Editor’s Note

Of Bistros and Birthdays

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I tend to ignore my birthday. Presents don’t excite me that much (although I will graciously accept if any of you feel compelled to buy me the latest Mustang convertible). And while I know that aging is inevitable, I see little reason to indulge in a whole lot of hoopla each year.

But there is one exception.  

In our house, the birthday dinner has taken on an ever-growing significance. I was born in June, my husband in December. So twice a year, we set out to find the perfect celebratory restaurant. These are the basics: I plan his dinner, he plans mine, and the choice remains top secret until the moment you are led through the restaurant door.

A lot of plotting and planning goes on before the big day. We read magazines,  check out Web sites, and consult with friends and foodies. 

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These dinners are always memorable. Their success is marked not by how much money is spent (although we may indulge a bit more than usual), but in the amount of creative planning that takes place. We’ve dined on boats, in historic homes, at storied steak houses and ultra-mod sushi dens. As an added bonus, we’ve instituted a pre-dinner cocktail stop. This way, we get to experience another place — sometimes  one we’ve heard about our entire lives. I especially remember the snowy night I took my husband to the bar at the Russian Tea Room. (There is something about that Russian vodka.) I earned extra kudos because he had recently been reading up on Russian history. 

When we moved to Beacon from Brooklyn almost two years ago, we both feared that our cherished birthday tradition would suffer. No way. The Hudson Valley restaurant scene has never been hotter, with world-class chefs bringing dynamic cuisine to all corners of the region.

We’ve already established several favorites — those eateries we delight in returning to on a regular basis and those that are reserved for special occasions. I hope that our article, “The Best New Restaurants,” will not only inform you about the intriguing crop of restaurants that have opened in the last few years, but will inspire you to create some delicious memories of your own.

Happy eats.


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Olivia J. Abel

Editor in chief


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