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Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2009

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2009 (March 22 - April 3)

March 22 through April 3 (Sunday through Friday only) for the largest celebration of culinary riches in the Hudson Valley. Top restaurants in Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Ulster, and Dutchess counties will offer special three-course dinners for $28.09 (plus beverages, tax, and gratuity) and some will also offer special three-course lunches for $20.09.


Is X2O worth it for restaurant week? What other restaurants would you recommend?

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  1. Wow, it's that time of year again! Last year I went to The Bird and Bottle Inn, which I see is not participating this year. I haven't been to many of these places, but I will say that Shadows on the Hudson is probably not worth it. Their food is ok. The atmosphere is probably the best part about Shadows.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Solstice444

      The Bird and Bottle Inn is now participating too.

    2. X2O is one of my favorite restaurants. Haven't been there for restaurant week so I don't know what they change, if anything. Valley in Garrison is also very good. I've been wanting to try Aroma Osteria for awhile, maybe this is the time.

      8 Replies
      1. re: DGresh

        Aroma Osteria is one of the ones I've actually been to. I recommend it! Il Barilotto as well, but I liked Aroma's atmosphere better. Aroma has more of an Italian countryside villa feel, while Il Barilotto is more of a chic cozy bistro feel, more like something you'd find in NYC. All depends on your preference!

        1. re: Solstice444

          Where is Aroma Osteria? Is it Wappingers?

          1. re: BridgetC

            yes, barely off route 9 on the northbound side, north of the water park and south of visconti (?) wine.

        2. re: DGresh

          Last year ,X2O offered the same uninspired RW menu that Restaurant X did the previous year (and last year too), so I cancelled the reservation that I had made. This year, X's menu looks interesting, so I decide to take my chances on X2O since my son wanted to eat there.

          I've also got reservations at 42 and Beso in New Paltz. Need to call Valley and maybe Tavern and make reservations there.

          1. re: MisterBill2

            Is the menu on their website, or did they fax it to you?

            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              Never mind, I see X's menu on the HVRW website. Definitely looks more interesting than last year's menu @ X2O... I wonder if it's the same at X2O.

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                X2O's menu is up now and it's even more interesting than X (although dessert is missing, but I trust Peter Kelly to come up with desserts I will be interested in eating).

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  Booked for X2O! Can't resist... sounds great. Not many reservations left at peak times, so I would act fast! Thanks for the tip about the menu, MisterBill.

        3. Thanks for posting this. Now I have to figure out where to go!!! Last year we went to John Michaels. I think last year X2O offered things that weren't on their regular menu, but people still enjoyed it.

          1. Awesome! My wife would love to go to Ninas.

            1. Does restaurant week take place in one location or is it all over? How do I make reservations for this? This sounds awesome!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: fancygranola

                FG-Read the web page that the OP provided the link for all your answers.
                Hint: Check out the tabs.

              2. Hi Krystle,

                For the price, I think Restaurant Week is a great time to try X20 - RW was the first time I tried it and loved the ambiance. However, I found the menu extremely limiting. I had a roast chicken dish (very good), but my guest had a pork dish that looked and tasted almost identical. There were only three entree choices on the menu - I would think they would want to make a bigger splash with visually different, unique dishes. All the food tasted solid, it was just nothing too memorable.

                It wasn't until the second time I went back almost a full year later that I had a meal that I found VERY memorable: braised short rib ravioli with truffle butter, and rare ahi tuna with puffed rice. Both delicious.

                Still, Restaurant Weeks are a great time to scope out an expensive joint! This year, it's going to be Equus and 42 - I'm looking forward to it!

                2 Replies
                1. re: SharonNY

                  Good luck with Equus -- I went there last year and was VERY disappointed. They even charged for parking (it is usually free). Most other people who ate there for RW were also disappointed.

                  1. re: MisterBill2

                    I have to agree on Equus. The menu was uninspiring, the service was mixed, and the food was just average. The parking charge really got me. They forbid us from self-parking. Not worth it IMHO.

                2. the Valley posted their menu...Looks good!

                  I'm glad I got a reservation.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mom2

                    Nice -- how did you get a reservation? Their phone menu doesn't seem to tell you how to leave a message for one.

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      When I called I didn't get a phone menu, somebody answered right away...I see two different phone numbers on their website, try calling both and hopefully you will have luck getting a reservation!

                      1. re: mom2

                        I suspect I need to call during the day to get someone. I keep forgetting to call.

                  2. I have made the recommendation for Red Onion on these boards often. Great food, neat atmosphere and outstanding wine list. Should be top of the list....

