Hudson Valley chefs are at their best as Fall Restaurant Week once again showcases seasonal menus and locally sourced foods in a culinary event that continues to grow. From November 2 through the 15th, the region’s adept restaurateurs will show off their stuff, offering savory dishes that feature greens grown on restaurant rooftops, menus based on less waste, fall flavors and more. A complete list of 185 participating restaurants is now live online, including more than a dozen restaurants new to Restaurant Week. The two-week dining event offers consumers the chance to experience the best restaurants of the region at a fraction of the normal price point.
“Restaurant Week is always exciting, and this fall’s event offers even more,” says Hudson Valley Restaurant Week founder and Valley Table magazine publisher Janet Crawshaw. “Many of our top chefs will be capitalizing on the latest innovative dining trends. We’re looking for a lot of seasonal, local items; we’ve already heard from many chefs who are using new local beer in creative ways in their dishes. It’s all very exciting.”
Home to the Culinary Institute of America, the Hudson Valley is a hotbed of culinary talent. More and more New York City chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Psilakis, Mario Batali and Michael White, have come upriver to open restaurants closer to the farms, expanding the array of dining options. At the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, the region’s burgeoning agricultural economy means that there is an almost endless supply of local ingredients firing the chefs’ imaginations. Many Restaurant Week menus will feature innovative use of the Valley’s bounty. Locally rooted dishes featured on menus across the region now openly tout their provenance: Migliorelli Farm parsnip purée; Crown Maple glazed Brussels sprouts; Catskill Mountain brook trout.
Some restaurants have gone beyond sourcing local ingredients and have joined the “grow-your-own” trend. Union in Haverstraw maintains a thriving rooftop garden that supplies the restaurant with zucchini, tomato, pineapple sage, basil, cilantro, mint and more. The 40-acre Millstone Farm provides the majority of the fresh greens, organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey and eggs for its Henry’s at the Farm in Milton. Purdy’s Farmer and the Fish, located in a 200-year-old farmhouse in North Salem, gets most of all the vegetables and herbs used in the kitchen from its on-site terraced garden. The Clock Tower Grill grows tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, kale, carrots and more literally right out its back door in Brewster.
The Hudson Valley also is at the forefront of one of the leading trends nationwide: the explosion of local craft beer. Many of the Valley’s best restaurants have joined the “brew-your-own” trend or have partnered with a local brewery for local draughts at the bar – or they’re cooking up innovative dishes with the local beers in the kitchen. The Restaurant Week menu at the Mill House Brewing Company in Poughkeepsie, for example, will feature smoked pork tenderloin prepared with its own Pop’s Imperial Maple Pumpkin Ale, savory winter sausage, sweet potato purée and caramelized turnips. Chef Elena Angelides of Daryl’s House Club in Pawling will be cooking up her Peekskill Pork Chops Special: seared rosemary-seasoned pork chops with cherry peppers and onions deglazed with Peekskill Brewery’s Eastern Standard IPA.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week was launched nearly a decade ago by the Valley Table to showcase the area’s vibrant dining scene and also to help reinforce relationships among the chefs and local farmers, winemakers, brewers, distillers, artisanal producers and purveyors. Spanning 114 miles across six New York State counties, it is geographically one of the largest Restaurant Week events in the nation.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, November 2-15, three-course lunches $20.95, three-course dinners $29.95; (845) 765-2600, www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com/home.php.