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New World Home Cooking, Woodstock, NY

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I just returned from a dinner (for four) at New World Home Cooking on Rte. 212 between Woodstock and Saugerties.

The best part of the meal was the spicy grilled green beans. The worst part of the meal was the overcooked steak that ended up on the plate lukewarm. The plate was actually warmer than the steak. One of my companions chose to send his steak back for a do-over, but was satisfied with the result after waiting for 15 minutes.

The service was mediocre, with no one server responsible for the table. I guess that it's taking service to the communal level even too much for Woodstockian tastes.

I would give it a 9 on a scale of 1 to 100. For all the hype about this place, I was disappointed.

I won't be going back.

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  1. Sounds to me like you happened to eat on a bad night. Maybe give it a second try. Just my opinion.

    1. We were very excited to go there for a birthday dinner a few years ago but had such an awful time we have never returned. We had made a reservation since we were coming from Albany and were given a small table crammed in the corner. We asked to move and the hostess
      kind of sighed but allowed us to move. Our waitress was
      quite the space cadet and her service was slow for the entire dinner. Knowing that the Woodstock Brewing Company made a house beer for New World, we were psyched to try it along with other Woodstock beers. But, they had a problem with their draft system that week so we settled for some La Fin Du Monde in bottles. We ordered a great sounding appetizer and the
      huge plate placed in front of us dwarfed the small pile of food in the center that took a few bites to finish. My entree was passable but nothing special at all and my husband's salmon was practically raw, even though the menu description did not specify severely undercooked fish. So it went back for more heat and I was done eating when his dinner finally came back out.
      It was just one of those nights where everything went wrong. Maybe it was a bad night, but we still joke about it and wouldn't return again.

      1. r
        Ray and Ella Crisco

        You must have had an off experiece because we have never had a bad experience at New World.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ray and Ella Crisco

          The place sucks, and Orlando doesn't deserve his reputation. It's fraudulent.

        2. I find that there is a 50/50 chance of having a good experience at New World. Sometimes it has been really good and sometimes it's just plain awful. I feel like they should scale that menu back a bit and just concentrate on what they can do well rather than trying to cover all of the bases and do a poor job of most of it.

          1. Interesting posts and reactions to New World.... We've been going there for 10 years and find in always good, and quite often excellant.It's an "old reliable" for us and many of our weekend guests.

            1. Just stumbled on this review again. Five years later, this still counts as the worst meal I have endured in two decades of living in the Hudson Valley.

              7 Replies
              1. re: georgeb

                Wow – I am surprised at some of these reviews as well. I have probably gone to NWHC 40+ times in the past 10 years (my husband and I come down from the Albany area for it) and we have literally never had a bad meal.

                1. re: meg944

                  I'd like to think of the negative experiences as exceptions, not the rule. Have been there many times-often worth the detour as a stop to/from Saratoga to NYC. Always been good.

                  1. re: markabauman

                    I'll never know if my bad experience there was an exception. I'd never go back again. It was the most pretentious crap I've ever had, served raw, cold and badly. The steaks are a joke at not very funny prices.

                  2. re: meg944

                    Sorry to hear there are no good restaurants in the Albany area. But I guess it's a good thing for ya, since it makes you appreciate NWHC. Personally, I thought it was outrageously bad. I won't be giving it another chance.

                    1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan

                      New World was a gem 10 years ago when they were in that little stone building in Zena. Now it's tired. But a good spot to sit at the bar and have a drink and a bite on when I'm in the area on a weeknight. I don't go near there on weekends any more. Better chow happening in Saugerties these days.

                      1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan

                        RickTheClamBellyFan-For you and those others who have had a bad time or have come from Albany and think people are space cadets or there are too many waiting on you, You don't know Woodstock. You go to NWHC for a casual, comfortable, relaxing, take your time meal. We have been there many times and this is our most favorite restaurant of all and we are from Colonie. Actually we are soooo looking forward to going this coming Tuesday the 19th for our anniversary and we will enjoy every single moment. One time we had to wait a little longer than normal but the manager offered us a drink on them, and took some money off our meal. They were very cordial and friendly. Can't wait to go again!!!

                        1. re: suzieq59

                          Suzieq...I don't come from Albany. I come from NYC, where there are many good and bad restaurants to choose from. I really don't need a lecture on what's good and what's bad. I find NWHC to be exactly as I said in an earlier post: overpriced, pretentious (particularly in the area of Orlando's ill-deserved reputation as a true chef) and uneven. Personally, I don't want a restaurateur to take money off my check, since that indicates that something about the experience was less than good. Charge me full price and lavish me with your best. Unfortunately, Ric Orlando's "best" ain't good enough.

                  3. To update my last posting: We've been regular patrons for 15 years and have not been served a bad or mediocre meal. The food is exceptionally good. Eclectic, interesting tasty and priced properly. Service has always been fine, never rude and staff is alway courteous. Some previous posters may have hit a "bad" night or had some unlucky event but NWHC has been a local favorite for years. In Woodstock, a restaurant has be good or they won't succeed for the fifteen years that New World has been around.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: EdAllegro

                      EdEllegro, what are some of your favorite dishes? We have been venturing out and recently had dinner at Carolina House in Kinderhook. What makes NWHC "exceptionally good" and worth the trip?

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Jack and I really like going to their wine dinners and similar special events, which tend to be held September – May. In December they always do a sparkling wine dinner that we really love. I think they’re a great value, and Ric Orlando often teams ups w/ Michael Weiss from the CIA to choose and discuss wines. Because we go to those so often, we rarely make it down for a regular dinner. I have always found the staff to be friendly and competent and have quite enjoyed talking w/ Ric and Michael, who always seem to be truly enjoying themselves at these events. I would keep an eye on their website or get on their newlsetter email list if this interests you.

