Award-Winning Chef Dan Silverman Takes Over the Millstream Tavern Kitchen | Restaurants | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

At a time when back-of-house staff is rarer to find than white truffles, it’s a big deal to get a decorated chef in the kitchen. Millstream Tavern in Woodstock gained such an asset this past June when Dan Silverman came on board as the executive chef.

Silverman, most recently of Hutton Brickyards’ River Pavilion, got his training under Michelin-starred chef David Bouley and worked alongside greats like Danny Meyer, Stephen Starr and Keith McNally. Before moving upstate in 2020, he ran the kitchens in some of Manhattan’s best French restaurants, including at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern. But despite his training and technique, it’s hard to spot an overtly French dish on Millstream’s menu. (The steak au poivre is the exception that proves the rule.)

“My organizing principle is to keep it as local as possible, utilize as many farmers and producers and artisans as possible,” he says. “And to keep it simple and understandable for folks—I don’t want to be thought-provoking or challenging, I just want my food to be fucking delicious. If I can do that, then we’re doing pretty good.”

Produce comes from nearby Story Farms in Catskill and Morning Star Farm in Hudson with local lamb and beef from Veritas Farms and pastured chicken from Livingston Manor-based Snowdance Farm. As far as culinary influences, Silverman says, “My interests these days span Spanish, Southern Italian, North African. I like all those ingredients that provide an exclamation point, a little jolt—capers, anchovies, lemon, lots of fresh herbs.”

Take the gulf shrimp, pickled in lemon and lime juice and served cold over a bed of shaved fennel and carrot, and topped with cilantro ($18). It’s bright, even mouth-puckering. The smashed cucumber salad is refreshing and lightly spicy, served with chilies, fresh herbs, and toasted sesame seeds ($13). The grilled Spanish octopus dish offers no curve balls—just straight-up goodness in the form of a single tentacle served over roasted sweet potato, grilled red onion, and a rich romesco sauce ($20).

Perhaps a beloved holdover from the moules-frite mainstay of his Minetta Tavern days, Silverman has brought a cream-based mussels dish with him upstate—first to Hutton Brickyards and now to Millstream. At the latter, PEI mussels reach indulgent self-actualization in a saffron-white wine cream sauce with shallots, garlic, and chilies ($24). Order a side of fries and make your own moules-frites.

click to enlarge Award-Winning Chef Dan Silverman Takes Over the Millstream Tavern Kitchen
The white beans sit in a bath of extra virgin olive oil beneath a pile of shaved celery topped with Spanish anchovies and long shavings of parmigiano.

The Chatham Cod, served with romano beans, roasted peppers and shallots, dances with sherry and a dose of fried parsley ($26), while the Faroe Island salmon gets its zing from marjoram, which plays against the sweetness of late-season corn and tomatoes ($27). The quality of the Snowdance Farm chicken shines through its simple execution, roasted and served with watercress and salsa verde ($28). There is also a grass-fed New York steak frites on the menu served with a peppercorn cream sauce ($45). And of course, every golf club needs a house burger. Here, Silverman keeps it simple, serving his on a potato bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and a house sauce ($18, add cheese or bacon for a buck extra).

As the days cool and shorten, Silverman is beginning to shift his focus toward fall.

“I’m thinking about brussel sprouts and squashes and chicory and shell beans and the wonderful roots and hearty greens that will come in fall,” he says. “I love braised food. Nothing makes a place better than a long-cooked stew or ragout—or a really great vegetable gratin.”

click to enlarge Award-Winning Chef Dan Silverman Takes Over the Millstream Tavern Kitchen
The Long Island fluke crudo is served spring garlic, crushed hazlenuts, and parsley oil.

Rather than an abrupt switch-over, Silverman prefers to slowly rotate newer dishes onto the menu as he phases out the old ones. By the end of September, you can expect to start seeing some new options. “It feels like the weather has changed a little bit, but we’ll have tomatoes and melons for several more weeks,” he says. “And I don't want to put those things away until I have to.”

Millstream is currently open for lunch to club members only and to the public for dinner Thursday through Sunday, 5-9pm. “I think that people want us to be open a bit more, but it’s super challenging to find the staff to provide the coverage to make that happen and happen well,” he says. “We really, really want to be open for more meal periods. If I could find just one more cook, I could open for brunch…”

Sunday mimosas and brunch on the sunny deck does sound lovely, but in the meantime, the creek is just as pretty in the evening light.

Location Details

Millstream Tavern

114 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock

(845) 217-2484

Marie Doyon

Marie is the Digital Editor at Chronogram Media. In addition to managing the digital editorial calendar and coordinating sponsored content for clients, Marie writes a variety of features for print and web, specializing in food and farming profiles.
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