                    1. Has anyone ever been to the River City Grille in Irvington?

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: Solstice444

                        I would love to know about River City Grille as well...I was considering making a reservation for Restaurant Week there but couldn't find the RW menu :-(. So far I'm headed to X20 (went last year and I think this years menu more closely reflects the dishes on the regular menu), 42, Equus, Harvest on Hudson and, Blu in Hastings. Also has anyone on the board gone to Crabtree's for RW?

                        1. re: gremlin608

                          I have been to Crabtrees for RW and they had a nice menu for lunch and dinner. I haven't got a reservation this year, not sure if I will. I emailed them asking about their menu but haven't heard back. Maybe I will call.

                          I hope your meal at Equus is better than they did last year. They had a very dumbed down menu, and charged for parking (normally it is free). I feel like 42 is going to be the same so I canceled my reservation today. I am going to Beso, John Michaels, X2O, X, and Valley. I will also go to Tavern for lunch one day.

                          Harvest on Hudson's menu is also interesting looking but they did not have a good time available for Sunday the 29th Valley is booked for the last Friday (at least for a party of 4).

                        2. re: Solstice444

                          Isn't River City just a fancy diner? I don't think it's anything close to fine dining. It's too bad that Red Hat on the River and Mina are not on RW.

                          1. re: MisterBill2

                            I was really hoping that Red Hat would be on the RW list. 42 doesn't look impressive to me either, but they have only posted next weeks menu, I'm hoping that they have something better for the week after. I went to Harvest on Hudson last year for RW and was very impressed. I didn't think that Equus was that bad last year...my expectations are never that high for RW, I will say I was disappointed in X20 last year, considering how good is regular menu is but I really think that PK has a much better offering this year. If 42's menu doesn't improve I will probably end up canceling our reservation for next week too. Please report on how Beso is!

                            1. re: gremlin608

                              Most places use the same menu for both weeks so I don't think that 42's is going to change (well, I guess the unnamed seasonal soup could change, I hope it's good since it is the only appetizer available).

                              I just checked on Equus's website and they have their menu posted -- http://www.castleonthehudson.com/imag... . It doesn't sound bad but last year's menu sounded better than it ended up being. PS I hope you don't go with a party of 6 or more -- their menu says they will add a very hefty 21% tip! Nothing there about charging for parking so I am not sure if that's being done again.

                              The best (and smartest) restaurants serve food for RW that is representative of their normal menu and make you want to go back and pay full price. not dumbed down food that is nothing like their normal menu. Equus did not do that last year (as Monteverde had not done the year before), and to be honest, as X/X2O also failed to do last year (same for X the year before). John Michael's did it very well last year, I have been back and recommended them to many people.

                              We are eating at Beso on Sunday night so I will try to report back afterwards. There are actually quite a few places in New Paltz that are participating and at least one other (I forget which one) had a very interesting menu. Check the HVRW website.

                              1. re: MisterBill2

                                Agreed on your comment about X20 I wasn't happy last year at all...this year looks better and I will report as soon as I dine there (we are going on Thursday). New Paltz is a great town! My mother is a professor there so I have been to many spots in the area, its just sometimes logistcally challenging to do it just for dinner (we live in Riverdale)...I've never been to John Michael, I will check out the menu today...and I am leaning towards following in your steps and cancelling 42...Try Harvest on Hudson if you can, their menu is truly a representation of their regular menu and we weren't disappointed last year. I agree with you, that the smartest restaurants will highlight a menu representative of their regular menu, and you would think that especially in this economy the would do that to lure potential customers...but I think many restaurants are not looking at the big picture, and if you have never been to a restaurant before and don't do your homework to do a menu comparison (with the regular menu) you might not be able to do a quality comparison.

                                1. re: MisterBill2

                                  I notice Equus says their restaurant week menu is only Sunday thru Friday. Are most of the restaurants following that same structure?

                                  1. re: Kirkcollm

                                    Yes. The Restaurant Week menu is not available Saturday night at any restaurant.

                                    BTW Equus is charging a 21% tip for ALL parties. Print the online menu which says it only applies to 6 or more to make them remove it if you eat there with a smaller party (or don't eat there and avoid the $5 parking charge, which is also taxed and tipped). 42 is charging 20% for everyone.

