Caffe Macchiato; 99 Liberty St, Newburgh; (845) 565-4616; addressyourappetite.com
The revamp of Caffe Macchiato under new chef/owner Jodi Cummings comes from the heart of a local. As a Newburgh native, Cummings has given the 30-seat, European-style café, reopened last September in Newburgh’s historic district, a vintage vibe and a nod to the city’s history. “It’s sort of George Washington and his troops go to Pastise for breakfast,” Cummings laughs. Antique prints enhance the cozy atmosphere, which patrons can discuss over locally sourced tea, coffee and brunch. The menu treats classic brunch items with European sophistication—baked eggs with balsamic vegetables, marinara, parmesan and a baguette, or French toast sculpted out of layered croissants and marzipan-sweet cream batter, topped with fresh berries, cinnamon and syrup. Cummings buys her shrimp from Newburgh’s Eco-Shrimp Garden and works with several regional farms and distributors for organic produce, dairy and meats. A cyclical seasonal menu reflects her passion for shopping locally. “I’m very aware of the connection to the local farmers,” Cummings says, “and that’s probably been the number one way I’ve taken the café to a new level.”
Tue–Fri 9–3, Sat–Sun 9–4
Baja 328; 328 Main Street, Beacon; (845) 838-2252; baja328.com
The three Maniscalchi brothers have watched their father toss pizzas in an Italian kitchen since 1981, when he opened the original Leo’s in Cornwall. When he retired, his sons took over and expanded to Newburgh in 2003, then Wappingers in 2006. The brothers branched out to Beacon in October with an interesting spin on Tex-Mex cuisine— “Everything is fusion,” Gaspare Maniscalchi explains. This isn’t a traditional taqueria— Asian and Mediterranean influences pepper the menu’s seven sections: Tacos, Tamales, Quesadillas, Entrees, Desserts, On A Bun and In A Bowl. Gray and red walls double as a gallery, circulating work by local artists like Vivian Altman and Tom Doyle—Altman designed the massive chalkboard announcing specials for each section, expertly prepared by Chef Adam Moses, a Johnson and Wales graduate previously of The Hop. The restaurant’s centerpiece lies behind the bar—108 tequilas star in seven specialty cocktails incorporating Drink More Good syrups, each a one-of-a-kind recipe available by the pitcher or the glass. The brothers only use the highest quality ingredients (the standard margarita features Espolon tequila, Pierre Ferrand, 100-percent organic blue agave nectar and freshly squeezed lime). “We don’t have a bottle of triple sec in this building,” Frank boasts. “We dare you to find one.”
Mon–Thu 11am–10pm, Fri–Sat 11–11, Sun 11–8
Mexican Kitchen; 15 1/2 North Front St, New Paltz; (845) 256-5070; facebook.com/mexicankitchennewpaltz
On a neighborly New Paltz side street, Woodstock native and Culinary Institute of America alum Chef Adam Monteverde is dishing out homestyle Mexican cuisine using fresh, local Hudson Valley ingredients. Monteverde opened the new eatery in May, hoping to bring the neighborhood-style Mexican restaurants of Los Angeles to the Hudson Valley with authentic dishes like the Al Pastor Tacos, pork and pineapple topped with onions, cilantro and wedges of lime, as well as the vegetarian Mexican Kitchen Chimichanga with lettuce, crema, pico de gallo and guacamole. His goal: for each dish to cater to the local community using flavors that speak for themselves. The location mimics the laidback atmosphere of West Coast Mexican restaurants Monteverde experienced while traveling. With outdoor patio dining and an intimate indoor dining space, Mexican Kitchen is fit for a quick and casual meal. Place a take out order at “the podium” or sit down with a plate of Huevos Rancheros—they’re serving breakfast all day.
251 Lex; 251 Lexington Ave, Mt. Kisco; (914) 218-8156; 251lex.com
Constantine Kalandranis, chef/owner of 273 Kitchen in Harrison and 8 North Broadway in Nyack, has opened the largest of his three restaurants—a 135-seat Mediterranean raw bar and grill in a century-old Victorian—in Mount Kisco. The main and upstairs floors serve as the main dining area, while a 30-seat seasonal patio serves up spit roasts in the warmer months. A 35-seat barroom features a custom, expertly constructed maple bar made of repurposed wood from local barns, copper, brick, steel and leather. Warm cream colors meld with deep blue hues throughout the restaurant, a clever combination by Drivetrain Creative Group, an interior and integrated marketing design agency in Stratford, Connecticut. Like Kalandranis’s other restaurants, the menu includes a variety of small plates and entrees, as well as a four- and six-course chef tasting menus ($45 and $65 respectively). Local products provide the basis for executive chef Hichem Habbas’ culinary creations, with an emphasis on fresh seafood. The menu changes daily, and the open kitchen allows diners to watch the crew in action. Craft beers, artisanal wines and top-shelf spirits are available behind the half-moon bar.
Mon–Thu and Sun 5–10, Fri–Sat 5–11
Saltaire Oyster Bar & Fish House; 55 Abendroth Ave, Port Chester; (914) 939-2425; saltaireoysterbar.com
A Westchester fish and oyster bar came ashore with a century-old grain warehouse on the Byram River. Formerly the Willett House, the 50-seat restaurant embraces a sophisticated nautical theme, the open space flooded with natural light from skylights lining high ceilings. Owner Les Barnes is no stranger to the New York piscine scene—his father opened the renowned seafood restaurant London Lennie’s in Queens in 1959, which Barnes took over ten years later. Fresh seafood is brought in every day from the Fulton Fish Market to be prepped for the extensive lunch and dinner menus arranged by Chef Bobby Will, previously of The Atlantic Inn. Professional shuckers line a massive U-shaped bar of Italian Carrara marble, serving up ten varieties of oysters from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine and Canada along with five signature sauces, from a classic house cocktail sauce to spicy pear and cucumber relish. The bar menu reflects the seasons, with cool and refreshing cocktails in the summer and hearty, warming beverages like “My Mom’s Maple” (bourbon, maple syrup and citrus with a jolt of chili bitters) in the winter. Extensive wine and craft beer lists include local products like Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sixpoint Brewery, Broken Bow Brewery and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.
Mon–Thu 11:30–10pm; Fri 11:30–11; Sat 5–11; Sun 5–9
The Vault Tapas & Spirits; 446 Main St, Beacon; (845) 202-7735; thevaultbeacon.com
Manager Jon Lombardi brings new life to Beacon’s ever-evolving bank space with The Vault Tapas & Spirits—formerly the Matteawan National Bank in the 1920s—backed by a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and 30-plus years of Hudson Valley restaurant experience. Lombardi and his brother and co-manager, Marc, collaborated with owner Anthony DiSarro. The interior revamp includes numerous mirrors and innovative lighting illuminating the restaurant’s focal point: the old-fashioned bank vault. Original high tin ceilings lend a light, airy feel to the dining room, which seats 85, with a seasonal patio that seats an additional 50. The locally sourced artisanal American menu designed by Chef Amerci Rodriguez (previously of Nic-L-Inn Wine Cellar and Beech Tree Grill) combines creative takes on traditional burgers, steaks, lamb and pork (provided by local favorite Barb’s Butchery) with a fresh raw bar and a cheese and charcuterie selection provided by Beacon Pantry. Local craft beers include Brew and Barrel’s Country Bumpkin Pumpkin, Adirondack Pub & Brewery’s Oktoberfest and Brooklyn East IPA.
Tue–Thu 11am–10pm, Fri 11am–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9pm