- Photo by Meghan Spiro Photography
- Il Figlio Enoteca, Fishkill.
Despite the devastating effects of the pandemic on the service industry, chefs and restaurateurs are still excited to serve a hungry public and are continuing to launch new businesses. Here are some notable restaurant and cafe openings from the past year, plus a not-so-new ice cream parlor thrown in for good measure. Because, you know, summer.
Il Figlio EnotecaThe beautiful tiled floor ties pale blue accents to cognac leather booths, creating an elegant, amber-lit atmosphere for Italian fine dining in Fishkill. The menu opens with classics like burrata, served here with delicata squash, pecans, sage, and toasted ciabatta ($15); and angus beef carpaccio served with truffle aioli, topped with Grana Padano and crispy Brussel sprout leaves ($15). Or how about mussels with Calabrian chili, garlic, and tomato butter ($14)? If you’re in the mood for pasta, try the hearty egg-pasta pappardelle served with Tuscan-style duck ragu, winter herbs, tomato, and Grana Padano ($22). Secondis include veal, chicken, fish, steak, and duck. A standout is the sautéed Mediterranean branzino, served with French lentils, roasted mushrooms, and a shallot and green herb salsa verde.
Black DotFor espresso-fiending, latte-loving, purist types, this whitewashed minimalist space in Stone Ridge serving up single-origin coffee is for you. On the food front, Black Dot currently offers an egg-and-cheese on a croissant (avocado and bacon extra, $8-$12); a smoked salmon tartine with pickled shallots, radish, cucumber, and goat cheese ($12) on sourdough baguette; and a slow-roasted tomato confit tartine with goat cheese and arugula ($9). Serving Bread Alone pastries, they also make fresh coconut chocolate banana bread daily in-house ($3 a slice). While you wait for your milk to steam, browse the shelves of ceramics by local artisans. They also have sleek electric kettles from Fellow, loose leaf teas and herbal blends from Aesthete Tea, and coffee beans from their Beacon-based supplier, Big Mouth Coffee Roasters. [Editor's note: As of winter 2021, black dot is closed until further notice.]
One More BitePack all your favorite flavors into a single meal at One More Bite, the new Asian fusion restaurant heating up Beacon’s Main Street. The menu leans heavily on Korean flavors and dishes, with classics like beef or spicy pork bulgogi (both $15); japchae, a glass noodle stir fry with shiitake, carrots, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, and spinach ($13.75); and ssambap, lettuce wraps served with rice, crispy pork belly, and pickled radish ($13). If you’re feeling like a sandwich, try the Banh Mi French Dip, which adds pork bulgogi to the classic chicken liver pate, pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber, cilantro, lemongrass aioli, and pho au jus on a baguette ($11.25). For something totally different, try the fried chicken sandwich, with Korean fried chicken, Nashville hot sauce, napa cabbage slaw, and seasoned cukes ($10.50). Wash it all down with Yuzu lemonade, a Sapporo, or a glass from their short, but well-curated wine list.
Cosmic DonutsThis bakery brings out-of-this-world yeast-risen doughnuts to the small Columbia County village. The menu includes classics like glazed, Boston cream, and jelly. But where Cosmic really shines is on their next-level, stacked offerings like the Fat Elvis, a fluffy pastry donut stuffed with homemade peanut butter buttercream and topped with peanut butter, bananas, and bacon; s’mores donuts topped with chocolate glaze, graham cracker crumbs, and toasted marshmallow crème; peanut butter bomb donuts stuffed with buttercream and topped with peanut butter glaze, peanuts, and peanut butter cookie dough; and apple pie donuts overloaded with apple pie filling, covered in cinnamon sugar and topped with sticky caramel and cheesecake buttercream. Be prepared to loosen your belt after a visit. [Editor's note: Cosmic Donuts is now permanently closed.]
Alleyway Ice CreamEatthis.com has this to say about Julian Hom’s closet-sized ice cream parlor in Saugerties: “Alleyway is the absolute best ice cream in New York State.” We agree. Hom’s an ice cream artist, crafting flavors not normally associated with ice cream, like Earl Gray & Mom’s Scones, Sour Cream Blueberry, Goat Cheese and Beets, Sweet Corn, Madagascar Vanilla (made with beans that cost a staggering $400 a pound), Lemon Poppyseed, and Monkey Bread, as well as more innovative takes on traditional offerings like Belgian Chocolate, Mint Cookies and Cream (made with mint Oreos and vanilla), and Ovaltine Cookies and Cream. Alleyway is a summertime destination for the artisanal ice cream lover in you.
Bear CantinaThe new and improved Bearsville Theater complex opened earlier this year with the debut of the Tex-Mex-themed Bear Cantina. The new food concept is revitalizing the erstwhile Bear Cafe, which has been closed since 2019. The menu spans low-brow to high, from jalapeños rellenos (aka poppers, $9) to The Bear, a filet mignon drizzled with homemade tequila lime butter and served with fried onions ($32). In the middle of the road, the Taco Sabroso comes with three corn tortillas, caramelized onions, salsa verde, cilantro, queso fresco, and the meat of your choice ($16-$20). Or a Mexican spin on an American classic with the eight-ounce Hamburguesa Loca, with cheddar cheese, jalapeños, fried onion, avocado aioli, lettuce, tomato, and a side of either hand-cut fries or rice and beans ($18).