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really good place in hudson valley?

so we've got a sitter for sunday for a few hours, and my wife and i were looking for a really good place for dinner in the hudson valley. because the sitter can be here a while, we were looking for 60-90 minutes away from poughkeepsie.

i'm looking for suggestions other than these:
basement bistro (we're still on the waiting list), blue hill (full), serevan (amenia), depuy canal house (been), new world home cooking (woodstock, been), aroma osteria (great, been) or anywhere in new paltz/kingston/rhinebeck (too close).

decor is of less importance than quality, and smaller plates are preferred over large ones.

places we're currently considering: red onion (woodstock), x2o (yonkers), madalin's table (tivoli), swoon kitchenbar (hudson). anyone else have suggestions on a top notch place?

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  1. This might fit the bill - I've never been, but a couple of my friends who are students at the CIA rave about this place and their blackened green beans...
    New World in Saugerties
    http://ricorlando.com/nwMenu.htm
    If you go, let me know how it is, I've been meaning to make it up there to try it...

    1. Can't comment on X20, but would not make a special trip to Madalin's Table, Red Onion or Swoon. All were well below expectations in every aspect. Expensive "Sysco Foodservice" kind of cusine, amateur service & most of all, not worth a drive. We're also on a waiting list for The Basement Bistro for June. It is definitely worth the wait to get in.

      1. The Iron Forge Inn in Bellvale (Warwick) http://www.ironforgeinn.com

        Creative, delicious food, beautiful setting, great service. I can't recommend this place enough to anyone. It's my utmost favorite restaurant.

        1. How about John Andrews in Great Barrington? It may be a little far for you but should be worth the drive. I haven't been, it's on my list. Search this board - it is highly recommended.
          Here's a link: http://www.jarestaurant.com/

          1. I have to disagree with links42. Basement Bistro is wonderful, but Madalin's Table and Swoon are IMO two of the top restaurants in Columbia/Dutchess. If John Andrew's is not too far, Swiss Hutte in Hillsdale is worth considering too. I think a problem with MT and Swoon is that the menus change often, so the dishes may be more or less exciting at one time than another, but the quality is pretty consistent. We just had dinner last Friday at MT, I had gnocchi that were exceptional, and baked escolar that was superb as well, while my partner went with more conventional choices of steamed mussels and ribs, both very good also.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rrems

              rrems... I wish we had your experiences at the places you mentioned. But we didn't. We gave multiple chances & $$$ to let them fing their way. Columbia & Dutchess have many restaurants that are all doing basically the same thing & doing it poorly. Let's hope the next wave of places to pop up do it better!

            2. The Red Onion, in my opinion, is the best restaurant in the Hudson Valley so that would be my pick. The Bear Cafe is also consistently good.

              I am curious about X20 so if you end up there please post a report.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jaylowe

                jaylowe...if you do a search on "X2O", you'll get three pages of threads that mention the restaurant.

                1. re: cavandre

                  im a big fan o x20, good solid food, great service, very pleasant evening..on the water, a solid restaurant , very good value imho

              2. How about driving across 84 into CT and try Carole Peck's Good News Cafe (I know it isn't the hv, but it is within 90 minutes of Poughkeepsie!)
                http://www.good-news-cafe.com/

                1. thanks for the recommendations of places to eat; will be going over them with my wife, and posting about it on monday or tuesday. we're leaning towards john andrews, but likely to go to the good news cafe at some point (i'd never heard of it before) because it's near my inlaws!

                  1. thanks for the suggestions. we went to john andrews, taking a nice leisurely trip on route 22 and into massachusetts.

                    got there for a 530 on sunday evening, stayed til about 7. they've got to do their business on thurs-sat, because last night was dead...

                    anyhow, the food. we had:
                    bread: a rosemary? / carmelized onion focaccia

                    apps: (16, 10?)
                    lobster cassoulet (with beans, marscapone, leeks)
                    mozzarella / prosciutto salad

                    meal: (18, 20?)
                    spinach fettucine / crabmeat / shrimp / lemon?
                    ricotta gnocchi dish

                    desserts: (8 each?)
                    chocolate tart / peppercorn ice cream / strawberry juice? on top
                    pound cake / cream cheese ice cream / strawberries

                    the meal was quite solid. apps were a little better than the main entrees (which have been reviewed in other posts). i didn't think the mozz was the best thing ever, but i've definitely been spoiled by the mozz in hoboken/nyc, and now in dutchess county area (thank you, popovich provisions!) if i hadn't had those before, i'd probably have appreciated the mozz more. the lobster wasn't very noticable in the cassoulet, but it was very tasty nonetheless.

                    pasta on the fettucine was homemade, a *touch* dry, but the crabmeat helped with that a bit. desserts yummy.

                    all in all, don't know if we'd go back given the distance - but if up within 20-30 miles of it, i can definitely see why it would (and should be) a big draw.

                    thanks for those that replied with suggestions on where we could go.