Sorry for the delay, been super-busy!
Sorry for the delay, been super-busy!
Many people I’ve spoken to haven’t tried the Culinary yet… and there is no reason not too. Too many people have told me that the CIA was too expensive- but wait! Have you tried the Apple Pie Bakery Cafe? No? Well, why not?
The menu is seasonal and changes monthly, and the prices are amazing for the quality of food you are receiving. For about 14 dollars over the summer, I had a Blueberry Granita (light and refreshing), Fried Goat Cheese Salad (my favorite,) and a dessert. The goat cheese salad is by far the best salad I have ever eaten in my entire life. And I’m not exaggerating, not one bit. When they took it off the menu for the summer I really did cry a little.
Honestly when the cost is so reasonable and the food is so high quality, how can you resist running over to the CIA for a quick bite to eat? They have everything from Chinese Pork Buns to Tiramisu, and each bite is like an opera on your palate.
Must try: The Daily Granita
Nestled in the heart of Rhinebeck, Arielle boasts a menu full of variety and bursting with exciting flavors.
After staring at the menu trying to decide what entree was going to be the one, i settled upon the steak sandwich. Figuring I wanted something with protein (cause I sure as hell am not getting enough with all the carbs I eat) and something that I haven’t had in a while. It was paired with rosemary steak-frites and three amazing dipping sauces. A strong mustard, a homemade ketchup, and an amazing garlic aioli sauce.
The house-made ketchup has more flavor than can ever be imagine. Subtle hints of chipotle, paprika, and sweet tomatoes danced on each of my taste buds. The garlic aioli was also wonderful: paired with warm fries the buttery dip was quite perfectly paired. The steak was tender and flavorful and with every crunch of the sandwich I could help but exclaim how amazing it was.
Dave had the duck paired with a rhubarb compote. Another great choice, the sweetness is something I’d never think of, especially with something I once thought of as gamey. But the duck was cooked perfectly, again tender and flavorful.
Must eat: The bread that they serve while you wait: fresh from the oven it will leave you wanting more oil to dip it in.
All in all, another wonderful adventure. The bucket list continues for this upcoming semester.
Another place we stopped in the city was POP Burger. A sleek burger place that served up the BEST FRIES I HAVE EVER EATEN. There burgers were of the slider variety and the buns homemade. And of course, they had shakes as well.
After grabbing these tasty little guys to go, we headed to Central Park to grab a seat by the Pond for an afternoon of people watching. Ordering was a bit crazy, he had no clue where we were or what we were getting which had annoyed the server but anyway that’s New York for you. Also the prices were astronomical, but again… it is New York.
Either way these fries were well worth it. They were coated in some sort of batter or something and were extra crunchy, only slightly greasy, and crispy and hot even once we got to the park.
For Spring Break this year instead of going to sunny Cancun, Dave and I ventured into New York City and stayed at the W for a few nights. (Let me tell you – their beds are amazing. I slept better there than I do at home!) Our adventures mainly revolved around food but were rather low key: sitting by the Pond in the Park, relaxing on the steps of the MET, and people watching everywhere from Times Square, Bryant Park and 5th Ave.
On our last night there we had reservations at the W’s Restaurant, The Blue Fin. It truly lives up to all the expectations I had about both the W and what to expect from a quality NYC restaurant. Let me tell you, I’m much pickier than I seem. Meat for me has to be prefect or else I won’t enjoy it. So being the best piece of Filet Mignon I have ever eaten, is a big task (Both because I am hard to please and I’ve had a lot of great meat before.)
So tender was the filet mignon that with no effort what-so-ever I cut that baby up and ate it like a pro. I ignored the fact that their were onion rings on my plate (one of my favorite snack foods) and forged ahead to eat every last bit of beef knowing onion rings would only slow me down. The Filet was also Parmesan Crusted, and each tasty bite was savory and crunchy. Served on the side was a Creamed Spinach that must have been made for the gods. What a treat!
Did I mention yet that they also had a live jazz band? And that the service was great? Really I wish I could go back now, just for one bite of anything.
I ate so much that night my pants no longer fit when we left. (Before the heavenly Filet we also had amazingly fresh Tuna Tartare and after we shared the S’mores Cake.) After heading back up the room all we could do was lay in bed and think about how great our meals were.
Blue Fin is worth the parking or public transportation. It is worth the amount of money you have to fork over. It is worth any thing you have to do to get there and try it.
Okay – So I’m back after a short hiatus of eating crappy food. But recently I went to a beautiful dinner over at the Saddle River Inn in Saddle River. A quiet and intimate restaurant, the service was impeccable and the food was well prepared and interesting.
My boyfriend, Dave and I started off the night with the Goat Cheese Crisp and the Wild Mushroom Soup. The soup was both creamy and full of flavor, and from my previous posts you know I love mushrooms. The goat cheese crisp consisted of a phyllo wrapped piece of creamy warm goat cheese served over a bed of baby greens and it was really something special. I wish I had pictures but the atmosphere is so serene I had left my phone in the car.
Main courses were again quite the treat. I had a Filet of Steak with Béarnaise Sauce and a Chestnut Puree (which was surprisingly perfectly paired with the steak) covered with a port-wine sauce and potato gratin. All were succulent and worked very well together. The chestnut puree was something I had never tried before but was delicious and worked so well with the rest of the dish.
Dave, being the adventurous one, tried a special of the night- Wild Boar Roast and Ribs. The dish was done perfectly, not game at all and was paired with a great Porcini Mushroom sauce. (Again – I love mushrooms.)
We finished up the night with a Dessert Trio: chocolate Creme Brulee, Hazelnut Mousse Cake, and a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The perfect ending for a great night. I would suggest Saddle River Inn again to a sophisticated foodie, and remember to BYOB. Reservations were required and a more formal attire as well.
Bored on a Saturday, I set out on an adventure for some great Thai cuisine- having heard that Lemongrass, in New Paltz, is the place to go. My boyfriend, Dave, and I picked up my friend Erika, who was the one who had raved about the place, and headed over the bridge into New Paltz, passing by more fun and interesting places to visit in one place than we had the time for.
We arrived at Lemongrass for a late lunch. The most pleasant aroma seeped through the doorway, and immediately I was excited for the meal to come. We sat down, ordered three Thai Ice Teas and a Thai Beer and looked at the menu. I choose Pad See Awe for my main course, having had it once at a fusion restaurant in my hometown. I also decided to exchange a little of my meal for Erika’s Pad Thai to try both tastes. Dave, being as adventurous as ever, tried a Crispy Duck Dish with deep fried Basil on the side.
The wait wasn’t too bad (although while we were waiting the people sitting near us were talking rather loud and obnoxiously), and the booths were intimate and comfortable. The Thai Teas were out of this world, extremely rich with flavor. But that was just the start. Once our meals came out I was in heaven- hints of basil and soy danced around my palate, and before I knew it I had engulfed my meal and went on to start taking down Dave’s leftovers.
Now, I’m not a duck person, but this was crispy and delicious- not gamey at all. The fried basil leaves were light and almost melted on your tongue, a perfect accent to the duck. After scarfing down Dave’s meal, I was thoroughly full, but still craved more of Lemongrass’s meals- however had enough restraint to hold back on dessert, seeing how ti was only lunch.
Lemongrass, in New Paltz is definitely worth the trip over the bridge. I suggest you hop in the car and get over their as soon as possible- because this is one place you simply can’t miss.