When people rave about the dining scene in New York, it’s easy to assume they mean New York City. What a mistake it is, though, to ignore the culinary treasures thriving outside the five boroughs. Just a stone’s throw from the city are smaller towns with equally exciting dining options, most often farm-to-table restaurants that have set the standard for fresh and local menus. If you’re heading upstate, be sure to check out these restaurants that are sourcing many of their ingredients from their own backyards.Read More
Where to Eat Farm-to-Table on Your Upstate Getaway
1. The Mouzon House
Mouzon House’s long history is a compelling story, including tales of the local Saratoga Springs community coming together to protect the original 1883 structure from destruction in the 1970s. The decor in the restaurant now is consistent with the 1880s era of its conception, but the menu has a modern farm-to-table appeal. Mouzon House sources much of its meat, dairy, and vegetables from local farms. Enjoy a neighborhood favorite like the crawfish beignets, or the mushroom risotto.
2. One Caroline
Also located in Saratoga Springs, One Caroline calls itself a modern comfort food restaurant, with a menu that changes seasonally. With its dimly-lit tavern feel and live music every night, you’ll come for the ambience and stay for the crispy brussel sprouts and the Saratoga Chips: fresh chips, smoked bleu cheese sauce, and pulled barbecue chicken.
3. Wm. Farmer & Sons
The dining room at Wm. Farmer & Sons is chalk-full of copper and comfort. Sit in a booth or grab a seat at the bar to order small bites, like the rabbit pâté, or something more filling, like the Farmer’s Chicken Thigh Pie. For a local twist on the traditional, try the Cast Iron Bar Burger, topped with butter-baked onions and tomato relish.
4. Fish & Game
Zak Pelaccio, the chef and owner of the Hudson Valley restaurant, was the 2016 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef in the Northeast. Fish & Game has also been named a top wine restaurant by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. If the awards don’t persuade you, then maybe the menu itself will. The menu changes frequently, but ingredients are always fresh from the Hudson Valley. Recent menus include shared plates like young kale with ramp kimchi, or rice noodles with turmeric and fish ragu.
5. Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions
Mona Talbott, executive chef at Talbott and Arding, got her initial culinary experience working as the camp cook in remote logging camps in her native Canada. She went on to refine her culinary skills at Chez Panisse and through collaborations with Alice Waters. Talbott focuses on offering a well-rounded selection of provisions, with a menu that changes daily. Stop by for lunch and try the artichoke and kale lasagna, or the rhubarb galette.
6. The Spotty Dog Books & Ale
For local craft beers and bar snacks with plenty of Hudson charm, head to Spotty Dogs, where you’ll find a combination bar and bookstore. Grab a New York-brewed Other Half IPA or an Evans Pump Station Pale Ale (or whatever strikes your fancy on tap — the draught list rotates often), and a wedge of Hudson Valley Camembert before browsing novels and nonfiction at your leisure.
7. Hudson Food Studio
Hudson Food Studio features a (mostly) Vietnamese-inspired menu with ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. Start with steamed buns — with Berkshire pork belly inside — and then move on to the pho or the ramen, which is made with alkaline noodles.
8. Westwind Orchard
Nestled in New York’s Hudson River Valley in the town of Accord, Westwind Orchard offers visitors views of the Catskill landscape, as well as cider made onsite and wood-fired pizzas made from a family recipe. The orchard has a “pick your own” option for apples (as well as pears and raspberries, depending on the season) and a well-stocked farm store for you to take cider and other goodies home with you.
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9. Henry's at the Farm
Henry’s at the Farm is the restaurant connected to the Buttermilk Falls Inn, which is set on a 75-acre Hudson River estate. Whether or not you stay the night, you can still enjoy cheese, meats, and poultry from nearby farms such as Coach Farm, Taliaferro Farms, John Fazio Farms and Hepworth Farm at Henry’s. In fact, Henry’s takes farm-to-table one step further than most restaurants, by sourcing the majority of its ingredients from its 40-acre farm onsite. You can even view the kitchen garden and peep at the rescued livestock (including llamas and donkeys) at the Millstone Farm before your meal.
10. Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns is climbing the list of best restaurants in the world, making it a true culinary destination upstate. The tasting menu is a splurge, but the restaurant is widely considered a pioneer in the upscale farm-to-table food movement. If the “Grazing, Pecking, Rooting” pairing menu is more than you can commit to, try a farm-fresh salad, savory vegetable yogurt, or latte from the more laidback cafe onsite.