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Fall Hudson Valley Restaurant Weeks - November 5-18, 2012

As was discussed in the earlier thread, there is a second HVRW this year, in November. I happened to check their website tonight and they have the list of restaurants up, and several are already taking reservations thru Opentable.


I need to try Swift in Beacon this time, they're on the list for the first time, I believe. Hudson at Haymount House in Briarcliff Manor has their menu up already, and I was considering trying them until I saw they had an $8 surcharge for short ribs (someone might want to give them the heads up that this is NOT the way to put together a restaurant week menu with only two entree choices and putting a surcharge on one).

As in the past, I highly recommend Back Yard Bistro in Montgomery both for variety and quality. It's a tiny place so reserve early (but let me get my reservation first :-) ). I think I will go back to 42 for lunch, since I had a nice lunch there last time (and a not as great lunch when I went back the following week because I enjoyed it so much the first time). And of course I have to go back to North! And I hope that Valley will have a menu that is more interesting to me than in March, since I did not go then.

Tavern in Garrison does not appear to be on the list, which is odd since Valley is. McKinney & Doyle in Pawling is also absent.

Post your suggestions of great places you've tried in previous HVRW's.

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  1. I just made reservations for '76 House in Tappan. We ate there a year or so ago and had liked it, but then it wasn't during Restaurant weeks. When I called, the woman was surprised, and had to put me on hold to ask questions. I was probably the first one? They are not participating in Restaurant Week for the Saturday nights, even though it appeared online that they are. So I booked a Friday night. I'm assuming/hoping that their regular menu will be available should we not like their Restaurant Week offerings? Is this usually the case? I could always call and ask them, but I'll wait a few weeks to do so since they didn't know anything much yet.

    1. I just made reservations for Swift for a Saturday night. One down, who knows how many to go :).

      1. I wish more places would post their menus sooner. Tavern is one of my favorite places that I've tried during HVRW. I usually try new places instead of going back to the same ones, but I'm sorry to see it's not on the list. I'm interested in possibly trying the Ship Lantern Inn in Milton - which, by the way, is actually in Ulster County, not in Dutchess as is listed on the HVRW site.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Solstice444

          Several more menus seem to have been posted. One you will not find on the HVRW site is 42, but they have it on their own site, listed under special events. The lunch menu looks better than dinner, at least to me (same as last time). I do not understand why they never post the menu on the HVRW website.

          I may try Red Devon again, we ate there a couple of years ago and it was quite good. They were not on the March HVRW.

          1. re: MisterBill2

            42's menu is on the site now. A $21 supplemental charge for ribeye?? And $15 for black cod. Do they usually have large surcharges? At least there are a few other choices of entrees, but $21 seems kind of outrageous considering it's more than 2/3rds of the dinner price.

            1. re: Solstice444

              Yes, that's why I go for lunch, where the portions were very large last year and there are no surcharges. Obviously not everyone can do that. Also, be sure to park across the street (in the building with Target, or at the Galleria) to avoid the $10 parking charge.

        2. It seems like North may not be booking HVRW via Opentable. The HVRW site says to call and when I check on Opentable, there are no dates available once RW starts, and there should be some since they normally book 30 days out.

          1. joseph's steakhouse in hyde park is participating in RW. just had dinner there the other night and the steak was excellent.

            1. Just wanted to mention that I contacted Haymount and pointed out that their $8 surcharge did not send a good message, and they agreed with my point and removed it from the menu!

              North is booking on Opentable but they only do 4 weeks in advance. 42 requires a credit card for a reservation but I gave in for lunch.

              Back Yard Bistro is not going to be open on Sundays this time.

              1. Made a reservation at X2O for the first Saturday, which is looking like it's booking up fast-- only 5 pm and 9 pm left. I haven't gone the past couple of years for RW but the menu looks so great and we haven't been there in a while, so we'll give it a shot. I'll have to set a reminder for myself about North since we definitely don't want to miss out on that either!

                3 Replies
                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                  Hey, ice-cream, I did X2O last year, and while the food was very good, I felt very much like I was on a production line. They've got HVRW down to an art, and my experience was that they've taken efficiency to the point of rushing. I'd almost suggest taking a later table; knowing that they're less likely to be planning to turn it, you might fare better.

