The Borland House Inn and Restaurant Reflects the Hudson Valley in Both Dining and Decor | Lodging | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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The Borland House Inn and Restaurant Reflects the Hudson Valley in Both Dining and Decor 

Last Updated: 07/30/2021 4:38 pm
click to enlarge COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House

The Borland House Inn and Restaurant building dates back to the 1780s, when it served as the home of New York Congressman Charles Borland Jr. Now operating as a bed and breakfast under the leadership of owner and chef Anna Frumes, the two-story Greek Revival pays homage to its Hudson Valley history through both its interior design and its cuisine.


The 10-foot ceilings made an impression on Frumes when she first visited in 2014, amidst her search for a functioning bed and breakfast that she could revamp. “When I walked in, it was the most beautiful feeling and home, and it had this incredible open space,” she remembers. “It was set up perfectly for a small restaurant.” She purchased the Borland House that same year and opened the farm-to-table restaurant to the public in 2016 for breakfast and lunch, providing historical regional dishes and comfort foods.

click to enlarge COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House

Frumes considers the multifaceted quality of the Hudson Valley’s food one of the most interesting aspects of living in the region. “Dutch settler food, the early Americas foods and designs––to me, a lot of them are comfort foods. They’re foods of the families that came here.”

These dishes, slightly elevated, are the cornerstone of their menu, which includes poached eggs on rye with butter fried cream leeks, dense Belgian liege waffles with burnt sugar and strawberry compote, and fried chicken atop biscuits and gravy. Raised in the restaurant business in rural northern California, an area replete with farms and ranches, Frumes thinks that menu reflects the farm town palate. Taking the first bite of one’s meal evokes “the same feeling that you get when you walk into the house,” she says.

COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House

The Borland House restaurant is positioned among such a wealth of agricultural producers that Frumes feels no need to food-source outside the area. They maintain partnerships with local food brands like Fresh Meadow Farm and Whitecliff Vineyard, enabling them to direct their menu seasonally, and this year they’re directing the inaugural annual summer community-supported agriculture (CSA) program with the former. 2021 has also seen Borland House begin a reservation-only monthly supper club, featuring a different seasonal dinner and theme each time. Their June dinner was Rip Van Winkle-themed, focused around local folklore with an old Dutch menu, and the May dinner menu was all mushrooms, from appetizer to dessert.

COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House

The interior design of the Borland House is just as reflective of the region’s history and culture as the food. Each room of the inn is modeled around local birds and their habitats: swans for the hall, blue herons for the dining room, red-tailed hawks for the drawing room, hummingbirds and bluebirds for the bedrooms, the last of which is the state bird of New York.

The redesign, which is ongoing, has been spearheaded by artist Hally McGehean, who was inspired by the paintings of John James Audubon, American ornithologist and namesake of the Audubon Society. McGehean, a friend of Frumes, is forgoing wallpaper and instead doing hand decoupage on the walls to make murals of the bird habitats. “We now share this incredible working adventure, bringing the Borland House back to her deserved glory,” Frumes says.

COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House
Frumes’s work adventures weren’t always in the food industry––she worked for the Peace Corps in Ukraine, studied spiders in French Polynesia, and dug for dinosaurs in Montana––but throughout the twists and turns in her career, she cooked on the side. Frumes’ undergraduate college years were spent doing scientific research while baking professionally, and when she went to graduate school for international affairs in New York City, she worked as a private chef for diplomats at the United Nations. “It was one of those things I never recognized I was doing as a profession, since I was 18 years old,” she reflects. “I never gave into the love that I had for it, and the business knowledge.”
COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House

After realizing that she didn’t want to pursue her graduate studies professionally, she made the decision to become a chef full-time and go to cooking school in France. By that time, Frumes had the industry knowledge and experience that she needed. Prior to purchasing the Borland House, she was a senior culinary instructor and recipe designer for the kitchen store Sur La Table and had worked with Nathan Myhrvold, the principal author of revolutionary cookbook collection Modernist Cuisine.

Frumes’s current career is more than enough excitement for now. As both owner and chef of the Borland House, she enjoys wearing both hats, but the restaurant industry was hit hard by the pandemic, and she is short staffed. She manages the business on days when the restaurant isn’t open, leaving her without a true respite from work.

COURTESY OF BORLAND HOUSE
  • Courtesy of Borland House

Much remains to be done––in the works for the Borland House are Audubon Society bird talks, summer picnics, outdoor film series, and game nights of backgammon, chess, and mahjong. Seated in the center of Montgomery, the Borland House has the potential to become a community gathering place, grounded in the food, environment, and culture of the Hudson Valley.


The Borland House Inn & Restaurant

130 Clinton Street, Montgomery, NY 12549

Borlandhouse.com

(845) 457-1513

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