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The Hudson Valley: Big Flavors in Small Places

New York’s Hudson Valley is home to the famed Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and is a stomping ground for four-star NYC-trained chefs. It’s also known for high quality, regionally produced cheeses, meats, and wines. Locals, weekenders, and tourists can take advantage of the region’s culinary landscape after a day of browsing for antiques in Hudson, touring a winery in Millbrook, or visiting an estate in Hyde Park. Here are a few of our favorite places.

americanbountyrestaurant.jpgAmerican Bounty
A great option for a leisurely lunch or special-occasion dinner. Stained-glass windows, tapestry-print curtains, and courtyard views keep the 130-seat space from looking institutional. Chefs-in-training prepare and serve from a seasonal menu highlighting regions of the U.S. The Southwest is represented in a playful and palate-pleasing tapas plate that includes a black bean and Quinoa crépe, and blue corn taquito. New England gets a nod with Maine scallops and shrimp perched atop a spring vegetable chowder prepared with tender fiddleheads. Desserts are made with local produce and include the must-order Hudson Valley apple sampler—a crisp apple crumble served with cinnamon buttermilk ice cream. Reservations suggested. 1946 Campus Drive, Hyde Park. 845/471-6608. $$$-$$$$.

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This 32-seat gem of a restaurant is located on the bustling Main Street of Tarrytown, a five-minute drive from the Rockefeller estate Kykuit. The space has an industrial feel, with an exposed brick wall, high ceiling and hanging white screens, and the menu includes daily specials and features locally grown organic produce as well as top-quality meats and fish. The not-to-be-missed gravlax salad showcases the house-cured wild salmon. Cooked to perfection, the braised lamb shank falls off the bone and is served on a bed of escarole. The desserts are a must, and include house-made fruited frangipani tart and banana dulce de leche crumble. The restaurant’s 80-bottle, international wine list focuses on single vineyards and small production wineries. Reservations suggested. 14 Main Street, Tarrytown. 914/703-6550. $$$-$$$$.

Contemporary American Fusion is the name of the culinary game at David Perlman’s so-hip-it-belongs-in-Tribeca spot. The blonde-wood tables and beige walls provide a neutral backdrop for the built-in waterfall and eye-catching art. Don’t let the tapas sign mislead you. Small plates like the Asian-inspired salmon-stuffed dumplings function best as appetizers. Standout entrées include creamy risotto served with head-on Guatemalan jumbo shrimp, and the seared sea scallops topped with a spiced pomegranate-soy drizzle. Sublime desserts like the warm chocolate cake—a moist pyramid of cake topped with a subtly sweet scoop of fresh-mint ice cream—are worth the splurge. If you arrive early, cool your heels at the bar, where the wine list includes many vintages from Napa and New Zealand. The 57-seat dining room can get a bit noisy. Reservations suggested. 240 Main Street, Beacon. 845/231-1084. $$-$$$.

Anna Mantzaris

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