This fall, make travel plans for your palate. Top-notch restaurants—think farm-to-inn menus, chef residencies, and extensive wine lists—are turning retreats across the Valley into culinary hotspots. These five, ranging from the hustle and bustle of Hudson to the peaceful foothills of Hunter Mountain, are worth a stay for their food alone.
5762 NY-52, White Lake; kenozahall.com
At a sweet spot between Monticello and the Delaware River, you’ll find a former 1900s-era summer retreat that wows guests with plenty of activities and spectacular eats. Recently renovated, Kenoza features chic design, a spa, 55 acres to wander and explore, and stunning views of serene Kenoza Lake. The award-winning culinary team is led by chef de cuisine Oscar Vargas, formerly of The Flatiron Room in Manhattan and Touch the Heart in Hoboken. The seafood-forward menu features favorites like oysters Rockefeller, four varieties of caviar, and crab galette, as well as French-inspired dishes like gnocchi Parisienne, served with maitake mushrooms and escargot, and dover sole à la meunière. If you check in on a Thursday, you’ll enjoy Frites Night (5–7 p.m.) on the patio with cocktails and live music. After a dreamy night’s sleep in one of Kenoza’s well-appointed main rooms or bungalows, head to the lake-view terrace for an excellent breakfast of pancakes and grilled bacon with chimichurri, sheep’s milk yogurt and granola, or shirred eggs with gruyere and seasonal vegetables.
Can’t miss dish: Hudson Valley foie gras (from nearby Ferndale) with red grape mostarda, black sesame rouille, stewed apples, and brioche.
Bottoms up: The bar, moody and intimate, is the oldest room in the building and perfect for sipping a classy Manhattan Noir, which substitutes vermouth for amaro. There’s also an extensive wine list with over 100 bottles from across the globe.
What’s in town: Kenoza Lake is a peaceful, quiet area. For more action take a drive to nearby Sullivan towns like Callicoon, Narrowsburg, or Livingston Manor.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
46 West Market Street, Rhinebeck; mirbeau.com
Modern American cuisine and some of the best spa treatments in the region? Count us in. Situated on the outskirts of Rhinebeck’s downtown, Mirbeau serves up much-needed R&R at their pretty 49-room, French-style retreat. Although you will love their Signature Massage or French Clay Detox at the spa, the highlight of your stay may just be a meal at Willow by Charlie Palmer. The CIA-trained chef opened this hotspot in 2019; he’s currently gearing up to open his next restaurant in Napa Valley in 2023. Another CIA grad, Lee Clements, joined the Willow team last summer as the new chef de cuisine and he’s focused on infusing the menu with local ingredients. Start the day with a breakfast peach cobbler topped with granola and yogurt, a skillet frittata with smoked salmon, or a classic New York-style BEC. For lunch, the onion soup gratinée, beets and burrata, and the prosciutto-ricotta toast are standouts. Dinner is delicious as well: There’s baked brie with crostini, seasonal jam, and honey to share as an appetizer and then you’ll have the difficult decision of choosing between the New England lobster roll with house-made potato chips and the roasted duck breast with roulade confit, apricots, pistachio, and cherry gastrique. Either way, you’ll be full and happy.
Can’t-miss dish: Save room for dessert. The dark chocolate-caramel tart topped with an espresso cacao-nib streusel is amazing.
Bottoms up: Every day, house wine and beer are half off from 3–6 p.m. The Aqua Terrace—Mirbeau’s outdoor lounging area with a thermal pool—serves refreshing spa cocktails like a blackberry Kentucky mule (bourbon, St. George, ginger beer) and blueberry hibiscus mojito (rum, lime, mint).
What’s in town: Lots of cute shops, plus a wide variety of global eats including Cinnamon (Indian), Aba’s Falafel (Israeli), Aroi (Thai), and Gaby’s (Mexican).
Scribner’s Catskill Lodge
13 Scribner Hollow Road, Hunter; scribnerslodge.com
This nostalgic hotel at the base of Hunter Mountain has everything you’d expect from a northern Catskills retreat—from hiking trails, foliage lookouts, and fire pits to plenty of cozy spots to read or just chill out. Scribner’s takes farm-to-hotel very seriously. The menu options at its restaurant, Prospect—a chic, minimalist space with mountain views for miles—are enhanced with local produce from nearby purveyors and Scribner’s own garden. In fact, we heard they had quite the successful harvest, so expect a lot of specials with Brussels sprouts, kale, and a variety of squash. For lunch, guests can expect light fare, like mixed fall garden greens, a farro salad with shaved vegetables and lemon vinaigrette, and a savory Mediterranean hummus and pita pairing. Dinner is always lovely: Start with trout toast or warm olives and pair your app with a cocktail from their extensive beverage menu. If you’re hungry, go for the Delmonico steak with potatoes and salsa verde; for a more plant-forward meal choose the crispy marinated tofu with local mushrooms, fermented turnips, and maple soy. If you stay during one of the first three weekends in October, there will be culinary pop-ups from guest chefs plus live music, beer, and lawn games.
