Wine & Dine

Tailgating ARMY Football Style



You don’t have to live in the Hudson Valley to know about ARMY Football and tailgating on Saturday’s in the Fall. People come from upstate, down state, out of state and beyond to take in a game. Tailgating is part of the day’s festivities with people showing up by 9 am and setting up to cook, eat, relax and enjoy the game.

Get Your Tickets to the NEXT home ARMY Football Game Here 


Some start off the day cooking a breakfast sandwich on the grill.


For others, there’s nothing like a bagel.


The key ingredient is friends and family together.


So, line up the coolers…and let’s see what’s cooking!





















Get Your Tickets to the NEXT home ARMY Football Game Here

Feature Story Photos By Melissa Tyler

Weed Orchards + Winery

Flowers, Pick Your Own Orchards

Cider, Pizza + More
















Weed Orchards + Winery in Marlboro

Pick Your Own Flower, Fruit + Vegetable Orchard. 

Weekend Barbecues, Cider, wine + pub menu and

The BEST Pizza I’ve had so far in the Hudson Valley

Oh yes, they make their own candles too!

Try the apple a house favorite and perfect for this time of year!

Plan YOUR Wedding in Their Outdoor Church

Feature Photos By Melissa Tyler

Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern

Luxury Boutique Hotel 

100 miles north of New York City, in the village of Saugerties Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern is a Destination Luxury Boutique Hotel. With  picturesque views of the Esopus Creek and Catskill Mountains and close proximity to the Hudson River, it has become a favorite place for guests visiting from New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, Albany, upstate New York, as well as the Hudson Valley. IMG_0419

The Cantine Paper Mill, built in 1888 formerly stood at this very location. The mill closed its doors in 1966, and a fire in 1978 devastated the original building leaving the lot vacant for many years.  In 2010, Thomas Struzzieri; President and CEO of Diamond Mills, acquired the property. He would take his morning run by the property and thought it would be a great location to open a luxury property that would accommodate special occasions in Saugerties.

 You may recognize Tom’s name from HITS Horse Shows  Tom has a vision for creating things. He has created  HITS Horse Shows, a world class horse show circuit, Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern; a luxury boutique hotel in the Village of Saugerties, as well as the 2015 opening of  Black Barn Restaurant in NYC.



Today, 7000 square feet of versatile conference and special event space make up Diamond Mills. The conference and special event space is unrivaled by anything in the area. The hotel is compromised of 28 guest rooms and 2 suites.  The suites have two floors. One is called The Tower Suite and the other the Esopus Suite. All guest rooms have outdoor sitting areas with views of the rushing Esopus Falls.

The village of Saugerties is a short walk up the street where guests can enjoy shopping and local eateries. The boutique hotel offers in room mini bar, overstuffed duvets, luxury Egyptian cotton linens, room service from the Tavern, and complimentary wine and cheese social each evening in The Tavern.





May through October is the high season for weddings at Diamond Mills. The Grand Ballroom includes a terrace overlooking the Esopus Falls  and accommodates up to 300 guests.  In the evening. the the falls are lit and makes for quite a view.  For smaller weddings and parties the Fireside Mezzanine accommodates up to 25 guests.


Waterfalls at Night at Diamond Mills By Kevin Ferguson Photography

Waterfalls at Night at Diamond Mills By Kevin Ferguson Photography

We sat down and talked with Mark Rice, Concierge at the hotel for five years and Morgan Marks; Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the hotel and the Tavern.  Mark tells us how guests are pleasantly surprised to find Diamond Mills in the quaint village of Saugerties. They like how the hotel  accommodates weddings and includes world class cuisine at The Tavern.  Guests like the staff, great housekeeping and like to dine at The Tavern. 



Wedding guests have such a good experience at Diamond Mills they often tell a relative or friend and wind up coming back for additional weddings. That is how most of the hotel’s wedding business has grown.

HITS Horse Shows

Many of the exhibitors and spectators for HITS Horse Shows also find their way to Diamond Mills Hotel & Tavern.   They stay at the hotel or come by for cocktails and dinner after a horse show.  Exhibitors come from all over the country and Diamond Mills offers a nearby barn with stables for equestrian owners. The outdoor patio is a great place to experience a few cocktails with the Esopus Creek view.


