One of the Biggest Names in New York Distilling Just Revamped Its Restaurant
Tuthilltown Spirits' new restaurant honors its past.
Photo By Steve Fowler
Situated on the banks of the Wallkill River, the restaurant at Tuthilltown Spirits has long had a beautiful view for diners to enjoy, but Tuthill House at the Mill has been relaunched with a new name and menu.
Now called Char 1788, the title of the new restaurant pays homage to the charred casks used for aging whiskey and to the year the original gristmill was founded. While Char 1788 maintains the same spirit as its predecessor, the updated restaurant features a more refined take on American farm-to-table cuisine according to Justin Miller, Director of Tuthilltown Spirits and Hudson Whiskey.
Executive Chef Sean Tompkins was brought on board to redesign the menu. Tompkins, who comes to Char 1788 from Redwood Bar and Restaurant in Kingston, gave the menu a foundation in local, foraged ingredients like mushrooms, ramps, ferns, acorns, mulberries, and more. “As we explore these items,” he says, “we’ll also take inspiration from the Iroquois and Algonquin food cultures.”
Char 1788 brings a new cocktail selection, which Tompkins describes as “simple and straightforward,” to let the full flavors of the distillery’s spirits shine through. Try the Huguenot Street with Hudson Baby Bourbon, Tuthilltown raspberry liqueur, absinthe, and bitters or the refreshing Orchard Cooler with Hudson Maple Cask Rye, Lillet Blanc, Tuthilltown blackberry liqueur, lemon, and cider.
You might describe Char 1788’s new direction as American cottage cuisine. Fried pickles make a crisp, juicy appetizer while the fried chicken sandwich’s crusty breading gives way to tender meat and the stewed rabbit comes with foraged mushrooms and a nasturtium-carrot puree.
That’s not to say the flavors aren’t complex. Certain dishes add global flair, such as the Brussels sprouts with a savory citrus soy glaze. And many of Tuthilltown’s spirits have been incorporated into the new menu. The Oakwood roasted salmon has a Hudson Manhattan Rye reduction, while the Hudson Barbecue Pork comes with Baby Bourbon barbecue sauce and Baby Bourbon beans.
You’ll find that approach in the desserts, too. Macarons come in flavors like gin and tonic and indigenous apple vodka, while an ice cream sundae featuring five different Tuthilltown spirits lets those who hate the hard stuff try a whisky “flight.”
Char 1788 is open daily for lunch and dinner, and for brunch on Sundays.