A quaint, centuries-old farmhouse stands on the side of Route 66. On a drive through Hudson, the structure dating back 250 years catches the eye. It stands on six acres of verdant Columbia County land. The next time you see it, stop the car; comforting eats await inside.
Quinnie’s is a specialty market, restaurant, and café that uses locally sourced Hudson Valley ingredients and seasonal produce. Quinn Rose Levine, founder and owner, recognized the barn house’s potential on a drive of her own.
“I had this idea for a very long time, even before I moved to Germantown with my family,” Quinn recalls. She has consistently worked in restaurants since she was in high school. “I loved the idea of having a counter-service restaurant, some ready-to-eat foods, and a place for families to come and feel welcome.”
That fixer-upper was just what she needed to turn her dreams of opening a restaurant into a reality.
Luckily for Quinn and Simon Burstall, her husband and business partner, they had a close group of friends to help make Quinnie’s into the restaurant it is today.
“At first, it took a second for me to imagine the restaurant inside of a house,” Quinn says. “The more I thought about it, having people over to my house is something that I love to do.”
Of course, Quinn and her team wanted to preserve the farmhouse’s historic details. They kept many traditional features of the 18th century barn. Burstall served as the general contractor on the project. In addition, they enlisted the help of friend, carpenter, and fellow contractor, Andy Fennel.
They started renovations in April of 2021. Essentially, the team converted the first floor of the house into a rustic, modern restaurant with original features. Frequently, Quinn and the contracting team saved old artifacts they found during construction. For instance, Burstall framed a hex symbol that was etched on the framing of a door dating back to the 1700s or 1800s.
“We tried our best to keep the house looking like it was,” Quinn says. They aimed to make it a workable space for a restaurant, while keeping most of the original architecture in place. “We repurposed doors and we used wood siding from the 1950s underneath the counter.”
After the renovation, Quinn had to create a menu fitting the unique atmosphere she curated. Working with her co-chef, Amy Hess, they designed a menu of farm-to-table comfort food. Of course, they chose many dishes that they personally enjoy cooking and eating.
However, both chefs wanted everything on the menu to be approachable to customers. They specialize in sandwiches that often include ingredients made in-house, ranging from savory sauces and spice mixes to fresh focaccia.
“A lot of thought goes into each dish,” Quinn says. “We work with local farms like Kinderhook Farm for our meats, Northwind Farms for our hotdogs, and MX Morningstar Farm for local produce. In addition, our bread comes from See and Be Kitchen in Cairo.”
Quinnie’s strives to expand customers’ palates through its unique spin on classic comfort foods. Lamb and beef meatball sandwiches, milk buns filled with braised carnitas, and a salami and sambal “toad in the hole” breakfast round are a few of the savory staples. In addition, vegan diners have plenty of options. For instance, the roasted mushroom sandwich features piquillo peppers and Italian gremolata. Similarly, the sumac-spiced cauliflower sits on a bed of farro and capers.
Once your lunch is ordered at the service counter, check out the market for a curated selection of Hudson Valley items. Find artisanal hot sauce, local maple syrup, kombucha, kimchi, and more. Of course, prep for a foodie breakfast with Clermont Coffee or fresh eggs from Overlook Farms in East Chatham. Then, sip new releases from Suarez Family Brewing.
Since Quinnie’s uses locally sourced items in all of its dishes, their menu changes throughout the seasons. During the winter season, Quinn and Hess focus on using produce items like turnips and beets for the salads. Then, when things warm up in the summertime, they use a greater amount of local fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Starting in the spring of 2022, Quinnie’s will have an open bar at night with specialty snacks.
The new bar snack menu will open after 6 p.m. and will feature items like chicken liver mousse on toast, pimento, and crudités. With a variety of snacks and drinks, customers can enjoy their time with community members around the bar or head outside to the picnic tables. There will be string lights and fires going outside to give the restaurant that comforting feeling of home.
Above all, Quinn wants Quinnie’s to be a family-friendly environment. In the summer, she hopes that customers will come to picnic on the grass, sit by the outdoor firepits, and attend game nights.
“I love the idea of holding community-based events,” Quinn says. “I’m talking to the Philmont Free Store to host clothing swaps on the property. I also want to do fun events like karaoke and trivia night during the week.”
With special events, Quinn’s vision for her restaurant has come alive. For example, Quinnie’s held an oyster party where families came to enjoy the sunshine and cozy atmosphere. With food and drinks, parents talked and listened to music while their kids ran around in the grass.
“We want to build a community at Quinnie’s and make sure everyone feels welcome,” Quinn says. “We feel like the space, menu, and accessibility we offer is really special.”
With a farmhouse history and relaxing environment, Quinnie’s can be a regular destination for all customers. The restaurant not only exposes customers to unique ingredients and dishes, but it also provides a distinctive community experience in the Hudson Valley.