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Jan 16, 2010 04:31 AM

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week--Your Picks?

3/15-3/28...$20 for 3 Course Lunch/$28 for 3 Course Dinner


I'm going to try to see if I can make it to any of the following:
the artist's palate
cafe of love
brasserie le bouchon
iron forge inn
mckinney and doyle
restaurant x and the billy boy bar
the valley restaurant at the garrison

Any additional recommendations?

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  1. Crave in Poughkeepsie
    Red Devon in Bangall (which is above Amenia and Millbrook)
    Tavern in Garrison had an interesting menu last year but too much meat for my liking.
    Twist and Terrapin in Rhinebeck

    Liz Johnson loved 42 during HVRW last year. The $10 parking still bothers me. Also the menu was very limited last year.

    Last year I had a reservation at McKinney and Doyle and cancelled it after hearing their menu, which was rather pedestrian.

    X2O takes reservations 2 months in advance so you can start booking now depending on when you want to go during HVRW.

    Note HVRW now includes Saturdays at most restaurants. American Bounty at the CIA is also participating, but they are $29.95 for dinner (which is apparently a promotion they have from now through March). It kind of bothers me that they think they are too good to go along with the $28 price.

    10 Replies
    1. re: MisterBill2

      some of my favorites in the ulster/orange county areas are Besso, Back Yard Bistro, Village Tea Room, Il Tessoro and you got to love the pizza at

      cosimos. I am planning on trying out the Iron Forge Inn and Valley Restaurant. Restaurant Week is a great way to try a new restaurant with out much of a $$$ risk. Would love other suggestions of must try places.

      1. re: tommyharding

        So I had been blase about RW this year but finally checked out some menus today and made reservations. I had already made one for X2O several weeks ago (good thing, since according to Opentable there are NO reservations available for the 2 weeks of RW).

        I made reservations at Cafe of Love (now on Opentable), Terrace Club in Mahopac (convenient to me and I always wanted to try them, also on OT) and Crave. Also called and left a message for Valley. I think I will try Red Devon and Terrapin and I am leaning towards Union Restaurant in Haverstraw after checking out their menu (and they're not all that far from me in Yorktown).

        Too bad more places do not have their menus up. I got email from Crave today saying that they are working with their suppliers and will have the menu posted by the end of the week.

        1. re: MisterBill2

          I just saw X2O's menu and got excited and then saw your post and double checked. I guess it was stupid of me to wait this long. Oh well. I do like that many of the menus are featuring local Hudson Valley ingredients! Hopefully within the next week more restaurants will post their menus. I recommend Terrapin, I'm hoping to go there tomorrow for their Ithaca Beer dinner ( as I went to school in Ithaca and enjoy Ithaca beers.

          1. re: Solstice444

            You could try calling X2O. There's always a possibility that they do not have all of their tables available for booking on OT. I knew they starting taking reservations 2 months in advance made mine exactly that far in advance.

            I did call Terrapin yesterday and made a Sunday dinner reservation. The guy who I spoke to said "oh we didn't do RW on Sunday in the past". He said there was a management meeting tomorrow and he would ask (and I told him to call me if they weren't). The HVRW site says no Saturdays, but nothing about Sunday.

            BTW I just checked Artists Palate, since it was mentioned here and in the Crave post. They are not participating Friday or Saturday, and they seem to be closed on Sunday. So that won't work for me.

        2. re: tommyharding

          FYI, Valley's menu is now posted on the HVRW site.

          1. re: MisterBill2

            MisterBill, are they taking reservations yet?

            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

              I tried calling with no luck. I made a reservation at Tavern.... I might end up going there twice since there are so many things that look good on the menu.... meanwhile Valley's donut bread pudding is calling to me.

              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Did you get to Valley??? Check out my latest review.. it was excellent./ They still have tables for Saturday (or did as of last night).

              2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                Yes, Valley is taking reservations. I called the main # and they transferred me to a voice mailbox and someone (Seamus, the restaurant manager) got back to me a couple of days later. I was actually going to call and see if anyone was returning calls but they called back before I got a chance. So definitely call and leave a message if you want to go. Their menu actually looks quite good. Their duck breast entree was great last year. The smoked salmon appetizer seems unusual and yes the donut bread pudding looks enticing.

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  Thanks, I will call again today. I've never been to Valley so I'm really excited to try it at the RW price. The menu looks great, and I'm happy that Tavern's menu is different enough to get to try a bunch of different things at each.

        3. i think i'm going to have to add aroma osteria to my list. i had been there twice before and the food was incredibly salty, but my husband convince me to try it one more time. we just went this past tuesday and it was great! they had a rosemary roasted chicken special that was excellent. their tiramisu was also quite good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: applesauce23

            Have you been to Il Barilotto? You should try either there or Aroma during Restaurant Week. I like the atmosphere of Aroma better, I find the food to be equal at both of them, depends on what sort of atmosphere you want. Il Barilotto is more like a chic bistro that you'd find in Manhattan while Aroma has that Italian countryside villa feel!

            1. re: Solstice444

              I've been to Il Barilotto. I like the ambiance better there, but both are good. I was just pleasantly surprised that the food at Aroma was so delicious. I had written it off a couple of years ago, but am very glad that DH convinced me to give it another chance.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Gonna try 42 heard they are hurting and overpriced so for restaurant week should be worth it to see all the hype.

              1. re: xxnonamexx

                I had the same thought about trying 42, but the lunch menu sounds a little humdrum to me.

                1. re: Boswell

                  Actually, 42's menu looks pretty decent this year, certainly better than last year, when I think the dessert was listed as some generic non-choice (maybe the appetizer too). Of course, they do still have the 20% tip and you have to pay for parking, although there are presumably cheaper choices if you want, as opposed to Equus, where they get you for $5 and there really is no other option.

