For over four decades, visitors to the enchanting hamlet of High Falls have been drawn in by the delicious food and creative ambiance of The Egg’s Nest. Three years ago, the iconic spot came under new ownership, and the magic still happens—even locals who were diehard fans of the restaurant’s earlier incarnation have come to love the way there’s always something new hatching at the Nest.
"We do our own take on Ecuadorian empanadas using grass-fed beef from Kinderhook Farm and we also make a vegan option."
“Early on, people did try to make comparisons,” says Eric Silver, who, with his wife Cristina, took over the reins of the popular hangout, hand-picked by longtime owner Richard Murphy as successors. “I reminded them that Richard’s Egg’s Nest was a 43-year progression, not a static object. We’ve uncovered panels of artwork that were from different phases. It’s been a great ride so far; a lot of people have come along and we’ve found a whole new audience as well.”
“One of the wonderful parts of the legacy,” says Cristina, “is how many people come here for special moments and milestones. We had a couple come in to celebrate the 30th anniversary of getting engaged here. Our hope is that people will keep making new memories like that—birthdays, anniversaries, graduations.”
The Silvers agree that High Falls continues to grow and develop as an eclectic town. “Just in the past two years, we talk to more and more people who are telecommuters, and watch weekenders as they stretch their upstate ‘weekends’ out until they’re up here from Thursday through Tuesday,” says Eric. “They mix with the locals and a natural molding and blending takes place.” The blending that gets done both socially and in the kitchen keeps people coming back to this charming hangout. Eric and Cristina have kept some longtime favorites on the menu, but the well-traveled creatives have added favorites of their own. “Our travels to Italy and love for classic Italian cuisine inspired us to start making housemade pasta,” says Cristina. “After
“We have a wonderful relationship with our farmers.... It’s a network of people all trying to find ways of living here that are viable for families and make the community a better place.”
"As High Fallonians ourselves, it matters a lot to continue to make a community place where people from all walks of life feel welcome and comfortable."
we spent time in Jamaica, we added Jamaican beef patties and jerk chicken to the menu. We do our own take on Ecuadorian empanadas using grass-fed beef from Kinderhook Farm and we also make a vegan option. And we’ve transformed basic nachos into psychedelic nachos with house-made guacamole and beet sour cream.”
You can still get a classic Egg’s Nest cheeseburger, but you can also get a Green Palate handcrafted vegan burger with oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds, celery, onions, and roasted chipotle aioli. And serving a wide-ranging breakfast menu till 3pm adds yet another dimension, as does the outdoor seating. “One guy spent five days in town and ate every meal here,” Cristina says. “People still come in and feel like they’re stumbling over a local secret, and I love that. It’s great when we hear, ‘What is this place and how did I not know about it?’”
There’s a genuine sense of destiny to this new era in the Center of the Universe, as neighbors and renowned restaurateurs Richard Murphy and John Novi christened the hamlet of High Falls when its star first rose in the firmament of culinary destinations. Eric is a Woodstock native and an actor. Cristina
Eric is a Woodstock native and an actor. Cristina (whose roots reach to Ecuador by way of New Jersey) is a visual artist, and the two are extremely comfortable whipping up Frida Bowls, an Egg’s Nest standby that Richard had called the Frida Kahlo Bowl and now carries a second meaning, since the couple’s poodle mix is named Frida, also after Kahlo.
And while growing the menu, they’re growing a family. Daughter Ruthie, not yet two, “loves to greet people,” say her parents, in what is clearly a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. “As High Fallonians ourselves, it matters a lot to continue to make a community place where people from all walks of life feel welcome and comfortable,” says Eric. “We have a wonderful relationship with our farmers and vendors, most of them in Ulster, Dutchess, and Columbia Counties. It’s a network of people all trying to find ways of living here that are viable for families and make the community a better place.
“We have ideas about expanding our connection to the arts. Collaborations are in the development stages—small things, for now, with artists and musicians and filmmakers,”
says Cristina. “And I keep getting approached by people who would love to get married here or host larger gatherings, so we’re thinking about that some.”
A few guests, the couple says, have remarked that the famously quirky restaurant feels a little “toned down,” which may ironically be the result of its being opened up, with more window space, old carpet replaced by wood floors, and refreshed lighting. Just as Richard Murphy loved nothing more than self-expression through hospitality, so, too, do the Silvers.
“It’s a community hub,” says Eric. “We always want to be the place where people can get the travel suggestions and the insider local knowledge. And we will always be doing something new; it can be tough to have room on the menu, because people do fall desperately in love with the old favorites, but there is so much to discover. And that’s just organic, that’s just who we are.”
The Egg’s Nest is in the process of expanding its hours and days of operation—be sure to check out their website for the most up-to-date information.
the egg’s nest
1300 Route 213, High Falls