next 2 weeks: hudson valley restaurant week.
As promised, my summary of dinner at Pacifico in PortChester.
Sorry to say, my estimation of this place still hasn't changed. I like Sonora better.
Dinner was pleasant (company was outstanding), but food was just good. Not very good, not great, but good.
Service was excellent, no skimping on the very good crusty bread. My Cosmopolitan was fine (I never did get the drink they are noted for, I still can't spell it!), as were the drinks of my other three companions.
A tomato salsa accompanied the bread, it was good, but not spicy.
I still am offput by the ambience of the place. Not sure why, as there are many other 'open-air' roomed restaurants (Blue in White Plains is one) but I just don't like them. They remind me of a cafeteria. Then again, as I often opine, you can't eat ambience.
Oh, and the place was packed, on a Wednesday night no less, and many around us were ordering off the restaurant week menu.
On to the food, here is the HVRW menu:
Appetizers: Mesclun lettuce with gorgonzola cheese; Corn Chowder; Shrimp tacos; and Shrimp Ceviche.
Main Entree: Plantain crusted tilapia; Kansas skirt steak with fries; Blue corn rigatoni; and Grilled salmon.
Dessert: Dulce de leche cheesecake; Key lime tart; and Dulce de leche oatmeal cookies.
Three of us had the Shrimp ceviche, one had the shrimp tacos. The ceviche was nice, although I don't eat shrimp. The sauce was a gazpacho type sauce, and I had the best time dipping my accompanying plantains (nice touch) in the sauce and giving away my shrimp. The fish tacos were declared good.
Three of us had the tilapia, one had the skirt steak. Again, the dish was good, not great, something about the tilapia didn't make my mouth sing, but the accompanying ravioli (blue corn? not sure) were delish. The skirt steak didn't come as ordered, but was declared good.
Two of us had the cheesecake, two had the key lime. All were very good, but the portions weren't big enough. Well, in my opinion. Incidentally, these were the actual portions, the table next to us wasn't on HVRW and their portions were small too.
Price, including two drinks and four espressos not included I imagine, was $45. a person, including tax and tip.
Sorry to say, again, that I wouldn't make an effort to go back to this place, but it was still fun.
just had dinner at sabroso in rhinbeck for restaurant week. have heard really great things about this place, so i was really excited about dining there, especially because i work in the industry, and i rarely get time to dine out (because i'm always working when the rest of you folks are out and about).
well, i'm sorry to say that the dinner was mediocre, at best. my dining companion had the fried smelt as her first course, but the accompanying guajillo sauce was ridiculously spicy (and this is coming from a korean-american who adores spicy food; besides, guajillos aren't even supposed to be that spicy). i had the trio of ceviches which were decent, but tiny in portion size. for entrees, i had the grilled swordfish, which was cooked to perfection, but the accompanying saffron risotto was mushy, and again, my quaff is with the portion size; i would guess that the swordfish was about 3 oz. my friend had the skirt steak, which was flavorful (which is inherent in the cut of the beef itself) but was definitely overcooked than the requested medium-rare (which i know is hard to do on such a thin cut). the best part of the meal were the desserts: i had the fig-bread pudding (i'm a sucker for both fresh mission figs and bread pudding), and it was divine, and my companion had the chocolate cake, which was moist. they were out of the malmsey madiera that we requested to pair with our desserts, and comped us some port instead. i have no problems with the dining experience at all; our server was patient (i am a little fussy about my drinks, but hey, i am a bartender and i know what i like...) and efficient. i have to admit that i was a bit disappointed because the restaurant that i work at, gigi trattoria, also in rhinebeck and participating in hudson valley restaurant week, offers full-size portions of our most popular menu items for restaurant week menu...)
if you are considering visiting some dutchess county restuarants for restaurant week, i would suggest gigi trattoria , terrapin, the busy bee cafe, or il barilotto. i promise that you would not be disappointed.
We ate at Valley tonight (hi to everyone we spoke to, including the nice couple who sat next to us). I will start with the only negative thing I will say about the place. The road sign is about 20 feet past the entrance when coming from the south on Route 9 and the entrance road is not lit, which caused me to zoom past it and have to turn around about a mile down the road.
