Category Archives: Restaurants

Upstate Jane: Best Upstate Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner

 Are you getting out of the city for the holiday? Or maybe you have a place Upstate and just don’t want to cook…(that’s me) I LOVE cooking, but for some reason cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving meal for 2 or 3 people isn’t that appealing. If you are like me, or if you want to get out of the city with your family, a few friends, or your honeybuns- you need to know where to get your Turkey or Tofurkey! With all of the amazing established restaurants available Upstate  and the ever-increasing presence of CIA grads opening new restaurants, there is a cornucopia of Thanksgiving dinner events happening.  Since most people Upstate still do the traditional Thanksgiving around a big table with extended family, (unlike in Manhattan) there is typically still availability to eat out if you desire. You should still make reservations as soon as possible, but I have found as of this evening, most places still have room for more! Due to the volume of establishments, I have kept my restaurants localized to Ulster and parts of Dutchess County.

New World Home Cooking– One of my favorite restaurants in the area, NWHC is located in between Woodstock and Saugerties on 212. The owner is chef Ric Orlando, Chopped Champion Food Network Star. They are offering a buffet dinner for $34.95 a person. A laid back and jovial atmosphere, where people of all walks, ages and economic circles co-mingle.  1411 New York 212  Saugerties, NY 12477  (845) 246-0900

Cucina– Set in a renovated farmhouse with modern industrial touches, Cucina has a warmth and sophistication as well as consistently good food. They are offering a Thanksgiving dinner for $28.00 per person for the Turkey and sides with an add on’s additional. 9 Mill Hill Road  Woodstock, NY 12498 (845) 679-9800  Read the rest of this entry

Most Delicious Dinner Ever, This Friday in Tivoli

If you have not been to the Burrito Stand, incredible burritos from the back of a trailer on Route 199 in Red Hook, then you have something to look forward to for next summer. In the meantime, the team behind the burrito stand is cooking an indoor dinner this Friday. Here’s the menu:

  • organic salad with bosc pears and walnuts
  • curried coconut soup with cauliflower and leeks
  • braised lamb over potatoes
  • flan
  • hot rum punch

Make reservations by wednesday evening: 845 514 4066. I was supposed to be there this weekend but I’ll be downstate instead. Dang.

Friday Real Estate Porn: Residential + Commercial in Shokan, $965,000

Is your dream to open a restaurant upstate? A furnishings store? Upstate’s first drive-thru wine bar (just joking). I’m loathe to proselytize, but I have to admit this place looks pretty cool. It’s on Route 28, the main drag west of I-87 from Kingston, and has two acres with a contemporary residence behind it. The original building, from 1948, seems to have been a curio shop, a restaurant and a garage in its past lives, and it would be great if someone would buy it and open an animation studio/educational video company (then hire my husband so we can move up there). According to the listing, some 15,000 people drive by it every day. If you could get 10 percent of them to stop by…. Stats on the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Six Places to Kill Time in Upstate New York, West Coast Edition

Main Street Bistro in New Paltz NY

When I was house hunting, I spent a lot of time pacing blocks in little towns deciding where to park myself for twenty minutes between appointments, or wondering which of the lunch spots would end up becoming my lunch spot once I parted with the small chunk of cash I’d saved and gotten myself a home.

This post is to save you the wondering. It’s meant as a go-to list of the best places to read the paper and have a coffee if you find yourself Upstate, either for a weekend trip or in search of more permanent habitation. I concentrated on Ulster and Greene Counties, West of the Hudson. An East Coast edition is to come.

1) I pretty much started this blog so I could give shout outs to Love Bites, a teeny, tiny lunch spot at 85 Partition Street in Saugerties. I don’t know why the jolly, bearded owner (who is always manning the kitchen; no handing off of duties here) hasn’t realized I’m his most fervent admirer and that I deserve to be his best friend. He looks like so much fun! His food sure is: innovative and irreverent, but never in a precious sort of way, plus vegetarian and vegan options that appeal even to meat eaters. Eat here, tell them I sent you. Maybe then they’ll start to know who I am.

2) In the more classically country vein, you can’t beat the Catskill Country Store in Main Street (aka Rte 23) in Windham, NY for fresh baked pie and a cup of Joe.  It’s all calico and goofy signs and Americana desserts, the kind of place that makes you want to say “cup of Joe.” Best of all, they have a “looking zoo”, where you can see ducks and hens and horses and adorable baby goats who go into shock and fall allover when startled. That alone is worth the price of Joe.

3) Daly’s is just down the road on from the Catskill Country Store in Windham, still on Rte 23. It’s in an old bank, bright, clean and airy, and they serve any sort of variation on fancy gourmet coffee your heart could desire. It’s type of place that let’s you come at 11 am with your laptop and park it there for three hours while doing “work.”

4) Main Street Bistro at 59 Main Street in New Paltz isn’t really a bistro. It’s more like a diner, albeit one with veggie options and an adventurous chef. Massive omelets, delicious salads, and guac for your burger. It’s always busy, but the services is great, and they’ll let you enjoy your coffee at your leisure.

5) Woodstock is the best known of the Upstate towns, but it’s always been a bit of a challenge for me. So many tourists! So many candles! My pick, Bread Alone, isn’t particularly undiscovered, but it’s worthy of all the praise,  much like Woodstock itself. It’s at 22 Mill Hill Road, a little ways from the Village Green and reliably filled with locals. You might know Bread Alone baked goods from New York City greenmarkets, and trust me, the stuff is even fresher at the source. They serve coffee, too, and even though there’s often a line, you can usually find a table and relax with a book.

6) Speaking of books, Inquiring Minds Bookstore at 65 Partition Street in Saugerties is one of the best places west of the Hudson to get a coffee and find reading material. It’s a big shop with a great selection, including a whole section devoted to local authors and subjects. In the evenings, there’s often someone holding forth at on one of the open mike nights, which admittedly used to drive me crazy, but lately has had me feeling all warm and fuzzy and democratic.  Small towns can have that effect on you, especially after a free tasting at the Partition Street Wine Shop.

I know I’ve overlooked places, so if you have any favorites, let us know!

Favorite Local Bar: Currans of Tannersville

I’m a sucker for DIY liquor infusions, which is why I instanly fell in love with Currans in Tannersville.  Brock , the affable bartender, infuses many of the bar’s gins and vodkas at home, and at his urging, I tried the ginger-spiked gin martini. It had a substantial fresh ginger kick but went down smooth and icy. There’s something about the simplicity of liquor + ingredient, sans mixer, that makes a house-infused liquor seem almost medicinal. I’m convinced those martinis were good for me.

Brock was eager to tell us about the history of Currans and the gorgeous hand-carved showstopper of a bar. “The longest continuously licensed Ale House in the Catskill Mountains, ” Currans used to be a local watering hole run by a church-going grandma who would periodically kick out regulars for cussing on a Sunday. After a three-year renovation, it was reopened last February by Sean Byrne, the grandson of the original owner. The bar itself was shipped up from New York City via railroad during the Civil War and miraculously survived the Prohibition. The restaurant and tavern are laid-back country elegant, and the menu mixes pub food and New American, with a heavy emphasis on local ingredients. I loved the bar scene, too: an old guy playing a guitar, two neo-hippies in knit caps who would have annoyed me in the city, a nice mixture of generations that one rarely sees at bars in Brooklyn. It reminded me of the best bar ever, the long-gone Stony Creek in Tivoli in the late ’90’s.

If you have a favorite local bar, let us know—or share with us any memories of our dear, departed Stony Creek.

%d bloggers like this: