Hudson Valley Road Trip: Specific Restaurant Requests
My wife and I are heading from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley on a road trip this weekend, and we're hoping you guys might be able to help out with some restaurant ideas. Our goal here is to find places that are distinctively Hudson Valley in some sense, whether that means a great view or farm-fresh ingredients or just some hot-dog stand that's legendary in the area.
We're looking for four things:
1. A spot for lunch/brunch en route to Dia:Beacon Saturday morning. Very flexible here, and willing to go (a little) out of our way for anything from a great old-school diner to an exceptional locavore-type place. Or to eat somewhere in Beacon itself.
2. A spot for dinner in the Woodstock area. Again, we're fine with ranging outside the town itself. First thought was the Bear Cafe.
3. A spot similar to #1, but this time en route from Woodstock to Hudson.
4. A spot for dinner in Hudson. First thought was Swoon Kitchenbar.
I defer to the experts. Thanks so much,
Here's the rundown:
1. Breakfast in the Barn at the Bedford Post Inn. Wonderful, simple setting; good (but not great) food. We split a croque madame and an order of soft-poached eggs with maitake mushrooms and polenta. The croque was very tasty, and massive. The soft-poached eggs were just OK. If we went back we'd probably try the buttermilk pancake instead, which looked fantastic. We had dinner once before at the bar in the Farmhouse and were pretty impressed, hence the return visit.
2. Captain Lawrence Brewery in Pleasantville. A must-visit for any craft-beer lovers out there. At noon on Saturdays they open the taps and let the beer flow in free 6 oz. tastings. We tried all of the offerings and settled on a growler of Winter Rye, a growler of Imperial IPA, and three bottles (Nor'easter, Golden Delicious, and 5 Years Later). Everything was tasty. Note: the CL folks are not stingy with the pours. We actually had to say "No, thanks, but we don't need ANOTHER glass of Winter Rye while we wait." It was only 1:00 pm at this point and there was more driving to be done.
3. Ixtapa Taco Truck in Newburgh. The best food we ate on the entire roadtrip. By far. In fact, these may be some of the better tacos we've ever had--and we've spent considerable time sampling L.A.'s finest. Al pastor, lengua, carne asada, with fresh habanero salsa, amazing, slightly fluffy homemade tortillas, and, weirdly but brilliantly, some shredded Oaxacan (I think?) cheese. They're located on the south side of Broadway near the front door of Family Dollar. Tacos are $1.50. The perfect meal after roaming the grounds of Dia:Beacon. Go.
4. The Bear Cafe in Woodstock. This one's been covered to death on the boards, so I won't go into extensive detail. Suffice to say, the food was fine, but it's the gorgeous rustic setting that really makes it. We'd probably never eat there if it were in Brooklyn or New York--and yet we'll probably go back next time we're in Woodstock.
5. The Local in Rhinebeck. We went for brunch--a new feature here--so it may be a bit early to say. But I really liked this place. The food was somewhat hit-or-miss--my Pain Perdu with warm maple syrup, powdered sugar, and sweet spiced compound butter was nice; my wife's deconstructed BLT soup, sandwich, and salad was a little strange--but it was the only "restaurant" we visited where I could imagine having a memorable meal. Fantastic Bloody Mary, good beer list, smart design and decor. Felt kind of Brooklyn. I'd like to go back for dinner.
6. Rodgers Book Barn in Hillsdale/John Doe Records in Hudson. Not food-related, but definitely recommended. Picked up a bunch of first editions for $4 or less at the Book Barn and about a dozen old soul/rock records at John Doe. A feast of a different sort.
7. Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson. Our last meal of the weekend. This seemed like a nice, worthy establishment, but for the price, the food was only OK. Our octopus appetizer was very tough; our salad was fresh but not particularly flavorful. I liked the duck confit entree, and my Dark 'n' Stormy with homemade ginger beer was stellar. I can't remember what my wife ate, but it wasn't great. We'll probably go elsewhere before circling back to Swoon and giving it a second try.
Hope this is helpful.
Thanks for reporting. Sorry you were not so thrilled with Swoon. I wonder if Sunday may not be the best day. I've only been on Fridays and Saturdays. It is pricey for Hudson, but I have had enough great meals, along with some that were good but not rave-worthy, to keep going back. It's too bad I had not yet tried Helsinki before your trip or I would have recommended that instead. We just found out about it recently (it opened last November but is still under the radar), and were delighted with the food and atmosphere. You can read my post about it here:
The prices are much lower than at Swoon. Give it a try on your next trip. Glad you found the Book Barn.
I must sadly agree with the CHer who was underwhelmed with Swoon. I was very excited to eat there but did not think the food or the service was good. On the other hand, I was very impressed with daba. Best swedish meatballs I can recall eating in a long time. This was last November
On the way up to Beacon, stop in Peekskill at Birdsall House. Exceptional locovore, premises made charcuterie. Get the deep fried egg in Wild Hive (NYS) soft polenta with mascarpone, sofrito and wilted spinach. It won't be so out of your way as much as getting up on the Rte. 9 route (rather than Taconic) in the second part of your trip.
970 Main St, Peekskill, NY 10566
84 Diner if you're in the diner mood: http://www.hvtakeout.com/fishkill/i-84diner/I84page.html
Right across the Newburgh-Beacon bridge is a good Peruvian place, Machu Picchu
Pete's hot dogs in Newburgh has quite the following
There is a Moroccan place in Saugerties that looks interesting... Fez. Not been yet.
Not familiar enough with the Hudson area
RR 52, Fishkill, NY 12524
For Saturday morning, Off the Saw Mill in Chappaqua is the wonderful Le Jardin du Roi. Looks exactly like a French Bistro, but they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner there! Wonderful menu, the burgers are excellent, as is the pain perdu (French Toast)and the omelettes. (Don't know if you want breakfast or lunch). Great place!