A conference room is also available for meetings and luncheons and many local professionals use the space to host meetings with clients.


First Friday’s are held every month in Saugerties. It’s a night of live music, tastings and shops are open late. The hotel also features a popular buffet on First Friday’s from 5-10 pm for $25 per person. There are different themes for each month’s buffet from seafood to Italian, Irish food and more. It’s Best to check the website for upcoming months.


The next surprise is when you turn the corner into the dining room at The Tavern. The dining room is large, airy and modern but elegant and decorated in a color scheme of camel and grays. The tavern is open for Lunch, Dinner and Brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Shrimp Cocktail with wasabi mayo and cocktail sauce (pictured below), oysters, salads, flat-breads. burgers and entrees like Flat Iron Steak, Sandwich of the Day and Salmon Greek Salad are on the menu for Lunch. Favorites for lunch are: Italian Flat-bread, healthy salad bowl and Burgers. Menus Change Seasonally and are created by  CIA Alumnus, Executive Chef Giuseppe Napoli

Dinner Entrees include: Pheasant, rabbit, short ribs, cod  and salmon. To view the dinner menu click here.

Signature cocktails at The Tavern are created by Bar Manager and House Sommelier Alison Berlin. You’ll find an assortment of local Craft Beers as well as specialty cocktails that change seasonally. Currently at The Tavern ise the “Sunflower” made with Catskill Distillery Curious Gin, Triple Sec, Elder flower Liqueur, Fresh Lemon juice and “Spring Fizz” made with Gin, peach brandy, lemon house-made, grenadine, sugar, egg white and Angostura Bitters.


Diamond Mills’ sister property, The Saugerties Steamboat Co. will open as a recreational oasis offering kayaking, paddle boards and fishing charters starting in Summer 2016. The venue will also host weddings and special events.

Diamond Mill Hotel and Tavern

has continually been named

BEST of Hudson Valley since it’s opening from

Hudson Valley Magazine

To Find out more about what to do in the area like hiking trails, adventure tours, horseback riding, historic sites, the Saugerties Lighthouse, Levon Helm Studio,  HITS Horse Shows, Bethel Woods LIVE and other destination events Click Here

Mark Rice; Diamond Mills Hotel Concierge

To Book Your Hotel Reservations Click Here 

To View Menus and Make Reservations Click Here

For Wedding Inquires Click Here

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Feature Story Photos By Melissa Tyler





Dining at Valley Restaurant at The Garrison

Dining + Inn + Weddings + Golf


 The Garrison in Putnam County is a Destination Restaurant in the Hudson Valley. It’s a favorite among locals, weekenders and people who like to take a drive out of the city for dinner.

Last week,  I toured The Garrison which is also a Hudson Valley destination wedding location and includes a four room Inn and an 18 hole golf course. Now, I know what everyone else is raving about!

The Valley Restaurant and The World End Bar are the two main dining areas of the signature critically-acclaimed fine dining restaurant.  The Valley Dining Room exudes a combination of country charm and modernism. Both have stunning views and outdoor dining is available on the patio. Dinner is served Thursday – Sunday starting at 5pm and Weekend Brunch is served on both, Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Reservations are recommended.

This is the place where you can watch the sunset, sip cocktails and enjoy a delicious

Farm to Table Dinner or Weekend Brunch.

The World End Bar got it’s name because it has a view of the bend on the Hudson River.  In it’s pioneering days, if you didn’t know how to steer the boat around this curve you could crash.


 Vincent Mocarski is the Executive Chef who has been at the Garrison for 16 years. He makes everything in-house and that starts with the sauces and stocks.  The Garrison also has their own Pastry Chef, Kirstie Castellano who makes house baked breads, desserts and ice cream.

IMG_9644 A house favorite here is the Parsnip Soup. Which is a Duck Confit Brioche with Chives. It goes well with the mild taste of the Herb Focaccia.  Herbs and vegetables are farm fresh and from their own garden. They grow plenty of fresh herbs that are used in everything from cocktails to desserts, as well as vegetables like baby carrots, squash, tomatoes, zucchini and a wide variety of other vegetables.

The Hudson Valley Story Says:

The Garrison is a place to Sit + Sip + Savor All The Flavors Of A Well Defined Menu.

