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1016 Route 82, Ancram
Tucked back from Main Street overlooking the creek, Binnekill Square was a Margaretville mainstay since 1978, beloved for its warm, no-frills ambiance and hearty Alpine fare, but in 2015, its octogenarian owners finally closed their doors. This past October, chef Bryan Calvert, of Brooklyn restaurant fame, reopened it as the Binnekill Tavern, aiming to keep that spirit alive. Calvert has hung on to, but reimagined, some of the original owners' menu items and expanded from there for a robust, expertly executed, Borscht Beltian menu of "mountain comfort food" that includes a Caesar-style baby kale salad ($9), bratwurst and beans ($12), and pork schnitzel with braised red cabbage, apples, spaetzle, and dill mustard ($22). Enjoy it in the elegantly renovated tavern and dining room with the original copper bar and handmade-in-New York wooden chairs and dining tables. Or head outside to the deck to dine creekside in the warmer months.
746 Main Street, Margaretville
- Photo: Peter Crosby
- Lis Bar in Kingston.
Even following the reopening of the Kozy Bar space as The Beverly in 2016, this residential Midtown block behind the Kingston Hospital was a quiet one—the earth-rattling cacophony of passing trains notwithstanding. But since O+ weekend 2018, The Beverly has a hot new neighbor: Polish-inspired Lis Bar, kicking Midtown's real estate values up another notch with a tastefully curated antique-meets-modern interior and housemade pierogies. A staunchly Polish menu of small plates fit for sharing—rye soup, dill spaetzle, beef tongue—makes room for fun and flare with colorful takes like the beet pasta with dandelion pesto, peas, walnut oil, cured egg yolk ($12). And, an ambitious wine program corks boutique Eastern European and natural varieties that will stretch your oenophilic vocabulary. Sample traditionally crafted Georgian rosés, Hungarian blaufränkischs, and more on Lis's "Raw Wine Sundays," in flight-format for the most adventure with the least commitment.
240 Foxhall Avenue, Kingston
- Photo: Evan Sung
- A martini at the Restaurant Kinsley in Kingston.
- Photo: Evan Sung
- A crudite platter at the Restaurant Kinsley in Kingston.
Last month, the new restaurant in the lobby of Hotel Kinsley opened. Located in Kingston's historic State of New York National Bank building, the space features legacy 14-foot ceilings, huge French windows, and travertine floors, amidst a tasteful neutral-toned redesign. The restaurant is helmed by Executive Chef Gabe Ross, whose resume includes stints at Savoy, 5 Ninth, and Gramercy Tavern. "The idea behind a hotel restaurant has always been to feature dishes that are very elevated but also comforting and familiar," Ross says. The appetizers range from an extravagantly sculptural take on the simple crudite platter to a light but rich housemade chicken liver pate served with a thin layer of port gelee, pickled onion, and toast ($14). The roasted chicken main, served on a bed of olives and scallions, swirling in pan jus, was a highlight ($23); as was the arctic char, served with potatoes, pearl onions, cultured cream, and horseradish ($26). Don't skimp on your pre-dinner aperitif; the drink list offers tastefully executed cocktails for lovers of every spirit—some original, some gentle twists on classics—plus a natural wine list. If you tend to knock back a drink in two sips, try the delightfully spicy Big Pink ($12), a tequila drink made with a hint lime, strawberry, and enough jalapeño to slow your roll.
301 Wall Street, Kingston
ca.1883 Tavern at Stewart House
Lucky for Athens, when the former owners of New York's landmark East Village rock venue Webster Hall tried to quit the grind and retire to a life of leisure upstate, they didn't do such a hot job. Instead, they dove right into a massive new project: a spare-no-expense renovation of the stunning, 136-year-old Stewart House. One of two restaurants on premises, the ca.1883 Tavern is an impeccable resurrection of the era, with its ornate tin ceilings finished in the same hue as the original Art Deco wood bar, set against the ethereal pastels of a hand-painted, Colonial-style mural that came with the building. Unlike some of its peers among this new generation of Hudson Valley eateries, the menu at ca.1883 doesn't demand an open mind nor an online dictionary. Find familiar, comfortable choices confidently executed by CIA alum Chef Bob Turner, like a cheddar double cheeseburger ($16), a roasted half chicken over lemon rice with asparagus ($26), or an elegant take on steak and potatoes ($29), with Jane's Ice Cream for dessert. The afternoon happy hour features $2 oysters.
2 North Water Street, Athens