4 Hudson Valley Restaurants Bring Their A-Game

Local eateries feature game-forward dishes like braised rabbit, elk medallions, and venison tartare this winter.


Brasserie 292

If you’re a fan of rabbit, you’re no doubt familiar with John Fazio Farms in Modena, which supplies the product to restaurants from Brooklyn to Milton, including this Poughkeepsie bistro. Try the Lapin au Vin with braised rabbit, capers, tomato, olives, fresh herbs, and white wine; or if you’re in the mood for poultry, try the seared duck breast with caramelized onion-red wine jam, chestnut, and foie gras. For a classic, opt for duck confit, rich and warm with bacon, fingerling potatoes, whipped acorn squash, cider glaze, and pickled butternut. Lucky diners may just get to try Brasserie’s elk sirloin, which pops up on the specials list from time to time.
Poughkeepsie — 292 Main St, 845.473.0292


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Cathryn’s Tuscan Grill

A Cold Spring fixture touted by locals and tourists alike, Cathryn’s is well known for its Northern Italian fare. Famously close to nature, Italian cuisine makes plentiful use of game like rabbit, Guinea hen, and duck, and you’ll find all three on the menu. The fresh pappardelle with pulled rabbit meat in a seedless grape grappa sauce is tantalizing, while sautéed Guinea hen stuffed with prosciutto, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and pistachio nuts keeps things down to earth with an eclectic local mushroom sauce. Cathryn’s also serves grilled venison from Broken Arrow Ranch, an innovative farming operation in Texas.
Cold Spring — 91 Main St, 845.265.5582


Fish & Game / Photo by Teresa Horgan


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Fish & Game

At Fish & Game, the goal is for the cuisine to capture the nuance of the Hudson Valley. As such, the menu, which changes regularly, consists of items like braised rabbit or venison tartare from Highland Farm. The latter is dressed with sunflower oil, Lady Jayne’s Alchemy vinegar, fish sauce, and shallots, topped with fried La Ratte potatoes, a spritz of vinegar, then dusted with a mix of dried nori and kombu, and garnished with chervil. Chef Tony Scotto explains the concept behind the dish: “The deer walk down the hills to the river to meet the seaweed. On their way, they eat sunflowers and low-lying herbs during their walk. The potatoes — well, they just walk over the potato patches.”
Hudson — 13 South 3rd St, 518.822.1500


Sapore Steakhouse

With an entire section of its menu devoted to “Game & Birds,” Sapore is an obvious choice for folks in search of some wild dishes. While the décor and atmosphere of this steakhouse favors the traditional, you’ll find some unconventional options here, from elk medallions to Cornish hen to a buffalo shell steak, all grilled and served with greens and roasted potatoes. Venison and duck are also on the menu, not to mention an assortment of beef, lamb, and dry-aged steaks.
Fishkill — 1108 Main St, 845.897.3300

Related: A Wood-Fired Pizzeria Heats Up Poughkeepsie

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