The Garrison Outdoor Dining Patio. Photo Courtesy of The Garrison

The Garrison Outdoor Dining Patio. Photo Courtesy of The Garrison

Couples like this restaurant for it’s spectacular view, atmosphere and everything tastes so fresh.  It’s a place to start off with a cocktail. The Garrison is known for their Extensive Wine List and After Dinner Drink Selections. They also make house made syrups and tinctures that include fresh ingredients for cocktails. Two house favorites are: The Garrison’s Manhattan which is made from local bourbon from Warwick Valley Distillery, blood orange made syrup and local sour cherry liqueur. Gin Martini’s are also made with local Warwick Valley Gin, Elderly Flower Liqueur, Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice and a Splash of Champagne.

IMG_9610 The Menu at the Garrison is very Farm To Table. It changes from week to week and offers in season different daily specials.  Fresh herbs and vegetables from their garden are included and prepared in a way only the The Garrison can.

Small Plate favorites here are Wild Cod Tacos with scallion and cilantro, Maine Lobster Sliders with Old Bay Fries or Salad, Maryland Crab Cakes and Raw Oysters.

The Tripple B is a popular selection available Thursday evening and during Brunch on the weekend. It consists of Beer or a Bloody Mary, Beausoleil Oysters and a Burger.

IMG_9659Dinner Entree favorites are Valley Wagyo Beef Burgers, Long Island Duck Breast and a Weekly Fish Special. The Long Island Duck Breast is a Hudson Valley Foie Gras  served with Duck Fat Potatoes and Grilled Ramps.

Dessert Is Truly A Treat

IMG_9677The Hudson Valley Story says:  The Strawberry Shortcake is A Must-Do! Mascarpone Moose, Chiffon Cake with Strawberries, House Made Basil Ice Cream and Yuzu + Pistachio Crumble. The flavors and lightness of this dessert and the house-made basil ice cream were incredible. I wanted to take a second order to go!

Other Unique crafted desserts include a Churro Ice Cream Sandwich with Mexican Hot Chocolate Dipping Sauce, and a Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Mousse, Whiskey Carmel, Cinnamon Sorbet and Carmel Popcorn. We hear the Elvis Cheesecake is on point and House-made Ice Creams and Sorbets are served.

IMG_9572Brunch offers a variety of dishes including Maine Lobster Omelette,  Nutella with Banana French Toast, Short Rib of Beef Hash, as well as small plate appetizers, Burgers and more.

Guests like the complexity of flavors that come through and that the menu items are unique. Everyone who dines at the Garrison loves the experience. Many of the locals dine here twice a week. They come in after a long day at work in the city and on the weekend. Couples from the city like to drive up for dinner and a lot of the restaurant’s clientele come from the surrounding area and northern Westchester.

IMG_9623 The Inn at The Garrison features four guest rooms. People like to come up for a getaway for a night or two and golf and stay at the Inn. During the winter, several writers have also stayed at the Garrison while working on their next book.

Weddings at The Garrison


The Garrison is a Go-To Destination

In season, from mid April through mid November the Garrison is booked with a wedding every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The view from the outdoor garden and under the Arbor is breathtaking. It is a favorite place that couples from the Hudson Valley as well as the metropolitan area unite.

The Countryside Retreat is just an hour north of Manhattan. It is a favorite for Personalized Service as well as the exceptional views and farm to table food. 

IMG_9557 The Hudson Room is the glass room where Wedding Guests Experience Cocktail Hour

The indoor spaces at the Garrison were designed by award-winning minimalist designer Tony Chi. Classic, neutral and magnified by ample light is the style that everybody loves! The River Room is the Glass enclosed room that has scenic views of the spectacular Hudson Highlands and overlooks the Hudson River.


 To Contact The Garrison Wedding Consultant Click Here

To Golf at The Garrison Click Here


To Reserve Dinner or Brunch Click Here 

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Feature Story Photos By Melissa Tyler

Emerson Resort & Spa Debuts NEW Look

Essence of the Catskills

The Emerson Resort & Spa

If you’ve never visited the Emerson Resort & Spa in the Catskills,  2016 is the year to go!  So, we did!  Yes,  The Hudson Valley Story just spent a couple of days experiencing the resort, spa and new restaurant, Woodnotes Grille, and we were impressed by the service, accommodations, spa and Catskill inspired cuisine. 


