Wesley Dier, former chef/owner of 40 West restaurant of Rhinebeck, returns with The Local, serving culturally diverse cuisine made from regional recipes with local products. A few menu selections are pickled quail eggs prepared with laurel and mustard seeds ($6); sweet potato agnolotti served with shallot crisps, toasted pine nuts, and garden sage brown butter ($12); and black angus ribeye steak frites served with sherried onions, maître d’hôtel butter, smoked salt, and hand-cut fries ($28). Some dessert options are the banana-white chocolate bread pudding with housemade cinnamon ice cream ($8), or a chocolate torte covered in toasted coconut served with warm dulce de leche ($8). There is a full bar with an all American beer and wine list including Keegan Ale’s Mother’s Milk Stout ($7.50); and a dozen West Coast wines ($7-$14 by the glass).
38 W. Market Street, Rhinebeck. (845) 876-2214; www.thelocalrestaurantandbar.com
Bull and Buddha
A half block down from the Artist’s Palate on Poughkeepsie’s Main Street is the chic Bull and Buddha, an Asian fusion restaurant with luxe appointments, including a 2,000-pound handcarved Tibetan Buddha. B&B is three restaurants in one: sushi bar, American steak house, and Asian-fusion tapas joint. There’s the straight-up pan-Asian dishes—shumai ($6), pad thai ($10); Asian-influenced sandwiches like the hoisin BBQ beef brisket sandwich ($9); small plates like char sui bao (steamed pork bun, $5) and steamed mussels in sake-butter broth with Chinese sausage ($9); and carnivore-centric entrees like the dry-rubbed 20 oz. ribeye ($26) or the Korean BBQ short ribs ($18). This tripartite approach extends to the beverage list as well, with 8 kinds of hot and cold sake, signature cocktails like the Thai martini (green tea-infused vodka, coconut milk, honey, and toasted coconut, $8), a diverse selection of international and domestic beer ($4-$7), and a smart wine list with 15 bottles under $20.
319 Main Street, Poughkeepsie. (845) 337-4848; www.bullandbuddha.com
The latest addition to Kingston’s bar scene is an Irish pub run by an authentic Irishman, the eponymous Mr. Mahoney, on the former Acapulco Grill site in the Rondout. Irish staples Guinness and Smithwicks are on tap (in addition to Stella Artois, Sam Adams, and Bass), and the menu leans hard on bar staples like fish and chips (two pieces for $9.95/three pieces for $12.95) and cheese fries ($6.95). Everything is tinged with a bit ‘o Blarney here, though, like the Black and Tan O’Rings ($7.95), onion rings coated in Harp batter and drizzled with Guinness. Irish specialties include Scotch eggs ($8.95) two quartered hardboiled eggs with sausage, breaded and deep-fried; bangers and mash topped with onion gravy and served with Irish soda bread ($10.95) and shepherd’s pie ($10.95). Live music every Sunday. Happy hour weekdays from 4 to 7pm.
40 Broadway, Kingston. (845) 853-8620; www.dermotmahoneys.com
Documentary filmmaker D. J. Kadagian has built a palace to his favorite things in Rhinebeck. The result is a hybrid bistro-lounge-bookstore-gallery. The first floor features the wine bar and café in front, three lounges in the rear with selectively curated books and jazz CDs on the shelves for sale. Upstairs are two art galleries, one housing a rotating collection of signed lithographs by 20th-century masters like Picasso and Chagall, the other exhibiting local artists. Kadagain’s ambition is all directions is a bit breathtaking. For instance, iced coffee is made with a specialty Kyoto coffeemaker that distills one gallon of iced coffee over a 24-hour period. ($4 for iced coffee.) The food is also adventurous, featuring Peekytoe gazpacho—chilled soup with tomato, cucumber, and crab ($11) and pizzas like the Mumbai pie, made with tomato-curry sauce and summer squash and paneer-style cheese. Entrees include tagines of lamb ($20 for one/$33 for two) or chicken ($19 for one/$31 for two) and roasted pork tenderloin ($19). The wine list specializes in small, family-owned vineyards. 12 wines are available by the glass. ZenDog also serves flights of beer ($14) and wine ($16), both paired with charcuterie or cheese.
6367 Mill Street, Rhinebeck. (888) 936-3649; www.zendogcafe.com
The former Lenahan and Lopez roadhouse north of the village of Red Hook on Route 9 has undergone an extensive makeover and reemerged as O’Leary’s restaurant, an upscale eatery. Carol and Mark O’Leary, CIA grads, recently returned to the Hudson Valley after 20 years in the Hawaiian restaurant scene. Carol runs the front of the house, Mark the kitchen. The food is rustic and eclectic, with simple dishes from around the world. Starters include Peking duck rolls with plum sauce ($10) and fried calamari ($10). The main dish selections are anchored by steaks and pastas. Filet mignon is an option, served au poivre or béarnaise ($27), as is pasta putana, roasted garlic, Sicilian and Kalamata olives, Serrano peppers, tomatoes, anchovies, and feta cheese over linguine ($15). The wine lists mirrors the diverse menu, with selections from across Europe and a few New World and Australian bottles. The bar features eight beers on tap, rotated seasonally.
7100 Route 9, Red Hook. (845) 758-2267