28th Annual Best Of Hudson Valley Winners Announced

A word from Hudson Valley Executive Editor, Olivia J. Abel

This is our 28th annual Best of Hudson Valley issue.

Yep, for more than a quarter of a century, Hudson Valley magazine has been highlighting the very best in dining, shopping, spas, people, places, and things that make the region such a one-of-a-kind place to live and visit. And just like any other 28-year-old, the Best of Hudson Valley (BOHV) franchise is in its prime. In fact, we’re pretty sure that this year’s coverage is smarter, sexier, and more comprehensive than ever before.       

Of course, we have a lot of great material to work with. If you haven’t heard, the Hudson Valley is booming. It seems that every month or so, some prominent national (or even international) publication heralds the Hudson Valley as the new hot spot.

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Naturally, we couldn’t agree more. We’ve got it all, folks: stunning scenery, a world-class dining scene, important historical sites, a thriving arts community, unparalleled outdoor opportunities, and easy proximity to one of the greatest cities in the world. 

So how do we go about identifying the very best? It’s a two-part process. First, we select our editors’ picks; there are 86 of them this year. We are often asked how this works, and if we can guarantee that a business or person is truly the best. The answer is no — there are no guarantees. But we are out there tasting, testing, and trying new things all year long, so I’m confident that our list truly represents the cream of the crop in the Hudson Valley in 2014.

Next, our readers vote via an online ballot. If you missed out this year, get ready for 2015: The ballot goes online at the end of February and stays up for almost two months. Once again, this year’s response was completely overwhelming. Thousands of you gave us your take on everything from the best beer selection (the Hop in Beacon) to the best French restaurant (Poughkeepsie’s Brasserie 292) to the best singles scene (La Puerta Azul in Salt Point. Who knew?).

Each year, there are a lot of old favorites, as well as some big shake-ups, and even a couple of ties. Elephant in Kingston and Tomáš Tapas in Hopewell Junction have spent the last couple of years battling to take home the best tapas crown; this year, they ended up in a dead heat. A Tavola in New Paltz — one of our best new restaurants of 2011 — snagged two reader wins this year: best Ulster County restaurant and best pasta. If you haven’t been, what on earth are you waiting for? There was a tie for best sandwich this year. Rossi & Sons, the old-world Italian deli perfectly situated on a cobblestone corner in the Italian section of Poughkeepsie, was one of the winners. No surprise there; a visit to this unique establishment is like a quick trip to Rome. (A friend once told me that I practically whimper when I discuss their chicken cutlet sandwiches.) But the other winner? Joe Beez Famous Sandwiches in Kingston. It’s this eatery’s first time ever on the BOHV list, and we can’t wait to check it out ourselves. 

One of the best ways to find out if you agree or disagree with our picks is to come to the Best of Hudson Valley Party on Thursday, October 9 at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. Here, for one price, you can meet many of our wonderful winners and drink some local wine, beer (or whiskey), chow down on some incredibly good food, sample some spa stuff, and dance the night away, if you so desire. See you there.

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Olivia J. Abel
Executive Editor

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