Diners in one of Manhattan’s better restaurants or shoppers at the Union Square Greenmarket don’t realize that the ingredients in their meal were likely grown in the Lower Hudson Valley, less than 90 minutes away (by train or car) from the city.
If you are one of those diners, consider going up to Beacon or Newburgh, where you can experience restaurants that offer excellent dining experiences created from locally sourced farm products, wines, ciders, beers, artisanal baked goods and cheeses. Think of it as being in San Francisco and taking a trip to the Napa Valley. A bonus this time of year is the chance to see the beauty of the Hudson Valley during the explosion of colors as the leaves change.
There are many restaurants that I could tell you about, but one in particular exemplifies the transformation of the culinary scene in the area. It’s the Liberty Street Bistro, a restaurant that opened its doors this past June in Newburgh, New York.
Great restaurants usually have great chefs. And, most great chefs have worked under great chefs before they go out on their own. Chef and owner Michael Kelly is no exception. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Kelly has apprenticed with Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsey (you know them) and other renowned chefs. He helped launch Batard, a Tribeca restaurant that received both a Michelin star and James Beard Award when it opened in 2014.
The restaurant décor is both sophisticated and simple. Through the windows in the back of the dining room you look into the kitchen — a nice touch. But the non-culinary bonus of dining here is the view through the large front windows. The restaurant is directly across from General George Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site. This is where Washington spent the 18 months after the battle of Yorktown. The main draw is the beautiful park, beyond which you can see the mountains across the Hudson River. The restaurant faces east, so as you dine, your view is the sun-bathed mountains in the distance.
Unique for the area, the restaurant has a modified prix fixe menu. There are four course options: starters (I recommend the vichyssoise, burrata or country pate), second courses (steamed mussels or clambake), main courses (hard choices here — pan seared octopus — tender and charred, pan seared monkfish or roasted pork tenderloin) and desserts (all wonderful, but the hazelnut madeleines are other-worldly). Any two courses are $36, any three are $49 and four are $61.
Use your visit to the Liberty Street Bistro as part of a weekend getaway where you can also see such nearby sites as Franklyn Delano Roosevelt’s Home and Library, the Culinary Institute of America, DIA Beacon and the Storm King Arts Center.
Contact us at Z’Scoop for more information or suggestions.
Liberty Street Bistro
All books are available at amazon.com. Click on titles to order.
50 Hikes in the Lower Hudson Valley
by Stella J. Green and H. Neil Zimmerman
Many Trails: Indians of the Lower Hudson Valley
by Catherine Coleman Brawer
The Lower Hudson Valley
by Travelog Corporation
Weather History and Climate Guide to the Lower Hudson Valley
by Jerome Thaler
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