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Mar 27, 2008 07:21 AM

Dinner in Poughkeepsie- help!

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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  1. 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

      We ate at Shadows - 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. 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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: Feaster18

              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

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

              1. re: MisterBill2

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

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

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

                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 ( is 5 minutes over the bridge in highland).

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