Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Gobble It Up

  |   October 1, 2019  |  Comment

Fusion cuisine, American comfort food, Mexican street food with a twist, Malaysian noodle dishes: the Hudson Valley’s culinary landscape is evolving and expanding. Here are some of the latest and greatest additions to the area’s dining and drinking scene.

At Bia, the recently opened Irish fusion restaurant in Rhinebeck, chef Rich Reeve, formerly of the Kingston tapas bar Elephant, is adding his own creative flair to his favorite Celtic cuisine. The name, Bia, is Gaelic for “sustenance,” and that is what you’ll find in Reeve’s rich and eclectic menu. Find seasonally inspired innovations like venison carpaccio; Earl Gray-cured Irish salmon served with creme fraiche, dilled cucumbers, and caviar; pork belly and lobster in a black pudding and cider reduction; and warm date pudding in toffee sauce and clotted cream.

Front Street Tavern is the latest addition to Uptown Kingston’s growing bar and restaurant scene. Boasting a rooftop bar with sunset views of the Catskills, this new kid on the block became a fast favorite with the summer crowds. In fall and winter, head here for refined comfort food with hearty menu options, such as herb-crusted sliced steak and lobster mac and cheese. Sit at the bar and order off a shorter list of snacks, such as deviled eggs, to go with your signature cocktail. Front Street also serves up a selection of regional and domestic beer and wine.

Located in the recently renovated 1909 West Shore Train Station, Hudson Taco is one of many new businesses springing up in Newburgh. The well-appointed Mexican-fusion restaurant and bar serves up a twist on classic street food, with more than a dozen taco options, such as pork carnitas, mushroom and shishito pepper, Baja fish, and Korean BBQ short rib, plus burrito bowls and sides, like elote, chicken soup, and charred corn salad. In addition to the well-designed interior, the entire restaurant offers sweeping views of the Hudson River, with a large terrace for al fresco dining in the warmer months.

Nhi Mundy is the brains and heart behind Ba & Me (and the ultra-chic Sullivan County-based quarterly mag DVEight), where she aims to share the fresh, homemade Vietnamese cooking of her childhood in a casual, cozy setting. With locations in Callicoon, Mountaindale, and Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Ba & Me features a menu of classic, simple, and flavorful Vietnamese dishes ranging from affordable rice bowls to pho and noodle soups to entrees, like the lemongrass pork or the bahn mi sandwich.

Speaking of mouthwatering Southeast Asian cuisine, journey to Backbar in Hudson for flavor-packed Malaysian plates. This ultra-cool eatery, located in the back half of an antique shop, features a laid-back bar with a stellar list of craft cocktails, communal tables, and three huge, red garage doors that open onto a lush patio for summer seating. The succinct menu features 14 well-curated and well-prepared dishes, like the lamb cumin dumplings, salt and pepper broccoli, dan dan noodles with pork and Sichuan pepper, and a crispy tofu rice bowl.

Circle W in Palenville looks like a rural gas station straight out of the 1950s. The charming roadside market doubles as a cafe and general store, with locally sourced provisions ranging from honey to goat cheese to kombucha. With a new location now open on Main Street in Catskill, Circle W expands its homey empire, serving up breakfast dishes, like egg sandwiches and daily pancake or waffle specials, plus hot-pressed sandwiches, soups, and salads. A menu of fair-trade, organic coffee and tea is also available, with a juice bar currently in the works.

Pictured above: Bia in Rhinebeck. Photo by Joy Gild

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