Two Newburgh newbies are trending: Decorated with a snappy black-and-white theme, Blacc Vanilla offers breakfast sandwiches featuring homemade sausage, as well as daily lunch fare like chili and soup. Weekend brunch, too! (197 South St; www.blaccvanilla.com). Sip specialty coffee drinks while you munch on pastries and enjoy local art at Déja Brew Café and Art Gallery. (15 Liberty St; find them on Facebook)
Finding Home Farms is making a tasty debut this spring with tours of the sugarhouse and a gratis sampler spread of syrups and sweet and spicy mustards paired with cheeses. Old-fashioned maple lollipops and even maple cotton candy are for sale. (Weekends Feb 10-March 18; 140 Eatontown Rd, Middletown; 845.355.4335; www.findinghomefarms.com)
CIA grads have teamed up to open Heirloom Cafe at Tousey Winery. Savor a breakfast crepe or a lunchtime soup and sandwich combo. Dinner is served three nights a week: Taco Thursdays, Asian Fridays, and Saturday Pasta Dinners. Grilled donuts on weekends! (1774 U.S. 9 #1, Germantown; 518.537.2988; www.heirloomcafeny.wixsite.com/welcome)
Kick off 2018 with a visit to fresh-faced Fox N Hare Brewing Company. Tap into their Early Morning Light Golden Ale and Dark Pastures Milk Stout enjoyed with an ever-growing menu that includes crispy duck wings with ginger curry sauce and spent-grain buttermilk biscuits. Daytripper alert: The brewery is just two blocks from the Port Jervis Metro-North train station. (46 Front Street, Port Jervis; 845.672.0100; www.foxnhare-brewing.com)
Lola’s Café & Catering has upped its game with a New Paltz location that expands on this Poughkeepsie favorite’s menu, adding dinner offerings like a Southwest Bowl with shrimp and steamed clams with fennel. Treat your sweetheart to a big ole milkshake topped with Valentine candies and baked treats. (49 Main St., New Paltz; 845.255.6555; www.lolascafeandcatering.com)
While most of us don’t need a reason to indulge, on February 18 we at least won’t have to make up an excuse. Call it redundant, self-explanatory, or a deliciously good time, National Drink Wine Day commemorates the historical importance of wine, the social camaraderie it fosters, and the health benefits it reaps (in moderation, of course). Whether you opt for white, red, rosé, or forge bravely into new territory like orange or blueberry, take a beat on February 18 to appreciate how this millennia-old libation keeps on improving. Need a place to imbibe? Check out our list of local wine bars.