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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Launch Spring 2019

The launch event was held for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week at The Factoria at Charles Point Marina in Peekskill.  Hudson Valley Restaurant Week begins March 11 and ends March 24 with almost 200 Hudson Valley restaurants from 9 counties participating!

Although I have been to both The Space at Factoria and Fin and Brew restaurant before, the views and interior remain spectacular.  I overheard many comment on the beauty of both the scenery and the decor.

For those of you who aren't really sure what the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) launch really is - well, it is a combination of things; it is a networking event for food bloggers, chefs, restaurant owners and vendors/purveyors, all from the Hudson Valley as well as the team from Valley Table magazine, with a splash of kick-off party atmosphere, and tasty samples all rolled into one!

Local Artisan Bakery brought along a selection of sweet treats.

Cubed Polenta 

Factoria/Fin & Brew provided an array of appetizing bites for attendees.

Eggplant Crostini

Farmer & Baker (Middletown, NY) brought baked goods with a modern twist.  
Delicious and eye catching.

Maple Blondies! Yes, please.
Soukup Farms with magnificent maple products and information on Maple Weekend in the Catskills.

 More about that view...

These smokey beef samples were served on sugar cane sticks.  Sumptuous, smokey and good looking with swirls of green onion ribbons.

According to their website and printed materials, Catskill Provisions is "an Artisanal Fine Food and Craft Spirits company with honey at our core."

They brought proof:


 Award winning honey!

Simple, silky, soft cheese - so satisfying and easy to illiterate.  Spread on a slice of good crusty bread - this was one of my favorite bites! I hope every Hudson Valley restaurant starts to offer some Four Fat Fowl product. 

Below are some more of the passed bites from Factoria:

 Caviar on chips

 Hummus appetizer

Salmon Spoons

It was a lovely event and I am very much looking forward to Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Spring 2019!  I just ate at Cellaio at Resorts World Catskills, but maybe I will return (it was amazing!).  I'd also like to try Birdsall House maybe Clock Tower Grill or Hudson House River Inn.  No matter where I go, I am sure I will be Fed Well!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Henry's at the Farm in Milton, NY

I have been a fan of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week and Valley Table magazine for a long time.  Restaurant week not only allows, but pushes me, to try new restaurants and maybe even try new dishes, or add to my list of favorites places to go.  Sometimes, you also have to choose the right dining partner because let's face it, dining out is not one size fits all and if it were all restaurants, cafes, and eateries would simply be the same.  So, for this experience, it was me and my shiny, new, daughter-in-law.  

Let's just pause a moment and honor the fact my daughter-in-law not only agreed to have dinner with me, alone, without my son, but dare I say I think we both truly enjoyed the evening.  I truly think she is witty, insightful, understanding and a great companion for dinner.

We both have fairly busy schedules, and decided a Monday night might be the best option, which can be a challenge as many restaurants are closed.  However, we were quite happy to find Henry's at the Farm was not only available, but high on both of our lists for places we want to get out and try.

So many options - both food and cocktails - with local suppliers carefully listed inside

The HVRW Menu

We dined fairly early, but by the time we left the dining room was full!

Lovely libations ranging from sweet to smoky with many featuring locally sourced ingredients as well.

A lovely bite of warmed bread - caraway seeds, a "light" rye with creamy, dreamy butter.
Sometimes a dipping oil just doesn't work.

The conversation goes everywhere, just as it would when two people gather for a meal - we talk about work, friends, health, family, shopping, and the upcoming holidays.  The quiet pauses are not uncomfortable, nor long, and the exchange is equally balanced, without pressure.  Sometimes, when we are with the right people, the time just passes, the topics come easily and before you know it, the first course arrives.

Millstone Farm Salad - heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta and more from the regular menu

Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Cheese from the HVRW menu and the Soup of the Day

We both enjoyed and finished our first courses.  When I do that, I know I have set myself up to not be able to finish my main course, but I will tell you I gave it my best shot!

 Murray's Farm Glazed Chicken Breast from the regular menu with mashed potatoes, roasted sunburst squash.

Pumpkin ravioli with brown butter from the HVRW menu

Yep, I had to take half home because not only was I semi-filled from the first course, but I wanted dessert!

A Brownie Martini as big as your head from the regular menu

Fig Ice Cream - one of the many dessert options offered from the HVRW menu

At the end of the meal, I know this is an establishment I would return to and bring other family members or friends.

And so, mother-in-law/daughter-in-law dinner winds down, although we still have about a 45 minute ride home to chat through, and the conversation continues to be an easy volley between two women.  We do not need to be solely identified by our roles in relationships.  Yes, we have a common love of her husband/my son, but we are also people with thoughts, opinions, and experiences to share.  I look forward to many more meals and of course, feeling Fed Well together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Launch - Fall 2018

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week runs from October 29 - November 11 at over 200 Hudson Valley restaurants.  Click here for details.

