We've got our eye on The Amsterdam, a new Hudson Valley restaurant inside a circa-1800 Dutch colonial home in the heart of Rhinebeck. Led by chef Sara Lukasiewicz, the modern American restaurant draws on local vendors for the menu of reimagined classics. Having first moved to the area to attend the Culinary Institute of America, then later to cook at Red Devon in Bangall, Lukasiewicz is what you might consider an expert on the area's bountiful food scene. We asked for a list of her go-to spots, including a full rundown of the best vendors at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market.
6380 Mill St., Rhinebeck; +1-845-516-5033
My new home (because I will do everything but sleep there) is located in the center of Rhinebeck, which means you can explore the town before or after dinner and really make a night of it. Our vision is for the restaurant to be the best version of a Hudson Valley neighborhood joint, but taken up a notch. The wine list has been carefully selected, cocktails are crafted at a high level, ingredients are sourced locally, and as much as possible is made in-house. Come summer, we plan on opening the backyard for drinks and food, which will be an incredible addition to Rhinebeck's dining scene. There's really no place in town where you can hang outside with friends while enjoying great charcuterie and wine. Come visit and say hi, I'll be there.
The Rhinebeck Farmers Market
61 E. Market St., Rhinebeck
Visiting the local farmers market is a must. Start at Raven and Boar for a snack — I head right for the cooked sausage on a stick. Check out the produce from local famers — Ironwood Farm, Migliorelli Farm, and Letterbox Farm Collective always have beautiful in-season vegetables. Local cheeses are available to purchase and taste from Chaseholm Farm, Sprout Creek Farm, and Lynnhaven, which also sells amazing goat meat. Be on the lookout for locally distilled spirits from Harvest Spirits Distillery and beer by From the Ground Brewery. Sky Farms has some of the best salad greens in Hudson Valley. And you can't leave without stopping by Aba’s Falafel for homemade falafel made with local ingredients — the line is usually long but worth the wait. I like to spend a couple of hours wandering around sampling the goods, then go home with everything I need to make a delicious meal plus an incredible appreciation for the people who made those ingredients possible.
6 Autumn Ln., Amenia; +1-845-373-9800
My go-to date night restaurant. Serge's menu is always fresh and fun. He uses local ingredients and incorporates his Armenian background into the menu.
10 Main St., Wassaic; +1-845-373-8389
Fun for wood-fired pizzas, wings, and burgers. Order at the counter, then chill out in the outdoor space, which is dog friendly — my Boston terriers are always welcome. There's a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and live music on the weekends. The bar reminds me of the bars in the Northwoods of Wisconsin that I used to visit with my family when I was a kid.
689 Schultzville Rd., Clinton Corners
A historic farm and original Dutchess County homestead from the 1790s. They have a roadside store where you can purchase produce harvested from the fields that day, in addition to lamb, pork, and chicken eggs. It's a beautiful drive and a gorgeous property, plus they grow some of the best tomatoes I've ever tasted.
3264 Franklin Ave., Millbrook; +1-845-605-1570
My local watering hole is a new space that just opened, serving Prohibition Era cocktails, great wine, and some really interesting small and large plates. My current favorite is the porchetta, braised until it is ultra tender (no knife required), served over polenta with a vibrant chimichurri. It's large enough to share, especially if you get a few small plates with it. The oyster selection is also pretty awesome: They have up to eight different varieties on offer.
38 John St., Kingston; +1-845-338-2816
When I'm in Kingston, it's usually for drinks at The Stockade Tavern, literally one of my favorite places to hang out, followed by tacos at Diegos Taqueria. The cauliflower taco (and the variations they make) are my favorite — the deep-fried veggie reminds me of my Midwestern upbringing, but the rest of it is pure taqueria-cabbage and crema. I could eat one every week. The barbacoa and al pastor tacos, along with the barbacoa torta, are also delicious. I always over-order because I want it all.
744 Broadway, Kingston; +1-845-853-8124
A great spot when you want a solid burger and fries. Go for the Hot Mess Fries: root beer-braised pulled pork, fresh cut French fries, melty cheese, fresh jalapenos, and Sriricha mayo. They also offer an excellent selection of beer on tap and by the bottle.
26 Wing Rd., Millbrook; +1-845-677-8383
Local distilleries and wineries are abundant in the Hudson Valley, but I recommend checking out Millbrook Winery, specifically for the estate-bottled wines. Taconic Distillery in nearby Stanfordville offers a tasting room experience with several different ryes and bourbons, along with snacks to hold you over until dinner.
Wm. Farmer and Sons
20 S. Front St., Hudson; +1-518-828-1635
Great drinks and a great vibe. Hang out at the bar or in the dining room, where the food is interesting and nicely prepared in a Southern-cuisine-meets-Hudson-Valley style.