by Kelly Seiz
After a week of major renovations, Elephant Food and Wine is back in action with 25 percent more seating, a full-size range and hood, and a little more maturity.
Chef Rich Reeve, wants to "cook giant hunks of meat again." For the last eight years, Reeve has been "cooking backwards," first cooking his meat thoroughly at a low temperature and searing just before serving. "Now I can properly roast, fry, sear, and sautee...at a less frenetic pace than is required of a Tapas joint."
Diners can expect larger plates, its trademark Spanish/French cuisine, and a full range of desserts prepared by co-owner and manager Maya Karrol.
The pair recently visited Portland, Oregon, which revived their desire to cook inventive, interesting food to the culinary-delight of Hudson Valley natives and visitors.
While customers can rely on their continued use of local ingredients, epic burgers, perfectly paired wines, and a warm atmosphere, everything else will "grow up a bit...like me," according to Reeve.
Elephant has received a 25/30 Zagat Rating and held the "Best Tapas" title in Hudson Valley Magazine from 2008-2012, and again in 2014. Hudson Valley Magazine also crowned Elephant "Best Wine Bar" in 2009 and "Best Restaurant in Ulster County" in 2012.
With these large-scale renovations and re-imagined culinary methods, it's safe to assume there will be plenty more awards and recognitions in Elephant's future.