Photo Courtesy Emerson Resort & Spa

After a multi-million dollar renovation, the resort has a new look that is more reflective of the properties namesake, legendary poet  Ralph Waldo Emerson.  His famous essay “Nature” was the incentive for the development of the Catskill Forest Preserve surrounding the Emerson grounds. Emily Fisher, the owner of the resort worked close with designer Rosyln Cama. Together, they were inspired by the Essence of the Catskills. They brought the outside in with open spaces, large windows that expose stunning outdoor views and an earthy color palette of browns, blues, whites and greens. The resort also commissioned a variety of new NATURE based artwork that includes sculptures, art pieces and paintings by several notable artists.  

Emerson Resort & Spa

The Great Room at the Emerson Resort & Spa

We toured the new looking contemporary resort, and stayed at the Adirondack-Style Lodge which overlooks the Esopus Creek. Tamara Murray, Marketing Director for the resort tells us that guests that come up from the metropolitan area are surprised at how big the rooms are. The Lodge is one of two accommodation styles.  Guests can stay at  the contemporary style Inn and the mountain inspired Lodge. Both types of accommodations have multiple room styles, including suites with 2 floors.

The Emerson Resort & Spa

Downstairs is a a big living space with a big fireplace, vaulted ceilings,  a full bath and includes a porch and grounds that lead to views of the creek. Upstairs is the loft with and a full bath that includes a Jacuzzi.

The Inn rooms were renovated and include  new furniture, light fixtures and carpeting. Renovations to the Lodge include converting the old Front Desk area to a seating area with couches, tables and the grand fireplace. It’s a great place for families and groups to gather.

Photo Courtesy Emerson Resort Spa & Resort

Photo Courtesy Emerson Resort Spa & Resort

The lobby of the Lodge is picture perfect and an additional space to soak up the atmosphere with friends or just read a book. The Emerson is a place for families, couples, wedding parties, escapes from the city or a great place to stay while visiting family and friends in the area. Some rooms are pet friendly. The grounds feature the Catamount Dog Park,  a place to picnic, play volleyball and bonfires on Friday + Saturday night during Summer.

If you live in the Hudson Valley or upstate this is also a great place to get away for a night and experience a Stay-cation in unique relaxed surroundings, get spa treatments and enjoy delicious  Catskill cuisine. 

Emerson Resort & Spa

The Spa

Photo Courtesy of The Emerson Resort & Spa

Photo Courtesy of The Emerson Resort & Spa

The Spa renovations will be complete in June 2016.  In the meantime,  spa services are still being offered on-site. Traditional Massages + European Facials + Luxury Spa Pedicure’s are available by appointment. The HVStory suggests you make as many of these appointments as you can! The Emerson Resort provides an experience of relaxation  and well-being in a picturesque setting. The new Spa will debut a new menu of treatments that will combine their natural surroundings with the deep relaxation effects of stone therapy.  A fitness center, steam room and sauna are on premises and yoga classes are also offered.  This is a place to go rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.

Spa Treatments Are Part of the Emerson Experience!

Emerson Resort & Spa

Besides the views from indoors, the Emerson offers paths to walk and places to sit with views of the Esopus Creek and the peaks of Mount Tremper.

Woodnotes Grill 

Woodnotes Grill

Photo Courtesy of Emerson Resort & Spa

Catskill Creative Cooking

A highlight of the renovation is the launch of The Emerson’s new restaurant Woodnotes Grille.  The Woodnotes Grille features traditional American dishes. Catskill Creative Cooking is Food you know done the Emerson way, with fresh locally sourced foods, unforgettable flavors and ingredients with little innovative twists! Burgers, Steak, Seafood and Vegetarian fare are all available. The locals as well as tourists are surprised of the level of wine selection. You will find a lot of small batched made wines and spirits. Many guests from Brooklyn, Long Island and Connecticut love the redesigned restaurant and menu.

The Emerson Resort & Spa

 Dinner is served from 5pm to 10pm.

Cocktails are served Friday – Sunday starting at 3pm.

