Three stories high and built of Italianate style brick, Ghent’s Bartlett House once stood salient as an esteemed railroad hotel and barroom that flourished through the late 19th century. When the local rail line was abandoned, the building was shuttered. It was added to the National List of Historic Places in May 2012, but remained otherwise barren for decades.
Until last July. The chronicled spot has been reborn as a combination cafe and bakery, showcasing a top-notch kitchen, loving staff, and clever, bright designs.
A communal spirit that once characterized the industrial-era outpost is now reflected in the restaurant’s familial atmosphere and farmer-focused menu. Guests can enjoy seasonal soups, salads, and sandwiches or more substantial offerings in the sunny dining room or in a cozy, communal library.
The ingredients that Bartlett House uses come straight from the area’s agriculturalists. “We are dedicated to constructing a menu based in and around Hudson Valley bounty and its products,” says operations coordinator Thais Glazman. “Quality and locality is very important to us, as is our outstanding relationship with local growers and farmers.”
Seasonal items like fresh fruits and locally foraged vegetables find their way into every aspect of the menu, becoming elements that executive chef Amy Stonionis uses to develop into irresistible entrees like a shirred egg skillet, a burrata-adorned BLT, and the popular Bartlett House Burger. “We are able to offer our guests an experience,” says Glazman, “a culmination of season, bounty, and hard work.”
Bartlett House also boasts an array of exquisite breads and baked goods made daily by head baker Craig Escalante and team. Loaves of tangy country sourdough and traditional baguettes create the perfect base for an inventive bakery menu that’s rounded out by ingenious pastry offerings like twice-baked pistachio croissants, pear rosewater muffins, and cherry cornmeal scones.
As Glazman explains, “We are in constant development of new recipes. We all work together to brainstorm, experiment, and create new dishes.” Serving breakfast, lunch, and an all-day weekend brunch, the Bartlett House team’s brainstorm sessions currently include designing a dinner menu vivacious enough to match the daytime offerings.
2258 Route 66, Ghent
8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday