Well Seasoned: Hudson Valley

the exterior of La Panetiere, a beautiful mansion in Rye, New York.

the exterior of La Panetiere, a beautiful mansion in Rye, New York.

Whet your appetite for spring with a change of scenery. A drive (or a train ride) to New York’s Hudson Valley, where historic mansions, riverfront vistas, boutique shopping, and fine dining remind us this region is not just for foliage seekers.

Pay a visit during the Hudson Valley’s Restaurant Week (March 15 through 28), when a smorgasbord of eateries offer three-course, prix-fixe dinner menus for $28 ($20 for three-course, prix-fixe lunch). More than 90 restaurants are participating throughout Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia, and Greene counties.

For a historic culinary venture, consider the Stissing House Restaurant in Pine Plains. Opened in 1782, it is the country’s oldest continuously operated eatery and maintains the decorative charm of a bygone era. The menu is casual, family friendly, and varied—with the likes of Margherita pizza, pan-seared halibut, and red wine-braised short ribs.

In the mood for a more romantic spot? Try LaPanetiere’s intimate setting and top-notch French cuisine—including a baked escargot crumble, braised veal cheeks and crisp sweetbread—a 900-label wine list and, of course, delectable dessert pastries.

The region is also the home of the famous Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Guests can tour the school’s state-of-the-art facilities and dine at the student-staffed American Bounty restaurant.

If you’re having such a good time that you want to extend your afternoon jaunt into an overnight stay, a number of area hotels are offering discounted rates during Restaurant Week. Whether you favor the bustling downtown of historic Rhinebeck, the Bohemian vibe of New Paltz, or the Gothic-style Thayer Hotel at West Point, there’s comfortable lodging nearby that will allow you to stay over—and sample more of the region’s delicious fare.

For more information about Restaurant Week, visit hudsonvalleyrestaurantweek.com.

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