Winter Fun Guide

7 Fireside Dining Hot Spots

Get fired up by dining alongside a delightful fireplace


Apples by the glowing fire at Serevan in Amenia

When snowflakes start to fall and temperatures plummet, the prospect of dining fireside takes on special appeal. Fortunately, fireplaces are crackling in some of the best restaurants across the Valley. It’s an appealing way to warm up after a brisk day on the slopes (or, less glamorously, shoveling snow). You’ll get a warm welcome — literally — at these toasty spots, whether you enjoy a meal before the hearth or simply stop in for drinks and appetizers.



Located in a snug 19th-century farmhouse, this destination spot features a dining room with a welcoming hearth. Chef-owner Serge Madikians, an Armenian from Iran with Russian ancestry, draws upon his heritage to offer an ever-changing menu. Winter favorites include a hearty yogurt and barley soup, and rack of lamb served in an eggplant and herbed basmati stew. Madikians makes weekly trips to Cape Cod in his single-engine four-seater plane to pick up fresh seafood for dishes like herbed mussels with shallots and white Bordeaux, and his famous diver scallops with butternut squash and tangelos. Dinner Thursday through Monday. 845-373-9800;

The ’76 House


George Washington himself used to warm his bones and knock back a drink or two at this colonial stalwart, which dates from 1668 and lays claim to being the oldest in New York State. By far the taproom is the most popular spot here, where two original fireplaces still roar to life in cold weather. There is also a fireplace in the André room (named for the British spy John André who served prison time in this very spot during the American Revolution) as well as in the lounge, where you could enjoy a drink before the fire while waiting for your table. You can’t miss the baked American red deer, ’76 Steak Frite, and pork chops with apple marmalade. Instead of the usual sweet stuff, top it off with a dessert martini (Almond Joy, chocolate, and crème brulee). The Sunday brunch entices with mountains of shrimp, Scottish smoked salmon, and omelet and carving stations — not to mention unlimited mimosas. Lunch and dinner daily; Sunday brunch. 845-359-5476;

Fortunately, fireplaces are crackling in some of the best restaurants across the Valley

Iron Forge Inn


The après ski crowd from nearby Mt. Peter pours in to the pub, accessed through a separate entrance from the restaurant, to sit before a blazing beehive oven and enjoy a hot cider or hot buttered rum. Here you can order from a casual menu that features burgers served on a house-made bun, deviled eggs, and crispy potato skins accompanied by a bacon-goat cheese dip. Two more fireplaces — one gas, the other filled with flickering pillar candles — dress up the main level of this former farmhouse, where diners indulge in chef/owner Erik Johansen’s hearty winter menu, including braised short ribs and La Belle Farms’ duck breast wild rice crepe. Dinner Thursday through Sunday; Sunday brunch. 845-986-3411;

hoffman house

Hoffman House


Three enormous fireplaces, one gas and two wood-burning, ensure that no matter where you sit in this 1679 Dutch house that survived the burning of Kingston, you’ll have a view of the dancing flames. Converted to a restaurant in 1977 by owners Ginny and Pat Bradley, this uptown mainstay is decorated to create a Colonial mood with antique oil paintings, clocks, and artifacts, all acquired locally. But that’s only half the draw: Loyal customers adore hearty fare like garlic steak, crab cakes, and potatoes every which way (scalloped, roasted, baked, mashed). Don’t miss the legendary prime rib only on Saturday evenings. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. 845-338-2626;

Stissing House

Pine Plains

French-born chef and former New York City restaurateur Michele Jean brings the flavors of Provence to the heart of Dutchess hunt country. This cozy, low-ceilinged 18th-century building features two intimate rooms, each of which seats 16 with back-to-back fireplaces. As well, there is a wood-burning brick oven in the tavern room whose glowing coals cast a delightful sunset glow over the room. Classic bistro menu includes a seasonally changing selection of foie gras, charcuterie planter, and cheese selections. Plus, there are three different pizza specials each night. Though the wine list is exquisite, people are free to bring their own bottles. Dinner Thursday through Sunday; brunch Saturday and Sunday. 518-398-8800;

Restaurant X and Bully Boy Bar


It’s first-come, first-served in this Euro-rustic restaurant’s lounge, where you can have dinner fireside if you’re quick to nab a seat alongside the four-sided central wood-burning hearth (reservations are accepted in the dining rooms). Patrons rave about classics like beef Wellington and tournedos Rossini, a triple hit of flavor with filet mignon artfully topped with foie gras and black truffles. Desserts also earn swoons, including banana walnut bread pudding, poached pear baked in phyllo, and the restaurant’s signature layer cake. Not to be missed is the famous sit-down Sunday brunch of 18 courses (fresh fruit, smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, lamb chops, honey-glazed ham…) and endless Champagne. Reserve well in advance. Dinner Tuesday through Sunday; lunch Tuesday through Friday; Sunday brunch. 845-268-6555;

bear mountain inn restaurant dining room restaurant 1915 at bear mountain inn

Then and now: The dining room at Restaurant 1915 at Bear Mountain Inn

Restaurant 1915 at Bear Mountain Inn

Bear Mountain

Seven years in the making, the restoration of the Bear Mountain Inn is finally complete — and so worth the wait. In the newly created Restaurant 1915 (formerly the Cub Room), with its soaring timbered ceilings and dramatic iron light fixtures, you can sit before the same massive open stone fireplace where FDR, Dwight Eisenhower, and Babe Ruth once puffed and quaffed. A suggestion: Start with the charcuterie plate featuring locally sourced cured meats and pickled vegetables and move on to a savory goat cheese–and-portobello tart or perhaps grilled lamb chops. Maybe you’ll even have room for the chocolate passion fruit sphere or chocolate chip cookie skillet with vanilla ice cream and caramel. You could always take a twirl at the park’s nearby ice skating rink afterward if you need to work off those calories. Dinner Thursday through Sunday; Sunday breakfast/brunch. 845-786-2731;

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