5 Places to Eat & Drink in the Hudson Valley | March 2022 | General Food & Drink | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge 5 Places to Eat & Drink in the Hudson Valley | March 2022
A seafood boil bag from Crab-A-Bag in Newburgh

This March we are scouring the Hudson Valley far and wide from a chic inn with onsite dining in the Catskills to regenerative farm-to-table gin in Milan and seafood boil-in-a-bag in downtown Newburgh. Here are all the restaurants and craft beverage producers to visit this month.

Union and Post

5098 Route 23, Windham

Opened in 2020, boutique hotel Union and Post in Windham is part of a recent trend of hospitality businesses that are turning Catskills skiing towns into year-round vacation destinations. Like Scribner’s, Urban Cowboy, and soon-coming Little Cat Lodge, Union and Post blends comfortable, stylish accommodations with an onsite restaurant and bar. The recently opened eatery serves up new American food using locally sourced ingredients. The menu doesn’t take itself too seriously with offerings like Grandma’s meatballs and hot wings for starters. Mains run the gamut from whole or half pale ale chicken served with garlic potatoes, broccoli rabe, and beurre blanc ($26-33) to a balsamic-glazed double stack pork chop ($37) and, for the veggies out there, a cauliflower “steak” served with romesco and salsa verde ($23).

Branchwater Farms Gin

818 Salisbury Turnpike, Milan

Branchwater Farms in Milan is one of the latest small, family-run distilleries to enter the increasingly crowded craft spirits market, launching its first batch of gin last June. Since purchasing the 100-acre property in 2016, Robin Touchet and Kevin Pike have set about revitalizing the abandoned farm using integrated, organic, and regenerative practices. The couple’s approach to distilling dictates that quality starts in the field. Touchet and Pike grew and milled all their own grain for the debut gin as well as for a rye whisky that is still aging. They also have a second run of apple and pear brandy in the works, using all local fruit (the first batch sold out fast). Order online or at your local wine and liquor store.

Foreign Objects

150 West Mombasha Road, Monroe

Over the past four years, Foreign Objects Beer Company has built an international fan base for their hazy IPAs and crisp German lagers; sleek, abstract can designs; and esoteric beer descriptions with distribution in 13 states, Europe, Asia, and Australia. A nomadic production operation, Foreign Objects has at various times been brewed out of Shmaltz Brewing in Clifton Park, Two Roads in Stratford, Connecticut, Octopi in Wisconsin, and Bolero Snort in New Jersey. After multiple COVID hiccups and pivots, last fall the brand finally opened their taproom in Monroe, dubbed the Nerve Center. The taproom has a whopping 20 taps; about half pour a rotating selection of Foreign Objects brews; and the other half are beers, ciders, and meads from sibling businesses in their beverage group.

Bread Alone | Boiceville Cafe

3940 Route 28, Boiceville

Boiceville has been the cradle of Bread Alone’s sustainable innovations since founder Daniel Leader baked the first organic loaf there in 1983. Now, nearly 40 years later, the hamlet is once again the setting for Bread Alone’s pioneering practices as the family-owned company unveils its carbon-neutral bakery and cafe—the first of its kind in the country. Used since Bread Alone’s founding in 1983, the Lefort wood-fired brick ovens run on scrap wood from a nearby lumberyard, producing the hearth breads for all four Hudson Valley cafe locations and New York City farmers’ markets. In addition to the loaves and fresh-baked pastries, the cafe has a full breakfast and lunch menu. And, come spring, the shipping container kiosk that maintained cafe service during the year of construction will open on weekends for beer and pizza.

Crab a Bag

85 Liberty Street, Newburgh

Like so many restaurateurs, Tiffany and Ronnie Maisonet had their plans delayed by the pandemic. The couple purchased the corner building at 85 Liberty Street, formerly a flower shop, just before lockdown hit with plans to open a seafood restaurant. After two years of waiting and working, they finally opened Crab a Bag in December. Seafood is front and center here, with a rotating menu that includes homemade offerings like seafood boil in a bag, fried seafood, seafood salads, mussels, crab legs, shrimp, and paella. Some menu items include a two-person combo that comes with snow crab, shrimp, mussels, potato, corn on the cob, and sausage; and a catfish and shrimp dinner that comes with two sides, including macaroni and cheese, collard greens, candied yams, and grits. Drawing on their Puerto Rican heritage, the Maisonets also serve turf dishes like pernil (pork shoulder) and empanadas.

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