The Emerson Resort & Spa

Photo Courtesy of The Emerson Resort & Spa

Woodnotes Grille puts a spin on the classic cocktail by using high-end artisanal spirits, bitters, fresh squeezed juices and the finest ingredients.  Hand Crafted Cocktails are offered. Tell them your favorite spirits and flavors and they will create an original cocktail paired to your tastes.

Happier Hour is served Monday thru Thursday from 5-7 + Friday from 3-7  with $5 Appetizers.

Thursday Night is Oyster & Wine Night

Woodnotes Grille

After spa treatments, It was time for those hand crafted beverages and an appetizer. I chose a selection of air dried + cured meats appetizer that was delicious.  My spirit of choice that evening was Tequila.  Greg Gagne, General Manager of Woodnotes Grill made me a SMOKY Mezcal Molasses Gimlick.  This blended and complimented the meats, cranberry chutney and old fashioned mustard very well!

Catskill Creative Cooking, I like it!


Menus do change seasonally and a new Spring menu is about to be released for May.


Breakfast is served from 7am to noon. The Veggie Benedict was delicious!  Poached eggs served on sweet potato kale hash with avocado, salsa Verde + Pico  Degallo. The fresh squeezed grapefruit juice was particular sweet, fresh and flavorful.  Other Breakfast entree’s include: Smoked Salmon Omelette’s, Cinnamon Challah French Toast Stick served with Catskill Mountain Maple Syrup and Quinola Granola with seasonal fruit and a complete offering of juices are available.

The Emerson Resort & Spa

Breakfast  or Dinner the mood and views are very relaxing at Woodnotes Grille

Woodnotes Grille

 Before or After Breakfast or in the evening is also great time to walk around the grounds of The Emerson Resort & Spa along the Esopus Creek. Esopus Creek Country Stores + Worlds Largest Kaleidoscope 

The Emerson Resort & Spa

The Country Store is a must stop! It’s a place for coffee and light sandwiches and fresh baked cookies, as well as Catskill Mountain local products like Phoenicia Honey and Ariston Gourmet Olive Oils.. There are tastings on the weekends.  You will find something for everyone here in terms of shopping. The Toy Chest, the Emerson Men’s Shop, a  Home & Garden Shop and Melina’s Boutique.

The Emerson Resort & Spa

Ah, But one of the most unique things about the Emerson Resort & Spa and The Country Stores is that it is home

to the  World’s Largest Kaleidoscope   

Whether you are a collector or a tourist, you will want to see this! Standing 56 feet tall and 38 feet in diameter, the silo from the original farm (which was once an ice cream stop) built on the former Risley Flats was transformed into the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope.  The connected barn on the property was built in 1860 and is now home to the Emerson Country Stores.  Collectors + Tourists make this a destination stop, not only to view the show but to collect unique kaleidoscopes.

Emerson Resort & Spa

A 20th Anniversary celebration is planned for Saturday, July 9th to debut a new Kaleidoscope show. Viewings that day will be complimentary and many events are planned for the 1 day celebration. The Spa will also be completed with it’s renovation. This is a great kick off to Summer and just another reason to plan your visit to The Emerson Resort  & Spa.

To Learn More About The Emerson Resort & Spa + Make Your Reservations Click Here

To Learn More About Destination Weddings at The Pavilion Click Here   

 A Conference Room is Available for Corporate Functions

Follow The Emerson For Daily Updates on

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Photos By Melissa Tyler Except Where Noted

Supplied Courtesy of The Emerson Resort & Spa


La Puerta Azul Mexican Food + Drink

Do You Like Guacamole + Good Times + Unique Atmosphere 

La Puerta Azul is the Mexican Restaurant with the BEST Guacamole I ever had! They make it fresh on a serving cart right in front of your table! They also make their own roasted tomato salsa and corn tortillas.


Everything about this restaurant is UNIQUE! While this restaurant has been opened since 2005, Raffi Abououkal has owned it for the last year. A veteran on the Hudson Valley restaurant scene for almost 19 years, he is excited to own the unique and well noted Spanish family restaurant.

We sat down and talked with Raffi, and Ashley Lane Front House Manager for  the restaurant for six years. Raffi tells us, from the design of the building’s exterior to the design and style of the interior this is one of the most authentic Spanish restaurant’s not only in the Hudson Valley, but New York.

