A Hudson Valley Eatery Made It on Esquire’s Best New Restaurants List

Can you guess which eatery earned top marks from the publication? Hint: It’s located in Greene County.

Every year, Esquire debuts its annual list of the Best New Restaurants in America. And every year, we take a peek to see if any Hudson Valley spots made it on the list, which spotlights a highly selective 50 eateries across the country.

The feature, which published online on November 28 and appears in the magazine’s winter issue, is the result of Esquire writers traveling from one state to the next to try bites from more than 200 new restaurants. The resulting list also includes accolades for Chef of the Year, Comeback of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, and Rising Star of the Year, along with a number of other distinct awards.

For the 2023 list, we’re happy to report that one very special Hudson Valley restaurant made the cut.

- Advertisement -

So which one is it?

It’s Casa Susanna in Leeds!

For those who haven’t visited the Greene County newcomer yet (which Hudson Valley dubbed one of the best new restaurants in the region in our October issue), the eatery is building up quite the reputation in the Hudson Valley. Led by Chef Efrén Hernández, the restaurant puts a thoughtful, artisanal spin on Mexican food with unique ingredients and delectable flavor combinations. It serves as the onsite restaurant for Camptown, a recently opened boutique hotel in the Catskills.

If you’re wondering what makes Casa Susanna stand out, it’s not just any one thing. To start, there’s the masa program that involves making all the tortillas in-house. There’s also the focus on seasonal ingredients that are highlighted on regularly changing menus to make the most of the bounty of the Hudson Valley. On top of that, there’s the strong nod to Mexican heritage, which Chef Hernández does in a meaningful way so as to pay homage to tradition while simultaneously introducing modern touches and interpretations. This is evident in dishes like uni tostada, an exciting take on traditional tostadas that pairs uni with epazote crema and trout roe, as well as tamal tonto, an heirloom yellow corn delight with duck leg confit and fermented mole negro.

While the food is something special here, diners won’t want to pass up on the lineup of drinks, either. Many of the cocktails are tequila-forward temptations, while beers come from local favorites like Return Brewing, Suarez Brewery, and West Kill Brewery. On the nonalcoholic side of things, sugarcane cola hits the spot for everyone.

- Partner Content -

Not only is Casa Susanna a top new restaurant, but it also stands out as being the only Hudson Valley hotspot listed among a total of nine restaurants nominated for New York State (the rest are in Brooklyn and Manhattan).

While the recognition is exciting on its own, it’s even sweeter when one considers that Chef Hernández’s work also earned the restaurant the title of “Rising Star of the Year.” Of all the 50 restaurants applauded by Esquire, Casa Susanna stands out thanks to the chef’s dedication to from-scratch cooking that’s filled with passion.

“Ask Chef Efrén Hernández about masa. He conjures his from scratch with different hues of heirloom corn, and he can speak with passion and precision about how the masa changes each morning according to the weather and the seasons,” the magazine declares. “Everything he cooks is an expression of love for his heritage.”

To learn more about Casa Susanna or book a reservation, visit the restaurant’s website.

Casa Susanna
800 Co Rd 23B, Leeds

Our Digital Partners

Learn how to become a digital partner ...

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Hudson Valley ballot is open through January 31!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.