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Ready, Set, Escargot to These French Restaurants in the Hudson Valley

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While we’re nearly 4,000 miles away from la France métropolitaine, there is so much incredible French cuisine to enjoy around the Hudson Valley.

It’s a well-known fact that some of the world’s best food and drink comes from France. But if a trip to Paris or Provence isn’t currently in the budget, you can enjoy the country’s staples a little closer to home in the Hudson Valley.

At the likes of Le Gamin County, for instance, you can just pop in for a coffee and a croissant. For full-blown foodies in search of a little slice of heaven, look to The Bocuse Restaurant, where you’ll scarf down a three-course meal prepared by chefs-in-training at The Culinary Institute of America.

With that said, who’s ready to nosh on some escargot?

Autumn

Sparkill

 

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This farm-to-table restaurant is culinary gem in Rockland County, offering French cuisine with an American twist. For Chef Denis Whitton, excellent food comes from using only the freshest ingredients. As a result, the menu changes frequently to accommodate the range of fruit, herbs, and vegetables which each season offers.

Les Baux

Millbrook

 

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Whatever your appetite calls for, Les Baux will deliver with French classics as imagined by Chef Herve Bochard. After traveling the world and earning international recognition for his cooking in France, Bochard decided to share his gift for food with the Hudson Valley. Whether you come for a small plate or les plats—that’s Baux-speak for entrees—you’ll rave about your meal. Note: Les Baux will be closed through September 17, 2022.

The Bocuse Restaurant

Hyde Park


The Bocuse is one of The Culinary Institute of America’s student-run, faculty-led restaurants. Its name comes from the legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, who is recognized as the father of modern French cuisine for his simple dishes that focus on high-quality ingredients and presentation. Dine in for lunch or dinner and enjoy three courses of the Valley’s finest French fare.

Brasserie 292

Poughkeepsie

 

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Poughkeepsie is a central hub for foodies in Dutchess County, so it’s no surprise to find this stellar French bistro in the city’s historic Main Street district. Start off your meal with the macaroni and cheese appetizer, which features butter poached Maine lobster as part of the gooey, cheesy goodness. As for entrees, you’ll have a tough time deciding between a seafood dish—think fried oysters, pan roasted salmon, and grilled Portuguese octopus—and land-sourced fare like dry-aged strip steak and beef tartare.

Brigitte Bistro

Red Hook

 

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Housed in the former Mercato space, Brigitte is an honest-to-goodness French bistro on a charming corner of Red Hook. Starting with the appetizers, diners can savor everything from escargot en persillade, a.k.a. snails in herb garlic butter, to tartare de saumon frais et fume, a delectable pairing of smoked and fresh salmon tartare with horseradish crème fraiche. Entrees are all about slow preparation and full flavors, with a focus on pairing protein with vegetables and starches. Go for the moules frites if you’re in the mood for a classic, and don’t forget to savor every single frite — they take three days to prepare!

Le Canard Enchaine

Kingston


To be transported to France—if only for the duration of an exceptional meal—head to this restaurant in Ulster County. The New York Times suggests that you “lift your fork and imagine you’re in France” as you savor the stylings of Chef Jean-Jacques. Their specialties include garlic snails, duck confit, and onion soup, as if that makes choosing from their robust, yet succinct menu any easier.

Le Gamin Country

Hudson

 

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In our opinion, every town should have a little French café where patrons can order a beer and a latte at the same time. If that—sadly—isn’t the case in your hometown, make a voyage to Le Gamin Country in Hudson, where you’ll find small plates and a great atmosphere. The eatery has everything from croissants to ratatouille to escargot, but it absolutely does not have Wi-Fi. Instead, it urges Gamin-goers to “pretend it’s 1995 and talk to the person next to you.”

Le Perche

Hudson


Live out your Parisian fantasy by sipping espresso with a croissant at Le Perche, or come in the evening and order from the dinner menu. The nighttime offerings include potato and leek soup, escargot, soft shell crab, steak au poivre, and crème brûlée. As for wine, the restaurant has a sizable list, which even includes three varieties of orange wine.

Le Petit Bistro

Rhinebeck


This Rhinebeck restaurant is a local go-to for fine French food, oysters, and cocktails. Whether you’re just looking for some solid grub or you’re a full-blown Francophile, Le Petit Bistro has something for you. Dinner menu highlights include steak tartare, pork mignon, roasted duck, and veal française. During the daytime, however, it’s a great choice for brunch, with a selection of coffees, pancakes, eggs benedict, crepes, and more.

Saint George

Hastings-on-Hudson

 

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This new-French bistro puts a modern spin on French classics using seafood, fine meats, and seasonal vegetables. Of course, we would be remiss not to mention the wine selection, for which you’ll pay between $13 for the cotes de Gasgodne and $145 for a bottle of Yann Chave’s Hermitage (doesn’t that just sound fancy?). Speaking of fancy, adventurous eaters simply must order a plate of the escargot.

Sidewalk Bistro

Piermont


This French fare is conveniently located in one of Rockland County’s loveliest little towns: Piermont. While it may be an odd choice for a French restaurant, we can’t get enough of the Kobe beef burger, piled high with the usual lettuce, tomato, and onion with a side of fries. The pasta and seafood offerings are equally delectable, with three varieties of mussels, a crab cake appetizer, scallops, and shrimp, just to name a few. And yes—there’s escargot. Be sure to budget your trip so you can stroll around the town after your meal!

Related: Up Your Charcuterie Board Game With Tips From a Hudson Valley Expert

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