Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free sweets and savories are the talk of the town in Saugerties, where The Wise Owl Café & Curiosities, a combo café/shop, recently opened its doors. Stop in for fresh juices, coffees, and teas, or linger long enough to try the seasonal soups or weekend brunch. Don’t skip the baked goods — especially the cupcakes! (196 Main St, Saugerties; 845.247.3824)
Saratoga’s Chip Festival is your chance to graze crispy creations, dips, and salsas from near and far. A snack food competition plus family entertainment — including an appearance by the Big Idaho Potato, a touring tater-shaped truck — make it worth the trip to what’s purported as the birthplace of the potato chip. Proceeds go to the local Lions Club. (July 15, Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 518.212.7752)
photo by alexis gould
Amazin’ Melts serves upgraded grilled cheeseâ€‹
New Paltz continues to boom as a restaurant mecca. Get your grilled cheese fix at recently opened Amazin’ Melts (235 Main St, 845.419.2808), where you can choose your favorite cheese and bread, then add in toppings like bacon, ribeye Philly steak, and avocado. Or decide to go upscale at The Grille at Novella’s, the latest venture at Novella’s Banquet Hall, serving dinner and bar bites highlighted by filet mignon and strip steaks served with steak frites and caramelized onions. Grab a drink at the elegant bar; the Espresso Martini and Blood Orange Margarita are both highly recommended. (2 Terwilliger Ln; 845.255.2122)
photo by nisa knaus
Knaus Gallery serves fine fare alongside finer art.
Have a wine and art field day at newcomer Knaus Gallery and Wine Bar, a low-key spot featuring daily specials like Smoked Trout with pickled egg and artichoke hearts or an Iceberg Wedge with homemade Gorgonzola dressing. Don’t miss the daily flatbread, best eaten with a charcuterie plate and a Peach Bellini. Alternatively, order vino from an ample selection of French, Italian, and Spanish flair. (76 Vineyard Ave, Highland; 845.834.3144; Find them on Facebook).
Sip craft beverages, taste small plates from local chefs, and enjoy brick oven pizza, BBQ, and a dessert station at Cascade Mountain Winery & Restaurant’s Summertide 2017 festival. Music in the air rounds out the experience, and on Friday night, fireworks, too (kids are welcome). (July 7-9, 835 Cascade Mountain Rd, Amenia; 845.373.9021)
Best of Westchester offers top-notch samples
P.S. Make sure not to miss the Best of Westchester Party, a gathering of editor- and reader-chosen winners showcased in the July issue of Westchester magazine. This shindig will afford the opportunity to sample tastes from the area’s top restaurants, as well as products and services from other non-food category winners. (July 26; Glen Island Harbour Club Park, New Rochelle; 914.345.0601)