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Dinner in Poughkeepsie- help!

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Stacy Mar 27, 2008 07:21 AM

My boyfriend’s parents are taking a class at the CIA and we are going up to join them for dinner, but the CIA restaurants are all booked. They are staying in Poughkeepsie and would like to keep it local… I’ve read very mixed reviews of The Artist’s Palate, which looked promising. Twist sounds good, but the kid friendly/casual vibe doesn’t sound ideal. I’m curious about Busy Bee, but haven’t read enough to convince me. Also see from this board that there are some great Mexican places, but would like something a little more “upscale.”

Anyone have a recommendation? Looking for a nice atmosphere, food on the lighter side (they will have been cooking/eating all day), preferably a CIA chef. They are serious about their food and I’ve been asked to find a place, so any help would be appreciated!

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    Feaster18 RE: Stacy Mar 27, 2008 07:28 AM

    If you dont't mind traveling 15 minutes to Fishkill or Wappinger's Falls, I would hIghly recommend Aroma Osteria or Il Barilotto (same owner, delicious upscale Italian food!)
    I have not been to the Artist's Palate, but my in-laws have been raving about it...
    If you want less upscale, try Beech Tree - excellent pub type food - burgers, salads, great entree specials...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Feaster18
      owlwoman RE: Feaster18 Mar 27, 2008 08:22 AM

      We ate at Shadows - http://www.shadowsonthehudson.com/ind... last time we were in Poughkeepsie, varied menu (you can have something light or heavy) food was good, nice atmosphere and fabulous view. I didn't expect much but was pleasantly surprised.

      Another time we were in Poughkeepsie, I took a course once at the CIA and we we then ate dinner in the Escoffier Room (later that night), it was waaaay to much for one day, so don't feel bad that they're booked.

    2. h
      hudsonvalleyfoodblog RE: Stacy Mar 27, 2008 09:38 AM

      I highly recommend Busy Bee. From the outside it might not look very impressive but the food was very good. I had excellent lamb chops the last time I was there. The menu is diverse and well executed. Some people have commented that the atmosphere is below average. Honestly I didn't feel that way at all. Sure it wasn't a high end dining room but they had white table clothes and very good service. If you want to stay in Poughkeepsie I think that is your best bet. You'll get a good combination of food, service and atmosphere.

      Further south in Fishkill I'd recommend Il Barilotto. Its italian cuisine but not your typical red sauce place. The atmosphere and service are top notch, think NYC quality. The food is also on the same level. The one downside is they do not take reservations. If you are going Friday or Saturday night go early or expect a wait. Also the bar area is not very large so you might be forced to stand outside. But honestly it's worth it.

      If you prefer a red sauce italian place that has great food but no atmosphere try Stephano's in Wappingers Falls. The food is the star at this place. You'll need reservations. The best way I can describe the place is old school. Fast service, casual dining room and it seems like everyone is a regular. If you don't care about a fancy night out and just want real good italian check it out.

      I hope this helps. If you need any more suggestions let me know.

      6 Replies
      1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog
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        Feaster18 RE: hudsonvalleyfoodblog Mar 27, 2008 07:40 PM

        Aroma Osteria (the sister restaurant of Il Bariloto does take reservations and the food is just as great!) Atmosphere is not as chic...

        1. re: Feaster18
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          hudsonvalleyfoodblog RE: Feaster18 Mar 28, 2008 07:07 AM

          Yeah, I've been to Aroma several times and I think there is a very big gap between the two restaurants. Aroma is good, don't get me wrong but its not on the same level as Il Bariloto in my opinion.

          1. re: Feaster18
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            Mothership RE: Feaster18 Mar 28, 2008 07:11 AM

            I absolutely second Aroma Osteria. If they have the tiny little meat balls as an appetizer special - OMG are they good...

            1. re: Feaster18
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              Solstice444 RE: Feaster18 May 1, 2008 01:48 AM

              Last night I went to Il Barilotto for the first time for my birthday dinner and it was definitely great. I also have been to Aroma and since that was 3 months ago, I can't make a direct comparison about the quality of the food, but I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at both places and it was definitely some of the best Italian food I've had. Very hard to pick what to eat, so many delicious sounding choices! I'd pick where to go depending on the type of atmosphere you want. Il Barilotto definitely does have that Manhattan bistro type feel, while Aroma has more space and has more of the Italian villa feel.

            2. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog
              MisterBill2 RE: hudsonvalleyfoodblog Mar 27, 2008 07:45 PM

              Does Busy Bee have a website or is their menu available online?

              1. re: MisterBill2
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                hudsonvalleyfoodblog RE: MisterBill2 Mar 28, 2008 07:05 AM

                No, they do not have a website but here is the write up from Zagat for Busy Bee.

                Buzz has it that “wonderful”, “always delicious” New American food has patrons “licking the plate clean” at this Poughkeepsie cafe set in a modest residential area; it’s sometimes “tough to get a table” in the “tiny” “cute” room that, despite a remodel, doesn’t quite disguise “the deli it used to be”, although “welcoming service” more than makes up for that, as do monthly “supper club”–style jazz nights.

            3. g
              groover8 RE: Stacy Mar 27, 2008 09:56 AM

              try twist. it's kid friendly, not kid-focussed. definitely upscale, but casual enough that you can feel comfortable in jeans.

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                bob gaj RE: Stacy Mar 27, 2008 11:51 AM

                i started to type up something lengthy, and then deleted it all. why?

                96 main fits exactly what you want. they're at 96main.net

                they're a couple blocks up from the train station, a couple blocks west from the civic center. it's got 2 cia grads. you can eat small apps or a main meal in an old-fashioned (rustic?) style brick wall setting. nice drinks. small personalized pizzas. ahi tuna tacos, decent meats. i liked the apps more than the mains.

                (btw, summary of my earlier post: busy bee is real good food, twist is kid friendly but not kids-running-around, shadows is good scenery and decent but not exceptional food for the area, pok -> fishkill is 30minutes+ on a sat night and the would bar and grill (thewould.com) is 5 minutes over the bridge in highland).

                1. southlake RE: Stacy Mar 27, 2008 05:19 PM

                  if they wanna take the 20 min or so drive down to fishkill........then il barilotto has my vote....

                  1. applesauce23 RE: Stacy Mar 27, 2008 05:25 PM

                    I highly recommend 96 Main in Poughkeepsie:

                    http://www.96main.net/home.html

                    Busy Bee Cafe is also excellent. I just went to Twist in Hyde Park last week and I was very impressed with their service and their food. Even though Twist may be kid-friendly, the ambiance is definitely more upscale than your local diner. I've heard good things about Shadows at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: applesauce23
                      MisterBill2 RE: applesauce23 Mar 27, 2008 08:15 PM

                      Is the menu on 96 Main's website current? If so, prices are very reasonable.

                      1. re: MisterBill2
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                        bob gaj RE: MisterBill2 Mar 28, 2008 04:44 AM

                        i've not seen a menu online for busy bee; they change the menu frequently for dinner.

                        don't know if 96's main's prices are current, but if they're not, they're not more than a couple years old. some of the apps are smaller than you'd expect. but the OP preferred that, so it's fine.

                    2. h
                      honeyfarm RE: Stacy Apr 3, 2008 05:22 PM

                      The Busy Bee on South ave is wonderful. They change the menu seasonal. If you plan on going I would make a reservation cause you never know. They also have a great jazz on the first of the month. Try the crab cakes and mushrooms steakfries I wished they had a tasting menu.

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