Photo by Morgan Ione
17 Top Spots to Get Your Morning Fix
By Lauren Naru • Featuring Photography by Kenneth Gabrielsen
Heavenly Huevos: Cafe Mio in Gardiner elevates eggs to a new level of lusciousness with its huevos rancheros. Photo by Jennifer May.
2356 US-44, Gardiner; 845.255.4949; www.miogardiner.com
There’s a homey vibe at Cafe Mio, in both the aesthetic and the way the customers interact with each other and the staff. “We have an open kitchen, so I know many of my guests,” explains owner and chef Michael Bernardo. “I can see them, and they can see me. Our regulars come in and I’m already making their meal.”
Opened in 2010, Cafe Mio’s breakfast menu features original takes on classics, like the popular banana-bacon French toast topped with fresh whipped cream. Bernardo’s personal favorite is the huevos rancheros with two eggs served over corn tortillas, with black beans, avocado, pickled jalapeños, sour cream, and a bed of greens.
“People have gotten more conscious about what they are eating and how it’s prepared,” explains Bernardo. “I made relationships with the farms surrounding the restaurant and source my ingredients from them as often as possible.”
Sticky Sweet: In addition to egg sandwiches, Pine Plains Platter serves tantalizing baked goods.
2987 Church St., Pine Plains; 518.398.0500; www.pineplainsplatter.com
As a native of this northern Dutchess County town, Amy Benack-Baden was eager to step into the role of chef and manager of Pine Plains Platter nearly four years ago. “We wanted to make the restaurant more approachable for locals and weekenders alike, so we revamped the menu to feature comfort foods made with local ingredients.”
This family-friendly café off Route 199, about four miles off the Taconic, serves breakfast all day. Egg sandwiches are popular with to-go customers, while The Vermonter, made with two eggs, cheddar cheese, and a local Black Sheep Hill sausage patty served on multi-grain toast with maple butter, is a staple for those dining in. Our personal favorite is Alive and Kicking: two eggs, cream cheese, jalapeños, hot sauce, and bacon on a toasted ciabatta roll.
Off the menu, there are daily breakfast and homemade bakery specials, including cinnamon buns, coffee cakes, and donuts.
Our Favorite Menu Items
Lou’s Legacy: Gary Guerrazzi took over the restaurant from his father and cooks fan favorites — like Eggs Louie — in his honor.
Lou’s Restaurant & Diner
1344 NY-52, Carmel; 845.878.4749
Located less than a mile off I-84’s exit 17, Lou’s has been a Hudson Valley staple for nearly 40 years. In 1981, at age 19, Gary Guerrazzi took over the restaurant from his father, Lou, who suddenly passed away only a year after opening.
What’s remarkable about this spot is not only the number of years that it’s been in business, but the friendly service that accompanies your food. It’s the restaurant version of Cheers. “You’re going to be treated like family and get good food at a good price,” says Guerrazzi.
Breakfast is served all day to a revolving door of regulars and first-time guests driving through town. Eggs Louie — two poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and melted cheddar on a toasted English muffin and served with a side of home fries — is a staple. The menu features other classic options like eggs, pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, omelettes, and savory sides.
“I’m proud that we’ve been able to keep my father’s legacy going for this many years,” says Guerrazzi.
Moms’ Influence: Dottie Audrey’s serves quality food make from scratch.
549 NY-17, Tuxedo Park; 845.915.3088; www.dottieaudreys.com
Two years ago, husband and wife culinary duo Patrick and Jennifer Jenkins opened Dottie Audrey’s in Tuxedo Park, to fill “a desert” along Route 17 in Orange County. “We had seen this vacant space for six years. We thought if we could build something with the right caliber of quality and carefully curated ingredients, that people would stop — and thankfully, they have,” Patrick says.
This friendly spot features an open kitchen, with a window wall that overlooks the bakery. Breakfast includes everything from pancakes served with cured Irish bacon and caramel butter, to a three-egg scramble made with flavorful Shishito peppers, scallions, and Gruyère cheese. The open-faced sausage gravy toast on a semolina baguette is not to be missed. Dottie Audrey’s serves food made from scratch, beginning with that bread.
Instead of potatoes, meals come with a green salad and homemade champagne vinaigrette. “We want you to leave feeling energized, not lethargic,” explains Patrick.
And the name? Dottie and Audrey are Patrick’s and Jennifer’s mothers, two women who inspired their culinary journeys.
Our Favorite Menu Items
Family-Friendly: Radday is filling a void in the local restaurant scene.
32 W Main St., Washingtonville; 845.614.5422; www.bettyscountrykitchen.com
Before Kevin Radday retired from the NYPD after more than 25 years of service, he always expressed his desire to open a restaurant in Washingtonville, a 2.5-square-mile village in Orange County. “Everyone laughed me off, but I opened Betty’s when I retired,” Radday explains. Living in the area for more than 20 years, he noticed that “there were pizza shops and Chinese restaurants, but no family-friendly spots serving American comfort food.”
“We do breakfast really well,” says Radday. The Truck 4 Omelette, made with generous portions of bacon, sausage, ham, and American cheese, was named after Radday’s former coworkers from the NYPD Emergency Service Unit. Other breakfast dishes that will make you want to get up early on a weekend are the buttermilk pancakes with “cinnabun” filling, and the corned beef hash.
Betty’s, which is named in memory of Radday’s mother, is located in an early 1800s historic home and offers both indoor and outdoor seating.
3928 Main St., Stone Ridge; 845.687.9794; www.hashfoodny.com
Scratch. It’s the food philosophy at Hash Food NY. “We consider ourselves a modern take on a traditional delicatessen,” says chef Page Moll, who owns Hash with his wife, Shala. Everything at the restaurant is house-made using local, organic ingredients. “The better the ingredients, the better the food will be.”
Located in Stone Ridge (that’s between New Paltz and Woodstock), Hash serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch seven days a week. For breakfast, local Feather Ridge Farm eggs are used in the majority of the dishes, including the Hash 209, made with bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, dried tomato, and sausage. There are also vegan options like the coconut curry hash, and blackboard specials that rotate to highlight seasonal ingredients.
Dine inside or enjoy the open-air patio, which is also dog-friendly, in summer months.
Our Favorite Menu Items