Where to Eat in the Hudson Valley
Foodies of all types have discovered the Valley and its wide variety of top-flight restaurants. One chef even predicts we’ll soon be vying with California’s Napa Valley as a dining destination. Find out what all the buzz is about with these profiles of local eateries
(page 4 of 9)
The baked eggs dish contains spinach, roasted tomato, and Parmesan
Breakfast & Brunch
Even jaded New Yorkers get excited about the breakfast and brunch served at this friendly Woodstock hangout, launching themselves onto yelp.com with raves about the “healthy, responsible, beautifully presented” and “straight-up delicious” food. “The standard breakfast is not standard by any means,” declares a Rego Park resident, who describes it as “a work of art.” Quite a compliment for eggs. “Delicious coffee,” noted a number of reviewers. “I really dig their style,” comments one Ed. J. from Chicago, adopting the hippie vernacular to drive home his point.
Choices run from the health-conscious (oatmeal with dried cranberries and flaxseed, yogurt with granola) to hedonistic (vanilla French toast with cinnamon spiced banana and whipped cream). There’s an array of omelets and eggs for traditionalists (Italian style eggs with spicy sofrito sauce are popular). Hearty eaters can go for corned beef or tofu hash, or the bread pudding with bacon and maple syrup. The best-selling Cuban press sandwich with pork, provolone, and ham will carry you through until dinner, as will the tasty grilled Moroccan lamb kofte wrap with roasted tomato, red onion, and basil cream — especially if you follow up with apple pie or bittersweet chocolate mousse. There’s a soup, pasta, and stew special each day, along with half a dozen salads and a kid’s menu. Ingredients are mostly organic and from local sources.
Nina Paturel, co-owner of Oriole 9, stands near a list of the restaurant’s daily specials, which make use of local, organic ingredients as often as possible
Nina Paturel, who opened Oriole 9 with her chef husband, Pierre-Luc Moeys, five years ago, says the idea was to create a European-style café. “Not just a place to eat and leave,” she says, “but a place to spend an afternoon and feel comfortable. People are in here half the day. A lot of groups hold meetings, sit for a few hours, and do whatever they do.” In that regard, Paturel is continuing in her parent’s footsteps: In the 1960s, they ran Woodstock’s Café Espresso, where Joan Baez and Bob Dylan hung out with lesser-known folkies. Oriole 9 was the Woodstock exchange back then, when phone numbers had a colorful prefix.
The setting is relaxed, but it’s stylish and inviting, too, with orange walls and wood floors. You can sit at one of two communal tables, at a table for two or four, or at one of the round tables in the corners, where half-moon banquettes scattered with pillows encourage lounging.
Moeys trained in Europe in the classic French and Italian styles, which explains many of the flourishes on the menu. “Luc misses cooking dinners,” says Paturel. “So about once a month we serve an Italian family-style dinner. He makes a whole bunch of food, chef’s choice. We push the tables together — it’s always a fun night.”
Recently, Oriole 9 was the second restaurant in Ulster County to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association. “It’s kind of a big deal,” Paturel says.