Restaurant Review in Putnam County: Valley at The Garrison, Garrison, NY

Fine fare — along with awe-inspiring river and mountain views — make Valley at The Garrison a dining destination

The names of certain restaurants are inspired by the type of cuisine served, while others are dubbed for celebrity owners or famous chefs. And then there are the establishments whose christening attempts to capture the setting, the milieu, the mood. In that regard, Valley restaurant at The Garrison golf course and inn is aptly named. The farm-to-table restaurant is a warm-weather dining experience that overlooks the Hudson River and the rippling mountain peaks and valleys surrounding it. In other words, the landscape outside the restaurant’s wall of French doors is delicious.

“Valley restaurant is fine dining, a formal operation, but it has this countryside, laid-back feeling,” says Alexander Guepin, manager of Valley and the Garrison’s more-casual Terrace Grill. “You won’t have the kind of military service that you might have in a Manhattan operation.

“Part of the magic is that our owners will not condone any high volume in this restaurant,” Guepin says. “Why? Because it buys us the time to provide our customers with a real dining experience. This structure allows us to attend to customers. ”

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valley at the garrisonContemporary style: Diners enjoy creative food and attentive service at Valley

That’s also in part because Valley relies on produce from the on-site Garrison Farm and other local producers. Organic grower Brian Bergen works closely with Valley’s chefs to coordinate the restaurant’s menu with what can be harvested from the two-acre farm. Bergen also oversees a 1,250-foot hoop-style greenhouse for raising heirloom tomato plants from seeds in early spring, which produce vine-ripened, chemical-free tomatoes for the summer and fall. The farm supplies everything from fresh peas to fingerling potatoes and baby fennel.

“The menu is based on whatever Mother Nature comes up with,” Guepin says. Nevertheless, the menu is built around a set of solid favorites, none of which elicits more enthusiasm from Guepin than the duck breast and foie gras ($33). “I’m a foie gras lover,” he gushes. “This is the first time in my life that I’ve had foie gras as a velouté, which is like a puree.” A velouté begins with a light stock of meat, poultry, or seafood, to which butter, flour, and other ingredients are added. Valley’s dish uses duck from Crescent Farms and is served with maitake mushrooms and fennel. “The duck is sliced and cooked to perfection, and when you dip a bit of it in the foie gras velouté, it is really a festival of aroma and flavors,” says Guepin.

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» Read our last restaurant review of Valley Restaurant at The Garrison
» Visit the Valley Restaurant at The Garrison in Garrison, NY
» Visit the Valley Restaurant at The Garrison Web site at
» Go to our Hudson Valley Dining Guide

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world's end bar at the garrisonThe World’s End Bar offers specialty drinks with house-grown herbs

Another top main dish is skate ($29), which has a very flaky-but-firm white meat that’s not overly fishy. It’s lightly pan-fried in a mustard sauce and served with porcini mushrooms. Also on the menu: soft-shelled crab with asparagus, watermelon, and black cardamom ($34); risotto ($28) with black truffle, peas, and lemon zest; and pork porterhouse ($29) with fava beans, pancetta, and potato.

Topping the appetizer list is crab bisque for $11. The dish is served in two separate parts: first is a bowl holding the crabmeat, chives, and bits of unsalted Italian prosciutto, and second is the pot containing the steaming bisque. The two are then combined at the table. “It allows the bisque to stay hot, and when you pour it over the ingredients, it creates a real aroma as they interact, instead of ending up with something overcooked and unbalanced,” Guepin says.

Another top appetizer is perciatelli pasta with veal cheek and Garrison-grown bok choy ($12). Others include pork terrine with Asian pear, cabbage, and cilantro ($13) and mussels with cauliflower and cornbread ($10).

Thursday evenings are “lounge nights” at Valley in lieu of the full menu. “It features appetizers, but they are a showcase of what we feature on the usual menu,” Guepin says. “The prices reflect the portions.” They include pork terrine ($9), duck taco ($8), skate ($7), and soft-shelled crab in a steamed bun ($12). A guitarist performs classic and contemporary music throughout the evening.

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While the World’s End Bar is incorporated within the dining room, it’s separate enough to keep from being a distraction to diners. It owes its name to sailors who long ago dubbed the bend in the Hudson River below as the “world’s end” because a confluence of unpredictable currents and winds often caused boatmen to lose their bearings. Toast the bravery of those mariners with the World’s End cocktail (local butternut squash, pine liquor, apple brandy, and a dash of vermouth). The bar has a number of $12 signature drinks that accent the summer season and use herbs from Garrison Farm. The julep uses Basil Hayden small-batch bourbon, farm-raised mint, and sugar. Or try the Valley Sunset: cranberry vodka, Midori melon liqueur, Cointreau, pineapple juice and fresh lemon juice.

The Terrace Grill is geared toward quick-and-casual meals for golfers – burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. But it’s open daily, so it’s an ideal place to stop while out and about during summer and fall drives. Best of all: the view from Terrace Grill is as tasty as it is from Valley.

Valley at The Garrison
Thurs.-Sat. 5:30-9:30 p.m.; brunch Sun. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; closed Mon.-Wed. & Jan.-Feb.
Terrace Grill
Mon.-Wed. 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs.-Sun. 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
World’s End Bar
Thurs.-Sat. 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Sun. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

» Read our last restaurant review of Valley Restaurant at The Garrison
» Visit the Valley Restaurant at The Garrison in Garrison, NY
» Visit the Valley Restaurant at The Garrison Web site at
» Go to our Hudson Valley Dining Guide

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