Hudson Valley Restaurant Weeks 2012
I got an email from The Valley Table saying the HVRW 2012 list has been posted! You can make reservations before the general public. If you go directly to the HVRW site and click on "Restaurant List", nothing shows up, but it shows up via the link in the email I received. The list is very long, so I'll just post the link:
Looks like the usual suspects, although there are some new names. I usually focus on Dutchess since that's where I live, and there's a new restaurant in Fishkill called Farm to Table Bistro that looks interesting.
FWIW, this "pre-public" period seems to have caught some of the restaurants by surprise. I called one yesterday and the very nice woman on the phone sounded a little weary when she told me they still only take resys 28 days out. I told her that I sensed she'd had to say that a LOT today, and asked her if she knew about the Valley Table's email. "No!" she said. And, of course, all the OpenTable links won't let you make RW resys as OT also only takes resys 28 days out. So, lovely idea, but not sure if all the restaurants are on board yet...
Looks like The Valley Table and the restaurants don't have the clearest lines of communication...their email specifically said "Reservations at the hot spots go fast, so we're happy to provide Valley Table E-news subscribers access to the list for an advance reservation period. From now through Sunday, you can make your reservations before the general public." haha!
Just wanted to throw in my two cents about Farm to Table. It's owned by the same person who owned Mesa Grill on Rt. 376.
The decor is absolutely beautiful. The atmosphere is wonderful for a nice evening out. My husband and I were definitely impressed and I was already making mental notes to get a few of my girlfriends together for a lovely evening out.
The service was less than stellar. Our waitress was very sweet, but she wasn't that knowledgeable about the menu and had to go back and forth twice to ask the kitchen for clarification when we asked her basic questions about ingredients in the dishes we were interested in.
I started off with the Sformato di Zucchini, which ended up being a zucchini layered tart with a grainy texture (tasted like Parmesan-flavored bread crumbs). It was pretty good.
I ordered the pan seared salmon. It was fine, but not as flavorful as I had hoped. My husband got a medium rare filet mignon, but it was overcooked.
Honestly, I don't remember what I had for dessert, but I remember that I got a chocolate dessert which was cloyingly sweet and my husband did not like his apple dessert at all. He said that it was bland.
After a highly favorable first impression, I was sad to cross off Farm to Table my possible girls'-night-out-venues list.
I wouldn't recommend Farm to Table for a Restaurant Week meal, let alone at full price.
Their dinner menu:
Somehow, my short response turned into a full blown review, but oh well. Hope this wasn't too long-winded, Solstice!
Cautionary note about the list as it's currently posted: When I sorted by county and glanced quickly to see who was on board in my area this year, I noticed several geographic errors (Westchester restaurants listed as being in Rockland and vice versa). So make sure to scan the whole list, just in case you're overlooking something good that's been listed incorrectly.
Also, make sure that you ask for the RW menu if it is not offered to you automatically. We had a nice meal at Tarry Tavern (as opposed to Lodge) last year during HVRW. I convinced a co-worker to eat there the next night as she had planned to eat with friends that night at Red Hat. When she told me about her meal the next day something sounded strange so I asked if they had ordered off the RW menu. Long story short, they were never offered it because she had not mentioned it when making the reservation and had not asked for it. Their bill was much higher than it should have been but no one realized what had happened because they were new to RW. She was upset after speaking to me and called to complain and they defended their practice. Very sad, since we had had such a great experience the night before. Turns out the server we had was not working that night and they got someone else.
Moral of the story: always ask for the HVRW menu.