                  1. re: Mrs.Sean

                    Thanks for posting this, Mrs. Sean. You reminded me why we didn't go to X2O during the last two Restaurant Weeks. I remember feeling rushed. I cancelled our reservation there and made one at North on the first Friday night, where we were allowed to linger for a long time. Maybe we'll try somewhere new too.

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      I finally made my reservation for North today, for the 2nd Tuesday. I forgot to do it early in the day and by the time I looked at 4pm, 7pm was no longer available. Had to settle for 6:45pm.

                      I have a reservation for X20 for the last night, but it's more of a placeholder. I want to see what some other places have on their menu and will cancel X20 if nothing else looks good. We're going to be there the following Sunday for a birthday party for my mother-in-law, so I could skip being there two weeks in a row.

                      If you have not been to Back Yard Bistro, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's a bit of a drive from Westchester but well worth it (and probably not much further than Yonkers from Northern Westchester, where I believe you are).

                2. So I told my daughter to check the lunch menu at 42 to see if she wanted to join us, and it turns out they've completely changed the menu from what was there before!! No more salmon, now it's a salmon Caesar salad. No more salmon sashimi appetizer. The whole menu is decidedly less exciting and I will probably cancel my reservation. Even stranger, they now show a kids menu for lunch, at a mere $21.95 -- $1 more than the adult HVRW 3 course meal!

                  Back Yard Bistro's menu is up and looks interesting. My son enjoyed the beef heart last time, but this time it does not come with tongue.

                  1. Has anyone succeeded in calling Valley in Garrison for a reservation? I emailed them asking about their menu and called twice and left messages to make a reservation and no one has returned my calls or email. One time I called was a day that they should have been open.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      Their menu is up and I'm not terribly excited by it. The entree choices don't appeal to me-- I hate skate and the pasta sounds like a cop-out. Think I'll skip it this time....

                      A _lot_ of places are excluding Fri/Sat dinner, which I understand, but don't think I'll be making it to many as a result...

                      Edited to add: Ooh, I see 42 is doing Saturdays. I haven't been there yet and the menu looks great. I made a res there...

                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                        We obviously have different tastes because I actually like skate wing, and my wife will eat the steak. Appetizers don't sound the best but desserts sound good. The guy finally called me back today so I made a reservation. We didn't go in March because I didn't like their menu back then (it looked good as I recall, but no entrees I could eat).

                        I had a reservation for X2O but X finally put up their menu and I liked it better, so I cancelled X2O. Someone got lucky and got a 6pm Sunday reservation after that!. I had the X2O reservation as a placeholder until I found something better but I'm more interested in X's, so I may keep it. I hope I have a better experience than I did the last time I did HVRW at X, when they put us in a room next to a large party of families with noisy kids. I eventually had to be moved to another table and it ruined the whole meal.

                        I don't like the supplements on 42's dinner menu, and without them it's basically the same as lunch. I cancelled my lunch reservation and made one at Kittle House instead. Still waiting to see their menu. At least parking will be free.

                    2. I'm surprised that all the restaurants don't show the menus for RW. I just pass over the ones that don't show a menu.

                      1. I'm hoping Swift will post their menu soon...otherwise I'm trying to decide between Ship Lantern Inn, The Terrace Club, and Valley. Their menus all look pretty good to me. Any recs?

                        I may also venture up to Agriturismo alone for lunch as I've been wanting to try it. It's a hike even for me though.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Solstice444

                          Finally got to Agriturismo for first time. Saturday night 2 weeks ago. Worth the drive (an hour from me). Loved the vibe as well as the menu. My entree of the fish of the day (Montauk Flounder) was perfectly prepared--lemon, ww and tarragon. My friends who all ordered pasta dishes were a little overwhelmed by the portion sizes.

                          1. re: Solstice444

                            I'm rather upset that Swift has not posted because I'm going there next Saturday with friends. How difficult is it to post your menu 3 days before the event starts? Artists Palate just posted theirs and it looks pretty good. North hasn't posted either, they said they'd do it this week. At least with them I know they won't disappoint. Alain's in Nyack has not posted yet, either. I guess they had an excuse with the storm.

