Hudson Valley's local farms are feeding a rapidly growing gourmet culture. The valley used to be a prime source of fruit, meat and dairy for New York City, but the globalization of groceries ended that. Now farmers in the region are turning to organic and high-end products, including fantastic cheeses, apples, mushrooms and meat that they sell each week at the city’s green markets. Area restaurants make use of the fresh, seasonal ingredients in their kitchens, and many are headed by graduates of the local university, the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park.
Please note that owners, chefs, menu items, prices and other details can often change. We recommend that you call ahead before you go.
Escoffier Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America
1946 Campus Drive
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Telephone: (845) 471-6608
Open: Tue-Sat, 6-8:30
Cost: Entrées $24 to $32
Housed in an imposing old Jesuit seminary just north of Poughkeepsie, the CIA is a temple for foodies. Visitors can tour the campus and attend classes for nonprofessionals. The school houses four restaurants and a bakery café where the public is served by students. Escoffier Restaurant is the classic French dining room. The well-executed food includes escargot ragout and a terrine of foie gras and oxtail. The menu changes seasonally, and there’s an added pleasure in chatting with your waiters—aspiring chefs who could be future stars.
Terrapin juxtaposes modern decor with a historic setting, a church built in 1825.
6426 Montgomery St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Telephone: (845) 876-3330
Open: Bar, Sun-Thu, 11:30am-midnight, Fri-Sat, 11:30am-2am; Dining Room, Sun-Thu, 5-9, Fri-Sat, 5-10
Cost: Entrées $11 to $36
Chef and owner Josh Kroner blends classical French with Asian, Italian and Southwestern flavors. Although the menu options are hackneyed, the food itself is great. Appetizers include a barbecued-duck quesadilla with mango-avocado salsa, while entrées include a horseradish-crusted sushi-grade ahi tuna with miso aïoli. An Award of Excellence-winning wine list and the gorgeous setting inside an old church are added enticements.
For more restaurants in New York state that hold Wine Spectator awards for their wine lists, see our Restaurant Search.