                              2. re: MisterBill2

                                I haven't been to River City in a couple of years, but it's definately not a fancy diner. Nice salads and other apps (*good* crabcakes with a nice, elegant sauce for example) good fish and pasta dishes etc. Here's the menu


                                1. re: DGresh

                                  That's a link to an article about the Obamas planting a garden? Haha...anyway, thanks for the info on River City, b/c I knew nothing about it. My mom isn't really an adventurous eater and after looking at the RW menus at some of the other places I've been wanting to try, I knew she wouldn't really be up for it. (bison, venison, etc.) I told her to look at the menus and she picked River City, and I have to be in Tarrytown next Wednesday so I figured we'd give it a try!

                                  1. re: Solstice444

                                    funny. Must have been stuck in my clipboad from another post


                                    1. re: DGresh

                                      But no news on the RW menu for River City...at least not on the HV or their own website.

                                    2. re: Solstice444

                                      Well, I will acknowledge that River City is a better choice for RW in Tarrytown than the two hotel restaurants at the Doubletree and Marriott. Ugh, I remember last year someone posted on the JN's site about how they had a bad RW meal at the Marrott restaurant (and I do not mean Ruths Chris). What would possess someone to eat at a place like that when there are so many good/great places to choose from???

                                      Of course the other option for Tarrytown is to try Equus and hope it is better than last year. Just don't go with 6+ people or they will charge you an automatic 21% tip (which I called whopping but was corrected on the JN site and told it was not).

                                    3. re: DGresh

                                      great post, even though off topic here..... ;)

                                  2. re: Solstice444

                                    My mom called today asking River City Grille about their RW menu, since it's not posted, and this is what they told her:

                                    mixed baby greens
                                    butternut squash soup
                                    chickpea fries
                                    asian noodle stir fry

                                    thyme marinated grilled chicken
                                    tamarind glazed scottish salmon

                                    bread pudding
                                    chocolate molten cake

                                    We're going tomorrow...I'll report back.

                                    1. re: Solstice444

                                      Thanks! That would be great...I was wondering for the past 2 weeks what their menu was...sounds pretty good! Have a great meal.

                                      1. re: Solstice444

                                        Ate at River City Grille in Irvington last night. All of their RW offerings are from their regular menu, so if you want more details from what I posted two days ago, you can check that out. An entree that I didn't mention was ravioli, I think it was cauliflower and marscapone ravioli. Blueberry cream brulee is another dessert offering.

                                        For the appetizer I had the asian noodle stir fry, which has squid in it, and my mom had the butternut squash soup. The stir fry disappointed me a bit. It was too salty. I liked my mom's soup, but she didn't really like it. It was kind of sweet, and was thick...more like a puree than a soup. I liked the flavor.

                                        For the entree I had the tamarind glazed salmon which came with black Thai rice, shredded snow peas, and a coconut curry sauce. My mom had meatloaf, which came with baby carrots and ham and tomato mac & cheese. Mine was pretty good, but not great, and I'd say the same for my mom's.

                                        The desserts were the best part, in my opinion. I had the blueberry creme brulee which was very food, and my mom ordered the chocolate molten cake which came with gelato on top. The cake was a dark, bitter, very delicious chocolate!

                                        The meal was pretty good, but it didn't wow me enough to make me want to return. Although looking at the prices on the regular menu, getting what would be an at least $45 meal for $28 made it well worth it.

                                    2. Had a great RW meal at Harvest on Hudson last night. Meal was delicious, and service was great, too. Definitely not treated like second class citizens. News 12 was filming while we were there. HOH seems to get that this is a way to generate new clients, not nickel and dime them (read: Equus) and make them decide never to come back.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: woodlander

                                        Yes, there is a definite "early bird alert" ghetto-ization going on at some of these places when you arrive seeking the RW menu. It's a shame for us and dumb and self-defeating for them. I wish more of the kitchens would look at RW as a fun unique culinary challenge - a chance to wow us (or win us back) at 30 bucks a head; to take some simple ingredients and showcase skills, influences and playfulness on the plate.

                                        I've decided to patronize only the restos that 1) post a RW menu online; 2) keep it to no more than 2-4 starters, mains & desserts; and 3) put some thought, spirit and an assertive point of view into the occasion. I'm looking forward in particular to Ship Lantern, Depuy Canal, and La Puerta Azul, among others.

                                        1. re: markp

                                          Why would you care if a place limits you to 2-4 choices? I would think the more choices, the better. I don't like it when places only give you 2 choices (or in the case of 42, 1, cam that even be called a choice?) for appetizer or dessert.

                                          1. re: MisterBill2

                                            Hi Bill. I enjoy your posts, thanks for them. As diners, I think the math generally works in our favor when there is less to choose from. That portends fresher ingredients and more attention to detail.

