Eating. We all do it.
In fact, most of us do it morning, noon, and night. This is no small part of our lives.
There is the buying of ingredients, the preparation, the cooking, the plating, the ingesting … and then, my least favorite part of the entire process—cleaning it all up. This amazing feat is expected to happen again and again and again for survival and for a good life. Well, here in the Hudson Valley you are fortunate—your life can be a bit easier by making the many restaurants in the valley a part of your eating routine. In fact, Hudson Valley restaurants can transform your eating routine into a delightful experience that even makes one appreciate having such an insatiable biological requirement. When done right, eating is irresistibly delicious!
Here in the Hudson Valley, you can travel the world through your taste buds. The variety of cuisines our regional restaurants offer is amazing. Can’t afford an international getaway? Well, a trip to New Paltz may bring you to Japan or Turkey. Wish you could immerse yourself in another culture? Poughkeepsie may whisk you away to India or Ethiopia. When you visit Kingston, your palette may wind up in France or Thailand. Authentic Korean cuisine can be found right in Ellenville! Goodness gracious, the culinary world is at our fingertips here in the Hudson Valley.
Local food sources.
Another thing that separates the Hudson Valley from other restaurants is that so many restaurants here locally source foods. There is a great movement, and our little pastoral region is a leader in it. Quality local foods go right from our farms to our tables. Chefs throughout the region use local and organic products, including cheeses, grains, apples, vegetables, and meat, making the 100-mile diet actually feasible. And many of our restaurants tout what farm their food was sourced from, giving diners a true connection to their food sources. Here in the Hudson Valley, local farms are feeding an expansive gourmet culture, setting trends in America for the go-local food movement and supporting our local food economy, which is one of the characteristics that makes our communities so very special and unique.
Support your community.
When you eat out, your whole community gets to eat out too, meaning you are supporting the busser, the waitress, the hostess, the chefs, the dishwashers, the owners, the farmer and food distributors, the kitchen equipment business, and the real estate owner, as well as the maintenance worker and landscaper for the restaurant. The more you eat out, the more your entire community eats out. It’s a simple concept. So, tip generously.
Find the time.
Do you know anyone who isn’t busy? So, time is no excuse, people. The joy of eating out is how you get to spend your time. Not having to focus on the act of the food preparation allows for more time to focus on friends and family. It’s like life slows down in the restaurant. So, make the effort, because really, the time is already there for you.
Deepen your relationships.
What better way to connect to people than through food. In restaurants we take time to talk eye-to-eye. We share a moment out of our busy lives to satisfy all of our sensory desires with the smells from the kitchen, the flavors of the courses, the textures of the foods, the echoes of laughter and conversation, and the beautiful atmosphere — a feast for the senses! We also connect with friends and family in an intimate way. Dining out with someone you care about will leave you feeling contented, full and fortunate.
Know your chef.
Although our Hudson Valley community has so many amazing restaurants to offer, another great feature is that, in a matter of moments, our small community allows you to get to know your chef, or your waitress, or the owner. Adding to our home advantage, many local chefs are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park. Chefs learn culinary craft at the CIA and then develop their own sense of style with food. This creates a culture of exquisite restaurants in the Hudson Valley and has raised the bar for more educated diners and chefs. You can create a relationship with the place, the people, and the food at area restaurants. It can become your restaurant, your special spot. Soon, you’ll walk in, and everyone will shout, “Norm!” (if your name is Norm).
Take a moment to realize how fortunate we are.
Whether you are in the mood for fresh fish, organic vegetarian fare, gourmet Mexican, French, Italian, Japanese, Indian, or Mediterranean — the Valley has it all!