                    2. I have eaten at New World dozens of times over the years. Most of the time, the food is excellent. However, on at least a half dozen occasions, I was flabbergasted by either the quality of food or the poor level of service. In particular, I avoid any "special events." My partner and I took our moms there for Mother's Day two years ago and it was an absolutely dreadful meal in every sense of the experience. Still, we go back because we generally like the place and the odds for a good meal are in our favor.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: timmarist

                        Thanks, timmarist. So it's inconsistent. Next to food, consistency is even more important then service and atmosphere. I'm still looking forward to hearing someone describe the food and their favorite dishes (beyond George B's steak).

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          i've been three times, all were good. blackened stringbeans are a nice app that can be shared by the entire table (if you can deal with the spices).

                          i posted a while back about our meals there during restaurant week, they were both quite good though i can't remember the details. it's somewhere on here.

                          in fact, i used some ric's "cage" spices last night...

                          1. re: bob gaj

                            Thanks, bob gai. I will do a search of this Board for your post (and others). I live in NYC and spend alot of time in the Albany area. I'm always looking for new food options (worth my time and something we can't cook ourselves) in the general vicinity.

                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                              i don't think nwhc is anything special if you're comparing to places in the city. it could fit in nicely as part of a neighborhood go-to place, but wouldn't be a foodie standout.

                              the real nice part of nwhc is the preference towards smaller, non-mass produced ingredients. ric also likes using spices on the foods...it's been there for 10+ years, and offers a wide variety of types of food; for example, when they opened, there were no places anywhere nearby which offered thai food; ropa vieja, i don't think so, etc. and getting quality local food at a restaurant wasn't quite as common as it is now.

                              i live 1+hour from it, which is why i go only when there's something else going on in woodstock or the area.

                              it's all relative; at 15 minutes away, i'd be there a bunch.

                            2. re: bob gaj

                              I find the blackened green beans to be a whole lotta nothin. Big deal.

                            3. re: financialdistrictresident

                              "fdr," (apropos moniker since I work down the road from the FDR Library), the ropa viejo mentioned by bob gaj is, IMO, consistently good. Otherwise, I tend to order one of the specials. I've had NWHC's ribs; they're OK but not outstanding. I really like fish and often order it. We live a little over an hour away, so a weekend drive to Woodstock would lead us consider a visit to this restaurant. We also happen to like the Little Bear for Chinese or The Bear Cafe for "New American" that can be pricey but is very good. The restaurants are near each other along a stream about five minutes outside of Woodstock in the hamlet of Bearsville. There are a couple other choices near NWHC that I've not yet tried but hope to visit sometime.

                          2. With Orlando concentrating on his new place in Albany, he's perhaps letting the old place go. Seems to happen often when a chef or owner is leaving.

                            1. I agree, New World is so overrated and often just bad.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: woodstockresident

                                As a "local," having moved here from NYC, I can definitely support everyone's opinion. It is a bit overrated, the food isn't exciting after a few visits, BUT it's made from local ingredients, the atmosphere is relaxed, NWHC is not for high-end foodies looking to review and rave, but for transplanted locals looking for something reliable, consistent, fresh, not over priced, with an atmosphere that lends itself to a good time if you're willing to work your end of things. I personally like the beer flights, a nice sampling of brews to go with the dish of the day. I appreciate that there's always something new to try and I've been given the recipe for dishes I want to try at home. Where else would anyone tolerate that? Woodstock restaurants come and go, but NWHC is always there. dropdeadcookie

                                1. re: dropdeadcookie

                                  I must say, I absolutely love New World. I'm not sure why some of you have had such an awful expeirnece, however...I have never had a bad meal here. Here is why I love this restaurant.
                                  I CRAVE spicy, hot, atomic...whatever you want to call it, food. I love the hot stuff. NW makes the most amazing purple haze shrimp. I could eat them all day long and never get sick of them. Mmmm. They are sooo hot and tasty.
                                  The Jamaican Jerk Chicken, as a "number 10" is amazing as well. I find even with a heat level the hottest they can make it, it is still delish and tasty and does not lack flavor. MMmmmmm as well.( You will even find large pieces of scotch bonnet peppers learking in the sauce. )

                                  They also make a blonde sauce that I recommend pairing with a steak, also delish.

                                  And finally when I truly need a spicy fix, I like to add a habanaro infused vodka martini...
                                  I have always found the service to be delightful. I find that Ric Orlando likes to come around and greet his patrons, which I enjoy. I love the atmosphere and artwork. I just really love this restaurant.
                                  Please don't be a hater, Try it again.

                                  1. re: TinkerShell

                                    We don’t live in Woodstock, but we have friends that do. Recently, we almost ate at New World Home Cooking but decided against it. I’ve heard so many more bad comments about that restaurant than good. I'm a little surprised it’s still open.

                                    1. re: Clambelly

                                      The Albany location was very good the last time I went. Spicy green beans, etc. Service was top notch and that was during their opening week. I believe I posted a report. This 2003 post with 2009 updates reminds me I need to get back, it has been too long. I believe they are open for brunch now too.

                              2. HUGE disappointment. I am a cook myself,-I believe I have an excellent palate, and the food was terribly mediocre. most of the food was under-seasoned. There was supposed to be a chimichurri sauce for the sirloin, and instead it was served atop a pool of bland tomatillo salsa verde-NOT a chimichurri sauce! I have many more complaints about the meal-but wont bore you- the meal was boring, with no exciting interesting flavors. It felt like a chore to eat my meal- and food should never feel that way....