                            1. re: Solstice444

                              I do not recommend Terrace Club. Had a poor HVRW meal there a couple of years ago, although others have liked it. And while I like wings, it is not something I'd expect to see on the menu of a place that wants to be taken seriously for food. Valley is always good, although I haven't been there since their chef left to go to Swift. Their menu looks good, I like skate wing. We're going this Thursday.

                              1. re: Solstice444

                                The people we were supposed to eat with at Swift just cancelled out on me, so I decided to switch to Artist's Palate. I have a bunch of stuff I don't eat and did not want to take a chance that Swift would finally post their menu and have it not have stuff I wanted. Plus I've had reservations that I have cancelled at AP a couple of times in the past and felt like I should finally eat there.

                                1. re: Solstice444

                                  Swift's menu is finally posted. I decided I liked it so I made a reservation for Sunday. I have a reservation for Alain's but they have not posted yet so I will probably cancel there. I wonder if Alain's is open since I think they are close to the water. Their domain expired this week so their website is gone.

                                  Swift seems to have plenty of reservations available.

                                2. Just made a reservation for Ship Lantern Inn for next Tuesday night. Looking forward to it! All of the entrees look good.

                                  1. I went to the Ship Lantern Inn in Milton tonight and had a great meal! It's an old school type of place, where the waiters are dressed in suits and they pull out your chair for you and place your napkin on your lap. The service was friendly and very polite. They lit a fire and the ambiance was perfect for a cold night like tonight. All the courses were brought out relatively quickly, but the place wasn't crowded at all so we didn't feel rushed. The bread was really good and it came with a tomato and garlic spread that I couldn't stop eating. My petite filet topped with blue cheese was perfectly cooked to medium and was very tender. It was served with mashed potatoes, asparagus, sauteed spinach, some sort of mushroom souffle, and apple butter. The apple butter didn't really go with the meal, but it was very tasty. My dad said his pork chop was excellent. For dessert I had the apple fritter with cinnamon pecan ice cream and a caramel sauce. It was delicious! The appetizers were enjoyable as well. I would certainly go back. They also had my favorite ever mints on the way out! (The white powdery ones with a chewy flavored center.)

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Solstice444

                                      Yum!! Excited for my first rw meal on Friday!

                                      1. re: Solstice444

                                        thanks solstice, we keep meaning to go there but have never gotten around to it. is it fancy dress? are kids allowed if they're behaved, or adults only?

                                        we won't be around for much of restaurant week unfortunately and haven't had time to get out for a while.

                                        1. re: bob gaj

                                          My dad didn't dress up since he didn't know what the place was like ahead of time, so there isn't a dress code. You'd probably feel more comfortable dressing up a bit though, like no jeans or sweatshirts. I didn't see any customers really dressed up. There were no kids there last night, but I'd imagine kids are allowed. Aha - just checked their website and it said "A Vegetarian Menu and a Young Guest Menu is Available Upon Request."

                                          1. re: Solstice444

                                            OK now you're touching on one of my pet peeves....as much as I like a certain decorum from service and staff ....I really appreciate a little decorum on the part of other guests. I imagine in these times restaurants appreciate guests almost any way they come--but as a peer guest, let me say, I really appreciate -- No sweats, no tee shirts...a little decorum, please.

                                            1. re: hudsonvalleyeater

                                              That's why I said that for this restaurant, you should probably dress more nicely than "casual". Although you wouldn't be turned away if you were dressed casually. But having all of the guests dressed appropriately adds to the ambience.

                                              1. re: Solstice444

                                                thanks solstice. i try to make sure we're dressed appropriately for the place we're going, also time and date. for example, i don't take my kids out to restaurants at 7pm on a friday evening unless it's the type of place that is serving families at that time.

                                      2. I haven't had a chance to write my usual reviews but wanted to mention that we ate at Valley in Garrison on Thursday night and it was just incredible. They did not have the skate wing that was on their posted menu (I found out it was due to supply issues because of the storm) but they did fluke instead and it was great. From the amuse (a slice of duck breast with roasted brussels sprout to the post-dessert amuse (little red velvet cupcake bite) it was truly wonderful. They're only open Thursday-Saturday and I think Saturdays were mostly booked.

                                        Ate at Hudson at Haymount House on Tuesday and the food was pretty good but our service was terrible and the bread was bad (may sound like a nit but I've found that you can tell a lot about a restaurant by their bread). I will try to post more about that later.