                                            When I go out to eat I exercise 'choice' when I pick the place rather than the dish. I enjoy putting myself in the hands of a kitchen with a tyrant at the stove. I want to eat what they do best, the signature dish or the special. I love places that do a limited amount of things very well whether it's Tujagues in New Orleans or In-and-Out-Burger in LA. I want it their way, not my way.

                                          2. re: markp

                                            my wife is at la puerta azul now...i called her to get the menu, so it may be a little off. it's all (to the best of my knowledge) stuff from the regular menu.

                                            empanadas de carne
                                            flautas de papa
                                            sopa de maiz (i've had this, it's real good; first one is fine as well).

                                            mole de pollo coloradito (my normal standby)
                                            pezcano a la veracruzana
                                            costilla con nopales

                                            pineapple flan
                                            pastel de tres leches

                                            i was quite happy when they opened up a few years ago and we've gone back numerous times.

                                            website at: http://lapuertaazul.com/

                                          3. re: woodlander

                                            Hey Woodlander, did the staff at Harvest on Hudson say that they are extending their menu past RW? Last year they offered the RW menu (and price) until the end of April...Just wondering?

                                            1. re: gremlin608

                                              Sorry - I didn't ask. They are offering a Sunday night pasta special for $25 - family style, I believe. Looked interesting, but not compared to RW menu.

                                          4. We had a nice meal Sunday night at Sonora. The empanda tasting was quite excellent. Three different ones with 3 different sauces. Shrimp ceviche was good, but when I first had it in Mexico on the coast in the early 80s, it was much less tomato juice and much more lime.

                                            The hanger steak was likewise good, and I really enjoyed the vegetarian paella. The other couple said that they liked the salmon, but it may have been a little overcooked. (she asked for medium).

                                            It was a great introduction to the restaurant. I would definitely go back.

                                            1. We had dinner at Beso in New Paltz on Sunday. I was looking forward to trying them; they were not on HVRW last year, so I was happy to see them on the list this year. Things started out a little shaky, when the server told us that she could not give me my trout salad without bacon (she claimed that the chef told her no substitutions, but when I explained to her that removing an item from a dish was not a substitution she agreed to ask and the said it was ok). First, the menu on the HVRW website is NOT what they are serving, there are changes. There’s no risotto appetizer, but they added a trout, watercress and apple (and bacon) salad, as well as a steak tartar. For dessert, the fruit soup is replaced by a bread pudding. I had the trout salad (which was good, but the trout was really just small bits mixed in with the arugula in a tasty vinaigrette) , and the salmon in miso broth with basmati fried rice, and daikon sprouts on top. The salmon was really fantastic, even if it was cooked a little more than the medium rare that I asked for (and which I was told the chef preferred to serve it). I would actually order that dish on the regular menu, the broth was very tasty, a bit spicy, with assorted vegetables (but not the edemame on the online menu). My wife and daughter both had a Five Onion and Potato soup, which was excellent, and a roasted chicken breast which came with a mushroom ragout (more like sauce), garlic mashed potatoes (good but missing the garlic) and sautéed spinach. For dessert, there are three choices, a chocolate mousse cake, the aforementioned bread pudding with banana semifreddo (which I did not realize was ice cream), and house made ice cream. My wife and I ordered the chocolate mousse cake, which was advertised as being on a cookie crust with a ganache topping, in a crème anglaise sauce. They actually had a nice selection of ice cream flavors, but I figured the cake would travel better if I could not finish it. Well, after I ordered, another table’s desserts came out and it turns out the ice cream was your choice of 3 different flavors, which the server (and menu) did not explain, so I asked the busperson to find our server so I could change my order. She didn’t come out and the next thing I knew my dessert was delivered, so I sent it back and asked again for the server. Soon after that the host came back with my dessert and explained that they make them to order (I guess since it’s sitting in the sauce) and they’d have to throw it away, and it was too late to change my order. The cake was ok, but it turned out to be a rectangular slice, kind of like a slice of a loaf, which was not what I had been expecting (and it did not look like something they’d normally sell). It was ok, but I suspect the ice cream would have been much better. The bread pudding was quite good and the banana semifreddo was excellent.

                                              I was disappointed with the dessert situation, I could understand how they would put the sauce on the plate to order, but it seems like they could have done something to accommodate me. Oh well, we really enjoyed our meal other than that.

                                              Anyway, a good start to Restaurant Week. Our next stop will be John Michael’s in Purdys, where we have eaten several times and expect to have an excellent meal.

