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Hudson Valley Restaurant Weeks Spring 2014 - March 10-23

No one has started a new thread so I guess I will. Here's the list of restaurants:


I've made reservations at Restaurant X, Cafe of Love, North, Saint George (no menu posted yet so I'll see if I keep it), MP Taverna (since I complained to them last time when they didn't post their menu and it's convenient to Metro North for my son). Have to call Valley but I'm sure that won't be a problem. Might do Crave in POK again, although Duo in Kingston's menu looks interesting.

Inn at Pound Ridge is not participating (surprise!).

The CIA restaurants are booked on Saturdays, as is X2O (and even for Sunday before 8pm!). Remember North is now open on Sundays so that is an option. The 42 menu has so many surcharges I had trouble finding stuff that DIDN'T have one.

Any suggestions from past visits? I really miss Backyard Bistro.

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  1. I was waiting for you to post your usual thread. :) good call on st. George- are they excluding Fri/sat?

    5 Replies
    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

      I was on a cruise last week and I hadn't really looked at the list before I went away. I ate so much I may be hungry by the time HVRW starts.

      I saw at the bottom of one of the menus that Valley Table is running a contest this year via Tweets. I hope they give out the prizes. My kids didn't get anything last year even though they posted some great collages on Instagram with the lohudfood tag. They claimed they'd give out prizes but never did.

      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

        Looks like no Fri/Sat for Saint George.

        I won't be going back to Rivermarket. I don't think I ever posted my review but we had a terrible experience there. The burrata salad was a quarter of a burrata each (and not evenly cut so some portions were larger than other - and we all had the same appetizer). Service was as bad as I had read. Maybe it's gotten better, but I won't be finding out.

        1. re: MisterBill2

          Hi Bill, where did you read the service was bad?

          1. re: LizJohnson

            Liz, I just took a quick look at Yelp and there were at least 9 reviews stating that there were service issues.

            1. re: LizJohnson

              I suspect that I would have read about bad service on Opentable. When we got there back in November (after initially missing the entrance because there was no sign), I told the server that I had read about bad service and good service online, and hoped that she was the good service. Alas, it did not work, and it was bad. Among the things I remember from last time, the bread took forever to arrive and when my wife requested more they brought bread for one person (after several minutes). I recall seeing our entrees being carried to us and then past us, because no one had cleared the appetizer plates. Once someone came over and cleared them, our food made another pass and was delivered. And when they brought our leftovers, for some inexplicable reason they had decided to combine two of the same dish into one container, even though that was not requested.

              Now back to a current report. My daughter went for lunch on Friday with co-workers and enjoyed it, so she and my son went for dinner tonight (my wife and I went to Saint George). Service was once again terrible. Their meal took 2 hours with long waits between courses. They brought them the entrees that were supposed to go to the table next to them (this was while they were waiting for their appetizers). They gave them the wrong silverware for the entrees. They did not pack up my son's sides as requested (he had finished the duck), but to their credit they did make him fresh ones when he pointed it out. This time it arrived quickly but they never offered more (and apparently it was not as good as last time). However, they did enjoy the food.

              If you want more the details, here is a shameless plug for my son's food and sports blog where he detailed our meal at Rivermarket (and has other reviews there as well, including both NYC and HV Restaurant Weeks):


        2. I didn't see this post! I just posted about how much I miss it, I miss it desperately, I implore everyone here for opinions on similar spots to BYB :)

          I ate at Duo, it was fantastic :) That's the only one in the list I can comment on :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Elphie2983

            Glad to hear you liked Duo. It's a bit of a schlep for me but maybe we'll do it one weekend. The menu sounds interesting.

          2. Cafe of Love's dinner menu is posted on the HVRW site. As always, a very nice selection. My daughter loves their almond bread pudding.

            4 Replies
            1. re: MisterBill2

              Although it's not restaurant week yet, I have a reservation at cafe of love tomorrow night, I was going to be in the area, and based on your mentioning it here, i wanted to try it, it does sound lovely.

              1. re: Elphie2983

                Their food is excellent. Kind of pricey at regular price. I think you can find a discount coupon at Restaurant.com, but probably only for $15 (which won't put much of a dent in your meal cost).

                1. re: MisterBill2

                  We just ate there, it was exquisitely delicious :) I'm glad we went and look forward to next time!

            2. I emailed the folks at Valley and they told me that they're doing Thursday-Saturday this time but won't have the menu for another week. Also, Crave is now on Opentable, although the HVRW website doesn't have a link. Be sure to find it yourself and not go thru the link on Crave's website, or you'll lose the Opentable points (you don't get them if you link from the restaurant's website).

