All aboard! March welcomed the announcement that a second branch of Babycakes Café — the popular bistro located across the street from Vassar College — will open in the Poughkeepsie Train Station sometime this fall. The 10-year lease includes the station’s waiting area, where commuters can sit and eat, as well as a get-it-to-go kiosk in the overpass; the new location will serve selections from the original menu as well as travel-specific additions based on the results of a poll the café plans to give to commuters… Speaking of branching out, popular Poughkeepsie hot dog shop Noshi’s Coney Island opened a new establishment across the river in New Paltz. The menu’s signature items — like the Chicago Dog — are all available at the new eatery… Fishkill’s Avocados, the little sister of Cornwall’s Avocado, set up shop in a bright orange building last fall. The Mexican restaurant serves traditional fare like tacos and quesadillas, as well as a few lesser-known items, like avocado fries… In other Orange news (though we mean the county this time), Bonura’s Little Sicily opened its doors in Newburgh last February, serving authentic Sicilian food. We’re dying to try one decadent dessert, the Mount Etna. In homage to the infamous volcano, this edible mountain is comprised of vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, and strawberry ice cream, which is smothered in brownies, cookies, chocolate sauce, strawberries, bananas, and whipped cream; one serving feeds up to eight people… The Food Network’s Alex Guarnaschelli recently highlighted 5 Spoke Creamery in Goshen. The celebrity chef chose the dairy farm’s Tumbleweed cheese as her “Star Pick” for a February post on the network’s Web site that highlighted the nation’s best cheeses… Local suds lovers can rejoice over April’s grand opening of Dutchess Hops, part of Eastern View Nursery in Lagrangeville. The farm is the only one in the region to cultivate this flavoring agent commonly used in beer, and will grow 12 varieties of the plant on 4,000 acres… More good tidings for fans of beer: Shmaltz Brewing Company, previously a San Francisco-based brewer, has moved its operations to Clifton Park. In April, the company began producing its He’Brew — The Chosen Beer and Coney Island Craft Lagers in its new 50-barrel brew-house; a grand public opening is slated for July. To which we say, bottoms up!
Photograph by Frank Roberts
A new place to chill in Poughkeepsie, and an old favorite reopens to High Falls
Poughkeepsie’s newest hangout, the Chill Grill, opened its doors last month. The BBQ grill/seafood restaurant/takeout spot made Main Street its new home, and has an outdoor barbecue smoker as well as a patio for al fresco dining. With no dish exceeding $12, the menu offers a multitude of seafood and pork options — the fish and chicken combo and pulled pork sandwich deluxe get our mouths watering — alongside other adult meals and eight kids’ selections. Our favorite bit, though, is the ice cream and dessert bar ($3.50 for peach cobbler, $5.25 for an ice cream sundae), which is open all day.
After a winter hiatus, the famous Depuy Canal House in High Falls resumed its weekend service — including Friday dinners and all-day brunch on Saturday and Sunday — in April. Chef/owner John Novi originally opened the restaurant in 1969 in a stone building that workers on the D&H Canal frequented in the 1800s. Since then, he’s gained much acclaim: A New York Times critic awarded the restaurant four stars, and Time magazine dubbed Novi the “father of New American Cuisine.” Recently returned from Italy, Novi now incorporates new dishes inspired by that trip, and also sources local ingredients whenever possible. Standouts include dorade or branzino fillet over Russian kale risotto with salsify, parsnips, leeks, and Pernod sauce; and the lamb or beef tenderloin with potato galette and locally grown mushroom sauce.