2 Taste Food and Wine Bar Restaurant Review in Hyde Park: American Food and Dining in Dutchess County
A top-notch tasting room: A hip new Dutchess County spot offers fine wines and fresh local fare
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2 Taste’s brain trust: Executive Chef Stephen Smrcina, owner Hallie Quinones Katz, and Faith Cuccia
From there, the menu becomes less complicated, featuring such standards as sautéed shrimp, crab cakes, burger on a kaiser roll with smoked Gruyere, and several vegetarian and vegan dishes. And a new small plates menu also was introduced recently. Smrcina cooks with local, natural food whenever possible, often gathering local cheeses and robust ingredients from places such as Hudson Valley Cattle Company. We sampled two holdovers from Twist’s menu: the salmon, and the steak frites. Smrcina interprets the salmon with a crispier skin, citrus glaze, and a caramelized onion salad. The flank steak was textbook perfect, but it invited a more graceful sauce than barbecue aïoli, which was more complementary to the accompanying fries than the meat. Unfortunately the fries, which were overcooked, did not even register on this French fry enthusiast’s radar. Another dish, the uncommon duck confit, was magnificent. The duck, which is served with baby red bliss potatoes and red-onion confit in a port wine reduction, “is cured for 24 hours, and then slow-cooked in duck fat for 10 hours,” says Smrcina. “We sear it to make the skin crispy.”
The updated interior
The night of our visit, the restaurant was about half full and a pleasant buzz permeated the room. The bar located near the rear entrance seats only four, but its aristocratic and cozy construction is the perfect classroom for students of bartender Robert Wahlig. He offers instruction on the extensive wine list, and discusses the options available on the wine or beer flight menu, from which you can order three small glasses from one of four collections for a reasonable $13-$15. Though they did once have a sommelier, the service staff is now well-educated in each wine and its pairing opportunities. They also offer a four-course wine dinner several times a year, with a prix-fixe menu paired with wines from different continents for $39.
Our chatty server, who ended up being Cuccia herself, hit a bull’s-eye with every wine suggestion, as well as her with her dessert recommendation — the hazelnut mousse, served in dramatic fashion in a squat martini glass. A traditional chocolate terrine with strawberries left me feeling pleasantly reminiscent of evenings by the river Seine. All desserts are made in-house daily; my only regret is that I didn’t get to try the Applewood-smoked bacon dipped in white and dark chocolate. But I’ll be back to taste some more.
2 Taste Food & Wine Bar
Dinner Tuesday through Sunday; lunch by reservation only. Appetizers average $10; entrées average $22
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» 2 Taste Food & Wine Bar wins “Best Wine Bar” in Best Of Hudson Valley 2012
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