My fiance and I needed a weekend away from the city and spent the last weekend in Kingston, with a visit to Saugerties and Red Hook. Here's a quick rundown of what we ate:
Friday night dinner - Elephant Wine Bar (Kingston)
This place is great...terrific atmosphere and a small but well edited selection of dishes. Had a bottle of Rioja, and started off first with the potatoes/spicy chorizo/soft egg and chicken livers on toast. Their chorizo is really really good. That dish also feels like a perfect brunch dish which made it kind of like having breakfast for dinner. The chicken livers had a nice richness to it but I felt like the caramelized onions were a little overpowering - I like a little sweetness but I felt it was competing too much with the liver.
Then we had three more dishes - all specials - lamb skewers (very tender), roasted asparagus in romanesco sauce and the best dish of the night - shrimp and trotters soup. The soup was delicious - the broth was rich and salty and it was just amazing. In fact we liked it better than a lot of the soups we get in Flushing.
Knowing that Sonic had just opened, we had to check it out on the drive back to the hotel - it was packed. There were staging areas. So alas we did not get a late night order of tater tots.
Saturday breakfast - Dominick's Cafe at Dream Weavers (Kingston)
This was more of a functional breakfast. We were total interlopers and ran in the Trolley Museum 5K and wanted a quick breakfast afterwards so that we could save room for lunch. Each had two eggs over medium with rye toast. Nothing earth shattering but a nice basic breakfast.
On our way back to the car, we stopped in Fleisher's and admired the meats and wished we brought a cooler with us.
Saturday lunch - Miss Lucy's Kitchen (Saugerties)
This place is really cute, though we couldn't figure out why at 1:30pm on Saturday it was pretty empty. Fiance had the burger which was very tasty and I had the grilled ham and cheese. Loved the coleslaw and fries. And really appreciated that they only charge $1.50 for a lemonade!
After lunch we wandered around and found the Hudson Baking Company (is that the right name?) - the molasses cookies are wonderful, so was the linzer. Cute place.
Saturday dinner - Mercato (Red Hook)
We LOVE this place. The food is amazing. Originally they seated us in the back room which felt a little isolated so we asked nicely to be moved and was able to get a table in the main dining room which was noisy and fun. I can't remember the name of the wine, only that it was a ruche. We started with the chopped kale salad (delicious) and then moved on to the mushrooms and polenta (very good just needed a bit more salt). Then we shared the bucatini carbonara which was fantastic and then had the roasted chicken - so good. We shared the tiramisu which was good though felt a tad too sweet, though I really appreciated the small bits of chocolate dusting the top rather than cocoa powder.
What we really appreciated with the service was that each dish was served one at a time which allowed us to focus on one thing at a time - we hadn't requested it, but it was served this way and it made the meal even more enjoyable. We can't wait to go back.
Sunday breakfast - Kings Valley Diner (Kingston)
This was a second choice decision - the original place we wanted to eat at was a small cafe around the corner from Dunkin Donuts not too far from Elephant - can't remember the name - but we discovered that it was closed on Sundays! I remember seeing something about Kings Valley when I researched the trip so we ended up there. It was fine, but I think we were just a little let down since we didn't plan well for the other place.
All in all we had a great weekend trip...on the way back we stopped at Blue Hills at Stone Barns which was really crowded but we liked the sandwiches we had (egg salad and baloney).