Hudson Valley eateries will get a second chance this year to showcase their culinary skills applied to local bounty as Hudson Valley Restaurant Week kicks off November 5 and runs through the 18th. One hundred fifty-plus Valley restaurants will entice diners with three-course prix-fixe lunches for $20.95 and dinners for $29.95.
This is the sixth year for the 14-day “week” event, which has counterparts all over the country from San Diego to Boston. Restaurants get lots of business (in fact reservations are advised, especially for the more popular venues), and it’s a great opportunity to sample the wares of fine dining establishments at a nice price.
November’s event marks the first time that our Restaurant Week is offered for a second time in the same year. Two hundred Valley restaurants participated in the event that ran March 18 to 31. “We’re bringing it back by popular demand,” says Janet Crawshaw, who is publisher of Valley Table magazine and founded the event six years ago, with only 70 restaurants its first year. “People asked us to please offer it more than once a year, and the restaurants also. And what better time of year than fall?”
Crawshaw points out that usually Restaurant Week takes place in the spring, when there is not a lot in season yet; but now it’s a fun challenge for chefs to see what they come up with during the harvest season. Many chefs plan to feature local squashes, apples, pears, cheeses, game and local pork. Some will choose to feature their most popular or signature dishes; others will create a new menu especially for the event.
“We’re very excited,” Crawshaw says about the evolution of Restaurant Week. “It has become about more than dining,” because it offers communities such as Millerton in Dutchess County an opportunity to spotlight special features in their communities. The gallery at the town’s Moviehouse is going to show an art exhibit themed on farms, food and table, called “Abundance.” An opening reception with the artists is scheduled for November 11. A food film festival will screen several cuisine-related movies, including Chocolat, Fried Green Tomatoes, Julie & Julia, Babette’s Feast and Eat Drink Man Woman.
Millerton is “super-rich in food opportunities,” Crawshaw points out, with farm-to-table places like Number 9 and the newly opened 52 Main, a tapas place that also serves paella. The Irving Farm Coffee Company, which grows and roasts its own handcrafted coffee in Millerton, will offer brewing tutorials. Nearby are the popular restaurants, the “all-green” Red Devon in Bangall and Agriturismo in Pine Plains, which “is so well-known in the City and has a great following,” according to Crawshaw. “The star destinations fill up quickly.”
Check www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com for details of all events, plus a list of participating restaurants. For more on the Food Film Festival in Millerton, log on to https://www.themoviehouse.net/index.php/site/special_events/food_film_festival1/. Read more about local cuisine and learn about new restaurants on Ulster Publishing’s www.dinehudsonvalley.com.