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Alternative to C.I.A. in Hyde Park?

OK, I know there probably is nothing comparable, but I can't get a reservation for dinner at the Culinary Institute for next weekend. Can anyone recommend a very good restaurant in the Hyde Park, NY area?


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  1. There is a place called Twist, that I have still never been to but has gotten high praise. Not sure if that will be any easier to get into. I would call ASAP

    1. Search the board for Rhinebeck recs for some additional choices; it's only 10 miles to the north and has more options.

      1. twist in hyde park, artists palate or busy bee in poughkeepsie, would in highland, or rhinebeck places (i'm less thrilled with the rhinebeck choices).

        also, chowhound functions best when people don't just ask questions, but also respond to others' questions.

        1. i would agree with twist. very good food. the artist's palate in pok is also a favorite. imho, i wasn't that impressed with my meals at caterina de' medici, american bounty, or st. andrew's cafe at the cia.

          avoid the hyde park brewery. i did not enjoy my visit there at all. my utterly sad fish dish looked and tasted like a rubber sole.

          1 Reply
          1. re: applesauce23

            It's certainly no a substitute for haute cuisine, but... I might give Hyde Park Brewery another try. Ate there for the first time while passing through this weekend, and the beer flight is a lot of fun. Boneless short ribs were very good, but burger was gristly. Dessert (molten chocolate) was quite acceptable. Service very friendly.

          2. Il Barilotto in Fishkill. It's about a 25 min drive but worth it. Arguably the best Italian in the area. Great wine list too. Only downside is that it is first come first serve so go early.

            1. I live in the area and am a foodie. First, let me say that I feel that the CIA is a bit overated. So many of their graduate chefs stay in this area and open wonderful places of their own. We are blessed that way here in the HV!

              Il Barilotto is good, but it is very pricey. Don't know what your budget is.

              If it is Italian you are looking for, Mercato located in Red Hook is authentic trat food. Convival atmosphere and all dishes are made from fresh, local ingedients. Not romantic- more of a fun place with great food.

              Here is a review- http://www.mymelange.net/mymelange/20...

              Also, Il Continori is another Itaian fav located in Wappingers Falls. Awesome Wed night 3 course prix-fixe is $18.95!

              Another review http://www.mymelange.net/mymelange/20...

              Great Thai place in Rhinebeck called Aroi. Simple, inexpensive.

              For French- you can't go wrong with Le Petit Bistro also in Rhinebeck.

              I live within walking distance of Busy Bee. It is also a great place.

              I have been to Twist and Artists Palate- of the 2, I'd pick Twist, though they would come after my above-mentioned recos.

              Good luck and have a great time!

              4 Replies
              1. re: MyMelange

                I read your review of Il Continori and it's sounds great. We also do girls night out and some of them are up in Dutchess since that's where some of the girls live. I don't mind the drive as long as I get a good meal out of it so that's why this place sounds like we should put it on our list. Good food for a reasonable price. Alot of restaurants are doing very reasonable prix fixed deals. There was one place in Westcheser that had a prix fixed deal for the month of July for $10.00. No that's not a typo. It included appetizer, salad, entee and a glass of wine. Most places get $10.00 just for the glass of wine. The foods is pretty good. There is actually a thread somewhere on the chowboards that have some of these deals listed. If you can find it you should add Il Continori. Anyway I'm going to suggest it on the next girls night out (when it's up in Dutchess)

                1. re: GIOny

                  Great! I hope you love it as much as we do! SO many great, and inexpensive places in our area.

                2. re: MyMelange

                  Concerning the CIA, I have to agree with Mymelange...ate lunch at the American Bounty yesterday and have to say, on a whole, both my dude and I were disappointed in both the food and service...Food was terrifically underseasoned, underdressed, and, in the case of my gnocci's, overcooked beyond reproach. Service was inattentive, annoying, and ignorant to questions regarding menu (as in, what types of cheese are on the cheese plate?). I know they're students, but for a $90 lunch, I expect more. We've been to the CIA over 6 times, but this was our last visit to the CIA. Go somewhere else.

                  1. re: sixelagogo

                    So sorry you had THAT bad of an experience. I think they rely on their nameat this point. If they were not the CIA- I think they'd be out of business. And it is so unfortunate!

                3. Don't fret about the CIA. There are no guarantees that you'll get a decent meal there. Here's what happened to me and my friends. Each of us had long speculated on making the trek to the CIA for dinner and a couple of years ago a group of friends and I finally did. It was one of the biggest disappointments I can remember. First of all, the restaurant is not handicapped accessible from the outside. (I am handicapped.) The building in which the restaurant is located has a huge flight of stairs to climb. The flight of stairs taken one by one slowed our arrival but we were on time for our reservation. Shouldn't have bothered. We had to wait 30 minutes in the bar anyway. By the time we were finally seated there was another problem...we did not receive our appetiizers until 45 minutes after we were seated. The main course did not arrive until 90 minutes after that. When they finally did arrive, THEY WERE COLD, ordinary and uninspired. Of course, we should have left, but we had such hopes that this would be worth the wait. Believe me, it wasn't. Perhaps we hit an off night, but I'd have to be dragged there again. The wait staff was courteous and attentive, such as it was, but their only explanation for us having to wait so long was that the "instructor" in the kitchen that night was a stickler and wouldn't let any of the food out to the tables unless it was perfect. Yeah? what about the dining patrons?

                  1. best food in the area is Stephano's on Middlebush Rd. in Wappinger Falls

                    1. Eat where the CIA people eat - The Artist's Palate in Poughkeepsie. They change their menu every few weeks and always feature a good selection of local flavors as well as some exotic dishes. http://www.theartistspalate.biz/