As restaurant fanatics, we get that kid-in-a-candy-shop feeling anytime a new eatery opens up—we're giddy even at the mention of something fresh in the works. So our annual round-up of new and anticipated Hudson Valley restaurants is a treat to write. We're happy to report that the region's gastronomic scene seems to have fully rebounded from the pandemic with over a dozen new eateries, bars, and craft beverage destinations opening in 2023. The spate of newcomers spans the culinary gamut from pizza to Puerto Rican food to Indian, Sri Lankan, omakase, and plant-based fast food. So, without further ado, here's where we'll be eating in 2023.
Red Pepper Diner
441 Fishkill Avenue, Beacon
Despite its less-than-glamorous location on the side of Route 9D, since opening in 2015 Red Pepper Diner has become a favorite of locals. Owners Saman and Thanuka Munaweera originally planned to serve classic American diner fare, but they ended up expanding the menu to honor their Sri Lankan roots, offering a menu of their island nation's staple dishes. In early February, Red Pepper decamped to a spot on Fishkill Avenue (Route 52) just outside of downtown Beacon.
288 Fair Street, Kingston
After long delays, the much-anticipated Uptown Kingston wine bar Chleo finally opened its doors on February 6. The renovated spot at the corner of John and Fair streets, formerly Ecce Terra, sports an elegant, neutral color palette and serves up locally sourced eats and a global, natural-leaning wine list. The menu features inventive, vegetarian friendly options like carrot 'nduja spread and charred cabbage, as well as meat options like the grilled short ribs dish, which is cooked sous vide for 48 hours then finished on the grill and served with black trumpet duxelles.
Dandelion at Eastwind Oliverea Valley212 McKenley Hollow Rd, Big Indian
Following the success of their Windham glamping destination, hotel group Eastwind has just completed its first full ground-up buildout in Big Indian. Eastwind Oliverea Valley is a complex of 30 Scandinavian-inspired rooms nestled into the wooded mountainside, including the freestanding A-frame Lushna cabins. The property also has an outdoor pool, sauna, fire pits, hammocks, and, soon, Dandelion Restaurant and Bar. The onsite eatery is headed up by Eastwind Hotels cofounder Daniel Cipriani, whose resume includes Urban Rustic, Sea Wolf, Playland Motel, Lodge, and Gemelli. At Dandelion, which opened in early February, Cipriani has crafted a veggie-forward, "forage-to-table" menu of globally inspired comfort food.
The Academy Kitchen
33 Academy Street, Poughkeepsie
The $13 million mixed-use development the Academy Food Hall opened last summer, revitalizing two vacant buildings in downtown Poughkeepsie. Open daily, the location includes a slew of vendor "stalls," serving up everything from burgers to bao and baked goods, plus a provisions market, bar, and event space. But the owners own namesake restaurant the Academy Kitchen only just opened on January 18. A 75-seat American-style bistro, the Kitchen offers a range of salads, entrees, and sides, along with craft cocktails, an international wine list, and local craft beer. Pull up a stool at the
massive circular bar or grab a seat at one of the tables.
North Star at the Alander
7519 Route 22, Copake
Ahead of the debut of the Alander hotel's guest suites this coming summer, the onsite restaurant, North Star, opened its doors in February with a warming winter menu of New American classics. Think PEI mussels in a Dijon cream sauce with lager, caramelized onions, and shallots served with a baguette; an apple ginger-marinated pork chop; or the roasted duck breast with garlic-herb spaetzle. The modern interior sports modern, brass, Sputnik-style chandeliers, warm wood tones, and plenty of plants with rotating work from local artists.
Casa Susanna at Camptown810 County Road 23B, Leeds
Following a $12 million makeover, Camptown opened in Leeds on March 1 as a 50-room accommodation with 26 log cabins and 24 hotel rooms on 22 acres. The reimagined 1930s motor house is the first solo project of Ray Pirkle and Kim Bucci, owners of Hudson's Rivertown Lodge. The soon-coming onsite restaurant, Casa Susanna, plans to offer "Mexican farm food, organic spirits, real ale, and natural wine." Under chef Efren Hernandez, the food will blend Jaliscan flavors and fresh local produce from area farms with everything made in house from the corn tortillas to the sauces. On the drinks front, expect a natural wine program and cocktails using Mexican spirits and fermented drinks like tejuino, made from corn dough. Casa Susanna's opening will coincide with the hotel.
