October 3, 2021

Our 3rd visit this year, this time with my brother. We ordered the cycle - every dish on the menu (and 2 of a few we knew we'd want more of). It was interesting getting the full view of their menu all at once.

Standouts were our favorite gem salad and definitely that burger! "May be the best burger I have ever eaten" raved my brother. And he's right. The burrata dish was vastly improved, swapping the apricot for squash puree and the prosciutto for speck. It made that dish a winner. The crudo was also improved with tuna (not hamachi). The cheese plate at the end of the meal would not be a typical order, but having had it, it will be from here forward. The (local) cheese was incredible and the accoutrements were stellar.

Supply chain and staff shortage issues provided huge disappointments though. The steak was mediocre at best. How does a place like this, cooking on fire, not have a killer steak?? The duck, while still excellent, was served cold (both plates - we ordered 2 of them). And they didn't have the fries we fell in love with last time. The replacements were McDonald's knock-offs. Perhaps fine had we not had the other ones.

This restaurant continues to be our favorite in the area. We'll now know where to zero in on the menu on return visits. Continues to be highly recommended.

 

Haricot verts. Better than last time, but still just "good".
This replaced the apricot dish from last time. Summer squash replaced the apricots. Speck replaced proscuitto. Burrata. This dish was far improved and was truly excellent.
Shoshito peppers. As last time. Missing..."something".
Tuna crudo (replaced the hamachi). Better with the tuna, and the quality of the fish was outstanding.
My salad. MY salad. My favorite salad. Still incredible. "I want to make love to it" claimed our dining partner.
Kale Caesar. Terrific in its own right, but doesn't hold a candle to the gem salad.
Duck. With grapes again. Just as good, except both dishes (we ordered 2 of these) - the duck was room temperature. And the grapes were seeded, making them too difficult to truly enjoy.
This burger was incredible. "May be the best burger I have ever had" declared my brother. Unfortunately, the fries were not the same as before. The waitress indicated they had trouble getting them. Too bad. We were really looking forward to those!
Half chicken, salsa verde, red cress. This was delicious. Cooked well. Wonderfully seasoned. I wanted to keep eating it, but was confused. It was also missing...something. I'm still not sure what.
The steak. Worse dish of the night. How does a place that cooks with fire not deliver a good steak??
Steelhead trout. Cooked a LITTLE over, but still a solid dish.
PEI Mussels, chorizo, tomato, garlic, herbs chili. This was a stand-out. Mussels were cooked perfectly, really nice soft heat in the broth.
Rice pudding, as last time. Everyone loved it. Even those of us who didn't ever like rice pudding before.
Chocolate mousse.
The cheese platter, with honeycomb, almonds and sourdough. SO good. That (local) cheese was outstanding. Texture like brie but packed a huge pungent punch, like bleu.
September 16, 2021

Our first return visit, Teresa's choice for her birthday. A few things improved, including the overall atmosphere. The region has clearly discovered this place and there were lots of friendly and happy faces enjoying themselves in this incredible space. The biggest standout from last time (that salad!) was just as outstanding. The duck was almost as good. And an introduction to their burger was a true surprise - clearly plenty of thought went into it.

A few misses for me though. The haricot verts were just "fine" and the roasted apricots missed the mark.

That said, it's still one of the very best restaurants in our (larger) region and highly recommended. I'll be back in a few weeks with my brother and we will be "ordering the cycle" (asking for 1 of every dish on the menu). Stay tuned.  :)

Haricots verts, cinnamon-yogurt dressing, crispy shallots. Tasted "fine" to me but Teresa and her son loved them.
Little gem salad, buttermilk ranch, radish, bacon, fresh dill and flat leaf parsley. Once again, one of the best salads I have ever had.
Roasted apricots, lioni burrata, prosciutto, thyme. Kind of a miss. Prosciutto was amazing, but the roasted apricots should have been far sweeter and more carmelized than they were, which threw the balance of the dish off.
Burger and fries. NOT an afterthought. Fries were incredible and the burger looked amazing. Teresa's son wolfed it down, saying it was the best burger plate he had ever had.
Cedar-planked steelhead trout, currant-pine nut relish. Teresa got this dish again and once again loved it. Fish was cooked perfectly.
I had to get the duck again as well, served with grapes (in season) instead of cherries. The grapes were terrific, but the cherries were better. Duck was slightly overcooked but still incredible.
Chocolate mousse. Very deep cocoa flavor.
Rice pudding - arborio rice, buttermilk, fruit compotes. This was outstanding.
June 27, 2021

This restaurant was a total shock. I read about it in a NY Times article about chefs having left New York City during COVID and never returned. Chef Dan Silverman (from Balthazar and Minetta Tavern) did exactly that, right here in Kingston. 

The restaurant focuses on fire and open flame. The setting is tremendous - an open pavilion set on the banks of the Hudson River in an abandoned brickyard. Iron towers of broken bricks and large piles of firewood tell you everything you need to know about what this place is all about.

But the food! Let me tell you. It was stellar. Visually stunning. Well crafted. And absolutely delicious. Unbelievable to find this quality of food in this region.

While the duck was from Long Island (as we sit in the Hudson Valley...?), the dish was masterful. I almost ordered a 2nd one. The salad was alive with flavor. And the panna cotta (which our friendly waitress promised was worth it) was sublime.

This place is a breath of fresh air. Literally.  :)  I greatly looking forward to returning.

Fluke crudo, grapefruit, oregano, cumin
Gem salad, farro, bacon, buttermilk ranch. This salad was insanely good.
Asparagus, ricotta, farm egg
Shoshito peppers
Cedar planked steelhead trout, currant pine nut relish
Duck breast, wood fired cherries. Best duck I've ever had, and the cherries were unreal. Killer dish. I almost ordered a 2nd one.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta, blueberry compote, cinnamon/sugar/gingerbread

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