There’s a particularly dreamy spot in Ulster County where the Sawkill Creek ripples quietly through the rolling grounds of the Woodstock Golf Club. The location is a perfect sliver of Catskills living, with the serenity of nature, the beauty of the Hudson Valley, and the shoppable attractions nearby all rolled into one idyllic destination. It’s here, at the very entrance to Woodstock proper, that Millstream Tavern resides.
As the new inhabitant of the dining space at the Woodstock Golf Club, Millstream Tavern reawakens the location with a fresh concept and the farm-to-table fare upon which the Hudson Valley thrives. The restaurant is the latest offering by Shale Hill Hospitality Group, the brand behind The Dutch Ale House, Kitchen at Shale Hill Farm catering, and Windmill Wine & Spirits in Saugerties. With Millstream Tavern, it keeps to its hyperlocal roots to offer a refreshed, delectable take on country club dining in the Hudson Valley.
“The location is phenomenal,” enthuses Dallas Gilpin, who co-owns Shale Hill Hospitality Group with her husband, Ted. “The original mill wheel is there.”
In fact, that mill wheel is part of what attracted the Gilpins, both history lovers, to the 1700s millhouse space. Although they weren’t looking to open a new eatery when a friend of theirs mentioned the location to them, a visit to Woodstock revealed a spot that was brimming with potential.
“It was a diamond in the rough,” Gilpin observes. “That location on the water is heavenly. It just needed some love.”
So, in true Shale Hill fashion (remember The Dutch renovation, anyone?), the Gilpins commenced a gut renovation beginning in December 2020. The overhaul required a complete kitchen update and the construction of a new bar, but the effort was well worth it. A handful of months later, Millstream Tavern was ready to open for lunch service on April 1, with dinner service now available as well.
Of course, it helped that Chef Ryan Tate was onboard. Formerly executive chef at the Deer Mountain Inn, the Michelin-starred chef brings with him a love of farm-to-table dining with a strong focus on from-scratch fare. Since he also oversees the culinary program at The Dutch Ale House, not to mention the wine offerings at Windmill Wine & Spirits, he and the Gilpins differentiated the menu at Millstream Tavern by drawing inspiration from the restaurant’s location. With a prime placement along the Sawkill Creek, the restaurant does well by embracing both its country club and waterside roots.
“It’s a 1985 country club menu that Chef Ryan modernized and put his own spin on,” Gilpin explains. “We are focused on sourcing locally and using all fresh ingredients, with a big seafood component.”
True to her word, Gilpin does mean a big seafood component. One look at the curated seafood towers is all it takes to make a reservation. To treat diners, Tate and team stack the towers with oysters on ice, thinly sliced tuna, juicy crab legs, succulent shrimp, and, for the daring, fresh sea urchin. Yes, you should try it.
While the surf section of the menu is undoubtedly a highlight, the rest of the offerings are equally as scrumptious. Diners can start strong with a hanger steak tartare that wows with a smoked egg yolk center and a medley of shallots, capers, and mustard cornichons on the side. As for the mains, they’re nothing less than mouthwatering, with something for everyone. Lovers of the classics will swoon over the hanger steak with truffle sauce or the duck a l’orange with citrus salad. Those feeling more adventurous, meanwhile, can go for the steelhead trout with smoked carrot broth or the crab agnolotti with champagne and spring onions. And did we mention dessert? The blood orange panna cotta is a beauty, while the chocolate mousse cake and grasshopper sundae are sweet odes to classic country club fare.
As anyone familiar with The Dutch and Windmill Wine & Spirits might expect, Millstream Tavern curates its cocktail and wine menu with elegance and flair. Cocktails are wonderfully fresh, with offerings ranging from the Cart Chaser, a Deadwood rye drink with peach and mint, to the Sunset on 212, which swirls Old Mexico tequila with cappelletti and grapefruit. For vino aficionados, Tate brings his love of wine to the table with a unique medley of vintages that are a treat to sip. Ask for a recommendation from among the expert selection of sparkling, reds, and whites to amplify any meal.
Throughout it all, a dining experience at Millstream Tavern upholds the values that Gilpin and her team value most.
“We have a core set of passions,” she explains. “One is being in a historic space. Two is a love and passion for local, high quality food in a different way. Three is the space being very well cared for, thoughtfully planned, and decorated. It’s the best experience from the moment guests walk in the door.”
Looking ahead, Gilpin is excited to welcome guests to the Hudson Valley restaurant for outdoor dining by the creek, indoor dining in the sunroom, or simply a drink at the renovated bar. This summer, she and her team will unveil Farm Kitchen, their new marketplace and catering kitchen right across the street from The Dutch Ale House in Saugerties. Upon opening, Farm Kitchen will stock farm-to-table bites like sandwiches, coffee, wine, snacks, and even homemade bread.
“Ryan is very passionate about baking as well,” Gilpin says. “He really wants to sell fresh bread.”
114 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock