From Thai cuisine to hearty American fare in the mountains of Delaware County, here are five delicious Hudson Valley restaurants to try in May.
The mouthwatering aromas of Southeast Asian cuisine hit you as soon as you walk in the door at Thai Spice—lemongrass, peanut, garlic, ginger. From their popular fried dumplings ($5.95) packed with shrimp and topped with bell pepper, onion, and Massaman curry, to the Kang Keow Wan ($11.95), a green curry made with coconut milk, the menu is filled with flavor-packed options from starter to entree. Order a classic dish like the Pad Thai ($10.95) or expand your culinary palate with a Chef's special, like the Pad Yala, a duck dish served with pineapple, vegetables, and tamarind sauce. Big portions make for yummy leftovers.
Island Pepper Pot & Lounge
We heard it straight from a Caribbean-born Ellenville resident: This is the best food around. Known for its delicious spicy curries and stews and super friendly waitstaff, Island Pepper Pot is a shining treasure in a town not exactly known for its culinary scene (apart from Aroma Thyme). Aside from pan-Caribbean classics (curry goat, oxtail, roti), they offer up fish specials including red snapper, ackee, and saltfish (served with fried dumplings, sweet plantain, and cabbage). Portions are large, so you'll either leave very full and very happy or with leftovers for lunch. Don't forget to order a Guyanese cream soda to go with your meal and a Caribbean fruit cake to cap things off.
Lucky Dragon (Rhinebeck)
Chinese takeout has long been a cornerstone in the American diet—a greasy, guilty pleasure on those nights when you can't be bothered to cook. Award-winning local restaurateurs Chris and Howard Jacobs (The Amsterdam) realized that this beloved cuisine was ripe for a farm-to-table reimagining and seized on the opportunity. Lucky Dragon, which opened in April with chef Alex Burger at the helm, celebrates classic Chinese restaurant fare and
the Hudson Valley's bounty with a farm-fresh menu featuring Mandarin, Cantonese, and Sichuan dishes. Order takeout faves like hot and sour soup ($6), crab rangoon ($8), kung pao shrimp ($19), and Szechuan chicken ($18) to-go or dine in the cozy, remodeled two-level restaurant for the full experience.
Brushland Eating House
At this Delaware County restaurant, the reigning philosophy is one of understatement and simplicity, where farm-fresh ingredients are foregrounded and flavors are complex (often enhanced by processes of curing and fermentation), but preparation is uncomplicated. "What inspires us is thoughtful, lovingly made comfort food that tastes good and also reflects the season we are in," says Brushland co-owner Sara Mae Elbert. The simple, clean black-and-white interior is warmed by rich wood floors and benches. The light fixtures are a nod at industrial styling without being over the top. The property is one of a growing trend of beyond-B&Bs—cozy-chic microhotels with knock-your-socks off cuisine. So if you drive all the way out there for a meal (it's worth it), you can bed down in one of the four Airbnb rentals onsite.
Ca. 1883 Tavern at The Stewart House
The Stewart House, a recently renovated, luxurious nine-room inn on the waterfront in Athens, has a gorgeous Art Deco bar and restaurant on the ground floor, plus a riverside outdoor grill in summer. Open Thursdays through Sundays, the Ca. 1883 Tavern has a cocktail hour from 3 to 5pm with $2 oysters and a bar menu. Dinner service starts at 5pm, and the mains range from a one-flip double cheeseburger made with grilled onion, aged cheddar, and special sauce on a brioche ($16) to a whole roasted Catskill trout with roasted hakurei turnips, charred brassica mayo, and baby watercress ($32).