OK, with the negative out of the way let me say something else -- these folks get it. They understand what Restaurant Week is all about. Put your best foot (oops, I initially typed food, that works too) forward and serve real food from the regular menu so people will WANT to come back. Treat people the same way they would if they were ordering at regular price. We were greeted in a friendly manner and our server Ashly (that's what the receipt said) could not have been better. I had wanted to try this place for a while, and had been looking forward to tonight's dinner since I saw the skate dish pictured in the Journal News last week (and even more once I realized that the ravioli on the cover of the section were also from here).
Valley Garden Mixed Baby Greens
Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque
Sheep's Milk Ricotta Cheese Ravioli
Horseradish Crusted Skate Wing
Herb Roasted Free Range Chicken
Braised Shank of Colorado Lam
Warm Sticky Toffee Cake
Fresh Baked Madelines with chocolate, lemon and raspberry dipping sauces
My wife and I got one of the corner tables for 2, very cozy. The bench had cushions behind it, which was handy when relaxing after eating too much. I didn't notice it until we were almost finished eating, but the flower vase on the table had a spring of rosemary. But, let's get to the food.
After ordering, they brought an amuse bouche to the table -- a seared scallop covering a couscous lobster mix, with some sort of sauce on the side. I don't eat shellfish, so my wife got to eat both of them (and I thought it would be crass to ask for something else). She's not generally a scallop lover, but she said this was great. A very nice touch considering the price we paid. As I said -- they get it.
My wife ordered the soup and I ordered the ravioli. Both were superb. The soup was a darker color than I've seen in butternut squash soups, it was almost bronze. But it was amazingly rich and the tender potato gnocchi couldn't have been better (even my wife loved them and she is not a gnocchi fan). It also had toasted pumpkin seeds which made for a nice crunch.The ravioli were light and tender with a Parmesan cream sauce that still had bubbles in it. The dough was so thin, the filling so light, I could have made a meal of these.
The bread is two types of focaccia. One was olive, I'm not a big olive fan but it was ok. The regular one had a nice sweet/salty taste to it. I ate too much of it.
As for entrees, my wife had the chicken and I had the skate. The portions were huge. I hadn't noticed initially, but there were two pieces of skate. I ate the one on the top and could not finish the second piece so I took it home. But I should have eaten the bottom one instead because it was sitting on top of this amazing cauliflower puree, and the top one would travel better. Nevertheless, it was superb. I haven't had skate in several years but I never remembered it being this tender and sweet. I see from the menu that it says it is horseradish crusted.. I must admit I didn't notice the horseradish but it was nicely crusted. The Cabernet marinated beet cubes had an interesting flavor.
As for the chicken, at first it looked like it was just the breast with the wing sticking out. But closer inspection showed that there were two other pieces hidden underneath. The chicken was crisp yet moist. It comes with a ragout of broccoli rabe, sausage and beans. My wife asked (before ordering) if she could get a different side because she doesn't eat sausage. Ashly asked the chef, and rather than switching to another side, he said he could make a batch without sausage! Wow, talk about being accommodating! And Ashly was correct, the ragout really made the dish.
Now for dessert. We weren't all that hungry at this point, but that didn't stop us. My wife had ordered the pumpkin cheesecake, and I ordered the madelines (I asked the server if she recommended those or the sticky toffee pudding and she said definitely the madelines -- excellent recommendation!). These are also from the regular menu. We did decide that since the cheesecake would likely travel better than the madelines, my wife would just take a couple of bites of it, and we'd work on finishing the madelines. Both desserts were wonderful. The cheesecake was a small round cake, topped with a thin lace cookie with more of those pumpkin seeds (I ate that when we got home, it was great). It had a great pumpkin flavor. The madelines are served in a cone shaped napkin sitting in something like a glass (I didn't look carefully). They are bite sized and to die for. The chocolate, strawberry and lemon sauces were perfect. It seemed like there were a couple of dozen but Ashly said there were 16. In any event, eating them there made sense since there's no way they would have been as good reheated.