              1. Here's a surprise - North's menu is posted on the HVRW site!

                3 Replies
                1. re: MisterBill2

                  Oh yay! Looks great as usual! I don't really get the escarole appetizer, seems a little odd, but I trust them! I guess like a warm salad?

                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                    Don't know, but it doesn't matter to me, since I'll be doing the risotto appetizer again!

                    1. re: MisterBill2

                      I'll just say I've eaten everything on that particular menu except the escarole ( my husband doesn't like croutons- don't ask!!) and it's all been OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!! The chicken burger is my standard when I am there for lunch/brunch and the confit in the risotto was good, we fought over it. The Beet Barley soup is unusual and wonderful. Enjoy your dinner!!

                  1. Valley's menu is up and looks great. They're only doing Thursday-Saturday.

                    1. Roundhouse at Beacon Falls menu - http://www.roundhousebeacon.com/news/...

                      We ate there a couple of years ago and it was great, but I read complaints from people last year who said that the portion sizes were very small.

                      I'm also thinking of eating at Twisted Oak in Tarrytown. I wasn't planning to, since the only review I'd seen was from the Journal News, whose reviews I do not trust since they never say anything bad about places, plus some Opentable reviews aren't good. But I saw them on the Toni On! HVRW show on WLNY last night and their stuff looked really good. I'd like to see a menu before committing, although I did make a reservation since they seem to be getting pretty full.

                      BTW my first HVRW stop is Cafe of Love on Tuesday, then North on Thursday.

                      1. Misterbill, be sure to report back on North please! We're going tomorrow. We are curious about the cheese plate dessert, so please keep an eye out for it. Enjoy yourself!!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                          Oops, didn't see your message. I can tell you that my daughter went back tonight with a friend and the menu was changed - for the better. The short ribs were not on the menu last night, and the fish was tile fish last night and tuna tonight! We didn't get the cheese dessert, sorry. We all had the chicken, which was really good, although one of us would have had the short ribs and another the tuna if we had the choice.

                          1. re: MisterBill2

                            Thanks! We had an amazing RW meal on Friday there. We had a drink at the bar before our reservation and then a really great, unrushed meal upstairs. I got the beet and barley soup, which I probably wouldn't have chosen normally, but given the raves here I went for it, and it was delicious! My husband enjoyed the bacon, apple, and pepper salad, and we ate way too much butternut squash focaccia! My chicken entree was outstanding-- a thigh and a breast piece, crispy slightly salty (which I love) skin and perfectly cooked interior, served with crispy potatoes and creamed spinach. My husband loved the tuna, served with pureed parsnips (I think) and olive tapenade. Desserts were also oustanding; we went for the cookie skillet (enough for 2 people) plus the silky and subtly flavored yogurt panna cotta, which were great foils for each other. Cranberry muffins for breakfast the next morning presented upon leaving. Really a spectacular meal and amazing value!

                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                              I had the beet and barley soup, chicken and panna cotta. I agree that all were excellent (I actually took most of the panna cotta home, since as you say the cookie is enough for 2 to share). I actually thought that the chicken was all breast, cut in half with part of it underneath (as opposed to thigh). I hope they still have tuna when we go back on Wednesday night. For the cookie, I spoke to the chef and told him that when we were on a Celebrity cruise recently, they did a similar cookie dessert at one of the specialty restaurants, and it came out runny (not sure if it was intentional but we got it 3 times and it was like that all the time), like melted cookie dough and it was delicious that way. He said that other people have asked for that, and they can do it if you order it "medium-rare". It came out soft in the middle but still kind of done on the edges. Next time maybe we'll try ordering it rare!

                              1. re: MisterBill2

                                When we ate there Sat night, the tuna was in a miso broth that was sooooo good. It was really stellar. Maybe you will get the version on Weds? I hope so...

                                1. re: MRS

                                  That wasn't the HVRW menu on Saturday night, was it?

                                  1. re: MisterBill2

                                    No. Just regular, but still very tasty.

                        2. I'm heading to Restaurant North with the "girls" tomorrow night, sounds like we are in for a very good meal :)

                          1. I've officially decided: I hate "restaurant week".

                            We have had the same basic experience now too many times.
                            Like the one we had Friday night: we went to a restaurant that we've been to perhaps 5 times, and that we like.
                            Because it's 'RW' the place is packed; okay that's good for them perhaps. We have the 'RW' menu, and it's boring. It's 'okay' but it's just not in ANY way as good as the regualr menu. It's dumbed down, it's cheapened, it's smaller, it's whatever they have to do to cram it into a 29.95 price point and keep the food costs reasonable.
                            It is certainly NOT a meal that would make me want to ever return if we didn't already KNOW that the place is actually good and the food so much better than this.

