but Oh My Gosh! Between the garlic bread and brushuta, then the appetizeer I was already impressed!
Then off to a unique concert in Mesier Park in Wappingers Falls, NY featuring the Riverbank Banjo Band. Totally an unexpected pleasure to learn from our new friend “Mary” down in Cold Spring-thanks Mary for letting us know about this concert and it was great sitting next to you and enjoy the sounds of this very unique band.
I’m looking forward to exploring more summer concert series in the Hudson Valley this summer – what about you? Share with us the events you’ve attend or those that may be upcoming! Until next time, happy concerting!