Every spring, I make a list of the restaurants I hope to visit during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. I compare menus, recruit friends and family to dine with me, make reservations, and, ultimately, go out to eat more times than is probably advisable for any normal person in a given 14-day period.
Eight years ago, the top spot on my HVRW list was The Cookery. My dad and I had read about David DiBari’s new Dobbs Ferry spot in The New York Times, and restaurant week seemed like a good time to finally go. The meal was fabulous — cubes of fried potatoes doused in butter, Parmesan, and thyme; milky slices of just-made mozzarella; crackling, deep-fried pork osso buco; tender pieces of sweet-and-sour suckling pig — and all for just $30 per person.
Naturally, we kept going back. I’ve celebrated birthdays at The Cookery, brunched there with friends, and the first time I chose a “fancy-ish” restaurant for a date with my now-boyfriend…well, you can guess where we went. I’d say I’m now a very loyal customer. Not a bad return on investment for a $30 dinner deal, don’t you think?
More recently, I started putting together another list of all the new food-and-drink businesses that had opened in Kingston. Despite the once-in-a-century pandemic, it seemed like something new and exciting was opening in the city nearly every month over the past year.
So, in February I spent a few days ticking places off my custom Google map. I ate deeply caramelized croissants at Kingston Bread + Bar, talked Turkish food with Chef Oz at Masa Midtown, and fell hard for a smoked brisket and taleggio pizza at Lola. It was all delicious, incredibly encouraging, and, as Kingston Wine Co.’s Michael Drapkin says on page 21 of our “Delicious Destinations” feature, “a reminder that entrepreneurial spirit and drive can’t be contained, even during a pandemic.”
This spring, I hope you’ll make your own discoveries, whether that’s trying a new restaurant during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which returns with new, outdoor-dining-friendly dates May 10–23, or just a new dish at one of your favorite spots.