New York Cider Week
Hard cider's public image has made great strides in the past decade, buoyed by the nationwide craft beverage movement. New York State, with its historic apple growing legacy, is at the epicenter of the craft cider revolution. In the Hudson Valley alone there are over two dozen producers making everything from wild-fermented to Basque-style and champagne ciders. New York Cider Week returns October 6-15 to celebrate the state's makers with 10 days of education events, tours, and tastings. Angry Orchard in Walden will host a Certified Cider Professional Level 1 certification workshop while Pennings Farm offers facility tours and Fishkill's Boutique Wine and Spirits leads a guided tasting.
Aspire Brewing600 N Galleria Drive, Middletown
Opened in June, Aspire Brewing is a sprawling 30,000-square-foot brewery complex in the Middletown area. Located in the Plaza at Crystal Run off Route 211, the brewery shares a parking lot with a PETCO and a gym. In a fabulous glow-up, the spacious taproom looks nothing like its former incarnation as an Off-Track Betting parlor. Outside ample sidewalk seating offers a place to enjoy a cold beer on a hot day. Inside, there is a wall of 40+ self-serve beer taps that use a card system plus a full bar, an event space, and games like cornhole, laser ax throwing, and simulated golf. A menu of pub food ranging from pretzels to wings and pizza is also available.
Cheese Louise940 Route 28, Kingston
41 E Market Street, Rhinebeck
Since opening in 2010, provisions market and specialty cheese shop Cheese Louise has been a staple of "Gourmet Row," a food-centric stretch on Route 28 between Kingston and Woodstock. Under new owner Ari Alonso-Lubell, who took over in March, Cheese Louise's selection at the Route 28 location has expanded with the addition of a freezer case with Woodstock-made Nancy's ice cream, as well as sausages and fresh pastas. Alonso-Lubell also added a second shop in Rhinebeck, in the former location of the Woodstock Meats pop-up. Across the river, you'll find a special focus on local cheesemakers as well as a resident cheesemonger to guide you through a custom tasting.
First Bloom Corner Store52030 Route 10, Bloomville
Back in January 2022, we declared that food writer, recipe developer, chef, and all-around Millennial culinary icon Alison Roman's rumored Bloomville restaurant would be one of the hottest upstate openings of the year. Well, we were off about the year, but about 20 months later, First Bloom Corner Store is open in the former location of Table on Ten in the Delaware County hamlet of Bloomville. True to Roman's signature of-the-people, high-brow/low-brow style, the shop sells everything from fresh, local produce and imported Portuguese conservas to Cheez-Its, Nutella, and Domino sugar. It's all the pantry and dry good essentials to cook well at home, plus other country store essentials like laundry detergent.
60 S Front Street, Hudson
After a month-long hiatus to recruit and train more staff, build out the kitchen, and finish construction on the next-door event space, the Caboose, Kitty's restaurant reopens on October 17 with a fresh chef at the helm. Nicole LoBue is a big culinary name in Hudson, where she moved a decade ago to help launch the nonprofit Kite's Nest. For six years, she ran the Alimentary Kitchen, Kite's Nest's educational kitchen out of Basilica Hudson, also catering for the venue's many music shows, private events, and pop-ups. After culinary school, LoBue cut her teeth in the Bay Area restaurant industry. She brings a background in foraging and herbalism to her recipes, and an understanding of Hudson Valley bioregion's microseasonality. The menu at Kitty's will use local produce and meat to offer elevated comfort food that nourishes as it delights. As the weather cools, prepare for hearty fall fare like braised meats and brioche made in-house. The Caboose also opens for booking this month and will eventually house Kitty's sister natural wine store, Grapefruit.