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Jul 9, 2004 11:23 AM

Woodstock/Kingston Area

  • a

Some friends and I are climbing Slide Mountain on Saturday. Figure we will be pretty hungry when we come down. Looking for a chowish place. Phoenecia,Woodstock, Kingston anywhere around that area

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  1. There was a great post on Ugly Gus's in Kingston recently. Also, La Canarde Enchaine has a v. good lunch deal and great food. Lot of folks love Red Onion in Saugerties, but I haven't been there yet. Post back, wherever you go.

    11 Replies
    1. re: lucia

      I agree with Lucia on all of her recommendations.

      Whatever you do, stay away from New World Home Cooking. I had the worst meal in twenty years of living in Ulster County there.


      1. re: George B

        Wow, George! While I'm definitely not rah-rah Ric Orlando (he's our Hudson Valley version of Emeril), I've always eaten well at this place -- the ropa vieja with black beans and the creative mixed appetizer plate come pleasantly to mind. They were running a $15 fixed price menu for a while that was a tremendous bargain. My gripe with New World has always been their cold-shoulderish service rather than the food. George, a provocative comment like that merits a full blown explication. Please give us the benefit of your bad experience.

        1. re: markp

          Never eaten there, but I've always wanted to try those blackened stingbeans. What's the deal with this place?

          1. re: Mark DiBlasi

            Not sure, but I have the feeling that the personality of the owner, Ric Orlando, has alienated some. It's a small community, and the legend of his ego looms large. Nevertheless, chefs aren't exactly known for their humble attitudes, so if the food is good, who really cares? I don't have to work for him.

            I second the poster who mentioned asking your server what to order. Some things are hits, some are misses, and much comes down to personal taste. The same aforementioned poster mentioned the Vietnamese salad, which I don't care for, but I'll go there any day of the week for their Hudson Valley salad with Val Deon blue cheese, filberts & apples.

            We went there just this morning for brunch, and the food was very good. I had the eggs benedict with spinach (guava to the hollandaise was an interesting, if not particularly necessary, addition) and my husband had the "traditionale," with grilled flatbread, chorizo and other Latin trimmings.

            It's all a matter of taste. IMO, New World is certainly worth a trip, and not only for the (excellent)legendary blackened stringbeans.

          2. re: markp

            My experience with New World Home Cooking is that if you know what to order, you can eat well here. But, make the mistake of ordering the wrong thing and you will suffer. Be sure to ask the staff for their recommendations, they have always lead me to good things.
            My feeling is that if they scaled down that enormous menu to only do the items which they do well instead of trying to cover all of the bases (often poorly)they would make things alot less risky.
            My favorite items:
            Vietnamese Salad
            Vietnamese Calamari
            Thai BBQ Salmon (this may have been a special)

            1. re: markp

              Here's the link to my contemporary review...


              It seems that I am not the only one who will not go back there again.


              1. re: markp

                I guess it is all a matter of taste because for me New World is the best place in the county by a mile, but then again, i am from Texas where the food is definitely more assertive than it is up here. I have never had to look for the flavors at New World---they jump into your mouth! ---Thai BBQ fish, Cuban Pot Roast, BBQ Pork chops and the Brown Rice Risotto are awesome, the Fried calamari is the best I've ever had. If you encounter the Ribs on special--go for it. Italian Tuesday are awesome too!

