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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Opening: The Huguenot Restaurant ~ New Paltz

The Huguenot by Karl Family Farms
36 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561

Wed ~ Sun, 5 - 10 PM

Fans of Nathan and Bonnie Snow will be happy to hear that you will now have one more venue in which to enjoy their talents.  The team that brought us A Tavola Trattoria in New Paltz has teamed up with the owners of Karl Family Farms in Modena to open a new "small plate" wine bar and restaurant. The Karl family focuses on organic pasture raised livestock and their products are featured on the menu. They have made more creative use of the space that most recently housed Il Gallo Giallo, and the eponymous 36 Main before that.

Chicken Hearts
The new owners have taken the (beloved) bar and moved it towards the rear of the dining room where  it eliminates the inside corner and works much better, and also creates some much needed space for additional seating. The bar can now accommodate a few extra stools, and the small plate / gastro-pub theme will put that extra bar seating to good use.

The menu is not the Italian theme I was expecting, but more of a classic American / wine bar / gastropub. The apps are too formidable to be called tapas, and we each mixed and matched a few to build our own personal tasting menu last night. I was thrilled to see the Basque classic baccala brandade on the menu. I have very fond memories of the first time I tried this dish - at the long shuttered La Rive in Catskill in the late 70's. Just a peasant blend of re-hydrated salt cod and seasoned potatoes, the kitchen here plated it with crimini mushrooms and brioche points for schmearing. A very nice walk down memory lane for me.    

A platter of roasted marrow bones was another bistro classic, very nicely done and served with some house made brioche. There are plenty of heartier dishes to choose from, from burgers to bouillabaisse. You can view the entire menu here. I was very happy to see wild salmon on the menu, instead of the farm raised stuff that most kitchens pass off.  I award the kitchen one gold star from the Atlantic Salmon Federation for the effort on their behalf.
The chicken hearts pictured above were served with shaved pear, endive and a bleu cheese mousse. I have had similar dishes with chicken livers (boring), and with chicken oysters (killer) but this was a first.  
The restaurant just opened this month. The wine list was very much a work in progress with much stock still in transit at this writing. While it is too early to comment on the food and the service at this newly opened venue, given the management team, the menu, and the newly reconfigured space and bar, I'll make you a lunch bet that this will be one of your new favorite New Paltz destinations.  I'll be the tall one with the Pinot.

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
The Huguenot Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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