Fresco! Chop & Ale House opened in September in a quaint building next to Dutchess Airport. While the menu focuses on American fare such as burgers and steaks, the father-and-son Catalano team (Tom Sr. and Tom Jr.) continue to prepare many of the Italian dishes made popular at their now-shuttered Catalano’s Pasta Garden. Fresco’s pork chop vinaigrette (grilled center cut chops sautéed with red vinegar peppers and mushrooms in a vinaigrette sauce) has established itself as a crowd-pleaser. A cozy fireplace lends a comfortable vibe to the classy dining room, while the spacious upstairs area is reserved for catered parties. 1639 Rte. 376, Wappingers Falls. 845-204-9555; www.frescochopandalehouse.com.
The 200-year-old farmhouse located on Route 44 in Poughkeepsie has had a colorful past: From World War II to the present, it has functioned as four different restaurants, the last of which was the popular Gentleman Jim’s. The latest reincarnation, Elaine’s Tap & Table, takes its name literally. Interspersed throughout the dining room are four tables, each with a beer tap in the center, so customers can play bartender and pour themselves a pint. (These tables fill up fast, so make a reservation if you’d like to sit at one.) But there is more to this place than just beer: We’re eager to try the Pork Duet — marinated and grilled pork tenderloin with a smoked squash flan, combined with molasses-braised pork belly and grilled squash. 1112 Dutchess Tpke., Poughkeepsie. 845-485-5467; www.elainestapandtable.com