The Valley Table and Hudson Valley Restaurant Week sponsors held the 2018 Fall Kick-Off event at Tuthilltown Spirits.  Those in attendance consisted of restaurant owners as well as their team members, food bloggers/writers, and special guests, with booths, displays and workshops offered by local vendors, purveyors, and various industry professionals.  Visitors could take a distillery tour, learn the techniques behind ice cream making, cast iron cooking, sausage making & smoking, crafting farm to glass cocktails, wine blending, cider & cheese pairing, as well as meet author, Andrew Friedman, author of many titles including his latest,  "Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll."  

Many took advantage of the whiskey tasting and tour of the distillery.

Go ahead, scroll through all the yummy images below and my goal is to make you feel just a twinge of hunger, desire to go out to eat and okay, a smidge of envy at my being able to attend this wonderful Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Launch!


Bartender Taylor, mixes a Fig Old Fashioned and adds a cherry garnish by request.  The cocktail was smooth and of course, featured Hudson Baby Bourbon, a very popular choice among guests.

Passed appetizers were prepared and served by Bridge Creek Catering of New Paltz

 Dates with bleu cheese wrapped in bacon

 Butternut Squash Soup Shooters

Bruschetta with bacon

Janet Crawshaw

Opening remarks were given by Crawshaw and she introduced the guest speakers.  She also stressed her support for the slogan associated with this season's event, "EAT Local  DRINK Local LOVE What's on your table."

Tuthilltown Founder - Ralph Erenzo

For those who may not know, Ralph Erenzo, is known for his passion and support of fair distillery laws, in particular the Farm Distillery Act as well as providing visitors with a detailed and colorful history of the successful business including the initial vision to where Tuthilltown Spirits is today.  Erenzo, in his signature fedora, conducted tours with the same fervor and information he would during a traditional tasting.

Hudson Whiskey Brand Associate, Jacob Tschetter

The day also included a mixology session with Tschetter.  Guests were given a few industry tips and treated to a cocktail recipe which can be served hot or chilled featuring the Maple Cask Rye.

A wonderful few hours were spent immersed in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, but the real treat is when you visit a participating restaurant and are able to truly enjoy the work and passion put into each dish.  Traditionally, I love eating in the Orange, Dutchess or Ulster County area and may try something new this season - perhaps Butterfield...I look forward to being Fed Well and loving what is on my table during HVRW for Fall 2018.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Vault in Beacon, NY

With a fabulous errand to run in Beacon related to my son and his future bride's wedding, I was happy to meet my future daughter-in-law then go out to dinner. Just the two of us.  She's lovely and I want to start dispelling the belief that all mothers-in-law (m-i-l) are crazy, difficult, tough to get along with in general and all of the other negative stereotypes.  Although we may not agree on every single subject in life, I feel I have a great mother-in-law, and so I'd like to think a positive relationship is possible.

We strolled until we stopped in front of The Vault.  We'd both noticed this restaurant in the past, but hadn't had a chance to try it.  Now was the time.

Although it was cool, cloudy and grey, we could certainly see ourselves returning when the warmer weather does finally arrive.

We loved the idea of ordering a few plates to try and share!  We've already eaten a number of meals together, so I have a feel for her tastes, but it's still fun to navigate the menu, say what each of us would like to try and see how the compromise unfolds.  Truly, I am open to most things with only the lamb sliders as a request.

We are seated with others in the front windows and a few of these tables are filled with a large party before we leave.

The Southwest Salad

The salad includes the best marriage of taco and salad ingredients and flavors without meat.  Corn, beans, guacamole, cheese and crispy tortilla strips all over fresh greens.  Yum!


One of the top comfort foods, ever, is the meatball.  The Vault did a really great job in size, sauce, the cheese and overall flavor.  Very nice and yes, they are memorable.

The Burrata

I never spell burrata right the first time.  However, I've never had a burrata I didn't like.  This particular dish was a special and included figs, balsamic reduction drizzle, toast and arugula to hit all the notes I love - soft, crunchy, salty, sweet - delish.

Lamb Sliders

A very generous serving size of lamb is included in this particular dish.  The sauce reminded me in some ways of one I might use for pulled pork or even (and this is not an insult) Sloppy Joe's.  Something very familiar I just can't seem to name, but like a warm hug from your favorite aunt.


The dessert deserves all caps.  I did commit one m-i-l error and ordered this bit of decadence without checking if my future daughter-in-law even likes coconut.  I was so excited by the idea I couldn't contain myself.  The pie also included chocolate chunks, and swirling a forkful through the sauces on the plate then having a bit of ice cream was the perfect eating method for me.  Just loved this and yes, I ate the cookie.

I loved this evening.  The conversation flowed easily and the pauses felt appropriate rather than awkward silences that needed filling.  A lovely meal, at just the right pace, and I left feeling Fed Well (I hope she did as well).