Eat Here Now: Hudson Valley’s Restaurant Scene
New York’s Hudson Valley has officially emerged as a go-to travel destination for discerning gourmands and oenophiles, and rightfully so. It’s blessed with fertile soils and the precise climate necessary for producing juicy wine grapes, creating the ideal stomping ground for chefs, farmers, growers, vintners, and makers of fine food products to coalesce and form a juggernaut of freshness. The farm-to-table philosophy resonates throughout the community like a battle cry against the system that brought the world modern fast food, transforming the territory into a haven for many a burnt-out city chef looking to revitalize creativity (and career) by reconnecting with the purity of nature.
To celebrate the late-fall harvest, the region’s best restaurants and supporting businesses are collaborating to bring diners Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. The most esteemed eating establishments in seven counties (spanning 114 miles from north to south, and including one spot in nearby Connecticut) will be offering multicourse lunches and dinners at jaw-droppingly low prices — perfect for people who want to experience as many remarkable meals as possible without breaking the bank.
Running from Nov. 4 through Nov. 17, Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) is the brainchild of Janet Crawshaw and Jerry Novesky, co-owners of The Valley Table, a quarterly publication that highlights the agriculture, products, and cuisine of the region. Crawshaw and Novesky kick-started the culinary movement here by launching their praised publication in 1998 after being inspired by Chefs Collaborative, a collection of sustainable and local food evangelists. Then, to really rocket their scene into statewide (if not international) stardom, they organized the inaugural HVRW in 2006 to entice diners to dabble in an extensive array of the area’s offerings.
What began with 70 participating eateries now features just less than 160, with Westchester County leading the way with 87 establishments in the mix, followed by Dutchess with 28, Rockland with 17, Putnam with 10, Orange with nine, Ulster with six, and Columbia and the state of Connecticut each having one. During the promotion, lunch runs for $20.95 and dinner is $29.95, each including three courses. Supplying these venerable venues with top-notch produce, meats, cheeses, wine, and spirits are some of the state’s most notable suppliers renowned for attention to detail and quality.