There are a lot of good places to admire the turning of autumn leaves. A short trip north by northeast from New York City will supply majestic mountains, a beautiful river edged with historic towns, great old hotels with all the modern conveniences, and a lively dining and wine scene. Here are just a few of the best new places to use as bases for further exploration. Note: the following information is excerpted from the October 31, 2009 issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands now.
BEDFORD POST INN
954 Old Post Road, Bedford, N.Y.
Telephone (914) 234-7800
Web site www.bedfordpostinn.com
Off a woodsy country highway just an hour from New York City, Bedford Post Inn lies hidden behind horse farms and golf courses. You'll find a mix of inn guests and locals at the Farmhouse, the more formal of the two restaurants (the other is the Barn). The restaurant has a fashionable (and pricey) wine list, built to emphasize white wines and small producers. While it contains some familiar names, there is also an of-the-moment "native varietals" section with the likes of Sagrantino and Grüner Veltliner. The property recently completed a showpiece wine cellar and a private room intended for formal tastings. Bedford Post Inn is owned by actor Richard Gere.
18 Mill St., Port Chester, N.Y.
Telephone (914) 939-3111
Web site www.tarrylodge.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, N.Y., is the latest outpost of partners Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali of Babbo, Del Posto and other restaurants. Andy Nusser, most recently founding chef of Casa Mono, is the executive chef. The modern Italian menu offers formal three-course selections and many options for grazing, along with an all-Italian wine list of about 275 selections.
4 Grinnell St., Rhinecliff, N.Y.
Telephone (845) 876-0590
Web site www.therhinecliff.com
Just steps from the Amtrak station in quiet Rhinecliff, N.Y., is a 19th-century hotel that has been restored to its former glory. The bar at the reborn Rhinecliff is casual but certainly no dive. The restaurant serves a smart brasserie menu in a room that preserves the Victorian bones of the building without the stuffiness. And the rooms are clean and spare, with luxurious touches such as enormous duvets and double sinks.
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