Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hudson Valley Mini Food Guide

Last weekend, I left NYC and took a drive up to the Hudson Valley.  It was such a dreamy, relaxing trip.   I actually couldn't believe how long it has taken me to commit to renting a car and exploring the area.  I thought I'd  share some food-related gems we found along the way.  Beware - this is a long post, but with a lot of pictures!

First up was Tarrytown, New York, about a 45-minute drive out of the city.  We stopped at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, home of the famous Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  We didn't get to eat there, reservations were booked until the end of November, but we did stop by their tiny Blue Hill Cafe for their chorizo scones and apple muffins.
The farm itself is amazing.  You can do a self-guided tour, which we did, or you can sign up online for an Insider's Tour, or even egg collecting!  We visited some very friendly chickens, timid sheep with a sheep dog, adorable pigs who liked to roll and snoot around in mud, and a whole lot of turkeys.
 Stone Barns also has this amazing greenhouse with vegetables galore.  We saw kale, rainbow swiss chard, garlic, and carrots growing, plus many, many other things.  If you live in the city, I would definitely recommend stopping by one weekend, it is great to get out in the country and see some adorable animals, and just roam around a farm.  You can even take the Metro North Hudson line, click here for directions.
After Stone Barns, we hopped back in the car and arrived at our bed and breakfast in Kingston, New York.  We booked through airbnb, which is a really cool site to find cheaper, more personal places to stay.  We ended up staying at an old church that was renovated into a house and studio space by a couple name Peter and Julie.  I would totally recommend staying there for the weekend.  It was close to everything, and they made a great breakfast!  Click here for their listings.
Later that night, we drove to Tivoli, New York, and ate at this Tex Mex place called Santa Fe.  We order some yummy margaritas, had great chips and salsa, and my friend order the chicken chimichanga, and I order the sweet potato tacos.  The sweet potato tacos were such a perfect fall dish.  It started out with a grilled soft tortilla, filled with mashed, sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, pepitas, goat cheese, and white cheddar cheese.  I am definitely going to try to recreate these at home.  The portions were large, and the atmosphere was nice, and you could even eat out on the porch, which was really cute.  Oh and did I mention Andes mints for dessert!?
The next morning we headed to Red Hook, New York for some apple picking at Greig Farm.  We went early, so we were the only ones there, besides one other family.  There was even a pumpkin patch too.
Next stop was Saugerties, New York to visit the Saugerties Lighthouse.  The lighthouse was cool, and you can even stay there!  The town was pretty adorable too, and we ended up eating at Miss Lucy's Kitchen for lunch.  The place is sooo cute, with aprons hanging along the bay windows, and old country  colanders, and kitchen supplies hanging along the walls.  It totally reminded me of my friend Abby, if she opened up a restaurant.  I got the challah French toast with apples, and my friend got the po boy sandwich.  Both hit the spot!
Later that evening, we headed to Rhinebeck, New York.  Seriously, I don't know how many times I am going to use the word "adorable" in this post, but I am using it again, Rhinebeck is ADORABLE.  It is so picturesque and charming.  We stopped by Samuel's, a cutesy candy, coffee, and tea place.  We got some chocolates, suckers, and candy cigarettes.  We spent a while just walking around the neighborhood looking at the dreamy houses.
We ended up heading back to Tivoli, and eating at a tiny sushi joint called Osaka.  The wait staff was so sweet!  I even learned something new - you are suppose to eat mochi with your hands.  In Kansas, it was always served with a spoon.
Finally, we stopped by Keegan Ales, the local brewery in Kingston.  The place was actually a little dead, by the time we got there (late on a Sunday night and after the NY Jets had lost), but the bartender was super cool, and the beers were awesome.  I loved the Mother's Milk (a stout), and the Jo Mamma's Milk (a seasonal coffee stout).  Another cool part about the brewery -  free peanuts that you can you can eat and throw the shells on the floor.
If you take a trip up to the Hudson Valley, I would definitely recommend all of these places.  It was such a fun trip!

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