Can’t miss dish: The extremely popular Prospect burger. It’s piled high with smoked onion aioli, gouda, bacon marmalade, and Spanish onion.
Bottoms up: Fall at Prospect isn’t complete without their burnt maple Old Fashioned. They substitute sugar with maple syrup, add Nocino (a black walnut liqueur), and garnish with an orange peel.
What’s in town: Check out Fellow Mountain Café. The ham and cheese baguette with gruyere, Dijon, and cornichons is excellent, as is their homemade ice cream (the dairy is from Clark Farms in Delhi).
515 Leedsville Road, Amenia; troutbeck.com
Famed literary figures Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway loved staying at this historic hotel—which dates to 1765—but we bet their meals paled in comparison to what Troutbeck serves up today. The all-star restaurant team is led by executive chef Gabe McMackin, who’s a James Beard Award (Best Chef in New York State) semifinalist. McMackin’s 29-year-long career includes stints at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Gramercy Tavern, and The Finch in Brooklyn (where he received his first Michelin Star). McMackin is dedicated to hyperlocal ingredients in true farm-to-table fashion, and “knows where every single item comes from. He can tell you the exact cove in Martha’s Vineyard where the oysters were procured as well as the garden where the fresh dill garnish grew,” his team says. Naturally, the menu changes regularly: in late summer and early fall, expect starters like Wild Hive brioche with cowbella butter and honeycomb and Stonewood heirloom tomatoes with basil, stonefruit, and stracciatella. Main dishes such as Connecticut branzino with littleneck clams, nettles, fava beans, and asparagus and chicken with polenta and chantarelles are fresh and fabulous.
Can’t-miss dish: The Hiramasa crudo with cherries, shiso, and sugar kelp shoyu is memorable.
Bottoms up: Say so long to summer with the Floral Garden (bourbon, house grenadine, St. Germaine, lemon, and mint) or cheer in autumn with Smokey Night (El Dorado 8 Year Rum, mezcal, Pedro Ximénez sherry, Angostura bitters).
What’s in town: Amenia is very quaint. There are cute bakeries and cafes, such as Peggy’s Sweet and Savory and Great Cape Baking Company. Dig into an Instagram-worthy pie from Four Brother’s Pizza Inn, which is right next to their famous drive-in movie theater (which, we hear, is frequented by Wassaic resident Liam Neeson).
Wm. Farmer and Sons
20 South Front Street, Hudson; wmfarmerandsons.com
Hudson began its rise to fame with the nickname “Brooklyn of the North.” After the comparisons died down, the city made another name for itself—as one of the culinary capitals of the Hudson Valley. One top spot is the restaurant at the Wm. Farmer and Sons hotel. Created by William Kirby Farmer, a CIA-trained chef, and his set-designer wife Kristan Keck (both former Brooklynites) the hotel, which features beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites housed in 19th-century buildings is a lovely place to stay with the bonus of being steps away from an incredible dining experience. The restaurant, which is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday, features brick walls, cozy wood furnishings, and warm copper lighting. The well-rounded menu is influenced by Farmer’s North Carolina roots. At press time, starters included country ham with B&B pickles, pepper jelly, and biscuits and charcoal roasted beets with buttermilk, smoked garlic, and pistachio. Mains ranged from grilled prawn middlins with a sweet corn succotash to cast-iron duck breast with buttered turnips, seasonal greens, and a black pepper-sour cherry jus.
Can’t-miss dish: Farmer is equally adept with Spanish cuisine. Try the Iberian Pork Secreto. This is a prized cut of wide, flat meat from Pata Negra pigs. Farmer pairs it with vidalia onion soubise, shishito pepper, and trevisano.
Bottoms up: At the Mercantile—the barroom for small bites and drinks—you can’t go wrong with any of the cocktails. We’re partial to the American Trilogy, an autumnal combo of Rye whiskey, bonded applejack, orange bitters, and a brown sugar cube.
What’s in town: What isn’t in town! Whatever you’re craving, Hudson’s got it. Grab pastries or breakfast from Breadfolks or Le Gamin Country. Talbott & Arding offers up excellent cheeses and provisions in their expansive new space on Allen Street. The regionally acclaimed restaurants, Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, a James Beard Award nominated Pan-Latin restaurant, and the Tuscan delight Feast & Floret are also great options.
Related: The Beacon Hotel Restaurant