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Best Of

Yolo Bistro

MapPoughkeepsie, NY
  • Food & Drink
  • New Bistro


An oasis of calm in an inconspicuous shopping center a stone’s throw from Route 9, this pretty spot lures a lunch and dinner crowd from nearby medical offices and Marist College. Open since April, the bistro, whose name is short for You Only Live Once, offers a spacious bar that seats 12 and tables seating about 25. There’s also bench seating near the entrance where you can watch flatbreads being made in a little clay oven as you wait for your takeout order. ”Once they find us, word-of-mouth seems to be our biggest compliment,” says manager Nitaya Rousseau. “Most restaurants don’t usually have regulars in the beginning, but we do.” English-born chef and owner Joseph Barlow, who actually grew up in the Hudson Valley and has worked in many top restaurants in the region, keeps things interesting with foods that are as visually appealing as they are tasty. Popular dishes include Mediterranean shrimp scampi and the Bonsai Tree, which is like a California roll, only made with cucumber instead of rice. Topped with brie and bacon on pretzel bread, the YOLO burger is popular at any time of day. Affordably priced, with entrée prices hovering around $20 and sandwiches and burgers about $13 ($9 at lunch), the bistro includes little luxuries you’d expect at a more expensive restaurant, like fresh flowers on the tables and flickering Moroccan-style votives at night. Frosted-glass windows create an air of intimacy, as if you’re in a speakeasy somewhere exotic and undiscovered.

Best of Hudson Valley History

2015 Editors' Pick — Best New Bistro

Additional Information:

Best of Hudson Valley Winners: 2015
County: Dutchess
Pick: Editors' Picks
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