Skiing with extended family is a great local holiday tradition. You’ve got everyone together; and the varying levels of expertise on the slopes, plus the trip to and from whatever mountain one has decided to hit over the busy Christmas week, provide a natural way of bonding – especially with the right place to get together for drinks and a meal after all that time in the cold. But where to go?
Up around Hunter Mountain, there’s a great choice of fun spots. Main Street in Tannersville, with parking just off the Main Street/Route 23A corridor, is gaily painted in a variety of bright colors designed to accentuate the community’s Victorian Era buildings, and full of well-established fun eateries such as Maggie’s Crooked Café and Last Chance Antiques & Cheese, along with the newer American Glory BarBQ palace and handmade-donut-and-jazz spot Twin Peaks. Some are daytime only; none take reservations, and they all can get crowded in spurts.
For fancier fare at night, the best bets at present are at the Deer Mountain Inn – (518) 589-6268, www.deermountaininn.com – an exquisitely remodeled old-style lodge in the spirit of historic Onteora Park, located just outside of Tannersville on a scenic backroad; and Villa Vosilla’s mid-century Italian Mecca, Ladoria: (518) 589-5060, www.villavosilla.com. Reservations are key.
Over in Windham, the area closest to the mountain has several grand old Irish pubs, while the Main Street/Route 23 corridor is also chockablock with informal eateries. Favorites in the area include the Cave Mountain Brewery, Mill Rock, Bistro Brie & Bordeaux and the amazing Italian deli Todaro’s Salumeria right in the center of everything – most without need for reservations. Just outside the center of things there are the popular and yummy Chicken Run, (518) 734-5353, www.chickenrunwindham; the signature dishes at Chalet Fondue, (518) 734-4650, www.chaletfondue.com; and the 19th-century classicism of the gorgeous old-school Christman’s House, (518) 734-4230, www.windhamhouse.com.
Over by Belleayre in Ulster County, folks tend to head from the slopes to Phoenicia’s many restaurants after skiing, including the fun and informal Mama’s Boy and Brio’s, as well as the new Phoenician and Phoenicia Diner (just out of town); or to Margaretville, where the choices include Maine Black Bear and the Inn Between (both on Route 28 between Arkville and the Margaretville turnoff), both informal and fun. Or right under the mountain, you can try either the authentic La Cabana Mexican in Fleischmanns, unpretty but truly tasty; and the brand-new farm-to-table Zephyr in Pine Hill. In nearby Big Indian, there’s the wonderful Peekamoose, right on Route 28.
Finally, for the Catskills, head up past Plattekill Mountain to Roxbury, on Route 30, for such hipster spots as the Public – (607) 326-4026, www.publicrestaurant-roxbury.com – where reservations are recommended; or the more informal Greek spot Petra, (607) 326-6030.
Over in the Taconics/Berkshires, where Catamount is also a great ski area, choices include the great destination towns of Hudson and Great Barrington, Massachusetts or, in the vicinity of the mountain itself, the Swiss Hutte, as well as the fancy, reservations-needed Mount Washington House in Hillsdale – (518) 325-4631, www.mtwashingtonhouse.com – and John Andrews Restaurant in South Egremont, Massachusetts: (413) 528-3469, www.jarestaurant.com.
En route to all these places are tons of other great finds. Hey, who needs skiing?
Read more about local cuisine and learn about new restaurants on Ulster Publishing’s www.DineHudsonValley.com or www.HudsonValleyAlmanacWeekly.com/category/columns/taste/.