Sips & Bites | February 2021 | Restaurants | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
Sips & Bites | February 2021
Mandu twigum, fried dumplings from KorPot in Poughkeepsie


It was a sad day when chef Francesco Buitoni hung up his apron and closed the doors of his beloved Red Hook eatery. For nearly 15 years, Mercato showcased the fresh, bright flavors of Buitoni's native Rome in delicious, deceptively simple dishes. But the seventh-generation pasta maker and two-time James Beard nominee is not done in the kitchen. Days before lockdown, he opened Giobatta Alimentari in Tivoli, an Italian restaurant and provisions market. The menu features warming soups, delightfully dressed salads, antipasto, half a dozen handmade pastas, and two to three fish and meat mains. In a refreshing break from avant-garde experimentalists, Buitoni's strength is not in breaking the mold but in perfecting the classics. Recognizable menu items will comfort you—a Genovese basil pesto over linguine, a traditional meat ragu bolognese served with pappardelle—while the unfamiliar depth of flavor rouses you from your culinary slumber. 

69 Broadway, Tivoli;

Truss and Trestle

Fann's Plaza on 32 in Rosendale is functional—but sleepy. Anchored by the supermarket, with a Dollar General, and takeout pizza and Chinese food, it is an underwhelming cornerstone of quotidian life. But the strip mall got fresh life in mid-December, with the opening of Truss and Trestle in the former location of 32 Lunch. Following suit with the previous occupants, T&T has styled itself as a diner, open daily, serving up hearty American fare. Breakfast, served most of the day, includes eggs and home fries, breakfast sammies, challah French toast, or, if you're feeling spendy, steak and eggs. Lunch and dinner are anchored by deli classics a la tuna melt, reuben, burger, turkey club, and cheesesteak. Gyro meat is a fun addition to the standard sides of bacon and sausage patty.

1157 Route 32, Rosendale;

Ram's Valley

In September, Uptown Kingston got a lil' spicier with the opening of new hot sauce purveyor Ram's Valley. Trinidad-born owner Richard "Ram" Rajkumar uses fresh local produce to bring the flavor of the Caribbean to the Hudson Valley with his line of sauces and spices. Rajkumar's budding brand, manufactured in Kingston, currently boasts nine flavors ranging from mild to hot, including lime, habanero, roasted red pepper, Green Hulk, Flavor Me Mama (a mix of seven hot peppers), and the daunting Too Hot to Handle (you were warned). The North Front Street outpost also sells three proprietary flavors of fermented garlic paste—original, cilantro habanero, and ginger—jerk pepper and pineapple barbeque sauces, and bottled tropical fruit juices. Rajkumar has also teamed up with ARC of Ulster Greene to provide employment opportunities for people living with disabilities.

45 North Front Street, Kingston;


Korpot brings authentic Korean cuisine to the southern end of Poughkeepsie, close to the IBM building. With eight mains, the concise menu leans on familiar favorites like bibimbap ($14), bulgogi ($18), spicy stir-fried pork ($18), and grilled, marinated short ribs ($30)—executed at a high level. Start your meal off with the richly umami seafood and scallion pancakes ($9) or an order of mandu twigim (fried dumplings, $8). The desserts go beyond your standard-issue green tea and red bean ice creams to offer up delightful Korean pastries like kkwa bae gi, twisted cinnamon sugar doughnuts, and Hotteok, sweet pancakes filled with brown sugar syrup (both $8).

2494 South Road, Poughkeepsie;

Bistro Mashriq

A lifelong luxury hospitality career, which started humbly enough as a dishwasher, has taken Christopher Knable all over the world from his native Texas to New York City first, then everywhere from Uruguay to Dubai. Owner of Chatham favorites Pieconic and Main Street Goodness, Knable's latest endeavor is to bring the flavors he fell in love with in the Middle East to Hudson's Warren Street. The culinary corridor, though impressive, has lacked an Arab flavor presence, which Knable now provides in Bistro Mashriq, which opened for takeout in December. The kitchen is headed up by Chef Keouth, who honors the traditional spices and recipes of the restaurant's namesake region, while also authoring playful spinoffs. From the ruby-toned beet hummus ($8) to the lamb meatballs, infused with fresh mint and served with feta and poached tomatoes ($14), there is plenty for both vegetarians and meat eaters to love here.

Warren Street, Hudson;

Pearl Moon

In mid-January, Woodstock saw the opening of its latest breakfast and lunch spot, Pearl Moon, which opened in the former location of longstanding Chinese restaurant and music venue Wok & Roll. Honoring the history of the town, Pearl Moon hopes to be a lively venue for local and touring musicians, DJ dance parties, karaoke, and stand-up comedy in the future. But, amid the pandemic, all efforts are centered around perfecting the food menu, which is built on solid American diner classics executed by chef Michael Brooks. This promises to be a future favorite brunch spot, with hearty dishes both sweet and savory, like eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, short or tall-stack pancakes, and housemade biscuits slathered in maple-honey butter. (Is it Sunday yet?) Pearl Moon is open for limited indoor seating and takeout.

52 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock;

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