Welcome to our list of favorite dining destinations in New York's Hudson Valley and Adirondack regions. We visit restaurants, wineries, barbecues, and a smattering of off the beaten path culinary destinations like maple sugar shacks and fromageries. My friends and I have been dining out together weekly for over twenty years. The locations we write about are our favorite destinations. We are not claiming they are the best, just our favorites. The posts are not "reviews" in the classic sense. - we offer only our picks, not pans. We will leave the criticism to others. We are a happy blog. We much prefer a good bistro to "haute cuisine", especially if they also have a nice bar. We prefer a crock of cassoulet and a bottle of Beaujolais to just about anything else. If you enjoy simple home style rustic cooking with a decent (but not too expensive) bottle of wine, then pull up a chair and join us.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Tasting Notes: Mint, Kingston NY
Kingston, NY 12401
Dinner, Wednesday ~ Sunday 4 - 10 PM
Fans of the Kingston Strand's old Downtown Cafe will be happy to hear that Chef Graziano Tecchio is back at that location, now reopened as Mint. The limited menu offers Graziano's housemade pastas and sauces, a terrific facaccia, personal size thin crust pizzas, and a few Italian classics.The website MintLoungeandTapas.com is somewhat misleading (as the menu offers no tapas), but our meals last Wednesday were all very well prepared, generous portions, and we came away most impressed with the kitchen. The place itself has not changed much since its days as Downtown Cafe. It has the look and feel of a 1960's village pizzeria, with 1960's village pizzeria tables and chairs. (The good news is that the prices are from the 60's too.)
The focus here is strictly on the food - serving well prepared hearty fare at very attractive prices. Personal pizzas go for $8 - with plenty of choices ~ margherita, ricotta and basil, arugula and capers, real house made roasted peppers and gorgonzola. All were well prepared and half the price of the Rhinebeck version. I tried an appetizer of roasted cuttlefish - impossibly tender, sweet, and just fantastic. My entree of sole francese was just as good, gently sauteed with a spritz of lemon and served with a side of grilled artichoke. The hand made pastas at $11 are steal - judged by both quantity and quality. I stole some of Dennis's parpardelle (a hearty fettucine) , sauced with a savory ragu. Wonderful stuff. Graziano also makes his own malfatti - roughly shaped pockets - served stuffed with spinach, and also penne pasta. Our server offered any of the pastas with a choice of red or white sauces. You can view the whole menu here.
The restaurant was busy with what appeared to be local walk ins and long time regulars. With these prices and portions it was easy to see why. Don't expect anything fancy, just good home made fare at great prices.
If you do stop in please let our other readers know about your visit in the comments section.
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