On a swing through Newburgh yesterday, we visited a couple of places worth noting. First, for the uninitiated, Newburgh is right on the Hudson River's west shore, with what I've read is the widest main drag -- that would be Broadway (turns into Rt. 17 K as you head west out of the city) -- in the US. Apparently, it evolved this way because farmers used to herd their livestock towards the river, moving up Broadway to waiting ships, thus the need for lots of elbow room. Once a very fashionable place, with many grand historic homes that still remain, over the past 40 years or more the city has been perennially waiting for revival. Over the past 5-8 years, it seems, this is finally, very slowly, starting to happen.
The chow: along Broadway, there are many interesting-looking possibilities, only a few of which I've tried so far. One Peruvian restaurant, several small Mexican, one Greek, the usual pizza joints, a few bakeries, one or two upscale Italian, Mexican groceries... this is only a partial list. (Note: the Cherry Tree pastry shop, formerly opposite Washington's Headquarters historic site, has closed, but the owner is now baking at Owen Murphy Inn in Goshen -- the same absolutely excellent cakes, though alas, slices are no longer available to go.)
Hudson Valley Coffee Roasters: fresh roasted coffee beans, and a restaurant, done up in the exposed brick/wooden beams mode, in a long brick building on Broadway a mile or two from the river. The best coffee I've found anywhere around here. (I've not tried the food yet.) They have some organic coffee beans, which are described on their website, hudsonvalleyroasters.com.
The Black Rooster: Down on Water Street, along the waterfront, there's now a nice stretch of brand-new walking promenade in front of 5-6 new restaurants, the most obvious sign of the city's commercial revival. Some are fairly pricey (for me...), and I can't report on the food at all of them (though the Torches has a dramatic, wall-length aquarium by the bar that's worth at least a walk-in visit)... BUT, after three visits, I can definitely recommend The Black Rooster.
This place offers pasta dishes in the $11-15 range, main dishes $15-20, and a really great ambience. Whether on the outdoor deck, or indoors, you're right on the water. Last night, I made a light meal of the crispy, crab cake appetizer ($10), made with real crab, and served on a bed of really good, fresh and spicy baby greens. Baguette and very good olive oil for dipping were served, the service was attentive, and the decor and acoustics appealing. I even noticed that the needs of non-smokers seem to have been actually thought about in advance: people were smoking at the bar, yet I detected virtually no smell at our table only 20 feet away -- the miracle of intelligent airflow design.
So if you're passing through, think about stopping in Newburgh. For my part, I'll be sampling other places, reporting back to y'all, and hoping that our collective interest in good eating will support the city's ongoing rebirth.