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hudson valley restaurants

my wife and i are headed to hudson valley for a food and wine tour. We have heard of a few places that are a not miss... elephant, busy bee, backyard bistro, severin, aroma thyme and beso ......any feedback on these or others we should add to the list

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  1. I think you mean Basement Bistro; I was recently there and reported in the thread below. It is a unique experience--- and *really* *really* hard to get a reservation there-- plan way ahead if you want to dine there


    1. Hello:

      If you are heading to the Hudson Valley, Aroma Thyme Bistro which is located at 165 Canal Street in Ellenville is a FABULOUS place to eat. Their menu has something for everyone; from fine organic vegan choices to some fabulous organic beef for that steak lover in the family. They have an award winning wine list, over 150 beers from around the world, and live (no cover charge) musical entertainment on Thursday and Saturday nights.

      Last year my wife and I celebrated our anniversary there with a specially designed menu just for the occassion, and this year we celebrated her being cancer free at Chef Marcus's and Jamie's Bistro as well. If you are a chocolate lover, their brownie with a scope of soy vanilla ice cream is a GREAT CHOICE. If you are traveling on the weekend, you might want to call ahead and make a reservation (845) 647-3000...tell them their favorite campers from Skyway sent you!

      1. If you do mean backyard bistro - which I think is in montgomery - it is very good, although very small. the owner also owns a catering business, which my wedding planner would use quite often. I highly recommend it, but it is a drive. I haven't tried any of the other places, but I do work in New Paltz, and if you go to beso, the town is quite nice to walk around in.

        1. In New Paltz,The Locust Tree is beautiful and the food lovely. Call Beso ahead for opening times - its closed at odd times. The Village Tea Room serves great food in an unpretentious atmosphere. You'll find lots of local hudson valley produce and cheese on the menu. Gomen Kudasai is a delightful new restaurant on Main Street in NP serving japanese home style cooking in a lovely space (interior only - the outside of the buiding is hideous). Karma Road has great organic soups and smoothies and The Cheese Plate in the water street market serves a great cheese plate. Or you could stock up on great cheeses, pickles,bread and chutneys and take it with you on a picnic. In Good Taste has a nice wine selection and several decent chilled wines.

          1. In Columbia County:
            There's the Chatham Winery on Route 66 in Chatham. Haven't been there yet (I know... I know) but I've met the owners and they seem sincere, It's close to Hudson, which has several nice restaurants (Ca'Mia being my favorite, Swoon, etc all on Warren St) or Chatham itself with Lippera's, the Blue Plate or Chasseo (spelled wrong). Or swing through Hillsdale and hit the Swiss Hutte - truly fabulous.

            Have fun!

            2 Replies
            1. re: timwhoeatsalot

              Hmmm. I'm a local and I haven't even seen Chatham Winery.
              That mexican on the corner of 66 & 203 is terrible! Worth the drive to go to Mexican Radio in Hudson for yummy mexican, even if it is kinda pricey.

              My favorite is Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson. Fresh, seasonal, local, exquisite and understated excellent flavors. Seafood flown in from Maine.
              The front of the house needs some improvement, but the food is sublime.
              Ca Mea has much better service; it's my second fave.

              1. re: NYchowcook

                and Radio has a completely cute painted dog out side their restaurant-

                chili dog

            2. Busy Bee is very good. I'd also recommend Terripine in Rhineback.

              1. Just wanted to update this with a thank you to everyone below for the recs - I was not the OP but between the group of you you've provided a great list!

                1. The Hudson Valley is a large area to cover, so I will just give quick highlights. In Orange County, I like Il (that's an "I" and an "L") Cenacolo on Route 52 in Newburgh. Outside it's nothing special. Inside, it's a Tuscan farmhouse and I have no idea how they remember the specials menu (a dozen or more items) without notes. Pricey, but great. In Ulster, Beso is OK. A relative newcomer is Global Palate on Route 9W in Esopus (in a building that formerly housed a popular French restaurant called Marcel's). They use all-natural local ingredients when possible.

