Mexican Coffee at Armadillo
Variety is the spice of life, so why not add some to your coffee routine? A mix of Cuarenta y Tres (a vanilla liqueur made in Spain), chocolate liqueur, and freshly brewed coffee, topped off with whipped cream and cocoa powder, is the perfect amount of indulgence at the end of the week.
Brunch at Ms. Fairfax
At this point in the New Year you’re either eating healthy or you’ve completely caved. We’re leaning towards the latter, no thanks to the scrumptious, brunchious food coming out of the kitchen at Ms. Fairfax. From the elevated breakfast sandwich of scrambled eggs topped with gooey cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, arugula, and sriracha aioli to the decadent strawberry shortcake French toast made with Challah bread, we just can’t get enough.
One of the most tempting options at the restaurant is also gluten-free: crepes. Ms. Fairfax’s selection of sweet and savory buckwheat flour crepes means everyone can eat here.
Specialty Salad at Veggie Go-Go
A bit hidden in a strip mall off of Route 9, Veggie Go-Go is a plant-based diner’s dream. The Subway-style, build-your-own salad bowl format makes for endless combinations of fresh greens, crisp veggies, and delicious dressings like miso-ginger and lemon-tamari. If you trust the folks behind the counter more than yourself, choose from their selection of Go-Go Creations, the likes of which include Taco Train Wreck and Parisian Deluxe. And if you happen to catch a salad-of-the-day special that features the warm, cheesy polenta, get it — you’ll thank us later.
Hudson Valley Wagyu at Essie’s Restaurant
For anyone who hasn’t experienced the delicate marbling and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of wagyu beef at least once, just go ahead and tack it on to your list of resolutions this year. Local producer Hudson Valley Wagyu raises both F1 (a 50-percent wagyu crossbreed) and full-blood wagyu cows at its farm in Freehold and, in the hands of chefs like Brandon Walker at Essie’s Restaurant, this superior meat makes for an unforgettable meal. Walker rests a Denver steak atop a bed of roasted winter vegetables and coats it in a bone marrow jus just enough to boost the flavor of the steak without stealing the show.
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Brownies at J & J’s Gourmet Cafe
There’s always something delicious to find at this cozy little café in Red Hook, from Thai noodle salad to a bourbon barbecue turkey panini with Gruyere cheese. But J & J’s knows how to roll with the seasons, and its peppermint chocolate chip brownie is the ultimate embrace of winter weather in all of its frigid, dark, occasionally-beautiful glory.