Ready…Set…Go Eat!

  March 11-24 is Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, where restaurants in the area offer special pre-fixe menus to highlight some of their tasty dishes at a great price. For $20.95 per person for lunch or $29.95 per person for dinner, this is a great time for diners to indulge and enjoy a delicious appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. Curious about a restaurant you have never tried? This is one of the best times to go! The Hudson Valley Restaurant Week website, www.hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com, has a list of all of the participating restaurants and also includes a link to most of the restaurant’s menus. If you notice that one of the restaurant’s does not have a menu on the Restaurant Week site, check out the restaurant’s homepage for more information.

You can make reservations for many of the restaurants through Open Table, www.opentable.com. This is a great site to use because it allows you to acquire points, which eventually turn into savings at restaurants. For a list of all of the Hudson Valley Restaurant participants that use Open Table, visit here:http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?m=8&ref=7420&pid=417.

Half Moon Restaurant

Last night, my fiance, Matt, and I went to one of the participating restaurants, Half Moon (www.halfmoonhudson.com). The restaurant is beautiful and spacious and sits right on the Hudson River in Dobbs Ferry, NY. The large windows capture stunning views of both the Manhattan skyline as well as the Tappan Zee Bridge. You feel like you are in a boat as you dine and watch the water ripple right outside your window. The dim lighting also contributes to the chic yet cozy ambiance of the restaurant. In addition to the lovely decorum, the staff service as well as the food were both excellent. We both ordered food off of the Restaurant Week Menu, http://www.halfmoonhudson.com/restaurantweekdinner.html,  however, you still do have the option to order from the regular menu.

The bread that they put on the table is fresh out of the oven and served with a side of fresh grated cheese to top it.

Half Moon bread

This is certainly a delicious start to a great meal. We also really enjoyed the appetizers, entrees, and desserts…everything was wonderful! Here are a few pictures of what we had. I apologize for the low quality images…I didn’t want to distract others with a camera flash. However, you can get an idea of what their food looks like and see that the portions are a great size and the presentation is lovely!

Half Moon Food

From top left to bottom right: Roast Tomato Bisque; Guajillo Rub 1/2 Boneless Chicken with carrots, smashed potatoes, and natural jus; Skirt Steak Chimichuri with fingerling potatoes & roasted leeks; Coconut Risotto Pudding with caramelized pineapple; NY Cheese cake with fresh berry compote

(not pictured but still enjoyed by Matt: pastrami spring toll with spicy pineapple slaw, Russian dressing, and spicy mustard)

I hope all of my readers in and around the area take advantage of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. I would love to hear your recommendations and experiences at other places!

-Jessi

Reminiscing and the Rosendale Cafe

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Photo Courtesy of http://www.therosendalecafe.com

             I am out of town this week so I haven’t had the chance to check out any new places in the Hudson Valley area. However, while away I had the chance to meet up with an old friend, Jessica, from NY and I got inspired while talking and reminiscing with her. As we sat over lunch at a Chipotle in West Palm Beach, Florida, we discussed the differences between the surrounding area and the Hudson Valley. One of the things that came up was the distinct difference in food choices. As much as I love sunny Florida, it is filled with a lot of chain restaurants and lacks some of the quaint eateries that the Hudson Valley is filled with. One in particular we discussed was the Rosendale Café, which was just minutes from SUNY Ulster, where we both attended college. Located on beautiful Main Street in Rosendale, NY, this vegetarian restaurant can be enjoyed by anyone. I vividly remember the last time I went in there, I was overcome by a feeling of warmth and comfort. It was a winter evening, the cafe was crowded, but not overwhelming, a live band was playing and everyone looked cozy and content as they chatted with friends and enjoyed their food.  It reminded me of why I love upstate NY so much.

        The menu at the cafe contains an array of savory dishes, and almost everything can be enhanced with some of their homemade Japanese dressing, which you can also purchase by the bottle. It makes a great asset to your kitchen as well as a great gift for someone else if you are looking for an easy and unique gift for someone in the area. (A great way to give the dressing is to purchase a gift certificate to the café along with a bottle of dressing, place the gift card in an envelope, punch two holes in the envelope, loop string through the holes, and tie the envelope around the bottle of dressing, place it in a gift bag and voila!)

        After you dine at the Rosendale Café, take a stroll down Main Street and enjoy the eclectic shops, art galleries, and the unique Rosendale Theatre.

Find out more about the café here:

http://www.rosendalecafe.com/

See what awesome dishes they have to offer:

http://www.rosendalecafe.com/RosendaleCafeMenu2012.pdf

*In addition to what is listed on the menu, they also offer nightly specials

Learn more about their homemade Japanese Salad Dressing:

http://www.rosendalecafe.com/dressing.php

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Take a look at what other patrons have to say about The Rosendale Café:

“I like their healthy food and I think it’s a good variety for vegetarians and even for non-vegetarians. People who aren’t vegetarians can still enjoy the food because it’s good quality and fresh. I also like the atmosphere there…It’s a place where you can sit down even for hours after you eat and just relax and talk with whomever you’re with. I like how they support local artists and have their art featured on the walls. It’s an overall relaxing and calm atmosphere. They also have live music and salsa dancing which I’ve attended and enjoyed especially for being a beginner.”

-Lauren

“[I like] the calm scene, the music, the food…the reuben is unreal”.

-Emily

“The food is great and they usually can accommodate food allergies… …the décor is eclectic and [has] cool art on the walls…yummy food for vegetarians vegans… they have live music some nights. When it’s nice out, you can sit outside”.

-Krissy

“I’d have to say I absolutely love the one of a kind dressing, and overall vibe of the whole place. Nice and cozy, great place to relax and enjoy your food without a rush. And you don’t leave feeling full of greasy food, you feel satisfied and it’s good for you!”

-Erin

“What I like the most is their involvement in the community. They always host art shows & have art work of local artists displayed on their walls”.

-Alex

“I love the Rosendale Cafe. The vibrant sounds from local artists, the colorful food & excellent vegan menu. You would never know it was healthy, it tastes that good!”

-Jessi R.

As always, comments and suggestions are encouraged. Thank you!

-Jessi