                                              1. I went to Valley in Garrison last year and it was amazing. I have an article on my site about it.

                                                I'd also recommend...

                                                Aroma Osteria in Wappingers Falls
                                                Artist's Palate in Poughkeepsie
                                                Cathryn's Tuscan Grill in Cold Spring
                                                Il Barilotto in Fishkill
                                                McKinney & Doyle in Pawling
                                                Sabroso in Rhinebeck
                                                Terrapin in Rhinebeck

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                                                  I called McKinney and Doyle for their menu and was not really impressed. They had a salad of some sort and a burger (albeit Kobe) on the dinner menu, along with some other stuff.

                                                  1. re: MisterBill2

                                                    I have not been there for restaurant week but have loved it during normal times.

                                                    1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                                                      I haven't been to M&D for dinner in a while but we have brunch there regularly and it's excellent.

                                                2. I just looked at the X2O menu again and they changed it! I wanted the duck but they are no longer offering it. I don't remember either of these entrees. I'm kind of annoyed!!!

                                                  Brioche & Leek Crusted Chatham Cod
                                                  Rice Bean, Broccoli Rabe & Mushroom Ragout
                                                  Poached Radish
                                                  Standing Stone’s Reisling Buerre Blanc

                                                  Grilled Berkshire Pork Loin
                                                  & Braised Belly
                                                  “PaffenRoth Gardens” Red Swiss Chard
                                                  With Jalapeno Polenta

                                                  Desserts sound unexciting and all similarly textured...

                                                  White & Dark Chocolate Timbale
                                                  Pistachio Center
                                                  Crème Anglaise

                                                  Buttemilk Panna Cotta
                                                  Lime Aspic & Pear Syrup

                                                  Coconut Parfait with Ginger Cream
                                                  Tapioca Pearls with Mango & Pineapple

                                                  Oh well, too late to cancel now.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                    I'm going on Thursday and will report when I return...The Pork and Cod have been on the RW menu for the past couple of weeks....But I think the changed the accompaniment to the cod.

                                                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                      If they really only have cod and pork I will be cancelling my reservation because 2 members of my party eat neither. Can someone please report back if you eat there on what the menu really is? Thanks.

                                                      Update: where did you see the updated menu? I just looked on the HVRW site and it's still got 4 entree choices. No duck, but I don't think they ever did. Restaurant X has duck breast.

                                                      Here is X2O's menu:


                                                      1. re: MisterBill2

                                                        Sorry, I didn't post all 4 entree choices-- I realized afterwards that my post was misleading. I could have sworn that I saw duck on the menu previously, but maybe I was thinking of Xaviar's. The desserts definitely weren't there before. To be clear, there is cod, pork loin & belly, chicken, and steak.

                                                        ...I went tonight and it was ok. They had an additional appetizer-- from the sushi bar. I think it was bluefin topped with pistachio nuts and oil, and a raspberry puree. Nice, but nothing exciting. I had the artichoke veloute, which was a very plain looking but tasty soup, with garlic "chips"-- really more of a garnish than anything else.

                                                        For entrees, I had the cod, which was... eh. It was a very large piece, but not very exciting. I did like the white beans and broccoli rabe under it. The pork was better, with a large portion of the loin and a small portion of pork belly. The pork belly was reallllly good especially with the jalapeno polenta.

                                                        Dessert, as I feared, was nothing spectacular. The coconut parfait had toasted coconut on top of it and some tropical type fruit in it, and the timbale was pretty standard and verrry rich.

                                                        Honestly, I will probably not return for restaurant week next year. I'd rather pay a little more and get exactly what I want, with X2O's usual beautiful presentation, color, varied textures, and style. I definitely don't feel this was representative of how good their menu is, but what is always a treat: the gorgeous view, wonderful service, and BISCUITS!

                                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                          OK, you had us scared there.

                                                          The original posted RW menu did not have desserts, that is true, but that was fixed last week. The coconut parfait and panna cotta are on the dessert normal menu (although I would rather have the black and brulee). Peter Kelly does a great panna cotta (as compared to the one from Equus last year which was more like a mousse).

                                                          I was wondering why they didn't have a sushi appetizer, good to hear they added one.

                                                          1. re: MisterBill2

                                                            Sorry for the scare!!! :) My bad. I wish I had heard your recommendation for the panna cotta before last night because I wasn't impressed by the coconut parfait. In the restaurant's defense, I also wasn't feeling well last night, and between the garlic chips and the toasted coconut I had two coughing fits. My boyfriend loved the sushi (I'm not as big a sushi person as he is).

