Casual comfort food spiffed up for contemporary tastes
Woodstock’s Shindig serves a “laid-back” menu of familiar favorites, like burgers and mixed vegetables
Photographs by Jennifer May
You know that feeling. You’d like some really good food: nothing fussy, but not boring either. Familiar, but with a fun twist.
Make it easy on yourself: Head to Shindig in Woodstock. A little more than a year old and strategically located in the middle of town across from the village green, this periwinkle-painted spot is always abuzz with customers.
“We’re taking casual comfort food and elevating it a little,” reports Operating Partner Allison Garskof, who co-owns the restaurant with several colleagues. Breakfast starts at the leisurely hour of 10 a.m., which befits the laid-back hippie theme of the restaurant’s logo, a classic VW van. You can order all the usual egg dishes, but pancakes topped with caramelized bananas ($9) are a favorite. “People really get into those,” says Garskof. Check out the daily board for fresh-baked cinnamon buns, homemade donuts, and even biscuits and gravy ($4).
For lunch, try Chef Allen Fisher’s triple grilled cheese of Cheddar, Fontina, and Havarti with apricot preserve for a touch of sweetness. It’s served with tomato soup on the side. The meatball sub with creamy Boursin and mozzarella cheeses is another clever take on an old favorite (about $10).
Don’t overlook tasty little treats, like deviled eggs with imaginative toppings and tater tots (called Tinker Tots here as an homage to famous Tinker Street), which pop up on the menu regularly. Whether at lunch or dinner, the Shindig Burger rules: a Hereford beef chuck patty served on a brioche roll from Bread Alone. It comes with all the trimmings: grilled onion chutney and tomato, smoky sauce, chipotle mayo, Vermont Cheddar, and crunchy romaine ($12). And, yes, wine and beer is served. The restaurant even sneaks in soju cocktails, a vodka-like Korean spirit that is classified as wine in New York. It looks mighty pretty in a pink lemonade spritzer.
Choose from a rotating array of seasonal pies to cap off your meal. Be on the lookout for those bananas again, whether puréed in a fresh fruit pudding with whipped cream or adorning a thick slice of peanut butter cheesecake. For the kids, there’s cookies and milk. But for adults, swap out a Keegan Ale’s Mother’s Milk and you’ll be feeling fine.
Dramatically decorated with Moroccan tiles, milk glass lights, and black-and-white photos, the restaurant seats just 30 and doesn’t take reservations. “When we’re really busy, I’ll take your phone number so you can walk around town,” says Garskof. She’ll give you a buzz when your table’s ready. Last summer, the restaurant added a to-go window on the side of the building with a few outdoor stools. Tourists and locals alike can camp out there to wait for a table while sipping an iced tea, or to munch on something quick. Whatever you do, it’s cool — this is Woodstock, after all.
If you go...
Restaurant Review: Shindig in Woodstock