OK, so by now we're stuffed, and waiting for our check, and we're brought ANOTHER dessert, this time two huge chunks of homemade fudge (vanilla and chocolate) on a marble slab. We ate a little of each (tasted great) and asked for another container to take them home.
So I think you've got the idea -- I HIGHLY recommend this place, and I'll definitely be back for their regular menu. We might even make a return RW visit next Friday if they can find a table for us -- they're currently booked but have room on Thursday. But we're planning to have dinner at the Kittle House next Thursday.. decisions, decisions.
Nice review, MisterBill2, thank you. Sounds like this is a smart restaurant. Never heard of them before.
Did you bring home any literature? I am always on the lookout for brunch places for Mr. dolores's car club, and this has all the potential -- parking, view, and from the sound of it, food! I have to ask if they do a buffet brunch.
I am going to Pacifico next week and hope to report back with good news.
http://www.thegarrison.com. You have to get past their flash intro and select the restaurant.
No brunch :-(. And they are normally only open Friday and Saturday. For RW they are also opening on Thursday. They apparently do have a nice view, but once again you couldn't see it at night.
Pacifico's brunch looks interesting, I keep meaning to try it.
new world home cooking (saugerties/woodstock) was a smash!
i apologize in advance - i didn't write down the menu and won't do it justice, but...
i had: appetizer - trout quesadilla that was on some type of earthy/crunchy bread, was there cheese? not sure...but it was with some sauces outside it, and beets? and some other vegetable on the plate. great flavours and filling..
dinner: nylon seared(?) tuna. again, wonderful flavours, with other sauces, and mixed veggies in it. cooked just as i requested.
wife had: appetizer - pumpkin fritters in marinara sauce with parmesan. we both tried, loved 'em.
dinner: a meat loaf wellington. don't remember what was in it, she liked it bunches.
the other options were: appetizer - a salad with local produce including apples...dinner - meat loaf wellington became a vegetarian version of same.
dessert - one option, apple/pear cobbler with jane's vanilla ice cream. yum!
as my wife (who had never been) said, i wish this place were closer (1 hour drive, we coupled it with a small walk in woodstock). she had never been before...
now THIS is what the h.v. week should be about. glad others have had hits with the kittle and others, too bad i had one bad experience...
went to the artists palate (lunch) in poughkeepsie today. their menu is one appetizer, one salad/sandwich, one dessert.
i had: zucchini fries, lobster mac n cheese, cheesecake. lobster mac/cheese didn't have lots o' lobster, was too dry.
friend had: tofu, crab cake, chocolate mousse. he wasn't knocked out by the crab cake sandwich.
also, we found out afterwards that the 'supplemental' charges would have wound up more than the total bill. which i didn't understand, but i had to run...but we also wouldn't have gotten the desserts.
i wish i had gotten the kobe burger to try it, but i wasn't knocked out. too bad...
I brought a group of twenty out to Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar for Restaurant Week on Tuesday evening. It couldn't have been a better experience - except for the fact that our group of twenty were seated at different parts of the restaurant (we knew this going in, as the rsvp's had been made at different times), the food, the service, the wine, and the ambiance were all exquisite!
I had the wild mushroom bisque for a starter, then the pork loin with roasted apples and red cabbage for entree, and the apple/cranberry crumble with cinamon ice cream for dessert. Other entrees included roasted trout with grapes and a white sauce, and free range chicken with risotto and wild veggies... don't remember what the other starters were, unfortunately - some sort of custard and a fresh garden salad, I think. The other two desserts were a trio of chocolate (like a terine) and something else - similar to a flan...
Sorry my brain isn't up to describing all of the details, but I would definitely recommend Restaurant X for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week !
The flan-like dessert at Restaurant X is a pumpkin panna cotta. I had a coconut panna cotta there last year and like with Peter Kelly's Creme Brulee, it ruined panna cotta for me at any other restaurant, because it was so far above what other places try to pass it off as.
BTW did the trout have a crab topping? I noticed it does on the menu but that's not of interest to me.