IMG_8870Unique Design, Unique Food and Unique Atmosphere 

That’s what seems to be the theme not only of the restaurant, but what it’s loyal customers like. It’s the place to go for good quality fresh authentic Spanish Cuisine. Thinking outside the box in terms of Daily Specials and having something for everyone on their menu is important to them.

IMG_8876The Cantina 

The Cantina also has a unique atmosphere. It’s a great place for drinks and good food. Plus,  there’s LIVE Music three nites a week Thursday – Saturday. Thursday is an open-mic nite from  8-11. Friday + Saturday nite is live local entertainment and the schedule changes weekly throughout the month. So you can check their website or Facebook page for updates.

 Monday is Margarita Monday with $5 Margaritas all nite!

Happy Hour

Happy Hour is from 4-7 pm, seven days a week.  Half Price Appetizers are offered as well as $3 Mexican Beers + $5 Classic Margaritas 

IMG_8974 Let’s Get Back To The Food

The Guacamole  is the BEST I’ve ever had…hands down! And that’s what the local’s say too! We had Shrimp Fajitas and a well served Margarita on the rocks.

Three of the House favorites are:  Carne Asada A skirt steak with caramelized onions, seasonal vegetable, morita chile sauce and sweet corn rice. Taco’s Available in vegetable, Chicken, Fish, Steak + Pork. Camerones al Chipotle’: Shrimp, Avocado, Garlic Lime Chile sauce and Corn Rice.


Let’s Talk Dessert

This restaurant has superior desserts. I had a hard time deciding, but had to try  one of their Fried Ice Cream desserts.  Chocolate Ice Cream covered in an Oreo crust with Mexican chocolate Sauce and cajeta caramel! One word… WOW!

Lunch  + Dinner are served 7 days a week

 Brunch is served on Saturday + Sunday from 11:30 am – 3 pm. 


Family Get Together’s + Parties

La Puerta Azul is  many things to many people. A place families can come for lunch or dinner or for a special occasion like a birthday or family event. It’s a place to go with friends. It’s a place to go to meet new friends and enjoy the LIVE music in the Cantina. A smaller private room is also available that accommodates a party of 10. The restaurant is also used for community functions and can also be rented for private events.  In May, they launch the opening of their outdoor patio which is sure to be a new fast favorite.

IMG_8924This is truly a Hudson Valley Dining Destination Experience. It’s not a place you need to rush in and rush out. It’s a place to relax and spend some time. If you haven’t tried it The HVStory recommends that you do!

For Information and Menus Click Here

For Daily Updates Follow on

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All Photos By Melissa Tyler

Friday Night Seafood Buffet

MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant

SeafoodSeafood Lovers This is for you! 

Every Friday night MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant at The Thayer Hotel at West Point serves a Seafood Buffet from 5:30 – 9:30pm.

The buffet includes soups, salads, a variety of seafood items including shrimp, scallops, crab legs and more! Non seafood entrees are also on the buffet. A highlight of the buffet is the chocolate fountain and a variety of desserts.


The HVStory Says:  Make your Reservations Now!

For Reservations or More information Click Here 

IPA’s, Cider + Wine That’s Grand Cru in Rhinebeck


In Rhinebeck, there’s a place the locals like to gather for good craft beer it’s called Grand Cru Beer & Cheese Market. Known as a bottle and tap room it will be celebrating their 6th year Anniversary in June.  Alicia Lenhart and Rod Johnson will celebrate their 4th anniversary as owners on June 11th with a celebration event!



Double IPA’s are the #1 craft beer served at Grand Cru, followed by IPA’s, Stouts Sours, Porters, Lager’s and Ales, plus ciders and wine. The tap room has 16 taps which is a great variety for the Hudson Valley. They have a cold  room downstairs where they keep the kegs so that gives them the flexibility to serve the volume of beers they do. Plus, they also have a healthy retail selection of over 200 cold bottled beers that you can sip and chat with friends or take to go.


Grand Cru is a proud supporter of the local craft breweries in the Hudson Valley. With nearly 40 in an hour and a half travel radius, there are plenty to bring in on tap or in cans and bottles. The talent and what is being produced is impressive. The inventory reflects the local craft brewery in a big way.


This is the local place where everyone knows each other and if you don’t they will make you feel comfortable coming anyway.  Locals and weekenders frequent the tap room and of course the tourists flock here as well.


