Cool, current, and creative, this popular spot conjures up seasonal foods with an artistic edge. Photo by JD Urban.
Opened: March 2017
$16 to $28 entrées
After the long winter of 2017-18, Charles Brassard was chomping at the bit to get his hands on spring produce. “I got really excited when a local woman emailed me out of the blue to tell me she had ramps and fiddleheads,” says the chef/owner of Aeble, named for the Dutch word for apple. “I thought, The bounty of the Hudson Valley is coming!”
Those ramps are likely to pop up this winter pickled in kimchi, while the procession of tomatoes, fresh herbs, berries, and stone fruits that Brassard so covets will grace salsas and artisanal preserves. “It’s so important to have a taste of summer when it’s dreary outside,” says Brassard, who was born in Mexico and lived overseas. He visited relatives in the Valley as a child, and spent time in Claverack when his parents built a house there in the 1980s. “I’ve seen the progression of Hudson from what it was — even in the last five to 10 years.”
A CIA graduate who has worked in New York City and San Francisco kitchens, Brassard has tapped into the local design sensibility, creating a spare, Euro-chic space. The Scandinavian-style bar offers Thursday happy hour (beginning at 5 p.m.), featuring cocktails made with local apple brandy and elderflowers. His menu is a moving target — so rapidly changing that the crispy black-eyed peas, carrot salad with purslane, or the leg of lamb with roasted sunchokes and grilled pink radicchio you enjoyed last week might not appear again — or at least for a while.
One thing that you can count on is the Wednesday Bird + Bubbles special, when buttermilk-marinated fried chicken is served with biscuit, cabbage slaw, and hot sauce, and all sparkling wine is 20 percent off — which is especially festive on a warm evening. Be sure to get there early if you want to dine al fresco at the sidewalk picnic tables, says Brassard. “Those tables outside are gold.”