Been reading the board sporadically for a couple years now, mostly for (great) Queens tips prior to forays to hometown Forest Hills to chow with sibs (and also to just read about food!). Ive been chownding northern Dutchess for 7 years and looks like your Tristate section could use a little meat, so here are a few that I havent seen mentions of:
Mogul Raj, Route 9 south of Rhinebeck: The tarka dal is something special, with a smokey nutty flavor that I cannot reproduce at home. Addictive. I want to buy it by the quart. Other than that, your basic Indian, but I love Indian so was happy when this opened a few years ago. Some say the chows oilywho cares? Lamb with mango pickle, gulab jamon also good. Others may have other menu faves I havent tried.
Minafras Deli, Route 9, Red Hook. Great Italian hard sausages, sopressata, etc. Tasty Italian subs. Also cheeses: Taleggio, Ricotta salata, Gorgonzola etc. kept very well. Strictly Italian. Shelves full of good pastas, anchovies, Limonatta, etc. About 6 little tables.
Diner food: Blondies, Market St., Rhinebeck: crowded at peak times but service is snappy, booths are comfortable, place is clean, and the grub is hot when you get it. Pretty cheap. Hub swears by their burger (okay if you like a thin burger, thoroughly cooked); Im a veggie pita fan. Dont veer from the basic diner chow, though. Once had a disastrous crab-stick on mushy pasta thingy that was a lesson in what not to get. Whoa.
La Mexicana, (owner from Zacatecas), W. Market, Red Hook. Under research. Will report. Looks awesome, smells great, nice people. Have bought dried chilies of many kinds, espazote, perfect avocados, great tortillas, Mex. cheeses, canned stuff, guava sodas, etc.
Taros, Main St. Millerton: Standard Italian, but for Millerton this is a good thing. A little chianti, chicken cacciatore, and youre fine.
Samuels, W. Market, Rhinebeck. Homemade chocolates. Almost as good as Leonides Belgian, though also as expensive.
J.B. Peel Coffee, Route 9, Red Hook. I go for the best loose tea by the pound in the county. Actually better than what we used to get in NYC at that place on Bleeker Street (which always gets coffee beans into the tea, driving the purist Hub nuts).
Editorial note: Reluctant to share my many negs because small town businesses are fragile. That said, I dont know where Zagat gets its reviews fromI find that list for the area woefully inaccurate and incomplete.