We sat with owner Rod and his wife Alicia and talked craft beer and learned some hard statistics. Three craft breweries are opening per day in the United States.  Rod tells us that the number of craft  breweries are just now equaling the same amount of breweries that existed at the start of probation. Considering, there are so many more people in the country now and the demand is less than the supply.  Plus, another reason for the growth of craft beer is becasue the millennial generation grew up with their parents drinking craft beer so it’s their natural go-to choice.

18Cheese + Charcuterie Boards


This is a Must do! The cheese and Charcuterie boards are made from local cheeses. Many are from  R&G, Adirondack Cheese and Sprout Creek Farm. Besides the cheese boards, bread and pretzels served are made locally in Kingston by Deising Bakery.

13 This is the place you go to have a few drinks and a snack before dinner or a few drinks after dinner. You’ll find a a well curated selection of craft beers bought from seven distributors. Plus a great wine selection that includes local favorites from Millbrook Winery as well as National and International selections that change seasonally.


Hosting Events + Live Music + Art Exhibits

The Grand Cru Tasting Team Series offers  Complementary Tasting Events once a month on Thursday from 5-8pm. The GCTT  is offered about every 3 weeks where they invite a brewery and you can taste five or 6 beers that evening on tap.

Grand Cru Rhinebeck

Two  Saturday evenings a month the taproom features live music by Hudson Valley singer songwriters. The lights are dimmed, the candles are lit and there’s a completely different vibe than during the afternoon. Local artists also have monthly art exhibits.


The HVStory says if you have not visited this craft beer tap room, you should make plans  now! Be sure to order the Charcuterie Board and you are probably gonna want to take home a growler or two, too! 23

Follow Grand Cru on Facebook to get all their event announcements + on Instagram for NEW tap alerts and other news!

Photos By Melissa Tyler

Underground Coffee & Ales

Highland Coffee & Ales Pub A Big Attraction

Underground Coffee & Ales

The Research

Coffee and Craft Beer are a winning combination at Underground Coffee & Ales in Highland. The Coffee Pub which opened October 2015, is the unique brainchild of Erin and Jeremy Intonti.

How do you combine coffee + beer? The answer is simple. The Highland couple live close to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail and the Walkway over the Hudson and like to walk the two parks on a regular basis. One thing led to another and Erin liked the idea of combining a place that you could get a coffee and a bite to eat. The couple are craft beer enthusiasts and that’s how they combined the two.

Erin & Jeremy

The couple who are the original founders of the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival on the Beacon waterfront spent years researching craft beer. They did their homework by visiting breweries, craft beer festivals and other craft beer pubs. They may call themselves “beer nerds” but there’s nothing nerdy about the brand they are building.



Stop by for breakfast Thursdays thru Sunday from 9 am – 11:30 am and you’ll find menu selections like the Rail Trail Sandwich which includes fresh eggs, mixed greens, Parmesan cheese + avocado on a Brioche roll. A Caboose Sandwich includes fresh eggs, sausage, sharp cheddar, salsa + avocado on a Brioche roll. Buttermilk flapjacks, homemade Belgium waffles with fresh fruits, pastries are also just some of the menu options and of course we haven’t talked about the coffee.


Coffee + More

Underground serves a large selection of coffees that are made locally in the Hudson Valley in Tarrytown by Coffee Lab Rosters. They serve 9 latte’s, cappuccino, espresso,  iced coffee’s, ice latte’s, cappuccino latte’s, chai latte’s and Harney & Son’s Tea. This place is a coffee lovers dream!


The Beers

Underground Coffee & Ales is more an Artisianal beer and concept pub. They serve 10 craft taps that rotate almost daily. This is the unique experience that customers like as well. This destination pub brings it’s patrons new experiences. It truly is an adventure going as the beer you may have had yesterday, is not guaranteed tomorrow. But, that is what is popular in the whole craft beer trend. Small batches are made and the changing taps almost daily guarantee freshness!


Bet You Can’t Taste Just One

Options, options, options! That’s what you’ll find. Not sure what you want, ask for a sample. The underground features seasonal and hard to find beers and ciders from the Hudson Valley as well as all over New York. One and Done, not quite; but today people are into UNIQUE and One-Off’s that breweries make in small batches.


