Sips & Bites | January 2021 | General Food & Drink | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Sips & Bites | January 2021
Photo @uppastryplate via Instagram
Coffee and cinnamon sugar doughnut from Half Moon Rondout Cafe.

From doughnuts to all things potato to a Hudson Valley-made liqueur, here's a handful of tasty new developments in the Hudson Valley craft beverage and dining scene.

Barb's Fry Works

Hudson Valley Food Hall, 288 Main Street, Beacon

Potatoes heaped with toppings like seared ribeye, sausage gravy, burrata, and truffle salt? Yes, please. These are the offerings you'll find at Barb's Fry Works, the newest addition to Beacon's Hudson Valley Food Hall. The eatery is the brainchild of Barb's Butchery owner Barbara Fisher, who's on a mission to bring us the comfort food we really need right now. From wedge-cut and hand-cut fries to potato planks and smashed baby taters, here you'll find every tasty spud iteration you can think of, plus a handful of salads to balance out your meal.

Current Cassis

Creme de cassis, that sweet, blood-red blackcurrant liqueur, is a classic aperitif and cocktail mixer, featuring in drinks like the elegant French favorite Kir Royale and the vermouth cassis. In December, Catskill-based Rachel Petach debuted her twist on the classic liqueur. Current Cassis is made a partial fermentation of local, Hudson Valley blackcurrants that are then blended with New York rosé and distillate, wild honey, and botanical infusions including whole green cardamom, bay leaf, citrus rind, and lemon verbena. The botanicals give the wine a more herbal character, similar to red bitter aperitifs like Aperol. A 375mL bottle retails for about $28 and is for sale at several local stockists or online.

Honey Hollow Brewing Co.

376 E Honey Hollow Road, Earlton

A self-described "sub-nano brewery," Honey Hollow serves up truly small-batch, handcrafted brews. Located on a farm in rural Greene County, the brewery, under the direction of brewmaster Matty Taormina, uses New York State ingredients as well as hops from the onsite garden to create a changing roster of beers that span from their Fresh Hop Ale, made with chinook and cascade hops grown on-farm, to Arabella Nut Brown Ale, Ruby Red Ale, Empire Honey Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Black Jack Porter. Their tasting room is open for al fresco pints and growler fills Thursdays and Fridays, 4-7pm, and Saturdays, 1-7pm, when they also serve wood-fired pizza.

Dirty Bacchus: Natural Wine Shop

380 Main Street, Suite 100, Beacon

Opened in June, Beacon newcomer Dirty Bacchus focuses on low-intervention, organic or biodynamic, sustainably farmed, vegan wines, a well as a selection of organic ciders, meads and sake. The shop carries a wide range of wines from around the world, including Western Europe, the US, Australia, and a slew of under-explored winemaking countries like Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Canada, and Mexico. The shop is designed to be accessible to both new and seasoned natty wine drinks, and includes a section of skin-contact wines under $20 and another entitled "You'd Never Know," of low and no-intervention wines that taste like their conventional counterparts.

Handsome Devil BBQ

3 Corwin Court, Newburgh

For years, pitmaster Ed Randolph and the Handsome Devil BBQ team have been a regular fixture of the New York City barbeque event circuit. This summer, against the odds, Randolph finally achieved his longtime dream of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The Newburgh location is massive, with a whopping 5,400 square feet of dining space, which allows plenty of room for socially distanced tables and, in future, big events. Randolph, who has authored two books on barbecue, pulls from different traditions and techniques for a twist on barbecue that is all his own. Using locally sourced wood, the Handsome Devil team smokes the meat for hours before dishing up melt-in-your mouth pulled pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, and more.

Half Moon Rondout Cafe

36 Broadway, Kingston

In November, Kingston got a new pastry haven in the Half Moon Rondout Cafe, where Kaira Grundig and John Pinna are turning out fresh, hot doughnuts and chocolate babka daily, along with rotating family recipes like Danish and coffee cake. The doughnuts, which come in cinnamon sugar, plain, and powdered sugar, are made to order, so they're always hot. Half Moon also has a full espresso bar, fitting for Grundig's Seattle roots, serving up coffee from Broadway mainstay Monkey Joe's and Manhattan favorite Gotham Coffee Roasters. Take your pick of drip, cold brew, espresso, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or any number of seasonal and specialty lattes like matcha and eggnog.

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