                1. re: markp

                  I'll say this for New World: FRESH and (for the most part) organic. That's about it, though. It's the cooking of that wonderful fresh food that leaves a lot to be desired. Everything, spice-wise, tastes very much the same. The famous blackened stringbeans are okay, but I've been making that dish for years myself and it really needs to be less gritty. One way to cut down on the grit factor is to not use garlic powder or onion powder, which dry up and granulate and burn even more when blackened (I use fresh garlic and paint the inside of the work bowl with it instead of opting for the powder). The cornmeal makes the dish gritty enough. Anyway, the restaurant itself: First, the good news: Never had a better calamari dish than the Vietnamese Street-Style Calamari. That said, the rest of the place leaves an awfully lot to be desired. Chicken arrives dried out; fish arrives raw. The New York strip is overpriced because it's cut too thin and is chewy. Many dishes are served with an overabundance of starch: black beans, brown rice and sweet potatoes on the same entree. Puhleeze. What is this, the army? And everything arrives cold and on the hackneyed, mundane, cliche square or rectangular white plate that is so overused in bistro-style restaurants today that I want to scream. There is a brown rice "no crash" risotto that is not risotto. It's pilaf. Risotto "flows" across a plate, like a body of lava. Brown rice won't behave like arborio, so why try? Call it a pilaf and it would be fine, if a bit dirty tasting. For some reason, whether it's from the mushrooms or something else, there is an overly-earthy taste and consistency to this dish, but it's definitely not a risotto and, hence, most disappointing. If a particular ingredient won't work for a particular dish, then don't try to force it to. What makes risotto risotto is its texture. Rice is just rice, and there's no need here to have a risotto on the menu. I understand the reasoning behind the dish, which is apparent from its name "no crash." I can appreciate that white, polished rice (especially arborio) is high on the glycemic index and that brown rice is a slow, lower density carbohydrate, but Ric...IT WON'T MAKE RISOTTO.

                  If you want fresh, you can't fault New World. But, in terms of cuisine, there's certainly nothing to write home about here, and it's pretentious about some of the dishes, which are just not good. Also, they use good quality seafood, then murder it and charge too much for it.

                  1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan

                    Fresh if "SyscoFoodservice" is your idea of fresh. This place is disturbing! All "Fuff" nothing real.

                    1. re: links42

                      Well, from what I could tell there was a lot of fresh stuff being used. But, it really doesn't matter, Links42, since in every other way the place just sucks.

                      1. re: links42

                        Having talked with some of the local/regional farmers who supply them, I think you must be confused. I can’t say they never ever use any Sysco item, but there is a big emphasis on getting fresh, regional food there.

              2. EL Danzante on Broadway in Kingston has absolutely terrific Mexican food. I've gone twice and have been delighted with the quality and authenticness of the food, the very attractive and large servings, the great service and the inexpensive prices. My party has had ribs in green salsa, shrimp in chipotle sauce, a chicken and rice dish and a cheese/bean torta. All have been great. Be sure to have dessert -- the apple chimmichanga with ice cream and the coconut flan were fantastic.

                1. Where did you go? Do tell.

                  1. I recommend Hickory BBQ on route 28 to everyone as the best place after hiking, climbing, fishing etc. A good value of tasty BBQ fare. Plus, they just added my favorite, the barbecue Chuck steak to the permanent menu. I also recommend the Turkey thighs and beef ribs, if they have them, and any of the fish dishes. I've only been disappointed with the roast beef--too tough. Homemade desserts are also killer. Particularly love the white chocolate cheesecake and banana cream pie. All of the kids that work their are extremely friendly and the owners go out of their way to give you what you want.

                    Anothe rgreat place is Marion's on route 375 at the old Woodstock lodge. A little more pricey but definitely great european food.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Dale

                      Just want to second the Hickory BBQ - right near the Thruway and worth getting off for...A family operation,two brothers and parents who come up for the weekend to help out - real committment to ingredients and supporting local producers and suppliers - a quality and tasty place; not like the sweet, over-sauced stuff that passes for BBQ most of the time, especially up here.....

                      1. re: Dale

                        Marion's is a hidden gem. Well worth the effort to find it. You can eat outside under the stars well away form the sounds of traffic. On Sundays they even cook out on the patio.

                        1. re: Dale

                          I ate there last Friday and the food was very good. Nice selection of draft beer.

                            1. re: ChefJeffe

                              It was the Hickory Smokehouse.

                              1. re: Fred19

                                Glad you enjoyed it. I always do.