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New Paltz Favorites

  • m

From a local yokel...

Village Tea Room - Best kept secret in New Paltz. Breakfast: Organic egg frittata with potato pancake or arugula salad, scones with clotted cream, muffins. Lunch: Sublime chicken salad with cilantro pesto, red lentil soup. Dinner: Roast meats, grilled fish. Dreamy scratch deserts. Uses local CSA produce. Outdoor deck, kids play area. Closed Mondays.

Mudd Puddle Cafe - Best breakfast in New Paltz: Excellent crepes and omlettes, heavenly coffee roasted on premesis. Lunch: Panini, quiche, wonderful scratch soups. Outdoor seating, Gunks view. Closed Tuesdays.

La Bella Pizzeria - Lunch/Dinner: Inexpensive salad bar with many pleasant surprises, featuring seasonal CSA produce. Vegan options. Eggplant rollatini, green beans in tomato sauce, garbanzo dip, pesto pasta. Broccoli pinwheels, garlic knots. Salad bar weekdays only.

Yanni's - Lunch/Dinner: Traditional Greek menu. Excellent hummus, Horatiki salad, falafel, chicken skewers.

Mexicali Blue - Lunch/Dinner: Cali-style taco joint. Catfish blue corn tacos, Salmon burritos. Mostly takeout, very limited seating, closed for lunch on Mondays.

Locust Tree Restaurant - Dinner: Inspired twists on classic fare. Delmonico steak for two, grilled fish, creative salads. Fine dining with a casual vibe on historic Hugenot St. Romantic setting. Reservations.

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  1. nice list mark...i loved the village tea room when i was there in may. such a lovely setting, and that chicken salad w/ cilantro pesto is sublime. good scones and cookies too (i had the full blown high tea and was pleased w/ everything). and the blue corn catfish tacos from mexicali blues was sooo yummy, i'm pining for one now (cant get em down here in white plains :(). new paltz is such a great food town, like a college town should be, i think i may head there for dinner! dont forget the bakery for desserts as well!

    1 Reply
    1. re: erika

      The food at the Village Tea Room was nice but the service put a damper on the night, a Wednesday. There was one waitress and she served the outdoor deck, main floor and upstairs. She also ran the register where people purchased scones, muffins, etc. The atmosphere is very tasteful and the food quality admirable. I've only been here once so I don't know if short staffing is the norm.

    2. LaBella used to be my favorite till Rocco's opened. I still think LaBella is great, but Rocco's comes closest to the pizza I remember from my childhood on the Brooklyn/Queens border.

      I've been a "local yokel" for many years and I'm almost reluctant to post this recommendation, mainly because I'd hate to have to wade through a mob of snotty downstate weekenders when I come to pick up my pizza. (Just kidding... Kinda). ;)

      1. Happened to be driving through New Paltz today and stopped for a bite at Wrapsody Grill , 25 North Chestnut Street.

        My friend had a BBQ chicken wrap (asked for it grilled instead of "Crispy") and it was fabulous. He also had a side of beans & rice. I had a chicken philly cheesesteak, it was great.

        They also had soup on the menu and homemade iced tea. Service was a little slow. Great lunch spot.

        1. Would you recommend the Village Tea Room for a work dinner for about 8 people? We are looking for entrees in the $15-20 range, good but not fancy. I've been searching earlier posts and came up with the Egg's Nest, Mountain Brauhaus and Would Inn. Beso's sounded great but too pricey. Any suggestions would be very welcome. TIA.

          5 Replies
          1. re: TGO

            I like Casa Mia in Highland. Their stuffed chicken Francese is the best. Prices are within your range and the restaurant is able to accomodate larger parties. I have been to the Village Tea Room for lunch and also for dessert. Their service leaves a lot to be desired. We were told to sit anywhere we wanted to, but we would have had to move a table ourselves. The Tea room menu is very limited. Check it out on line to see if it has what you are looking for. Do try their lemon raspberry cake, though and Rooibos Chocolate mint iced tea.

            1. re: Leslie

              I checked out the TeaRoom menu - breakfast, lunch afternoon tea, tapas, light fare & dinner. I did'nt see any of those food cliches from the 90's liked stuffed chicken francese (people still eat that!) but I found it quite varied. I like to know where my chicken came from and I prefer it not to be a factory or feedlot.

              1. re: realslowfood

                Yes, realslowfood, some of us do still eat stuffed chicken francese, if it is stuffed with proscuitto, eggplant and escarole. Casa Mia may not list "name brand" organics on their menu, like the Village Tea Room, but they do grow their own squash blossoms and other produce in their own garden in season. Some people are so trendy ( Blue Hill? Mojitos? uh hum ) that they forget other worthwhile options for dining. All meals out are not necessarily meant to be momentous occasions. Casa Mia uses fresh ingredients to prepare very good food and offers many options for a large group, which the person asking about the Village Tea Room was looking for. The Tea Room ,which by the way, you say you have ever eaten at, list three entrees on their dinner menu- a roast chicken, a roast carrot and parsnip entree and a roast port tenderloin entree. That is not quite varied to me. They do have an nice lunch menu and lighter fare. And I am not the only poster who had problems with their service.

                1. re: Leslie

                  I did eat there - roast chicken, pork chop, a vegetarian entree I think as well as steak and fish. several appetizers, an extensive tapas menu. Don't know when you ate there last...I understood the question to be "all time favorite restaurants" not places that I eat where they serve mediocre food but I like it anyway. Mediocrity is everywhere...why not celebrate excellence when we find it. Try a mojito...It's been around for decades and finally restaurants are making it well..no lemonex, real juice quality ingredients, basically the starting point for anything worth enjoying. I've worked in many restaurants and more things come out of plastic buckets than people could ever imagine. When I find a place that has integrity & quality I support it even if I occasionally have slow service. Actually the service I had was very warm and hospiatble.

                  1. re: realslowfood

                    Yes, I have had a mojito many times, using mint from my garden and fresh ingredients. It is also one of my favorite drinks and I know I won't looking down my nose and be laughing about all those people who are still drinking them a few years from now because they are so early 2000's. Good is good. Also, I believe that the heading was New Paltz favorites and I was responding to another later post looking for an inexpensive place for workng dinner.One of my favorite restaurants in the area is Aroma Osteria over in Wappingers, also an Italian restaurant, completely different from Casa Mia. Liking one dos not have to belittle the other. Have you ever eaten in Casa Mia? Perhaps you might want to try it before you comment further.

          2. the seafood joint Gadaletos might be worth checking out. Most entree's are below 20 bucks, and the wine list was very reasonable. The new chef in the kitchen is great, and with coming cold weather I keep thinking about the oyster stew. Yum

            2 Replies
            1. re: stevenk

              i definitely second that. freshest seafood in the area. i'd serve it to my grandmother. nice inexpensive wine list, too. if you go, say hi to dan for me!!

              1. re: stevenk

                Gadaleto's has never been right since John Varga left...each time I hear that there is a new chef I give it a TRY. And disappointed again. And the room and the service are horrible. Who ever is running it are clueless.