I have to say that I had a fabulous time in the mountains this past weekend. The weather could not have been better (well, Saturday at least) and I got to indulge at one of my all-time favorite breakfast spots in Woodstock – Oriole 9. Sunday morning breakfast has become a tradition for us at Oriole 9 which offers a quirky but delicious respite that is reminiscent of a small European café that could be in any number of European cities. There is rotating art covering the walls and funky music playing at just the right level to allow for private conversations without having to listen to your neighbors – or vice-versa. The coffee is the real deal, ground fresh and brewed strong and served with water backs – just like I like it and perfect to get you moving on a lazy summer day.
The menu does not disappoint and each time I go there are several wonderful specials along with the tried and true breakfast/lunch menus. Oriole 9 does not serve dinner with the exception of special evenings every now and then where they offer guests the opportunity to indulge in a typically themed evening of dining.
The laid-back atmosphere and welcoming service make this spot a true stand-out. Yesterday’s breakfast did not disappoint. I always order the same thing without fail – their house made corned beef hash. Toss aside and preconceived notions you have of tinned hash coming out of a can (don’t get me wrong – that variety can be a comfort food stand-by and I like it as well) as Oriole 9’s is made from scratch and has to be quite possible the most delicious I have ever had. I actually crave it days before I know we will be heading up. The hash itself has just the right amount of potatoes and is actually more meat than spuds. The beef itself is house prepared and has the most wonderfully distinct flavor that must stem from the brining they use. It is not salty in the least and is topped with two eggs cooked to order – but is there really any other way to top it than with over easy or poached? I love piercing the soft yolks and having their richness meld with the beef and potatoes. Oh, and Oriole 9 serves this dish in a perfectly deep bowl that is perfectly conducive to mixing. Their presentation (of all dishes) is often just as quirky as the place itself but it all works – it is neither pretentious nor done just for the sake of being done – the presentations are practical and most important fun.
Two of us had the has while the other two had one of their specials – a fabulous looking whole artichoke stuffed with truffle oil infused scrambled eggs, fresh, thick cut toast, and a small salad. The word must have quickly spread as to how good this actually were because more and more artichokes kept coming from the kitchen as the restaurant began to fill. The two artichokes on our table had fresh bacon (cut by the restaurant) added as the perfect side to an already decadent dish.
If you are in Woodstock, Catskills, or Hudson Valley areas do not miss the opportunity to stop at Oriole 9 and if you like corned beef hash or even if you don’t think you like corned beef hash – give it a go – you will not be disappointed. And thank you Oriole 9 for making the most important meal of the day feel important once again.