Thanks for posting, I am glad I decided to make another reservation and go there for dinner next week. My son (15) is going to have quite a week -- Restaurant X on Tuesday and Kittle House on Thursday!!
oh yeah!! now I remember - we all shared bites of our desserts, and the punpkin pana cotta was of a light consistency, yet intensely pumpkin flavored... really delightful! I wasn't as impressed with the chocolate terrine, but that could have been because I was so full by then! the Apple/Cranberry Cobbler was just delicious, and the cinnamon ice cream was the perfect accompaniement - beware, though, this is the largest of the three dessert offerings, you may need to share!
I don't remember seeing a crab topping on the trout that folks ordered.. but everyone who had it raved about it. I think that there was one person who ordered off the menu rather than from the price fixe menu, and while she was delighted with her choices, her bill was almost four times the price of the special rate! So this Hudson Valley Special, indeed, is a truly worth taking advantage of! :)
That would be good if the trout doesn't have crabmeat, since I don't eat shellfish. I was thinking that they are serving dishes right off the menu, but maybe not.
I had never had panna cotta before the coconut variety I ordered after a dinner at X last year. As you described, it was light and delicious (like Peter's creme brulee). When I tried a panna cotta at another restaurant, I found it to be heavy and gummy like a thick pudding (also like many other creme brulees). The problem is, once you have such a stellar preparation, you are spoiled for anything else -- you become a creme brulee (or panna cotta) snob :-).
OK so I had lunch at the Kittle House with 4 co-workers today. We had a nice round table near the window; sadly it was raining but the view was still nice. The server presented us the with RW menu and also gave us one regular menu. This was much nicer than Monteverde's showing the RW menu next to a much more expensive menu, but it's their choice I guess.
Here's the menu:
Hudson Valley Farmhouse Salad
Celeriac Soup - Crisp Shallots
Butternut Squash Risotto, Granny Smith Apple
Pan Roasted Free Range Chicken, Braised Vegetables, Whipped Potatoes
Grilled Prime Skirt Steak, Haricots Verts, Parmesan Fries
Fillet of Wild Tilapia, Roasted Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes
Warm Pecan Pie
Three Chocolate Terrine, Dried Cherry Sauce (more about this later)
I ordered the risotto, tilapia and chocolate terrine. Others in my party ordered the soup and steak.
The risotto was great. It turns out this is a normal dish on their lunch menu. It actually had small pieces of squash in it, and was less crunchy than the same dish I had at Monteverde the other night (recall I said I am not a risotto expert, but my dining companions today said it should be al dente, not crunchy as it was Monday). The portion was huge -- a large appetizer plate completely full. I took some home for my wife and son to try, both really liked it. I tried the celeriac soup. It tasted fine, and the crisp shallots were as advertised. I am not a big celery fan but if you are, you'd probably like this. No one at my table had the salad.
The tilapia was nicely prepared. It was crispy on top but moist inside. A couple of spots might have been a bit undercooked as I had some trouble breaking off a chunk but it did not taste undercooked. The accompanying potatoes and tomatoes were diced, and the tomatoes were red and yellow pear, and they were obviously sautéed with garlic. The fillet was sitting on top of the veggies, with a dijon sauce (not very strong). The majority of people at my table had the steak. It was sliced and for those who ordered it medium rare, it looked great. One person ended up with it well done and it looked dead. I didn't tasted any parmesan on the fries but they were excellent, nice and crisp. Probably the only complaint I heard all day was about the haricots verts, which were yellow wax beans instead of green (I'm not sure if it is possible to have non-green haricots verts).
Dessert took close to a half hour to arrive, and no one came over to tell us what was going on (pacing had been fine until then). When it came out, I noticed that the chocolate dessert I was given did not match the terrine on the menu. I'm not sure what happened, and no one told me anyway, but I ended up with their Valrhona chocolate (melted) in puff pastry dessert. I've had this before and it's one of the best chocolate desserts I have ever had and when it showed up in front of me I felt like I'd hit the jackpot (the nice folks at the neighboring table seemed to feel the same way). The dessert was just amazing -- I felt guilty about getting it so I had to share a bit of the melted chocolate with my co-workers. I ended up bringing some of it home, not sure how it will reheat but I'm sure it will still taste pretty good.