                  1. re: MisterBill2

                    i went to 42 for RW last year and it was AWFUL!!! even with the RW price i felt ripped off. Tiny portion, bland food and the choices were terrible. I felt like saying why did you bother participating?

            2. Crave is, as they say, “the talk of the town”. Chef owner Edward Kowalski is no stranger to the area. He also runs Lola’s Catering next door, which quickly established itself as one of the premier caterer’s in the Hudson Valley. At Crave he surrounded himself with a team of Culinary alums in the kitchen – Catherine Williams and Craig Capano. If this seems like overkill for a twenty eight seat dining room, you’re right, but it shows. He moved the bar to the back of the dining room, which makes for a quieter dining experience than Carmine’s. It also offers a really comfortable space to stop for a cocktail or glass of wine before you get started. The ambience is very well thought out. The space is beautifully designed – with just enough lighting and candle lit brick walls in the dining room. The music playlist is as well thought out as the décor. I’ve read that the restaurateurs will design their playlist around the customer age group that they are trying to reach. A professional musicologist will develop the list based upon what the target audience would have been listening to when they were fourteen - a freshman in high school. That is the music that tugs at your heart strings, and I guess, makes you hungrier. I’m not sure what Mr. Kowalski’s a target audience is because the music during the last few visits was classic jazz from the thirties and forties. This is right up my alley, and I assure the reader that it predates my freshman year in high school. All in all, it makes for a wonderful setting.

              On our last few visits the dining room was tended to by an old restaurant pro – Al Squillante, who in a former life owned the Meeting House in Pawling, and a really long time ago, ran the kitchen at Ward’s Bridge Inn in Montgomery, Orange County. Ward’s Bridge, circa 1983, remains on my all time “top ten - fun places to eat” list.

              We stopped into Crave again on our weekly Wednesday outing. After a glass of pinot at the bar, we settled in to peruse the menu and hear about the specials. The regular menu includes ten appetizers and ten entrees. They usually offer a few specials every night.
              Since the restaurant opened four months ago, I think we have tried most of them without a single disappointment. One of the appetizers is a brussel sprout salad ($9), served with Serrano ham, and tossed with pecans and cranberries. The restaurant may not be aware of it, but this has become their signature dish. Very often, when people talk to me about Crave, this is how they start the conversation – “Have you tried the brussel sprout salad at Crave?”, like it is the reason to go there. Go figure. For my money, the signature dish should be the Pork Belly Arepa ($11). Arepa is a traditional Columbian corn meal cake, but that’s the easy part. Making a proper pork belly requires a long, long, very low temperature slow roast to render out the fat that is an integral part of the belly. It is also an integral part of the flavor so you don’t want to waste it, but it takes hours and hours to cook it down and make it right. Crave makes it right. One of my passions is barbecue and it can take eight at 180 degrees to make this dish right. But it is so worth the wait. For anyone searching for even higher cholesterol content we have foie gras ($15), once banned in Chicago, but perfectly legal in Poughkeepsie. Crave plates it with baby fennel and candied kumquat. Another great dish is the beet salad ($9), served with baby arugula, walnuts, tangerines, with a vinaigrette dressing.

              Crave offers three types of fish in the regular menu, and often will serve an additional fish special. Choices include seared wild salmon ($22) served with wilted spinach, or red snapper ($21) with charred fennel. Recently we had a very nicely prepared sea bass offered as a special. The braised short ribs ($25) served with cauliflower puree will make you forget its winter, and they’ll be disappearing soon with the summer menus so we should have our fill now. On our most recent visit I enjoyed one of the better pork chop dishes that I have had in some time. Actually I stopped ordering pork chops in restaurants many years ago. The pork they raise now is so lean that the leaner cuts – like pork chops – are invariably dry and tasteless. The other dishes that I had ordered here were all better than expected, so I took the chance last Wednesday. The chop was a double cut, the rib bones frenched, and the chop seared to perfection with a moist tender flavorful center. Wonderful stuff!

              I forgot to mention the wine. Crave offers a very well chosen list of affordable wines. With the exception of a Silver Oak Cab at $92, and a Cakebread Chardonnay at $65, most bottles are priced at under $40, and offer some very nice choices - over thirty in all. We enjoyed two Spanish offerings, a Martin Codax Albarino ($27),and a Rivolo, a tempranillo cabernet blend for $32. Other reds include a pinot noir from Mark West ($30) and Rodney Strong ($38), cabernets from Beringer Knight’s Valley ($35) and, Markham ($46). The only French offering was a Ch Mont Redon Cote du Rhone ($28). I’d like to see a Macon or a Sancerre please, but that’s just me. Space is at a premium I guess.

              3 Replies
              1. re: North Country Rambler

                You really should have posted this in the Crave thread, since a full review of a non-RW visit really has no place here.

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  I think Crave participates in RW, based on the url above.

                  Per the other thread, though, they ain't all that.

                  1. re: anonymouse1935

                    Yes, they are, and I have a reservation. But we didn't need a whole review posted here.

                  1. re: MisterBill2

                    I made a reservation for dinner... I would have preferred lunch but can't get there on a weekday and honestly I was sold on dinner at "goat cheese beignet" (which is not available at lunchtime).

                  2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    I went to Red Hat today for Lunch, it was GREAT!!! The dinner menu doesn't look so interesting though. I had the cauliflower soup and salmon burger and the chocolate dessert...dessert was to die for don't let the pedestrian appearance fool you, soup was not heavy and chicken stock based (a good thing because the dessert was so decadent) but perfectly smooth and creamy. The salmon burger was flavorful and crisp! A delight.

                    I'm off to X20 tomorrow for dinner I will report.

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Go to Red Hat. I went last night for the first time and it was wonderful!