To say that Diamond Mills is an institution in the Hudson Valley would be an understatement. The hotel, event venue, and accompanying restaurant have been mainstays in Saugerties since the inception of the property in 2011. Now, the Ulster County destination is working on several major updates to help it become a premier dining and event destination across the Northeast.
BLACKBARN Hudson Valley
First up on the update list is BLACKBARN Hudson Valley. Housed in the former Tavern at Diamond Mills space, BLACKBARN is the sister location to the eatery of the same name in New York City. Notably, the restaurant marks a special partnership between Diamond Mills owner Tom Struzzieri and BLACKBARN chef (and Struzzieri’s childhood friend) John Doherty. While the two were already partners on the Washington Square Park restaurant in Manhattan, they decided to extend that partnership northward when Doherty began thinking about a second location.
Following a fast-paced renovation – the restaurant was closed for less than two months – BLACKBARN Hudson Valley made its grand debut on April 13. The updated space received a top-to-bottom redesign that added warmth and character in the style of the New York City location (think barnwood walls and rustic décor with a cascading waterfall as a backdrop). For longtime diners at the Tavern, the location’s grand dining room, floor-to-ceiling windows, and terrace overlooking the Esopus Falls are still there; they’re just part of an updated aesthetic that evokes an elegant, barn-style space. The restaurant also boasts three private dining rooms (The Wine Shed, The Loft, and The Fireside Room), along with a tavern bar for a more casual experience.
And that’s just the space. As far as the food goes, it’s as farm-to-table as it gets and features a delightful mix of dishes from the NYC restaurant along with a number of Hudson Valley exclusives. Doherty, who previously served as the executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria (where he worked for 30 years), collaborates closely with Saugerties’ Executive Chef Marcos Castros to craft mouthwatering dishes like black Mission fig pizza, truffle ricotta gnocchi, and vegan wild mushroom ragout, to name only a few. In each dish, the attention to detail is evident, with everything from preparation to plating considered thoughtfully.
“Everything matters,” Doherty emphasizes.
Across the menu, BLACKBARN takes pride in spotlighting the local vendors with which it works, and even has a list of partner purveyors on its website. A quick perusal highlights area favorites like Sorbello Farms in Highland, Dressel Farms in New Paltz, and 5 Spoke Creamery in Gardiner, among many others.
Hotel and Events
While Diamond Mills has long been a hotspot for Hudson Valley weddings, it’s poised to become even more of a destination thanks to the addition of BLACKBARN. Along with the three private dining rooms, which can accommodate parties of 30-90 people, event parties can also book out the entire restaurant. In total, Diamond Mills boasts three wedding venues and has the capacity to host private and corporate events of anywhere from 10 to 250 people.
To make room for larger parties, Diamond Mills plans to add off-site cottages to supplement the 30 luxury hotel rooms in the main property. With idyllic locations near the central venue and an estimated completion date at the end of summer, these cottages will offer a welcome reprieve after fun-filled events onsite.
Because Diamond Mills is a one-stop destination, food is only part of the story here. For hotel guests on the property, relaxation is another major attraction – and no wonder, since the shoppable streets of Saugerties and picturesque trails that crisscross the region are only minutes away. Coming in winter 2023, the venue plans to add even more of a reason for visitors to plan a day in Saugerties. Its new spa, dubbed The Waterside Spa at Diamond Mills, will be a premier space for wellness and relaxation in Ulster County. Those interested can follow the spa’s progress at @waterside_spa on Instagram.
BLACKBARN Hudson Valley is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner, with lunch on Friday and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. To learn more about BLACKBARN Hudson Valley and Diamond Mills, visit the venue’s website.
25 South Partition St, Saugerties