Service was good, but not great, but I did not feel slighted and the restaurant WAS very busy. Today we actually would have liked to get out faster than we did, it took almost 2 hours (as opposed to my 55 minute dinner at Monteverde the other night). I tried to get a copy of their dinner menu but they were supposedly printing new ones for tonight but had not yet, and they were very efficient about throwing out the ones from the night before. When I was ordering, I asked my server if it was similar to the dinner menu so I could be careful not to order the same items. I was told that they were totally different, but when I asked the woman at the front desk about the menu, she said they were similar. Oh well, I suspect by next Thursday (when I'll be there for dinner), it will be different, anyway.
Bottom line -- this one is a MUST DO.
Your lunch sounds just great. I'm really glad you're posting about Kittle House and Valley. I'm not hitting the really well known places for my blog assignment because I think they're a lot more likely to have a good selection. Turns out, from what I've seen, everyone is doing a really good job.
They were moderately busy but not overcrowded (certainly no wait to be seated). They did seem to be filling tables near the window shortly after they had been vacated, but there were empty tables. We got there at 6:30 and left shortly before 7:30.
The server was pleasant and did not discriminate against us, she asked how we liked the food (my mouth was full when she asked about dessert so I did not get to tell her about the apple pie). But I didn't like being rushed. $26 for a 3 course meal still isn't cheap for many people. And the thing about dessert was that my wife had gotten up to go to the rest room right after the server took our dessert order (she asked the server where it was, so she knew that she was getting up). Yet they brought desserts right over, anyway, long before my wife returned to the table.
That's a great review. Thanks for all the details. I was thinking of dinning there next week. How crowded was it that night and what time did you arrive? Do you think the rush was because of the crowd? I hate restaurants giving discriminatory treatments to diners who order the restaurant week menu. Afterall isn't the purpose of the restaurant week to advertise and introduce a restaurant to new patrons and therefore the restaurant should really present themselves in the best light possible foodwise and servicewise to attract diners back for their normal menus? I don't understand why some restaurants bother to participate in restaurant weeks but only to show their worst side and drive away their potential customers. It's like a company making a commercial advertising how terrible their products are.
We ate at Monteverde last night. Very nice place, we were seated in the round room with lots of windows. It was nice, but I don't see what the big deal about the view is. There are trees blocking most of it, and at night you can't see much (I saw some cars across the river, big deal). When you leave to get your car you get to see Indian Point.
My wife and I both had the potato leek soup. Very good, nice and light but I didn't taste any truffle essence (doesn't that mean they wave a truffle over the pot) and there were maybe 3 chives and they weren't very crispy. Then we both had the duck breast. Turns out the trout has Prosciutto in the filling (which I do not eat) and there was no way to get it without. My wife asked if she could get the sweet potato side from the venison instead of the risotto, she was told no, they would only subtract (this seemed really petty -- the menu says no switching between menus (there is also a $65 dinner) but not being allowed to swap sides is something that I have never had a problem with). I got mine medium-rare, my wife's was ordered medium. The dish was served on a rectangular plate that I would have expected for an over-sized appetizer rather than an entree. The duck breast was sliced but served with all pieces crowded right up against each other, not fanned as I have had elsewhere. The risotto had some sort of micro greens on top. The duck tasted great, almost steak-like. The risotto was good, I am not an expert on risotto but it was a bit crunchy, but I didn't really taste the butternut squash (although it was light orange). The advertised sour cherry sauce had no cherry flavor (which was good for me, I don't like cherries).
For dessert, my wife had the pumpkin cake and it was a definite winner. it was an individual round cake with 2 layers, and frosting between them and on top. I didn't taste it but she said it was great. I was less happy with the apple pie. It was a small wedge with a small scoop of ice cream on top. The apples were nice and crisp, but the pie crust was much too thick, I had trouble cutting it with my fork.
I noticed someone at a neighboring table had the trout. It was actually cut into slices and looked very nice. Same small plate, however.
The worst part of the meal was that we were out of there in under an hour. Soup arrived fairly quickly, entrees not too long after that (immediately after they brought us a refill on rolls, and we hadn't asked so they had to have known the food was coming right out). Then, dessert arrived within a minute or two of our entree plates being cleared (it turns out the server was supposed to have taken our dessert order at the same time as the rest of the meal). Given that I had other stuff to do, I didn't necessarily mind getting out of there early, but I don't like being given the bums rush, either. I trust that this is NOT how they treat customers spending serious money there (and if you look at the menu, entrees are $30-40).
