Bangall Whaling Company
97 Hunns Lake Road, Stanfordville. (845) 868-3349
A needed addition to eastern Dutchess County. Red Devon is great, but sometimes you want something a touch more casual, maybe even a tad rustic. Bangall Whaling Company fits the bill for a burger and beer. Catch the game at the bar and tuck into some Angus beef chili with cheddar cheese and corn bread ($6) or New England clam chowder with sourdough crostini to start. Then, perhaps a sandwich (the Bangall Cheese Steak is piled with thinly sliced rib eye, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions and Cheddar cheese, $12) or a dinner-sized salad (the Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad comes with oranges, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, balsamic onions, Gorgonzola, and mixed greens dressed with honey-truffle vinaigrette, $10). An eclectic wine list features equal offerings of Old and New World selections and is wallet conscious, with 30 bottles under $30.
202 Main Street, Poughkeepsie. (845) 473-4294
A couple of expatriates from the fabulous and sadly now defunct Twist in Hyde Park have opened their own venture on Main Street near the Cunneen-Hackett Theater. Karma Lounge is a tight railroad space that opens up to a small dining room, spilling out into a back courtyard urban idyll. Karma is big on cocktails. Try the Thai Chili Blood Orange Margarita, made with house-infused Thai chili Tequila, Triple Sec, and blood orange margarita mix ($9), or the Gin Blossom, featuring gin, St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, and grapefruit juice ($9). Eight craft beers are always in rotation on tap. Food-wise, small plates are the order of the day. An interesting take on Caesar salad features tortilla strips and lemon-cumin dressing ($6). Port Wine and Cherry Chicken Liver Pâté, served with roasted garlic, a Dijon baguette, and frizzled scallions ($8), is a savory bar snack. Our favorite is the upscale weiner, the Karma Dog, a decadent allotment of bacon-wrapped house-made knockwurst, tomato-onion relish, and fontina cheese on a pretzel bun.
69 Broadway, Tivoli. (845) 757-1071
Rei Peraza, former executive chef at the Rhinecliff Hotel, has hung out his own shingle in Tivoli with Panzur, a progressive Spanish restaurant heavy on modernist tapas. Peraza describes the restaurant’s culinary philosophy as “Old World flavor with New World technique.” Try the migas ($10), a traditional Spanish breakfast dish given new life via molecular gastronomy: think bread salad with poached egg, manchego, mushrooms, and asparagus, dusted with dried ham powder like light snow. There’s also traditional selections of cheese (3 for $13) and charcuterie ($7-$16), as well as tortilla, patatas bravas, and three kinds of croquetas. Larger plates are served as well, like Rioja-glazed pork shoulder with spiced carrot walnut puree and ramp-carrot escabeche ($22) and pressed chicken confit with ramp coulis and pickled mushroom salad ($21). The wine list, as you might have guessed, is heavy on the Spanish, with an emphasis on small producers. There’s eight rotating beers on tap, and a selection of boutique-liquor cocktails.
Rock and Rye Tavern
215 Huguenot Street, New Paltz. (845) 255-7888
Located in the former Locust Tree space on the New Paltz golf course, Rock and Rye Tavern is the latest (welcome!) evidence of a neo-speakeasy trend. If you like Kingston’s Stockade Tavern, you’ll enjoy the mix of classic cocktails (Ramos Gin Fizz: Plymouth Gin, fresh lemon and lime juice, cream, egg white, club soda, and orange flower water, $10) and house inventions (House Roast: coffee-infused Espolan Tequila, Fernet Liqueur, fresh lime juice, and grated chocolate, $10) at Rock and Rye. Oh yeah, there’s food too: Contemporary American that’s unfussy, but sometimes fancy (Crispy pork belly over toasted brioche and spicy tomato jam with a slow poached egg, $11) and influenced by what’s fresh and local (Hudson Valley Cattle Co. burger, with caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers, and sharp cheddar cheese, $14). A final vote of confidence: No TVs, no live music, just simple eats and serious cocktails.