                                                          2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                            Thanks for your review, i eat...confirmed my thoughts that although we are due for an X20 fix, I will wait till after RW...agree that I'd rather pay a little more and get exactly what I want!

                                                            1. re: Marge

                                                              We just got back from X20...the restaurant was very crowded but it didn't diminish the level of service and attentiveness of the staff or the ability for Chef Kelly to make his rounds at every table. We were a table of 5 and between us we had 4 appetizers, we go to X20 about once a month so we are very familiar with their regular dinner menu, and a few of these items were if not exactly what is on the regular menu at least "representative" of the regular menu.
                                                              First of all the Asparagus Flan was very good, nice sized portion, flan cooked well (not overcooked nor too soft) the texture and flavor of this dish really "worked", the crunchiness of the asparagus, with the firmness of the shirmp (but not firm in an overcooked shrimp/rubber ball way) with the silkiness of the flan...a winner. The bluefin sashimi appetizer, nothing to write home about, not a "Peter Kelly signature" wow fusion sushi bar creation. Artichoke veloute was plain but my mother raved about the flavor, so maybe not the presentation of the shellfish chowder but flavorful none the less. The mango with goat cheese didn't have the best "presentation", my grandfather said it was "nice" but I can't attest because I didn't stick my fork in his plate (he was on the otherside of the table). The pork loin entree was actually very very good, moist, flavorful and a huge portion. The pork belly melded perfectly with the jalapeno polenta and was melt in your mouth wonderful, and the chard was prepared perfectly, just tender enough...Bravo on this dish it was spot on, and very similar to the porkchop/pork belly dish that is on the regular menu...(which might explain why it was spot on! the kitchen was used to preparing this combination). The Codfish that my husband had was just "okay" IMHO, as stated by a previous hounder, I really wasn't impressed. The portion was good, but the cod had this soggy texture, the brioche wasn't seasoned or crisp. I would definitely pass on this entree, the flavor wasn't that great either, it was both bland and salty at the same time, meaning that there was not spice at all. The chicken looked very good, it was presented very well and it was HUGE and seemed very moist...probably would be a good choice. The desserts were just okay...they were all very tasty, I had the chocolate timbale, it was very rich and chocolatey (which is fine by me because I love chocolate) but you have to really love chocolate. The only 2 desserts at the table were the creme burlee (very good, texture of the non flamed crunchy part was a little soft but flavor was very good) and the chocolate. The parfait is on the regular menu, and we don't like it when we go to a regular dinner at X20 so i wouldn't recommend it now. The panna cotta looked okay from afar but I can't speak on it. The biggest problem with the desserts was that they were all similarly textured even though the flavors were different, it was like an Iron Chef with the secret ingredient being "custard" or some close variation thereof. I'm not a pudding, jello, custard fan in general, it makes me think of hospital or baby food, neither of which is appealing to me. So if you are into JELLO the the desserts on the RW menu would be your thing, but for the rest of us who have teeth (sorry I couldn't help it) it's annoying not to have an option where there is some texture other than "mush", regardless of the flavor. All in all a good meal, nobody was treated like a "second class citizen" and it was worth the $28.00. Our bill for 5 was approximately 1/2 the price that we paid last month for the same group of 5 people (we all had 3 courses off the regular menu) so from a price standpoint it's worth it. If you haven't been to X20 its not exactly the food that is on the regular menu, but it's not a disappointment either and it gives you an idea of what Chef Kelly has to offer. Lastly, there is a "Hudson Valley" wine and cordial special featuring spirits all from the Valley, I appreciated that. We will go back next year, Peter Kelly really does try to do things right in the spirit of RW...but I would also urge you to go for the regular menu as well.

                                                              1. re: gremlin608

                                                                They had creme brulee on the RW menu (it's not on the website menu)? If so, that is great. Peter Kelly makes THE BEST CB we have ever had (in fact, when we go to other restaurants we tell them that we are creme brulee snobs, and if theirs is not REALLY good, please tell us so we do not end up being disappointed).

                                                                I've had Peter's panna cotta and it's also very good.

                                                                We are going tonight, I am definitely going to go for the chicken entree. Too bad none of us eat pork, as it seems to be the best entree there.