We were given "coupons" (actually a business card with RW on the back) which we were told we could use on a return visit for a free glass of wine or dessert. That's a nice touch that I hope other restaurants are doing.
So I enjoyed most of the food, but not necessarily the experience. And there are places I'd rather eat at for their regular prices.
Next stop, Kittle House for lunch tomorrow, then Valley for dinner on Friday.
So I was planning to try Jackson & Wheeler for lunch this week, but the Zagat rating is abysmal. However, I read the review and saw that it's based on reviews prior to the current chef. Has anyone tried them lately? A bunch of us are going out for lunch and I think we'll just go to Kittle House instead, where I'm sure we can't go wrong (even if I am going for dinner the following week, and probably for lunch again for an anniversary lunch at the end of the month, but that one will be paid for by work and I can order off the regular menu).
Good idea not to go to Jackson & Wheeler. I went 11/10/06 and was disappointed. I had the duck, which was not bad, but the carrots included as the side were practically raw. The filet mignon was cooked decently, but the waiter failed to bring the bournaise sauce as requested. Our waiter continued his poor service, coming by our table very little during the course of our dinner. Lastly, the creme broulee was undercooked, and I felt ill the next day possibly for this reason. The waiter didn't bring change for tip left either, nor did he even ask if we wanted change. Overall it was a very disappointing evening.
The only place at the CIA thats participating is St. Andrew's Cafe.
There's an article in the "Line" section of today's Journal News about this. They have a picture of some Skate that is being served at Valley. There's a mushroom ravioli pictured on the cover that looks great, but it doesn't say where it's from (hopefully Valley as well since I have reservations there!).
So I have reservations at Monteverde (wanted to try it and their regular menu is too pricey for me), Valley (in Garrison) and the Kittle House (have not been there in a while and $26 for dinner is too good to pass up).
I was thinking of trying one for lunch.. any suggestions from the list that are not too far from Yorktown?
I got the Monteverde menu and it is very limited, just 2 soup/salad choices, 3 entrees and 2 desserts. And the sheet they sent me also had their $65 dinner next to it. The other places did not have a menu to send.
Also, if you pay by AMEX at 2 locations, you are entitled to a free subscription to The Valley Table. See the website for details (you need to mail something in with the receipt copies).
Monteverde $26 dinner menu:
Local Potato and Leek Soup with Truffle Essence and Crispy Chives
Local Greens with Goat Cheese Croutons and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Local Venison w/ Sour Cherry Chutney, Sweet Potato Galette & Venison Jus
Roasted Duck Breast with Butternut Squash Risotto and Sour Cherry
Roasted Hudson Valley Trout stuffed with Arugula & Sun Dried Tomatoes and wrapped in Proscuitto with Fingerling Potato, Beurre Noisette
Pumpkin Spice Cake layered with a Cream Cheese Frosting
Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
Here is Monteverde's $16 lunch menu:
Local Greens with Goat Cheese Croutons and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Local Free Range Chicken with Cross the River Potato Puree, Brussels Sprouts and Glace de Poulet
Housemade Duck Ham Club Sandwich with Tomatoes and Local Greens
Grilled Salmon with Crushed Fingerling Potatoes, Apple-Braised Cabbage and Cider Glaze
Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream
St. Andrews Cafe at the CIA $26 dinner menu (from their website):
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- St. Andrew's Garden Salad with Raspberry-Walnut Vinaigrette
- Morel and Asparagus Risotto
- Herb Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast (with Spicy Apple Chutney, Whole Wheat Spaetzle, Red Pepper Coulis)
- Pan-Seared Salmon (with Edamame Soy Beans, Shiitake Mushrooms, Orange-Soy Glaze)
- Smoked Ham and Provolone Panini (with Tomatoes and Basil-Mayonnaise, Served with Potato Salad)
- Apple Raisin Crisp
- Cheesecake with Seasonal Fruit
- Trio of Sorbets