Best of the Hudson Valley 2008
(page 4 of 16)
* denotes Readers' Picks
Setting The Mood
*Special Occasion Dining
Culinary Institute of America
Is it your anniversary? Your youngest just graduated from high school? Then do what smart folks from all around the region do and book a reservation — as early as possible — at one of the CIA’s four renowned restaurants, where you’ll be served delectable food prepared by the some of the world’s leading culinary students.
*Waterside/Al Fresco Dining
Torches on the Hudson
Pull your boat right up to the outdoor bar or grab a seat in this scene-stealing restaurant on the historic Newburgh waterfront. If you tire of the view, you can gaze at the 6,000-gallon Aqua Bar fish tank as you contemplate how lucky you are to live in this beautiful region.
Ship Lantern Inn
Avast, ye lovers! This Revolutionary war-era structure is a cozy cabin of rich, dark wood accents. Owner John Foglia has tastefully decorated it with nautical delights, including his own collection of miniature sailing ships. But you may be too busy canoodling to notice.
*Place to Eat With a View
Shadows on the Hudson
The premier cosmopolitan venue this side of the Hudson, Shadows consistently wows its patrons with an impressive steak-and-seafood menu and breathtaking views of the river. Five luxurious dining areas and killer cocktails make this a hot spot for singles looking for a little fun.
This busy restaurant is not much bigger than a breadbox, so the delightful little courtyard outside is a welcome additional space to enjoy the highly rated fare. Sip a cocktail there before dinner, or sit at an umbrella table at lunch and nibble on a carefully crafted sandwich. A huge old maple casts shade over most of the space, while flowers brighten it up. Hardier diners will enjoy eating outside in colder months in the warm glow of the fire pit.
Romantic Country Dining
Crabtree’s Kittle House
Many a bride will attest to the romantic aura that pervades the gardens and dining rooms at this charming country inn. Perhaps romance comes naturally in a gracious 18th-century building, or maybe there’s leftover glamour from its days as a roadhouse during Prohibition. Most likely, though, it’s because of the easily elegant décor, pampering service, fine food, and famous encyclopedic wine list. (Choose from the abbreviated version if you don’t want to spoil the lovey-dovey mood.)
Garden for Lunch
If the weather’s nice, walk straight past the food cases and the few little tables at this gourmet-food-market-cum-café, and you’ll emerge into the not-so-secret garden in the back. It’s fenced for privacy, with flower beds full of herbs and cheerful annuals. Nab an umbrella table, then chow down on one of the famous homespun lunches — perhaps a cheddar and chutney sandwich, or the Tuscan tuna and white bean salad. It’s a lovely lunchtime escape from the hustle and bustle.
*Late Night Dining
College students here know that in the wee hours of the morning — or any time they get hit with the munchies — their best bet is to head to this family-run establishment, where the friendly staff delivers all your finger-lickin’ faves 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While noshing on cheddar cheese bacon potato skins, a juicy burger, or a fresh panini, happy patrons tap their toes to the music selection du jour flowing from the juke box.
You're reading about the crème de la crème of the Hudson Valley, as voted by your fellow Valleymen and loyal Hudson Valley magazine editors. Do you agree with us? Disagree? Tell us your top picks in the comments box below — and be sure to check out our favorite places, shops, and people throughout the region that we call the best.