Cafe Con Leche6384 Mill Street, Rhinebeck
The former Halcyon Cafe space on Mill Street next to Old Mill Wine and Spirits in Rhinebeck has a new tenant, Cafe Con Leche. It will be the second location for Phil Cordero's Puerto Rican restaurant, which opened in Wappingers Falls in 2018. The Rhinebeck outpost of Cafe Con Leche will be smaller in scale than the original location and focus on cafe items—coffee and baked goods—while also serving beloved menu items like empanadas and margaritas. Owner Phil Cordero is aiming to open the Rhinebeck space in early March.
Nat's Mountain House6589 Route 23A, Tannersville
Headed up by restaurateur Natalie Freihon, Strange Bird Hospitality is the group behind New York City bars Nat's on Bank, Nat's on Bleecker, and the Orchard Townhouse. This year, the group will inaugurate its first upstate project with Nat's Mountain House in Tannersville. The spaces in the Strange Bird portfolio are colorful and whimsical, and the Hunter location will be no different. Think geometric shapes and electric colors with a menu of place and year-round programming. The projected soft opening for Nat's Mountain House is sometime in March with an anticipated grand opening in May.
Moonburger87 Main Street, New Paltz
Kingston's mold-breaking vegetarian fast food drive-through Moonburger was an instant hit with locals, weekenders, and passing Thruway motorists alike. Moonburger will debut a second location in New Paltz this spring, most likely in April. Moonburger 2.0 will be in the heart of the village, and will offer counter service, kiosk ordering, and, eventually, delivery with retro-futuristic vibes that play on the nostalgia of the drive-through.
Little RicoWoodstock Since opening in 2021, owner Angelica Hernandez has transformed her Hudson eatery Little Rico into a buzzing community hub. Aside from cold-pressed juices and tonics, she also dishes up a menu of prepared foods that capture the nostalgic warmth of Latin American bodega staples made with high-quality ingredients. The menu ranges from sandwiches and hot soups to desserts with plenty of gluten-free and vegan options. Later this year, Hernandez will expand Little Rico with a second location in Woodstock (location TBD), where you can expect the same high-quality ingredients and health-centric offerings.
Brickmen Kitchen + Bar47 N. Front Street, Kingston
Dave Amato, owner of Rondout barbecue spot Ole Savannah, has taken over the former Boitson's space on Front Street in Uptown Kingston. Following a gut reno, he aims to open the space as Brickmen Kitchen + Bar in early April, the name a tribute to his late grandfather "Sookie" Amato, a Kingston brickyard worker and union leader. (Don't worry, the marble bar and tin ceilings are staying.) Brickmen will serve up a globally inspired and locally sourced menu, created under the direction of consulting chef Dale Miller, with gluten-free and vegan options and a raw bar.
Nama Omakase320 Warren Street, Hudson
With Barnfox moving into the old Etsy building in Hudson, their former location at 320 Warren Street became available. It'll soon be home to Nama, a Japanese restaurant offering a sushi omakase experience in the tradition of Edomae sushi. The owners plan on sourcing the highest grade, hand-picked market fish of the day, prepared by an in-house shokunin sushi chef. The anticipated opening is early to mid-spring.
582 Broadway, Kingston
In March 2022, the team behind High Falls' wood-fired pizzeria Ollie's bought the building on Broadway that housed Tony's Pizzeria for decades. After renovations to the pizzeria and adjacent two retail spaces, the team plans to open a bistro-style restaurant in the old Tony's spot, next door an Ollie's slice shop, and in the third, a provisions market/commissary kitchen. The project was originally slated for completion in late fall of 2022, but, as has come to be expected, there were delays. Now the owners are aiming for a late spring opening, with possible staggering of the different operations.
4 Deming Street, Woodstock
Whereas most Indian restaurants ply you with a predictable list of Sub-Continental All Stars (ahem, tikka masala), Rhinebeck's Cinnamon has earned its sterling reputation by offering a tour of almost every Indian state. The menu boasts perfectly executed dishes from Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Punjab to name a few, plus great cocktails, good wine, and white tablecloth service. It's worth crossing the bridge, but Ulster County residents will rejoice to know that Cinnamon owners Chaminda and Shiwanti Widyarathna are planning a second location in Woodstock in the old Mountain Gate location. The opening is slated for June.
