Archive for March, 2010
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.
Heading north on 9W traveling through Highland Falls, Ft. Montgomery and finding our way into Ulster County we saw a sign for (and had a vague plan on visiting) the Benmarl Winery in Marlboro, NY. The NYTimes travel section recently wrote about this very same winery! Talk about timing….
What we didn’t know was that the Benmarl Winery at Slate Hill Vineyards. Benmarl Vineyards is located at 156 Highland Avenue, Marlboro, NY 12542 in Ulster County and holds the claim to America’s oldest vineyard! While I’m not the best when it comes to describing wines, I will say that the atmosphere was warm and relaxing and everyone seemed to enjoy the tasting! Though I did taste the Merlot and Cabernet, I most enjoyed their Sangria a sweet wine. To learn more details about Benmarl, you may enjoy reading The Story of Benmarl Vineyards blog by stagingrockland.com
The views from Benmarl are absolutely beautiful! I can imagine during the spring and/or summer months with the bounty of colors surrounding the mountain sides it’s even more spectacular. On this weekend we caught a glimpse of a White-breasted Nuthatch dinning from a birdfeeder just outside the entrance way.
After our visit at Benmarl we had no specific plans or thoughts of where to go next so we simply continued driving along Route 9W then turning onto Route 299 and driving for a bit e found ourselves in the quaint eclectic village of New Paltz.
New Paltz is located about 80 miles north of New York City and 70 miles south of Albany. The Village of New Paltz is located within the Town of New Paltz. New Paltz is also home to the State University of New York New Paltz, founded in 1828.
Typical of most towns/villages, everything happens along “Main Street”! From antique dealers, art galleries many eateries and more, Main Street is the place to be on a warm spring day!
We enjoyed a “wonderful” stroll around Water Street Market – antiques and shops located at 10 Main Street. One of my “Top Picks” places to visit!
Enjoy a feast for the palate and eyes at this Hudson Valley favorite featuring fresh-from-the-farm cuisine, a global wine selection, and a second-story deck with spectacular views of the ridge and river. It’s truly a lunch or dinnertime experience to savor. “Awesome views of the Shawnagunks.”
-New York Magazine
We first stopped off at The Mudd Puddle and sampled their flavored coffee; I simply loved the Irish Cream Latté while my honey enjoyed the strawberry – all we can say is hmm hmm good!
The on to Paws of Distinction – Adorable pet boutique featuring dog and cat clothing, accessories, and toys as well as its own ‘petisserie’ serving all-natural home-baked pet treats. Four-legged friends are welcome to join their human parents as they shop!
Next I feel in love with Maglyn’s Dream! Oh my gosh, from the minute I walked in I was in heaven and wanted one of almost everything! This unique store features fashions, art, and décor created by 80 local and regional artists. From handmade jewelry to decorative lighting to woven shawls, there’s a gift here for everyone with an eye for the original. I found the absolutely, better than “wonderful.” wall art that I would love to have. I told Maggie and Lynn (the owners) that I’m hoping to come back in about a month and get that great piece!!
As my honey says, we had an “action packed fun filled day” and yes, we were now starving and couldn’t wait to try out one of the many eateries along Main Street. There are so many places to choose from but we finally decided on The Moon Light Cafe located at 53 Main Street. Serving a Mediterranean/American dishes we shared a delighful shrimp dish served with a variety of veggies mediterain style.
There are so many great shops here to visit I highly recommend stopping by here the next time you are in the area, or make it a trip there are so many places to say and things to do in the area including these Water Street Market events:
JUNE 14TH THROUGH AUGUST 30TH
FILMS BEGIN AT DUSK
They show thought provoking and enlightening films for free on Monday nights throughout the summer. Some of our big hits this season were Cinema Paradiso, The Laya Project and The Visitor. Always expect free popcorn on movie nights
JUNE THROUGH AUGUST WATER STREET MARKET SUMMER SERIES
Heading into the third season of Water Street Market’s summer series one of their goals at Water Street Market is to hold events which support sustainability, while providing thought provoking ideas and creating a cohesive community. They strive to support locally owned businesses and the environment, while fostering community and acting as a catalyst to local charities. Their courtyard setting has often been compared to an Italian piazza, a place where locals come to co-mingle, eat, celebrate and collaborate. Throughout the summer they make this happen each week at their free weekly events
As February draws to its end, I look back and can’t believe the month is over already. I know it is the shortest month but golly, seems like it flew by and at the end of the month the Hudson Valley saw one of its biggest snow storms in years!
I was treated to long stem roses and a wonderful brunch at Overlook Lodge at Bear Mountain for Valentine’s Day!
The food was delicious as we enjoyed a grand view overlooking the Hudson River and its winter background.
After a wonderful Valentine’s Brunch at Overlook Lodge at Bear Mountain, we headed south for a long weekend in the sunshine state; FL.
Our trip covered over 500 miles in just 4 short days.
It was an action packed fun filled weekend of visiting family and friends from coast to coast. First stop, was an overnight stay on the east coast in Ft. Lauderdale. Then early the next morning we headed to Delray Beach to have brunch with family. Next, we set out on a 4 hour drive across the state to Bradenton on the west coast. While traveling across the famous “Alligator Alley” (I-75) we saw several alligator along the banks.
Arriving in Bradenton late afternoon/early evening, we enjoyed dinner and an overnight stay with more family!
Early next morning we were in the car as we set out for a 3 hour drive further north & west to our next destination of Dunnellon, FL.
Arriving in Dunnellon late morning we now enjoyed a wonderful lunch with even more family (yes, I have family and/or friends practically in every corner of the state LOL).
After a restful night at my aunts in Dunnellon, we headed out towards Cedar Key for a day of fun in the sun! Cedar Key is a quiet island filled with nature’s beauty! A place that allows you to stop, relax and enjoy the unique qualities of the coastal environment. One of my “Top Picks” and a place we can’t wait to go back and vist and maybe spend a week or weekend! The streets are lined with my favorite type of unique shops and great waterfront dining! We had lunch at Kona Joe’s Island Cafe overlooking the gulf!
All in all, we had a great month and great trip to FL – even if it was one of their coldest winters in 40 years some of the locals told us.