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Sep 2, 2013 06:17 AM

3 Gems in the Catskills (Bearsville and Palenville)

Just back from a really great weekend of camping and adventuring in the Catskills. We mostly camped and grilled on campfires, but dipped into civilization a few times for vittles and libations. Three places we really loved:

1) Cub Market just outside of Woodstock, NY in Bearsville. Recommended by the great dudes at Overlook Bikes in Woodstock for a snack on the way out of town. Got some incredible triple cream goat brie, a nice Italian cheese, pears and crackers. The shop was well stocked with imported and local goods and offered impressive looking sandwiches and baked goods too.

2) The Bear, also outside of Woodstock in Bearsville. Landed there after scanning/scouring the boards during the drive back from the Walkway Over the Hudson. Considered New World Home Cooking, but were scared off by the very divisive reviews. The Bear was exactly what we were looking for -- well prepared local food in a lovely, casual setting that was fairly affordable. The raw kale salad with ricotta salata was excellent. Loved the grilled octopus, which was just a tiny bit overly garlicky. And my husband enjoyed the Kurobata pork chop. He found it a little dry, but I know it's tough to get perfectly moist pork chops. Good selection of wine and beers, including some local options. Would happily return.

3) Circle W in Palenville, NY. This place is like Brigadoon, appearing out of nowhere. We liked it so much we went for breakfast and lunch on one day. It's a delightfully bougie general store on 23A with a really impressive selection of products at fair prices. For breakfast, we had a slice of quiche made with local veg and a monstrous piece of apple cinnamon bread pudding with maple syrup and whipped cream (diet starts tomorrow?!). For lunch, we split the turkey and avocado BLT. The turkey was especially impressive and I'm guessing it was roasted at the shop, rather than at a Boar's Head factory. The baked goods are great, the coffee is hot and the service by the lovely ladies was fantastic.

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  1. I live in Saugerties and agree with all three recommendations. We have lunch at the Circle W at least once a week. The fact that they serve Jane's ice cream doesn't hurt either.

    1. Thanks for the report. It's good to know about these places. However, I must disagree with your excusing the dry pork chop. With proper marinating and careful cooking, a pork chop should never be dry, at least not in a serious restaurant.