Sips & Bites: 5 Places to Eat & Drink in December 2021 | Sweets & Treats | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Sips & Bites: 5 Places to Eat & Drink in December 2021
Courtesy of Primo Waterfront

Primo Waterfront

50 Front Street, Newburgh |

In a few weeks, Primo Waterfront’s doors will open, bringing coastal Italian cuisine to Newburgh’s waterfront, in the former location of Cena 2000. For this project, restaurateur Jesse Camac of Heritage Food & Drink teamed up with one of his chefs, Frank Camey, and Ralph Bello, formerly of Il Barilotto, to design a seafood-centric menu that uses local produce and meats. In addition to Bello’s homemade pastas, Primo will offer a crudo and raw bar, developed in collaboration with John Daly, a kitchen alum of Michelin-starred Manhattan establishment Masa. Daly’s Japanese techniques combine with Bello’s Italian flavors and result in dishes like Montauk fluke with pistachio, ponzu, chives, and olive oil. Another dish on offer will be yellowtail with strawberry, basil, and pink peppercorn, alongside raw bar classics like oysters and king crabs. Designed to showcase the spectacular views of the Hudson from every seat in the house, Primo gives the feeling of a coastal getaway with walls of windows, indoor and outdoor bars, and a patio that seats up to 170 people. 

Tanma Ramen Tavern

579 Broadway, Kingston |

With papered-over windows, no signage, and no grand announcements, Tanma Ramen is serving up serious speakeasy vibes alongside handmade gyoza and steaming bowls of ramen. Like at Tanma’s predecessor Gomen Kudasai in New Paltz, Youko Yamamoto is preparing everything from scratch. Kick your meal off with pan-fried pork gyoza, served in a sizzling cast iron pan. The avocado sashimi is deceivingly simple and delightful, drizzled with lemon juice and dipped in wasabi soy sauce ($8). For ramen, Yamamoto keeps it simple with just two options (both $15): miso, which uses a broth made of chicken and pork bone, served with sliced pork belly; and shio, with a vegan broth made from kombu, shitake, and other vegetables. Both are served with mung bean sprouts, chopped scallion, bamboo shoots, cashews, and wakame seaweed. If you’ve loaded up on apps, opt for the baby bar size of either for just $10.

Cafe Mutton

757 Columbia Street, Hudson |

Though it’s only been open since May, Cafe Mutton has quickly established itself as a neighborhood fixture in Hudson under the ownership of Fish & Game and Bartlett House alum Shaina Loew-Banayan. On the corner of 8th and Columbia, this quaint breakfast and lunch joint is known for its meat-centric menu. The menu showcases the Hudson Valley’s abundant produce and meats, routinely making use of secondary cuts to create things like the now-famous in-house sausage, pate, and bologna. The resulting menu is short but filled with delicacies. Scrapple and eggs ($12.50) is one of them—two sunny-side eggs are served alongside scrapple, a loaf made with polenta and braised pork that’s pan fried, and a choice of potatoes, toast, or greens. The country paté sandwich ($12.50) is another popular choice, featuring housemade pork and chicken liver paté, whole grain mustard, and cornichons on country white bread from Bartlett House. On Friday nights, Cafe Mutton stays open late for a chill happy hour and candle-lit dinner service.

Gunkin Doughnuts

138 Main Street, New Paltz |

In 2015, Rachel Wyman’s signature fried brioche doughnuts earned her a spot in Bake magazine’s “25 Most Influential Bakers in the US.” The CIA grad returned to the Hudson Valley during the pandemic to be closer to the hiking, running, and climbing routes of the Gunks. After a blow-out summer selling doughnuts at the New Paltz Open Air Market, opened a brick-and-mortar bakery on Main Street in November with two varieties of doughnuts for sale. The first, Wyman’s signature brioche doughnuts, are available in three flavors: classic, chocolate, and apple cider, with layers of laminated cinnamon throughout the dough. The other variety, which Wyman has dubbed “sourdoughnuts” are vegan and made using sourdough starter. They are also available in multiple flavors, including a fruity cranberry orange glaze and maple-glazed—Wyman’s personal favorite. 

Bar Bene

538 Warren Street, Hudson |

Tucked down a brick alley behind Sisters Boutique, Bar Bene is one of those Hudson Easter eggs that rewards the curious passerby. Glimpsed from the street, the new wine bar’s fenced-in, pea gravel patio is illuminated by string lights and a warmed by standing heaters and fire pit. Inside, the bright Mid-Century vibes continue with cerulean walls, cognac-toned leather bar stools, smoked glass light fixtures, and a shag rug. Seating is split between a bar area and lounge area with a couch and arm chairs. The wine list, curated by manager and sommelier Eric Hill, covers all the major bases while emphasizing low-intervention winemakers. (A helpful key on the wine menu lets you know which vintages are organic, biodynamic, vegan, and sustainable.) While the wineries may be less well known to some guests, the styles will be familiar. A Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley rubs shoulders with a Fiano from Campania and a Cava from Catalonia. Options by the glass range from $10 to $18, while the bottles span price points from $38 to $128. Bar eats include local cheese plates, charcuterie platters, olives, and hummus. Top the night off with an affogato, or if you prefer to keep your indulgences separate, an espresso and a crema vanilla gelato.

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