                            It's the menu for the people too cheap to go ordinarily, and who I suspect, and I suspect the RESTAURANT suspects, will never come for the full priced menu anyway.

                            It's a waste of time.
                            If you think you are truly finding out what a restaurant is about or how good it is or is not based on the RW menu, you're only fooling yourself.

                            I'm over it.

                            .. thus endeth the rant...

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: weedy

                              My husband and I decided a long time ago we would never go to any place we loved during Restaurant Week b/c the crowds would drive us nuts.

                              1. re: weedy

                                I've had a bunch of unimpressive RW meals, so we don't usually go out for it. But we always, always go to North. Their RW menu is not dumbed down at all (same stuff as on regular menu) and we enjoy it just as much as a non-RW meal there. Unfortunately, their regular menu is too expensive for me on a regular basis, and I really enjoy the chance to enjoy the food there twice a year for RW. We probably go 1-2 other times per year when it's not RW for special occasions.

                                As for other restaurants, honestly, I don't usually eat three full courses anyway, so I'd rather order what and how much I want to order and not be pinned to the fixed price menu.

                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                  I think that's great! I think no matter where one chooses to go during RW week, if you have a great experience- price point is right for you and all the starts align, that's a win/win for the patrons and the restaurant. I can't say I " do restaurant week" per se, but we do frequent North and I would feel strongly that their offerings during RW would not disappoint. I can't speak to any other establishments offerings during RW b/c we just gave up on it a long time ago. I'm glad it's brought you back to a place you enjoyed- even a few times. We are all different in what we do and enjoy, but I think whatever makes people happy and feel special with one another is always great! And, what a great perspective you have, too.

                                2. re: weedy

                                  I agree--I don't even see it as a "bargain" if you can't order what you really want. Besides, when two of us go out for dinner we generally do not have 2 appetizers, 2 mains and 2 desserts. Full disclosure--I did do a "ladies who lunch" restaurant week lunch at Crabtree's which I thought was excellent, but the choices on the menu were items that I would have ordered anyway (although not a 3 course lunch!)... During restaurant week we go out for dinner at non-participating restaurants or cook something special at home!

                                  1. re: Marge

                                    Marge, just so you know, Kittle House has a fixed price menu year round that's about the same price as the RW menu... definitely at dinner, though I'm not sure about lunch.

                                  2. re: weedy

                                    Really sorry you feel that way. I don't know where you're eating (and you're not the first one I've heard this from) but we did not find that. We ate at 8 places over the past 2 weeks and in almost all cases I got something I normally would have ordered. I had duck breast twice (Swift and Valley) and duck confit once (Saint George), and I love duck. I'm not sure if you're checking the RW menu before eating there but I always do and never book someplace that I haven't seen the menu for unless it's somewhere that I know will not disappoint me (and even then I like to see it before actually going). Virtually all of our meals were full sized and we had leftovers many nights. Even Swift, which I had been concerned about portion size on because of comments from past HVRW were very generous. And to end our RW dining, we had a truly amazing meal at Saint George tonight. I'm not sure if I would have ordered the $20 foie gras appetizer if I were there off RW, but the onion soup and chicken liver mousse that my wife and I shared were both excellent, the steak frites and duck confit were amazing, and the profiteroles were sublime.

                                    As for people never going back after RW (and your condescending remark about people who are too cheap to go ordinarily), I will tell you that I never had been to North before HVRW and have been there several times since (and also brought them some business from work). Backyard Bistro (RIP) is a place we never would have known about if not for HVRW and ate at regularly as a result of reading things about them and eventually trying during HVRW. Not all of us can afford to eat at expensive restaurants all the time and I, for one, love being able to splurge for a few weeks each year. It also gives me an excuse to travel further than I normally would other than for a special occasion. These are generally slow periods for the restaurants and I'm sure it works out well for them, or they would not participate.

                                    Oh, and one place (which is relatively new and has had some positive write-ups, oh what the heck, it was Twisted Oak) that we were somewhat disappointed in was serving stuff from their normal menu. And I still can't believe the cheap knives they're using.

                                      1. re: Elphie2983

                                        I updated my post.. it was Twisted Oak. And I noticed that their HVRW write-up on Lohud wasn't all that positive, either. Maybe it's a matter of their being new and being able to handle the load (the duck lasagna was great) . And here's a picture of the knife. It reminded me of old cheap knives I have at home (and try not to use). And I showed a picture of it to a restaurant owner (of a well known not high end place) who I happened to sit next to at Saint George tonight and he and his dining companion agreed with me.

