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.



This Month's "Well Said!"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

Ferran Andria

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Openings ~ Mill House Brewing Company, Poughkeepsie

Mill House Brewing Co.
289 Mill Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Reservations: 845.485.2739

Lunch & Dinner ~ Wednesday through Monday
Closed Tuesdays

Website

Today, Poughkeepsie's Mill House Brewing Company officially opened the doors, and the taps.  The highly anticipated opening had patrons three deep at the bar and waiting briefly for a table.  We managed to secure a "high top" in the open kitchen area, so we could watch Chef Dan Crocco and his crew try to keep pace with the turnout as we enjoyed our meals.

Fans of the original Mill House Restaurant will appreciate the effort that the new owners made to preserve the original architectural themes of the site, but they will also not recognize much of the new space. Stylistically the rooms reflect the bare brick, old mill flavors, but after millions of dollars of improvements and additions, the new restaurant's scale and gorgeous attention to detail overwhelm the original. The restaurant can accommodate over two hundred diners on three floors, in addition to an outdoor patio. These people have made a huge financial commitment to the new business, and it really shows.

The theme is classic brew house, but the kitchen and the menu is more than you would expect in a brewery. The current list of draft beers offers six house made brews. I sampled glasses (9 oz / $3) of a classic Bavarian style Pilsner, and a very flavorful, hoppy "Calibrator" IPA. The selections continue up the scale in texture and ABV. Amber Ale comes next at 5.2 ABV, and the list finishes with the a "Velvet Panda" Stout, which I imagine pays homage to the Mill House Panda Chinese restaurant that occupied the space before the brewery.  


The menu offers many typical brewery pub offerings, but there are also more interesting selections that put the talent in the kitchen to good use. There is a brick oven wood fired pizza oven for flat breads and pub dishes. They put that oven to excellent use to fire my dish of wood oven manila clams, tossed with peppers and roasted pork belly ($10). I also tried a duck confit salad ($14), a dish that I think harkens back to Chef Dan Crocco's days in the kitchen at Brasserie 292, tossed with cranberries and arugula and marcona almonds. There is also a good selection of charcuterie - prosciutto, house made sausages, and a nice selection of local cheeses.
You can see the entire dinner menu here.  


Time will tell if the restaurant lives up to expectations, but given the backers and the assemblage of talent in the restaurant, I can only assume that it will. Chris Crocco, formerly of Brasserie 292, is the general manager, and helped orchestrate the brewery design along with his partner Bob Baxter, of Baxter Construction. The renovations are very thoughtful, and truly spectacular. Bluestone sidewalks which once graced the entrance to the Bardavon 1869 Opera House were re-purposed here as a patio. The circular windows that overlooked the old bar, the signature of the original (1977) restaurant's architect, Ed Loedy, have been incorporated into the new design. It is worth the trip just to see the building, especially if you remember the old Mill House.
I'll be the tall one at the bar with the IPA.

If you do stop in please let our other readers know about your visit in the comments section.
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Ideas? Recommendations? Email me at NorthCountryJoe@gmail.com

Mill House Brewing Company on Urbanspoon
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