Fall is perhaps the Hudson Valley season, when the foliage turns, temperatures drop, and wood smoke drifts through the trees. It also provides plenty of opportunities to lay the table with a wide range of dishes, from the hearty to the sweet, as well as more than a few drinks to sip while bowered under a pile of blankets. Try these Hudson Valley brands and spots for your ideal fall menu:
1. Apple Cider
Migliorelli’s Farm Stand, Red Hook
Half-tart, half-sweet, apple cider packs a surprising kick. Migliorelli’s keeps theirs extra-cold by pasteurizing it with an ultraviolet machine, meaning it keeps that crisp kick from press to purchase.
2. Apple Cider Donuts
Golden Harvest Farms, Valatie
Those driving along Route 9 in Columbia County are likely familiar with Golden Harvest Farms, its painted wooden sign advertising all things fruity and fall-like. And those who have pulled in will never stop singing the praises of their donuts, its secret recipe drawing from the apples and cider presses right there on the farm.
3. Apple Pie
Chatham’s PieconicNY (located at Main St Goodness) makes all their Backyard Apple Pies from scratch, picking the apples – over two pounds per pie – at nearby Love Apple Farm, making their crust with unsalted butter and applecore vodka, and baking for a good hour so that mix of crunch and caramel is just right.
4. Pumpkin Pie
Noble Pies, Warwick
This Vitamin A-rich dessert is perhaps more associated with late-fall/early winter than any other variety. Most Americans celebrate their Thanksgivings with a canned mix, but for those wanting a slightly fresher spin, Noble Pies uses special family recipes for a pie like no other.
5. Pumpkin Spice
Stewart’s Shops, Various locations
Stewart’s pumpkin pie ice cream is one of those unassuming regional secrets that will likely never become known outside the area. You can buy pints and scoops chock-full of graham cracker crust pieces exclusively at Stewart’s gas stations and convenience stores, but don’t wait: It’s on sale only until supplies run out, and it’s a long wait until next fall.
6. Hot Chocolate
Verdigris Tea & Chocolate, Hudson
Hot chocolate might well be the best cold-weather drink, a single enervating sip enough to warm the whole body. Hudson’s Verdigris Tea and Chocolate Bar elevates cocoa-making to a high art, starting with melted-down 60% dark chocolate that they then blend with milk for a particularly sensuous drink. They also offer non-dairy alternatives for vegans.
Harney & Sons, Millerton
Not quite as gut-kicking as a cup of coffee, tea is nonetheless the preferred drink of all those who love to curl up in a sweater to watch the leaves fall. Harney & Sons produces a special Cranberry Autumn Blend, which mixes black tea with pieces of orange, cranberry, and hibiscus for a mug you’ll never want to put down.
8. Chicken Noodle Soup
Hudson Food Studio, Hudson
A sick-kid favorite, chicken soup has the ability to fill the belly and heal the soul, if certain new-agers are to be believed. But there’s quite a lot more that can be done with it, as shown at Hudson Food Studio. Their chicken pho uses a spiced bone broth from nearby Northwind Farms for an extra-hearty bowl.
Quinn’s might be the coolest place in Beacon, with live music, vintage décor, and a generally hip vibe. Best of all, their ramen is the real deal, simple and filling, with noodles cooked to a perfect toughness. And vegans rejoice: Their spicy veggie miso is probably the best dish on the menu.
10. Brussels Sprouts
The Parlor, Dobbs Ferry
Though often stuffed down protesting kids’ gullets, Brussels sprouts are one of the tastiest roasted vegetables, every thin layer packing another pocket of flavor. The Parlor goes all-in, frying them up with chili honey, parmesan cheese, and rice crispies (yes, the cereal) for a particularly snackable dish.
11. Butternut Squash
Hudson Street Cafe, Newburgh
This homey little spot off Route 300 serves up what might be the ultimate fall sandwich, topping roasted butternut squash with fresh organic dinosaur kale, goat cheese, and pumpkin seed pesto.
12. Autumn Brews
Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Poughkeepsie
Brewed from seasonal ingredients, Plan Bee Farm Brewery’s beers are always limited-time offers. Their Precious wild ale is oak-aged and made from 2018-harvested apricots for a sprightly feel and flavor. For those who always feel like they’re slow on the draw, PB offers seasonal shares so you can always stay on top of what’s brewing.
Rushing Duck Brewing Company, Chester
Stouts are perfectly suited to cooler temperatures, when a drink that feels like a meal won’t have you drowning in the heat. Rushing Duck’s Imperial Beanhead Stout expands on their Beanhead Coffee Porter with even more notes of roasted malts and dark chocolate for a smooth, deep taste, enhanced by coffee from Java Love.
14. Short Ribs
Butterfield at Hasbrouck House, Stone Ridge
Cold weather lends itself to low and slow-cooking methods like braising and smoking, and short ribs may just be the most delicious products of those techniques. Butterfield has its own take on these babies, smoked in-house, slathered in jus, and served with green beans and aligot potatoes for a particularly elevated entrée.
Frank Guido’s Little Italy, Kingston
Equally beloved by penny-pinching grad students and generous grandmas, lasagna has as many alterations as there are meats and veggies. Frank Guido’s Little Italy in Kingston keeps their lasagna al forno; hearty and simple, using their bolognese sauce as the base and layering in three cheeses for a gut-busting meal that can also be ordered family-style for the whole table.