The lamb shank at Cinnamon in Rhinebeck.
The Hudson Valley dining scene just keeps getting better, and nowhere is that more true than in Dutchess County, with the splendor of the Culinary Institute of America within its borders and beautiful communities full of hungry but very discerning people. No matter what cuisine or atmosphere you crave, you can find it somewhere on the river’s eastern shore, artfully presented and delicious.
As evidence, consider the following 10 establishments. If this list doesn’t make you hungry, we’re not sure what will.
10 Top Restaurants in Dutchess County
In Rhinebeck, Cinnamon Indian Cuisine
brings us the real thing, what a 2017 Chronogram
write-up called “an alchemical feat of flavor and flare” that draws on lesser-known parts of the subcontinent to serve up authentic Indian flavor using fresh local ingredients. Take a break from your standard Chicken Tikka and try something new. To accompany your meal, you'll find craft beers, international wine, and Indian-inspired cocktails, plus the warm hospitality of the Widyarathnas, who opened Cinnamon in 2011 and have built an award-winning international team.
strives to provide a multisensory experience of nourishment to guests, bringing all that is best in modern Irish cooking and culture to our lovely green valley. The room, the lighting, the servixe, the wine, the music—all are calibrated to wrap your evening in warmth and restoration. And the food! (BIA is Irish Gaelic for food.) You won’t find food like this anywhere else. Start with the house charcuterie, perhaps, or the Escargot Vol Au Vent—snails, bacon, sherry, cream, royal trumpet mushrooms and puff pastry.
The Corner at Hotel Tivoli
The cocktail program at The Corner,
the restaurant inside the Hotel Tivoli, is far beyond what one would expect in a town this size, with wines and fresh-ingredient cocktails designed by Employees Only in NYC. The food, inspired by the delicious, fresh, healthiness of Mediterranean-style eating, blends fresh local and top-notch international ingredients to create wonders such as robiola ravioli with finnochiona, arugula and lemon zest and a Kinderhook grass-fed burger on a house-made potato bun. (The Hotel Tivoli is taking a winter break; they’ll be back on 2/7.)
is spectacular enough to be worth driving to Amenia from, well, anywhere. A 250-acre country retreat frequented by the literati for over two centuries and handed down to hand-picked successors rather than simply family, Troutbeck has been a Conde Nast Reader’s Choice. (“It’s the country retreat you wish your multimillionaire great aunt invited you to every weekend,” said the international mag.) The food will not disappoint. You’ll want to come back for a staycation.
Mercato Osteria Enoteca (now closed)
For nearly 15 years, Mercato
was the joyful expression of chef Francesco Buitoni’s determination to bring the fresh, bright flavors of his native Rome to Red Hook. Twice nominated for James Beard awards, the seventh-generation pasta maker started his American journey at neighborhood spots, worked the San Domenico on Central Park South and served as sommelier at Mario Batali’s Otto before heading upstream to open Mercato in 2006. It was a beloved local institution, serving up deliciously, deceptively simple dishes like handmade ravioli filled with sheep’s ricotta and organic spinach in browned butter-sage sauce. Mercato is permanently closed now, but Buitoni has opened a small restaurant and market call Giobatta Alimentari
, in nearby Tivoli.
Farmers & Chefs
Nowhere is fresh, local, organic and boutique agriculture more lovingly embraced than at Farmers & Chefs,
a casual Poughkeepsie eatery with a strong emphasis on clean eating and a catering and food truck component. Chef/owner John Lekic applies a global spin to his treatment of deliciousness like roasted baby beet salad, butternut squash pate and duck leg confit.
Kitchen Sink Food & Drink
Kitchen Sink Food and Drink
in Beacon is a cozy, family-run place where creative recipes incorporate fresh-grown food from that family’s own Hudson Valley farm. The feel-ggod menu is constantly being reinvented, but stays true to the eclecticism and quality that got them voted "Best New Restaurant 2016" by the readers of Hudson Valley Magazine. Stop in on Fried Chicken Monday for a rare and mouthwatering treat.
Brasserie 292, Poughkeepsie
Brasserie translates to a relaxed French inn just a tad fancier than a classic bistro, and Brasserie 292
brings those charming flavors to the historic heart of Poughkeepsie. It’s situated in a repurposed garment store and has an impressive raw bar and a chef with a fascinating story: restaurant work, a highly successful tour of duty in the US Army and then high-level hospitality work. Come for brunch and sample the foie gras pate or apple-oatmeal pancakes with maple-pecan butter. Don't miss the international wine list.
Big W's, Wingdale
Chef Warren Norstein of Big W's Roadside BBQ
in Wingdale takes top-notch beef, pork and chicken, rubs it down with spices and brown sugar, and then slow-smokes it for as long as 20 hours in a traditional wood smoker. He'll happily show you how he does it, which is great geek-out opportunity for BBQ buffs. But even without the tour, you’ll be salivating over your smokin’ sandwiches, hot wings and slow smoked ribs.
Le Petit Bistro, Rhinebeck
A Rhinebeck landmark, Le Petit Bistro
has been welcoming guests since 1986, and they just keep getting better at it. Enjoy raw oysters and craft cocktails or cask wine at the serpentine lilac marble bar, then get a taste of French country cooking (strong on local farming, foraging, and butchering traditions) with the half roast duckling or veal francaise.