Kris Karl's family farm is located just six miles up the road. After getting to know chefs Nathan and Bonnie Snow as one of their poultry suppliers at A Tavola, the award-winning Italian restaurant they left New York City to open, he approached them with the idea of opening a restaurant together. He'd supply the fresh, grass-fed meats and vegetables and they'd turn those uber local ingredients into delicious food. Long story short, the restaurant opened in February of this year. Based on my one visit, I'd say it's a winning combo.
Although the restaurant is not likely to be popular with PETA supporters or vegans, the menu does have some delightful vegetarian offerings. The food is fresh and flavorful with a lot of creative combinations. I've included descriptions of the mouth-watering dishes along with our candid reactions and the prices below.
While we waited for our food, we scarfed down some of their house-made rye buns (technically they're baked next door at A Tavola but I think that still qualifies as house-made.) Served warm with really good butter, they had a lovely, potent caraway flavor. They also had these funny, pointy little nipples on top that resulted in some bawdy comments.
Then the appetizers arrived:
Braised beets with watercress, cardamom brittle and a yogurt dressing. The pairing of the sweet, tender beets with the peppery watercress and little crunchy bits of sweetness from the brittle was both interesting and delicious. I could've eaten those beets all day. $7
Seared ahi tuna, pickled egg, field greens, crispy capers, haricot verts in a nicoise dressing. This had a very fresh taste and Steve really liked the intensity of the rock salt on the tuna and the black pepper crust. I was surprised by how much I liked the sweet, briny pickled egg - I want to try making them sometime soon. The sweetness of the egg provided a nice balance for all the salt in the dish. $12
Crispy pork belly with endive, watercress and pickled cherries in a gin-curry dressing.The pickled cherries were great and the blend of their sweetness with the curry and the crispy fat of the pork belly was interesting and appealing - kind of a "taste explosion." The phrase "party in my mouth" was uttered, only half in jest. $11
Frisee with cucumbers, fresh-picked strawberries and toasted almonds, in an avocado vinaigrette. I loved the toasted almonds and everyone loved the strawberries though we wished there'd been more of them. $9
Next we moved on to the entrees:
Chicken two ways - grilled breast, confit leg, roasted baby carrots, fingerling potatoes, herbs, charred lemon and jus. The chicken breast was remarkably juicy and tender with a salty, black pepper crust. The confit was "amazing" as anything deep fried in duck fat tends to be. Meadow really appreciated the sweetness and the mint on the carrots and felt they helped to balance out the saltiness of the dish. $24
Center-cut pork chop from the farm with stewed white beans, fava beans, ramp greens, salsa verde and house mustard. The combination of the two kinds of beans with the ramps and the mustard sauce was fantastic. The pork was really good, too. It had wonderful flavor though it was a bit less tender than we'd hoped. $24
The Huguenot burger - house-ground beef with smoked caramelized onions, New York cheddar and Bibb lettuce on a house brioche bun with choice of side - I chose the red bliss potato salad with tarragon aioli. I LOVED the smoky, sweet flavor of the onions and really enjoyed the subtle sweetness of the brioche bun. The meat also had a nice smoky flavor and was very finely ground. The burger was really big and I really needed the ability to unhinge my jaw to really do it justice. While good, the potato salad was not a standout. $16
For dessert, we split the butterscotch pot au creme with a salt and sugar cookie. Aaaahhhhhh. This was so good! It had an intense creaminess and deep flavor that made all of us realize we had NO idea what butterscotch is (I looked it up when we got home - it's primarily cream and brown sugar, no Scotch.) The crunchy, salty, sugar cookie was delicious dipped into the creme. Unfortunately, I have no pix of this since it had gotten dark outside by then and the flash really is horrible. $7
Open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5-10 PM
36 Main St., New Paltz. 845-255-5558
Web site: http://www.TheHuguenot.com
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3 Hudson Valley Farm-To-Table Restaurants We Love Right Now (my article in Hudson Valley Magazine)
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Bakesale Betty - Holding Down the Corner of Telegraph Ave & 51st St. in Temescal
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