Beer Flight

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, Beer Flights are the way to go! It’s part of the whole Craft Beer experience. Tasting several types of beer light and dark, mixing and matching and finding out what your favorites are. That combined with a great pub menu of soups, cheese board, burgers, apple onion sausage sandwich, grilled pesto & mozzarella chicken sandwich and we can personally say the best black bean burger we ever had.


Art + Music


Live Music + Entertainment is available several times per week and it’s best to check the Underground Facebook page for daily + weekly updates. The day we were there was the opening exhibit of  Jeffrey Anzivino’s phototography and he also played a set with his band mates

5 Whether your a local, traveling from somewhere in the Hudson Valley, a weekender or a tourist to the area, Underground Coffee & Ales is a stop you will want to make.

Why You Should Visit!

This coffee pub has craft beer that rotates their taps almost daily. The beer is brewed in small batches so it’s big on flavor. They support local brand coffee’s, teas, beer + music and are conveniently close to the Rail Trail and Walkway Over the Hudson.


Photos By Melissa Tyler

Kwirky Kakes baked by area favorite baker

Birthday, Wedding + Special Occasion Cakes

Kwirky Kakes 9 Barbie Cake

Linda Cronk has been baking cakes since she was a teenager. A descendant of the Huguenots that founded New Paltz, she started baking at 13 and began decorating cakes for family events at 15. She and her sister had always wanted to open a bakery.  As a student in Arlington, she took every food class they taught and won an award for excellence in baking. She also took a Wilton class while working in the food service business.Kwirky Kakes Wonderland Bridal Shower cake

In 1992, she began working at the Pastry Garden in Poughkeepsie. She started as a sales girl and worked her way up to head decorator. Being mostly self-taught she says she had some excellent teachers along the way. She’s also taught Wilton classes as well.

Qwirky KAkes 8 Chocolate Wedding cake

After baking for more than 30 years, she recently left The Pastry Garden to start her own home business Qwirky Kakes. Her goal is to eventually have a storefront location. She’s also working on a website, but in the meantime you can find her through facebook  

Qwirky Kakes 4 Monster High Cake

She bakes cakes for all occasions from birthday to wedding and special occasions. Her favorite cake was a team effort with her husband.  He created a working carousel stand and Linda went on to decorate it with horses. The cake on top was a stack of whimsical circus animals. She loved it so much that she features it on her business card.

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Another favorite was a very lifelike looking trout. She has done everything from buildings to castles, cars, trucks, motorcycles and a lot of animals. Everyone says her cakes taste as good as they look and that no one ever wants to cut them. Freshness and quality are key!

Qwirky Kakes 1 baby jungle shower cake

Creating a custom cake starts with ideas from the customer. A lot of the times it comes from photos  that someone saw online and Linda tweaks the specifics and the flavors. Whether it’s a bride looking for a wedding cake or someone looking for a birthday or shower cake a lot of her customers come to her with inspiration from photos they have seen online. After years of experience baking Linda is confident in handling special requests and making recommendations.

Kwirky Cakes 6 Jaws Bday Cake

Being a part of people’s special events is important to Linda. “It’s great to see kids grow up and be a part of their milestones. I consider it to be a privilege.”  Fundraisers are also an important aspect of her business.  She recently participated as part of a cake sale raffle to raise funds for a good friend struggling with cancer. The fundraiser was very successful.  Kwirky Kakes has been involved with Calvary Chapel Christian Nursery School for the last 14 years and Linda enjoys seeing the happy young faces and working with them. People love to get goodies from bake sales and are very generous. Plus getting to talk to the community and being involved is something important.

Qwirky KAkes 11 stars cake

Delivery of the cakes is an important matter as well. Some people want them delivered while others like to transport them. Depending on the situation, time of year, temperature, distance and humidity, it’s all something that Qwirky Kakes is mindful of.  Linda has also earned the title of Cake Doctor as sometimes people have called upon her services to fix cakes she has not even made or when others have choose to transport a cake.

Qwirky Kakes 3 Birthday Cake

 Do you know someone having a birthday or special occasion coming up?  It’s best to get on the Qwirky Kakes calendar early.

All Photos By Qwirky Kakes



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