                                      2. re: MisterBill2

                                        I hear what you're saying about RW, although I don't necessarily agree that they participate in RW because it's a "slow period" for restaurants. I almost feel bad for restaurants in our area, b/c it's almost if they don't participate in RW they are immediately pegged as elitist or worse. That said, I can honestly say I eat in all sorts of places- high end, low end, casual and have never once paid attention to a knife unless it was dirty. Out of curiosity, where do you dine out when it's not RW? What sorts of places do you generally enjoy?

                                        1. re: MRS

                                          Well, I do tend to notice knives because some places give you fancy, heavy knives. The knife they put down at Twisted Oak was a cheap one with China stamped on it. It just seemed strange for someplace that is trying to be high end.

                                          I like places like North, Crave and Valley. I ate at all 3 of them during Restaurant Week. And after last night, I REALLY like Saint George! And I especially like them when I can dine there for $30 and they don't have a dumbed-down menu.

                                          The original reason for the timing of RW's in general was because it was a slow period. At this point I would agree that there are so many participating that some places feel like they have to, but if it didn't work to their benefit I doubt they'd come back. It definitely gets people to dine out and go to places they'd never go to. If only 5% go back, that's still a reasonable amount of new customers. In the case of HVRW, you get full houses on weekdays in March and November when you'd normally be 3/4 empty and not have your entire staff working.

                                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                              Well, since you asked, St. George was amazing! We got there and were pleasantly surprised to find that the Steak Frites did not have a surcharge (the menu they'd emailed me had a $12 surcharge, presumably for a better quality steak. they had hanger steak when we were there). My wife and I split the chicken liver mousse (it had a cryptic French name but I had looked it up when I saw the menu) and an onion soup with a duck base. Both were excellent; the onions in the soup were incredibly sweet and there wasn't much cheese like a normal French Onion soup, but it was still great. My wife loved her Steak Frites, and the fries while not as thin as you'd normally expect, were crispy and great. I had the duck confit. It was quarter duck and was very crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. It came with lentils which were watery, but I give them a pass on that since the dish was supposed to come with bacon and I ordered it without and I would have to believe that the bacon would have made a major difference in them. For dessert, we both got the profiteroles after seeing the people at the table next to us get them (plus I'd seen photos online). They were just amazing. The chocolate on top was ganache and they were probably the best profiteroles I've ever had. I wish they'd had a dessert like apple tart tatin that would have traveled well so we could have gotten it to go and split an order of profiteroles, but I can't say it was a burden to eat 2 of them each. They had a surprisingly large menu, and even had specials, most of which were available on the RW menu (except for the $20 foie gras). Bottom line, one of our best RW meals and I'd definitely go back.

                                              Oh, and the tables were really crammed in together. We declined one table which was really squeezed in and got one that wasn't quite as bad, but a server still had to lean over my wife to serve the people in the corner. On the other hand, we had a very nice conversation with the guys sitting next to us.

                                              Co-owner Jason is a really nice guy, too.

                                              1. re: MisterBill2

                                                I'll post separatelybc this is not about rw but I just had an amazing brunch st St. George. Loved the soup and I think they read your review bc there was a ton of cheese! And those profiteroles, wow..

                                      3. re: weedy

                                        I have not encountered many crowds during RW. Perhaps I choose less popular restaurants. North was probably the most crowded one I've encountered (last year), and Crabtree's Kittle House for lunch this year. I also don't agree with the menus being dumbed down. Often the items are on their regular menu, or are interesting variations from their regular menu.

                                        Lunch and service was very good at Crabtree's Kittle House. I didn't like the dessert much, goat cheese cheesecake with some sort of pear ginger sorbet, but the skirt steak with chimichurri sauce was delicious, as was the crab & corn chowder appetizer.

                                        I also had dinner at Hudson House in Cold Spring. We were the only ones in the restaurant for nearly the first hour of our meal (we arrived at 5:30). I really enjoyed having the beautiful, empty room to ourselves, and the waitstaff was friendly and attentive. A stack of roasted eggplant, roasted peppers, tomatoes, fresh mozz, and balsamic reduction made for a tasty appetizer. I had steak there as well, topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions, which was really good. Apple strudel for dessert was just okay, but my companions had chocolate bourbon pecan pie which was quite enjoyable.

                                        Really enjoyed both of my RW experiences this year, especially Hudson House.