From his grandmother's kitchen in Mexico to restaurant kitchens in New York City, chef Fermin Ortega long dreamed of opening his own restaurant. In 2021, he opened Casa Ortega in Wappingers Falls, serving up a mix of traditional Mexican dishes and other more modern takes along with cocktails. The spot has been well received, and this spring, he'll open a second location (TBD) dubbed Tlahco Taqueria in Pleasant Valley.
48 S. River Street, Coxsackie
In a project that has ruffled more than a few feathers, developer Aaron Flach has undertaken the $15 million project to create the James R. Newbury Hotel and Wire Event Center on Coxsackie's waterfront. As part of this initiative, Flach's team is refurbishing the 19th-century Dolan Block and the beloved Patrick Henry's Tavern, including preserving and restoring the tin walls and ceilings and the original bar. The early-20th-century building has a long history as an eatery; before its tenure as Patrick Henry and post-Prohibition, it was Costello restaurant and bar. Under Capitol Region restauranteur Dominick Purnomo, Patrick Henry's is slated to reopen sometime in the spring, serving pub fare and wood-fired pizza.
21 Oneil Street, Kingston
Dear Kingston Beer Bar + Garden is taking over a spot on Oneil Street adjacent to the Midtown Linear Park. The opening is planned for early spring, so soon you'll be able to run your Kingston Plaza errands then zip back up to Midtown for a pint. Dear Kingston will offer a curated rotation of 14 tap lines with a focus on Hudson Valley breweries. The food menu will consist of snacks and small plates featuring local makers and producers, with a nod to traditional biergarten fare.
Salt Box10 Crown Street, Kingston
In late February, Salt Box, a casual bar with retro vintage styling, opened in Uptown Kingston at the former location of Crown Lounge. It's open daily 3pm-3am.
Big Dogs Brewery
771 State Route 52, Walden
The Brewery at Orange County Hops has gotten a new name and a new music-infused identity. Under Tim TJ Santiago and Melissa Raap, Big Dogs Brewery, which opened in early February, continues to serve up craft brews plus a stacked lineup of live bands every weekend, New York spirits, wine, cider, and hot coffee. Big Dogs offers a laid-back experience in a rustic environment, with wood-paneled walls, exposed joists, and a concrete floor. On select days, Sully on the Street food truck parks in the lot to dish up tasty sandwiches.
Dassai Blue Sake Distillery
5 St. Andrew Road, Hyde Park
Back in 2018, we announced that the Culinary Institute of America would be teaming up with premiere Japanese sake brand Asahi Shuzo to build the company's first US facility in Hyde Park. The brewery and visitor center, a $28 million project that will create 32 jobs, was slated to open in spring 2019. But you know how things go. A pandemic and several years later, the project is now slated to open in November. The 52,000-square-foot facility, in the former site of Stop & Shop, will be retrofitted to house a rice refinery and brewing tanks, a tasting room, and a retail shop under the name Dassai Blue.
725 State Street, Hudson
For Mikey Lenane and two of his cofounders, brewer J. D. Linderman and head of creative Jack Liakas, Return Brewing was the logical next step in their combined two decades of brewing experience. Chomping at the bit, the partners started brewing at Crossroads in Catskill in 2021 before their own facility and taproom in Hudson was ready. Their beers, already well known at local bars and restaurants, use a mixture of local ingredients and internationally sourced hops to craft Eastern European-inspired brews. Later this spring, Return will finally unveil its production facility and bar on State Street, across from the newly opened Upper Depot Brewing. Do I hear a "beer alley!"?
Other Rumblings & Rumors
Mexican restaurant La Catrina is opening on Albany Post Road at the former Hyde Park Brewery location.
The owners of cult-favorite Phoenicia Diner have purchased a diner and are currently looking for a site to build out another location.
The Terrace Motel in Ellenville is undergoing a massive New York Times-worthy renovation. It’s had its fair share of delays, but when it does open (whether that is 2023 or 2024 there are rumors that there will be a cocktail bar onsite.
Also in Ellenville, the recently purchased Norbury Theater will be reinvented as an event space *possibly* with a bar on the top floor.