Birdsall House’s draught list features 20 beers from small production breweries across New York and the Northeast as well as a curated list of beers from across the country and Europe. The list changes with the seasons, but always has an eye on local craft brews and keeping a balance of styles. Birdsall offers American whiskey, bourbon, scotches, and agave tequilas. Their menu is driven by local products and the restaurant purchases their grain, polenta, bread, and crackers from Wild Hive Farm in Clinton Corners and beef from Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor. Co-owner John Sharp describes the food as “pub fare with a little extra attention and a southern accent.” Offerings include a Hudson Valley cheese plate ($12), pulled pork tacos ($11), and blackened shrimp and grits ($16).
970 Main Street, Peekskill. (914) 930-1880; www.birdsallhouse.net
Boitson’s owner Maria Philippis, an on-and-off Hudson Valley resident for the past 20 years, has finally come home to stay and open her dream restaurant. The long, narrow dining room, lined with a room-long banquette and mirrors, leather, and velvet, leads to an outdoor deck with views of the Catskills. From the marble-top bar, Boitson’s serves an array of cocktails—many named after New York City boroughs. Go for little-neck clams ($7) and Blue Point oysters ($9) from the raw bar and entrees like the Boitson burger and fries ($10), whole trout meuniere ($21), fried chicken and mashed potatoes ($15), or roasted beet risotto ($14). Four-dollar sides include biscuits and gravy, succotash, and bacony collards. To support eating locally, many of the ingredients on the menu are purchased at the Kingston Farmers Market.
47 North Front Street, Kingston. (845) 339-2333
Dutch Ale House
When Johnny and Karyn Pavich took over the Dutch Ale House last September, they decided to keep some of the old charms—like the Dutch-themed memorabilia that’s been on the walls since the ‘80s—but add some fresh ideas. Chef Thomas Muff kept some of the old favorites on the menu, like the Pilgrim sandwich—house-roasted turkey, stuffing, and provolone on grilled rye with cranberry sauce and gravy ($10). New additions include garlic and ale cheese spread with flatbreads ($5); mozzarella spedino—mozzarella stuffed inside focaccia and fried ($7); the bacon, egg, and cheeseburger ($11); and a roasted vegetable panini with zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and harissa-lemon vinaigrette ($9).
At the bar, there are 15 craft brews on tap and 20 bottled beers to choose from. The Pavichs are in the process of building a microbrewery on the premises and hope to start brewing this fall.
255 Main Street, Saugerties. (845) 247-2337; www.dutchalehouse.com
Grand Cru Beer and Cheese Market
The Grand Cru Beer and Cheese Market is piled high with 350 to 400 different craft beers from around the world—and owners Eric and Mary Molleur have tried them all.
Grand Cru offers a revolving three beers on tap, growlers to fill up, artisanal cheeses, smoked meats, and a wide selection of other local gourmet products. Highlights include smoked venison from Highland Farms in Germantown, local honey and potato chips, and Spacey Tracy’s pickles from Rhinebeck. Eric Molleur remarks, “Most people think wine and cheese but we thought, beer and cheese work well together, too.” The shop is definitely not a bar, but the casual, laid-back atmosphere has turned the small café area into a happy-hour spot for the locals.
6384 Mill Street, Rhinebeck. (845)876-6992; www.grandcrurhinebeck.com