Heading up to the Saugerties area to celebrate my girlfriend's bday in a few weeks. Have been tipped off on some good places, but am wondering if anyone can strongly recommend any of the below, for a very special b-day dinner, etc. Is there a better place that i'm not listing? Any insight is appreciated!
New World Home Cooking
Blue Mountain Bistro
Sorry but I would recommend Bear Cafe only for a steak or a burger. The rest of the menu is way too adventurous given the below average talent in the kitchen and the mediocre quality of their ingredients. Too much tastes like it comes from a can or is frozen or is totally out of season. But the grilled meats are tasty and sitting by the big windows overlooking the creek is lovely. How about going over to Rhinebeck? It's a nice drive and a meal at Le Petit Bistro would be my choice.They've got a great chef (who I hear is the owner now) and it's a sweet place...
Those are all really good places, though I'm not crazy about Cafe Tamayo--I think it's overrated. For the money, I'd sooner go to Terrapin, like Rob suggested. They have a website with VERY NECESSARY directions-it's easy to get lost. My husband asked me to marry him there--a nice romantic spot, and the food is unbelievable. I think New World might be too boisterous for a romantic birthday dinner, though the food is fantastic. Bear is also very good, but too Manhattan-ish in its attitude for my taste. Never been to Blue Mtn Bistro, though it is on my list of places to try!
The Bear Cafe is a first class 3.5 - 4 star joint. Way beyond what you would expect in the Woodstock/Bearsville/Saugerties area. You can get a high cuisine stacked plate or a great burger. Not once has a dish disapointed. In the middle of nowhere where cell phones dont work. A must not miss food experience. May even see a local rock star. On one occasion ran into Lesley West of Mountian, West Bruce and Lang, The Vagrants.
To add another opinion to the mix...
Bear Cafe is great - always good food and service.
New World is an enigma to me - we've had 2 meals here that were wonderful/delicious, and 2 that were horrible/inedible! (not trying again because it's too pricey to be hit-or-miss.) bad service, and atmosphere all 4 times.
WE love Cafe Tamayo, been going for many years. here's a snip form a post I put up recently below...
We love Cafe Tamayo in Saugerties/Ulster - excellent food, consistently good, lots of deliciousness to be had here! fav meal there is to start with their great French Onion Soup with wonderful sharp gruyere and winey flavor, entree of their fabulous Steak Au Poivre, with Potatoes Au Gratin that are the best I've ever had - seems like 100 layers of potato cut with razor blade, good stinky French cheese, and to finish with the decadent warm chocolate desert (can't remember if soufflé or cake). My girlfriend is an angle hair pasta lover, and the dish they make here is her fav. I've also had an appetizer of spaghetti squash cooked with bacon, cream and parmesan that was out of this world. they close at 10:00 on Friday so we can hit them on our way up too. WE find there food to be as good as any French restaurant in this price range in NYC.
You really should try the Red Onion on Rte 212 at the intersection of Glasco Turnpike about halfway between Saugerties and Woodstock. This place is about a year old and the food is so amazing.
They were recently reviewed by the Albany Times Union as well as the Kingston Freeman and both gave it 4 stars as well as mentioning that everything that they ate there was flawless.
The service is the best in the area and if you are a wine drinker, they've got about 30 wines available by the glass which you can't get anywhere else in the area.
The specials are the way to go. They are always creative and delicious and they've got the freshest fish that I've had upstate.
Definitely worth a try.