Brunch in the Hudson Valley is a mouthwatering experience. It’s one filled with local ingredients, farm-to-table flavors, and, more than likely, a handcrafted cocktail or two. That’s why, when we heard River Pavilion was launching a new brunch menu in Kingston, we were more than a little excited.
Debuting on May 14 and running Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. going forward, River Pavilion’s new brunch menu in an a.m. addition to the p.m. dinner service, which runs Thursday to Saturday from 5-9:30 p.m. during the week. With Mother’s Day this weekend, it just so happens to be the perfect occasion to treat mom to a special meal along the banks of the Hudson River.
“River Pavilion’s waterfront vistas make the perfect backdrop to a leisurely weekend brunch,” observes River Pavilion Executive Chef Paige Rodano. “The restaurant is one of the only restaurants in the area offering a brunch set right along the banks of the Hudson River; there’s truly nothing else like it.”
For Rodano, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who previously worked at Lolita’s Pizza in Poughkeepsie and Chez Panisse in California, crafting a brunch menu with Executive Sous Chef Lily Burns, a mentee of Chef Dan Silverman, was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the hyperlocal, peak-season ingredients available around the Hudson Valley. By combining their respective experiences with fresh, local cuisine and refined French techniques, the two embrace a menu concept that is at once elegant, approachable, and delightfully modern.
And what a menu it is. On the lineup from the women-led kitchen, offerings vary from a delightful frisée salad with lemon vinaigrette, poached egg, and bacon lardons to a wood-fired smoked salmon pizza with Catsmo lox, pickled red onion, capers, red watercress, and dill cream. As far as mains go, good luck choosing between the jamon beurre (baguette with two fried Heermance Farm eggs, speck, truffle butter, and Chatham Creamery camembert) and the lemon-blueberry French toast made with challah, a lemon blueberry compote, and whipped Ronnybrook Farm cream.
On the libations front, the spring cocktail offerings are all about fresh flavors. The fruit-forward Cha Cha Cha tastes like a vacation in a glass with Novo Fogo Cachaca rum, pineapple chunks, toasted coconut flakes, cream of coconut, and lime. For those who want something zippy, The Sour Annie is a must, thanks to ingredients like Caravedo Pisco, rhubarb and rose simple syrup, aquafaba, and lemon. Finally, anyone who wants to keep it simple (but not boring) will gravitate toward the Meerkat, which swirls together Bulleit bourbon whiskey, chamomile, elderflower, honeycomb, and mint.
When asked about her perfect brunch order, Chef Rodano says that you can’t go wrong with burrata and grilled oysters to start, followed by the baby kale salad and funghi pizza. For an entrée, she’s all about the lamb chops and mussels. And save room for dessert! The olive oil cake is an absolute must, she says.
While the menu itself is a treat for Hudson Valley food lovers, so too are the local producers that appear on it. River Pavilion sources from a number of local farms and businesses, including Hudson Valley Fisheries in Hudson, Hudson Valley Coffee Company in New City, Keegan Ales in Kingston, Snowdance Farm in Livingston Manor, Arrowood Farms Brewery in Accord, and Tivoli Mushrooms in Hudson, to name a few.
“We are highly committed to sourcing as locally as possible and supporting our community partners,” Rodano enthuses.
Looking ahead, Rodano and Burns are excited to work together to help establish River Pavilion as a staple eatery in the Hudson Valley.
“Whether Thursday, Friday, or Saturday nights for dinner or for a weekend brunch, we hope that it can be a place where diners return again and again to try the constantly rotating seasonal menu and enjoy a meal against the Hudson,” Rodano says. “Personally, I’m excited to experiment with our wood-fired pizzas, which are new to the menu, and come up with unique topping combinations for every season.”
For more information about River Pavilion or to book a table for brunch or dinner, visit its website. For Mother’s Day, all moms or mother figures will receive a complimentary glass of champagne or a champagne spritz with brunch. To elevate the experience even further, all stays at Hutton Brickyards, including riverfront individual cabins, are 25 percent off during Mother’s Day weekend. Restaurant reservations at the Ulster County eatery are encouraged.
Related: 7 Hudson Valley Getaways for a Beautiful, Local Escape