                                                                1. re: gremlin608

                                                                  Good review, gremlin, and I feel validated since you seem to have had a similar experience. I laughed when I read your comment about the desserts being all mush. I was really, really disappointed in dessert, especially because X2O is also home to some of the best restaurants desserts I've ever had (black and brulee as mentioned by MisterBill and red velvet cake with mascarpone frosting). But I agree that it is a good deal if you've never been before.

                                                                  ETA: Creme brulee wasn't on the menu when we went.. I would have definitely gotten it if it had been.

                                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                    Yes, their red velvet marscapone cake inspired me to make a blue velvet marscapone/whipped cream cake at home...It's the best red velvet I've ever had in a restaurant.

                                                        2. i see a lot of the better know rest getting mentioned.....any info on some of the other restaurants? i have heard a some good things about backyard bistro, cucina,iron forge inn, locust tree, nina, sabroso, and zanaro's any one have feed back on any of these. My wife and i have been to x2, besso, barilotto valley table and most of the places already mentioned. we are looking to try out a new place. thanx in advace for the feed back

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: agro_2244

                                                            My Mother went to Zanaro's abnd equated it to the Olive Garden and it wasn't RW...just a regular dinner. I don't know about the other places you mentioned but that's my 2 cents on Zanaros, I think I would pass.

                                                            1. re: agro_2244

                                                              We ate at Iron Forge Inn for RW last year and it was pretty good (I really liked the fennel salad, I never knew I liked fennel before eating it!). I had them email me the menu and it looked identical, so it may be worth a try. I liked that they give you a sampling of soups as an appetizer choice, and a sampling of desserts.

                                                              There were other places in New Paltz that had interesting looking menus. If it wasn't an hour away I'd check more of them out.

                                                              1. re: agro_2244

                                                                I went to Sabroso last night with some friends for RW. The place was EMPTY. It was pretty scary. Service was great - but I hope that is to be expected when there is only two tables full at the restaurant! The RW menu had about 5 or 6 options per course - with plenty of vegetarian options.

                                                                For my starter I had a fried cuban steak (which was portioned into morsel size pieces) with olive and lime mojo. It was alright. While the meat was delicious, tender and cooked perfectly - the fry killed a bit of the flavor, and I wish there had been more sauce with some extra uumph. It was blander than I had anticipated. The other people in my party had the shrimp & seaweed fritter with miso dipping sauce (they said it was ok) and a stuffed pepper (which was great).

                                                                Entrees were the big hit of the evening. I had seared scallops with mandarin risotto and avocado. It ROCKED. Scallops were cooked perfectly, the risotto was killer, and the avocado was a nice finishing touch. The other entree that was tried at the table was an onion encrusted salmon. (They enjoyed it - I didnt try it)

                                                                For dessert I had an orange & cinnamon flan. It was too thick for my taste, but the flavors were good. My friend had a chocolate torte with banana ice cream. The ice cream definitely made the dessert!

                                                                Overall it was a good meal - but not as great as I was hoping. Had I just eaten the entree, I probably would have said it was amazing. But the starter and dessert, while good - certainly were not great.

                                                              2. Does anyone know what they're serving at the Kittle House or 121?

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: oopa

                                                                  I emailed Kittle House and asked for a menu b he ut they never responded. I was hoping that someone would post but I guess not, so I will have to call.

                                                                  Based on reports from last year, I would skip 121 unless they've changed. I believe they hid their RW menu and it wasn't that great.

                                                                  BTW I haven't written my review but we had a great meal at John Michael's on Wednesday night. I highly recommend that people check them out if you can. The check holder had a card that said they were starting $30 3 course meals starting after RW, so I guess if you don't get there now, you can pay an extra $1.91 and try it later.