                                        Tonight we are going to Artists Palate (foie gras and duck breast on the menu!) and tomorrow Swift.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: MisterBill2

                                          How was Swift? Since I live only 10 minutes away, I'm curious to hear how it was.

                                          1. re: Solstice444

                                            I've been really bad about posting stuff. Swift was excellent, a really pleasant surprise. We had a table near the window and had a great view of the falls (who knew there was such a thing as Beacon Falls!). Food similar in type to Valley, which is understandable since that's where the chef came from. I had the quail appetizer which I really enjoyed. My wife had a salad with dried squash. For entree, I had a chicken which was supposed to have pork in the cassoulet vegetables but they agreed to make it without for me. My wife had the the steak which she really enjoyed. For dessert we had a deconstructed baked apple, which was unusual (but in a good way) and my wife had the chocolate peanut butter ice cream sandwich, which was topped with a fresh marshmallow. A co-worker went on Saturday night and did not have as nice an experience. They sat her at a table near the entrance (not near the window) even though she had requested being near the window. Interestingly, we saw a couple seated at that same table when we were there, and I couldn't imagine why they were put there given that they were not full by the window (we went on Sunday). My co-worker also said that her dessert portions ere smaller than ours (I showed her a picture of the peanut butter thing). I would definitely go back but I would make sure I got a window table. They have a really lovely event space there as well. I spoke to a chef from another restaurant who lives in Beacon and he said that he had been to a wedding there a couple of weeks earlier. They're also opening a hotel next year.

                                        2. X2O last night-not rushed, good RW menu.

                                            1. 2 meals to report on, one new for us and one of our favorites:

                                              Restaurant North- Our third time at North for RW and our favorite meal yet. We arrived a couple minutes before our 8 pm reservation to a long line of parties of four+ waiting for their reserved tables from 7 and 7:30. We checked in with the host and ordered one of their special RW NYS wines (a red wine from Hudson, NY)-- $20.95!!-- and enjoyed a glass before being led to our table upstairs (recommended for a quieter dinner) away from the chaos downstairs. Apparently a lot of big parties were lingering because many locals were still without power.

                                              Service was a bit off, as it has been in the past on RW, but we didn't really care-- the food was just as excellent as it is full price, with no skimping on portions. (The only miss was the gluten free bread-- bleh!!!) My butternut squash was so creamy and flavorful, topped with tiny potato chips. The pumpkin risotto was perfectly cooked with a dollop of duck confit (!!) on top that just pushed it over the edge of decadent. My chicken entree was unbelievably good-- two generous pieces (a breast and a thigh I think?), cooked to perfection with a crispy skin, atop greens (chard, I think?) and cheesy polenta. My husband's pork was tender and flavorful, with roasted broccoli and a grape and bacon "stew." Dessert was over the top. We both ordered the cookie skillet, which came with a huge scoop of Jane's vanilla ice cream. Neither of us could finish; wish we had asked for one to go!! Only quibble was that they never came out and asked us if we wanted coffee or tea with dessert, which disappointed my husband, because they have had very good coffee selections from Strongtree roasters in the past. This is a MUST for RW. The value is ridiculous! (in a good way)

                                              42- Very different atmosphere, less my speed. With the lighting, music, and crowd, I felt like I was in a nightclub. We went with another couple, which made it more fun. It is not my idea of a romantic night out. It IS very different from any other restaurant I've been to in Westchester, and the view is definitely stunning.

                                              The food paled in comparison to my recent favorite meals (North, Kittle Tap Room, Blue Hill bar), but it was still quite good. Portions not as generous as North. The butternut squash soup was prettier than North's, but not as artfully flavored. Handmade pasta with lamb sausage and fennel pollen got a thumbs up (nicely cooked to al dente) and entrees were enjoyed all around-- Portuguese fried chicken was nicely crisped without being too oily, pork shoulder confit was tender but perhaps a tad underseasoned; only miss was the tube pasta with tomato sauce, guanciale, and poached egg, not to our friend's taste. Dessert portions were laughably small-- my chocolate pudding perhaps 5 spoonfuls and the carrot cake trifle served in a little diminuitive cup. I definitely would not return full price-- not my scene-- and probably would pass on RW to try another new place.