Foster’s Coach House Tavern

New Menu Meet the Old Menu and Our Favorite HV Bartender Mary!

Chicken Parm Diinner and Champagne Cocktails at Fosters's in Rhinebeck

Chicken Parm Dinner and Champagne Cocktails at Foster’s Coach House Tavern in Rhinebeck

It’s always great to do something with one intention and get surprised when something wonderful happens! Case in point, about one and a half years ago I moved back to the Hudson Valley from spending a year out on Cape Cod. I was living just outside Rhinebeck and remembered Foster’s for their great food and cozy little bar. That’s the night I met Mary! Guess what? There is something about MARY! My bet is the patrons and the regulars of Foster’s know that too! At least that’s the impression we get.  She may like to be called “Scary Mary” but there’s nothing scary about her in our opinion she is the best bartender in the Hudson Valley.

Champagne Cocktails served by our favorite bartender Mary. Lamarca Pointsetta a splash of cranberry juice and fresh cranberries soaked in Grand Mernier.

Champagne Cocktails served by our favorite HV bartender Mary. Lamarca Pointsetta a splash of cranberry juice and fresh cranberries soaked in Grand Mernier.

The first thing she will ask you after saying hello or asking what you would like to drink is “what’s your name”? Now, where not going to assume she remembers every person’s name…but she has a good track record. Just ask the regulars! What else? She introduces you to other people at the bar. She is a quick thinker, courteous, funny and all you expect someone who works in the hospitality field should be at a busy Rhinebeck bar and restaurant.

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Ok, so fast forward… this past friday nite. Oh, buy the way, Mary works Friday and Saturday evenings. I decided, I have been hibernating way to long and going to take the 45 minute ride up to Rhinebeck from Fishkill. Here’s what I was talking about earlier. Turn’s out Foster’s Coach House Tavern is premiering their NEW – old menu.

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Seems that after their renovation, they came out with a different menu and the regulars didn’t like it much. So we were there for the premiere of all the favorites and back to the moderate prices that the regulars are used to paying. Yes,there are a few new menu twists…cause of course you have to update things sometimes…even just a little. But, for the most part…the old menu is the new menu at Foster’s Coach House Tavern again.  So what ever you enjoyed before for lunch or dinner; shrimp, french dip, steaks, chicken, it’s all still there!

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So there it is! We enjoyed champagne cocktails that Mary suggested, a delicious hot meal and great people to talk to  on both sides of the bar in this cozy bar restaurant. Oh, did I also mention it was owner Phoebe Kirwood’s Birthday too! That’s the serendipity part of the night out. We were on hand to enjoy talking to other patrons as well as other members of the staff that Phoebe and Mary introduced me to.

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Vincent Massa and Dustin Kittle are now the two head chefs that attended the CIA. Vincent has a background at restaurants in Florida and Dustin comes from another restaurant in the area. Dustin was quick to say how “Rhinebeck has a huge food culture and Foster’s is a cornerstone experience. It’s a night out for locals and families and known for a lot of good inexpensive comfort food.”

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That’s also a good feeling when you know you have the right staff.  We also want to give a shout out to Gidget another bartender here and her hospitality and Carrie who is always funny on both sides of the bar…in particular this night sitting three seats away.

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So, if you didn’t know they closed, reopened or changed their menu….give Foster’s another try! This family second generation restaurant is operated by the late Bob Kirwood’s daughter Phoebe Kirwood. The regulars and weekenders will always have fond memories of Bob bartending behind the bar. My guess is if you visit this cozy bar and restaurant you’ll be adding to those memories for generations to come.

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Melissa Tyler

Melissa Tyler

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