228 South Plank Road
Lunch: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Dinner: Wed through Monday
It has been almost twenty five years since Il Cenacolo opened its doors, in 1988. I still can recall the excited phone call from a friend that prompted my first visit to the restaurant. Tom Aposporos, then mayor of Poughkeepsie and no slouch in the dining out department, called and insisted that we go for dinner. I was writing the Dining Out column for the Poughkeepsie Journal at the time, and the phone lines were already buzzing about this great new place in Newburgh.
It's hard to believe now, but in the Hudson Valley in 1988 Italian dining still meant spaghetti and meatballs and veal parmigiana. If you wanted "Rustic" or "Northern Italian" (what we called anything without red sauce back then), you went to New York to dine at Da Silvano, or later in the early 80's to Il Mulino. There was no Aroma Osteria, no Mercato, or A Tavola. Mario Batali had not yet arrived on the scene; for that matter the TV Food Network was still five years away. The only thing we knew about Tuscany was Chianti - red wine in straw covered bottles that made great candle holders, and little else. And then along came Sali Hadzibrahimi, and Il Cenacolo. The Hudson Valley was introduced to authentic Cucina Tuscana and the rest, as they say, is history.