GARDEN HOUSE 12472
by Anne Pyburn Craig photos by Matt Petricone
The Big Cheese has long been a major star in Rosendale’s foodie firmament. They call it one of the best little venues around, and they don’t lie. The mix includes fine cheeses from around the world, Mediterranean foods, fresh salads, deli, groceries, Kombuchas, chocolates, coffee, WiFi, vintage clothes, books and housewares. The vibe is low-key, warm, and friendly; the smells are ambrosial; and the funky décor drew director Bruce Beresford to set a key scene in his Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding at a café table there.
Rosendalians know a good thing when they’ve got one and have been among the many flocking to the Big Cheese for years. And it was with great rejoicing that the community learned that the minds behind the Big Cheese, Yuval and Lisa Sterer, were opening another spot.
The Garden House 12472 keeps to the high standards of exotic, lovingly prepared fare using fresh local ingredients. It also adds a few elements that there wasn’t enough room for down at the Big Cheese.
A GARDEN FOR OUTDOOR DINING. A BIG WOOD-FIRED PIZZA OVEN. A BAR AT WHICH TO SIP CRAFT BEER AND FINE WINE. A GREAT BIG PORCH TO SIT ON THAT DOUBLES AS A STAGE.
The cuisine is Arabic, Mediterranean, and Israeli, a blend the owners call “world comfort food.” The menu features kabobs, grilled seafood, and lots of outstanding veggie and gluten-free dishes. Chef Naheda polished her chops at the Dubai Hilton; there may be another place somewhere where you can order kofta kabobs, but they’re probably not like hers.
Evenings, the garden rocks with the sounds of local dance-till-you-drop favorites like Big Joe Fitz and a classic Mother’s Day Pub Sing. The location, steps away from the Rosendale Theatre and the Creative Co-op, is the perfect place to linger and enjoy the best of Rosendale on a fine summer evening.
And guests are thrilled. “This restaurant deserves an exceptional rating,” writes a satisfied customer from Stone Ridge on Yelp. “If there were more stars, I would give them. The pizza is extraordinary, especially the fig, honey, thyme, and goat cheese with thin crust baked in an outdoor wood-fired oven, made to drive the taste buds to certain ecstasy. This was followed by a range of Middle Eastern desserts, exotic and absolutely heaven to the palate.” In a region where the bar is high for restaurant startups, the Garden House has leapt straight over it and raised it a notch.
THE VIBE IS LOW-KEY, WARM, AND FRIENDLY. THE SMELLS ARE AMBROSIAL.
“What a great idea,” enthuses another guest, “a wood fired oven in your front yard! I keep meaning to put one in my yard but I won’t have to! Great food. We’ll be back.”
THE GARDEN HOUSE KEEPS TO THE HIGH STANDARDS OF EXOTIC, LOVINGLY PREPARED FARE USING FRESH LOCAL INGREDIENTS
So come for a pre-movie dinner or an after- movie drink, a long lazy lunch on the porch, or a night out. Come for pizza-and-beer Wednesdays. Come soak up the clever friendliness that is Rosendale, and dine as if you were a visiting prince in Dubai, except that Rosendale is a whole lot more affordable and easier to reach.
Garden House 12472
4 Hardenburgh Lane, Rosendale