                                                                  1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                    Misterbill, since you posted such an aversion to Equus I felt I had to report on the experience that we had tonight. Yes the parking was still $5.00 (annoying) and the service charge of 21% was still added (tacky though in a restaurant of this caliber you would give a 20-25% tip anyway so you aren’t being taken off)…but overall the experience was much much better than last year. First of all the service, we weren’t treated like second class citizens trying to cop the “Early Bird Special”. We weren’t rushed, it wasn’t overly packed so we didn’t feel like sardines like last year and the entire waitstaff was attentive. Our server was wonderful, giving us his recommendations on Malbec’s (wine list wonderful as always) as well as his thoughts regarding the menu. Our table was lovely, the water was refilled without request, the wine was poured at appropriate intervals and the courses were brought to us with the perfect timing. Now to the food, it was wonderful. Nothing like last year where you clearly could tell that they weren’t interested in serving anything remotely resembling what was on their regular menu. This year…2 of my 3 courses were regular menu courses. For a first course I had the smoked wild salmon salad. Perfect portion size, presentation and lots of pieces of succulently prepared fish, the flavor was wonderful. I ordered the steak as a main course and was prepared for some hanger/flank/flatiron type of steak thinly sliced with some root vegetables. Boy was I surprised when an 8oz filet mignon cooked perfectly rare (the way I love to eat steak) over some pureed potatoes and root vegetables in a puddle of delicate cabernet reduction was presented to my table. I almost fell on the floor. The steak was like butter, the cabernet sauce paired perfectly and best of all…it was the SAME EXACT steak, prepared in the same exact way that is offered off of the regular 4 course menu. The flourless chocolate cake was also a regular menu item and it was flawless…so much better than the timbale I had at X20 last night both in flavor and texture. The chevre dessert was wonderful as well, the texture between smooth and crunchy, sweet and tangy was a party in my mouth. I’m allergic to mussels but my mother had the skate (not on the regular menu) and the portion was HUGE and it was adorned with 6 large mussels…she thought it was great. We had to ask our server about the menu and the complete change from last year, and he mentioned that the chef wasn’t happy about the lack of repeat guests after last year’s restaurant week…he said that RW was crowded last year but he got very few people to return for a dinner off of the regular menu, so I guess he changed his tune and wised up to realize that if you give an example of what you really have to offer and your true skills people will be wowed and come back. One caveat; because I was swooning over the steak I mentioned how pleased I was that it was a tenderloin, and the server did tell me that it’s the luck of the draw, the reason why on the menu it states “heritage steak” and not “heritage tenderloin” is because the chef sometimes serves sirloin instead of tenderloin…last night it was sirloin, (which would’ve been a huge disappointment for me because I don’t like sirloin), and today tenderloin…and sirloin isn’t on the menu, so it’s really luck of the draw. Also just an FYI this year they have extended their RW menu for 3 weeks they are offering it through the 10th of April. For us this was a great meal from start to finish.

                                                                    1. re: gremlin608

                                                                      I am happy to hear they learned their lesson about their menu last year and lack of return guests. However, they clearly did not learn about the $5 parking charge, which I think also bothered a lot of people, or the 21% forced tip, which will probably piss off a lot of people this year. Fix one thing, break another.

                                                                      I will acknowledge that the photos of food I saw on the Lohud website looked very good, much better than last year.

                                                                      1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                        The $5 parking really stinks I agree...the 21% tip, well...IMHO, it's tacky but I would've given in that range anyway, and so would most people (I hope) as wait staff really live off of their tips. The issue is when the service is bad, and in the case of last night at Equus it wasn't an issue, but if it were an issue I would've demanded that they remove that serivce charge off the bill (or at least raised a big stink about it)...yes tips are discretionary but at 20 or 21% you really aren't getting ripped off. The parking charge is extremely annoying and I wish they didn't do it.

                                                                        1. re: gremlin608

                                                                          BTW, since the parking is taxable (and subject to the 21% tip), it's actually $6+. For people who typically tip 15% unless the service is extraordinary, 21% is being ripped off. If you're a 20% sort of person, then it is not a big deal.

                                                                2. Just a quick report...we went to Blu in Hastings last night. Soup was mediocre at best, Venison was uninspiring and bland...hanger steak was the one highlight of the meal. Apple cobbler - really a crisp, very tasty but very common. Bread pudding was terrible...all in all not a great meal but the sunset over the Hudson was PRICELESS!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: gremlin608

                                                                    So, no one has been to Valley? How about Restaurant X? We're off to Valley tonight, did X last Sunday and were disappointed with the service (food was good).

                                                                    1. re: MisterBill2

                                                                      For restaurant week I went to Hudson House in Cold Spring and Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry. I thought both gave an excellent value for the money, good food , good service and both places were very welcoming. At Half Moon most of the selections in each caterogory were numerous and most off their regular menu. Hudson House had great popovers. I think maybe for restaurant week if you stay a little below the top restaurants you're better off. I would go back to both , and plan to . Half Moon was a pretty , contemporary restaurant and Hudson HOuse was more old fashioned. All my fellow diners at both places really liked them.

                                                                      1. re: Laurieso

                                                                        We are headed to Harvest on Hudson on Friday, same owners as Half Moon...glad to hear Half Moon was good, we thought about going there. We went to Restaurant 42 last night (for the experience)...portions were small but very well prepared, and not off of the regular menu. We've never gone before and it was a beautiful spot, there's a market menu that's going to be featured after RW and we plan to try that.