I don’t think I will ever make it as a food critic.  Although, I did enjoy eating out during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, I think I put on 5+pounds.  What I really enjoyed is going to new restaurants, trying different food and best of all, I didn’t have to cook. I will touch on the restaurants and what I liked briefly.

We began the week dining at Crave with my freshman year college roommate who just moved to Poughkeepsie. Disappointed they didn’t have any local wines on the menu, but they did have some selections from the Finger Lakes. I had a hard time deciding between the Short Ribs and the Lamb.  The Short Ribs won and they were outstanding.  Paul’s Glenora Riesling Poached Pair won the best for presentation.

Then we tried a restaurant right down the road from us called The Villa.  We haven’t eaten here in years and it’s so close. I was glad to see they had both Millbrook Winery and Whitecliff Winery on the menu.  We ordered Whitecliff’s Awosting White and my mom really enjoyed it.  I will have to remember to purchase a few bottles for her.  This was your typical Italian restaurant, but with a flare.  They really tried to make an impression during restaurant week.  Their homemade Ravioli was excellent!  The cheese plate for dessert knocked us off our seat.  The Mostarda on the Sprout Creek goat cheese was to die for. We will definetely be back.

Melanie wanted to go to the Melting Pot, so to make the experience real fun we invited my parents.  We all had a great time.  I won’t go into detail because you can read my post from Monday about our experience

A restaurant I’ve been wanting to try for years..The Backyard Bistro in Montgomery. This lived up to all my expectations.  The way the restaurant is situated you feel like you are going over to a friends for dinner and dining in their backyard. They had Whitecliff and Millbrook wines on the menu too.  The food was outstanding!  They gave us a ‘special’ appetizer to try, Duck Heart.  Although I am sure it was good, I had to give mine to Paul.  It’s a mind over matter thing with me.  The Sprout Creek Farm Camus Cheese and Polenta was great and there was a wide variety of choices for the main course.  Once again I couldn’t decide between Beef Shank and Lamb.  I did choose the Lamb 3 Ways and it was delicious.  The winning dessert was the White Chocolate & Coffee Semifreddo.

A drive out to Pine Plains landed us a the Stissing House. Pine Plains is a cute little town, I wish I had more time to explore it. I was glad to see they had Millbrook and Oak Summit wines on the menu.  It’s very rare we see one of John Bruno’s wines on a wine list, so of course we ordered it.  Paul had the Vegetarian Plate which he said was very good.  I had the Horseradish Crusted Salmon which was a great choice for me since I’ve been eating a lot of red meat lately.  For dessert I ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake, but it looked and tasted more like Chocolate Molten Lava Cake which was heavenly.

I did get to eat lunch out one day at Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill in Cold Spring.  It’s a half way point for my friend Catherine who lives in Westchester.  We usually meet at Cathryn’s for lunch every now and then, so it was a great excuse when we saw they were participating in Restaurant Week.  The Pea Shoot salad was delightful.  I ordered the Sweet Onion Crepe which was very good, while Catherine had Rabbit.  I did taste it, it tasted like chicken. For dessert Catherine ordered the Sour Cherry Sorbet, that sounded good but the waitress cajoled me to try the Carmel Ice Cream with Sea Salt.  I was a great choice!

The last restaurant stop was the Red Devon in Bangall, NY. Their wine list had Millbrook Wines on it, including their just released Tocai. Here I opted for the hand made Cavatelli which was tasty and the Lamb with Gnocci.  The lamb was so tender!  Paul actually didn’t order off the RW menu and he ordered the Beef Bourguignon which he said was outstanding!  I think it was better than my Bourguignon…that’s okay.

Overall I had a wonderful two weeks of dining out.  We ate at some outstanding local restaurants. We will be visiting these restaurants again, you can count on it!