                  I live in Dutchess County. On my way out to dinner this evening, I drove past the Busy Bee on South Avenue in Poughkeepsie and it was closed. Don't know if it's vacation or permanent. They were open when I went by a week or so ago. They're very good, but pricey for what you get. On Main Street in Poughkeepsie, I recommend The Artist's Palette, which is run by the former Busy Bee chef. Great food in a "good vibe" atmosphere, the location of which is a former high-end clothing store. In southern Dutchess, I recommend two sister Italians -- Aroma Osteria, off Route 9 in the Town of Wappinger, or Il Barilotto on Main Street in Fishkill -- outstanding, the closest I've found to a true Roman osteria in the area (and I used to live in Rome). In Rhinebeck, I, too, recommend Terrapin, one of my favorites in the region. Great location in a converted church, right on Montgomery Street (Route 9). I am less impressed with Gigi's, which is right across the street and which some people rave about. Other choices in Rhinebeck worth visiting are Calico, also on Montgomery, or Le Petit Bistro on East Market Street (turn right at the sole traffic light as you head north). Avoid the Beekman Arms at all costs. The management there destroyed a long-time institution. In Tivoli, there are a number of choices, including Madalin's Table and Santa Fe, both at the main intersection in this quaint village. People also rave about Mercato, an Italian place on Route 199 in Red Hook run by a member of the Buitoni family, but my one visit there was less than impressive. Everyone in northern Dutchess goes to Holy Cow for ice cream, which features prices from 20 years ago (a sundae for less than two bucks).

                  That should be enough to get you started. :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: timmarist

                    As I was driving north on 9W in Milton (Ulster County) tonight, I was also reminded of an old standby -- Ship Lantern Inn. When I was a kid, that was one of the top places to go. I hadn't been there in awhile because of a subpar birthday dinner, but a recent lunch showed me that prior meal was an aberration. The Ship in back on my list.

                    One other thing to sadly note is the lack of great restaurants on the Hudson. This evening we ate at the River Grill in Newburgh. Had nice sesame crusted tuna with cold soba noodles and seaweed salad. Thought it was a little pricey for Newburgh at $27.95. Other entrees were in the same range. Again, decent but pricey (especially the salmon). We skipped dessert and went to Mary Jane's for ice cream in Middlehope, an old-fashioned and very popular roadside stand. As much as I like Il Cenacolo, I am less impressed with their sister restaurant on the Newburgh waterfront, Cena 2000, which has a huge bar scene. Torches, from what I hear from friends, is nice (great fish tank) with passable food.

                    Unless things have changed under the latest ownership, do not waste your time with Mariner's Harbor in Highland. Great location but a history of horrid food, which is a shame because 20+ years ago, it was another great place to go. I only go to Shadow's in Poughkeepsie for Sunday brunch. The other riverfront place in Poughkeepsie is River Station. Go there for drinks and snacks overlooking the river, but, again, my last visits for full meals were unimpressive.

                  2. Just returned from a short trip to Cold Spring. We stayed at the Hudson River Inn which was just lovely and ate a delicious steak dinner (porterhouse for two) with side of asparagus covered in bechamel. The restaurant (The River Room) looks right out over the Hudson. Nice. We also had good crabcakes and a glass of wine each. Meal cost about $100.

                    We also ate at Catherine's Tuscan Grill on Main which was good too...not great, but less expensive the RR and pretty solid. The escargots was the standout dish. Enjoy!

                    1. Iron Forge Inn (www.ironforgeinn.com) in Bellvale. 'Nuff said.

                      1. My top 5 picks in the Hudson Valley:
                        in no specific order

                        Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson
                        Mercato in Red Hook
                        Elephant in Kingston
                        Cucina in Woodstock
                        American Bounty at the Culinary Institute

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: darkamber

                          Add Red Onion in Saugherties to this list and it would be complete

                        2. Terrapin in rhinebeck is wonderful. it is an asian infused menu and the prices and portions are great. Also felt that the service was wonderful and attentive but not overwhelming. The decor is a mix of asian and ultra modern. very chic for an upstate restaurant!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: samiameggsandham

                            Does chic only exist after the tapanzee?? I find a lot of chic and some shtick in manhattan as well.....can you tell I get a little testy, being an upstater......

                            1. re: jspear

                              testy is good!!! the web site is www.terrapinrestaurant.com it is an old reformed church. I think i found a place that fits the discription not only north of the tappanzee but north of the newburgh- beacon as well!

                              1. re: samiameggsandham

                                I agree, Terrapin is a great restaurant. Rhinebeck has several really good places. Having the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park really helps the entire restaurant scene in the Hudson Valley. A lot of graduates end up getting jobs and staying locally. Plus the area is surrounded by great farms. The trend is to utilize those great ingredients more then were in the past. Going local has taken off.

                          2. Twist Restaurant on rt 9 in Hyde Park doesn't look like much from the outside, but has a wonderfully executed, imaginative menu. Friendly, professional service, apparently by CIA grads from down the road. Cost $70 pp, w/ a cocktail, bottle of wine, tax & tip. A little pricey, but worth it.