14 May 2010


 May 14, 2010

The past couple of weeks have been absolutely crazy between work and family obligations but I most certainly have not forgotten about my readers.  So, while I have a bit of a lull for the next few minutes, I thought I would finally update my blog.  I figured what better way to spotlight to great new restaurants in Upstate New York than with a new post.

As many of you follow me regularly know, I am married to a fantastic Bermudian and my in-laws come in a few times a year for visits.  We spend our time together mostly up in the Catskill mountains or Hudson Valley areas of New York State, which while beautiful, can also present a bit of a challenge for gluten-free dining options.  The Catskills are undergoing a bit of resurgence and in the past few years have become more like a relaxed Hamptons to the north.

On our last visit, the weekend before last, I did a bit of research and found two new (to me) restaurants that looked to be quite promising.  One was a dinner locale, The Red Onion and the other a breakfast option, Oriole 9.  Both are located in the artsy community of Woodstock and both were actually very pleasant surprises.

The Red Onion was a relaxed country Inn-like setting that had a bit of an edge to it.  While not a gluten-free restaurant they were actually very receptive to my food allergies and my experience was without incident.  Not to mention they mix a mean cocktail.  I had a wonderful roast beet salad with citrus vinaigrette, shaved fennel, ricotta salata, red onion, and mint.  It was simply delicious.  For my main course I decided upon the roast chicken with bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms, and roast potatoes.  Again, cooked to perfection – moist and tender.  For dessert I had quite possible the most decadent dark chocolate mousse that was made from scratch and one of the best I have ever tasted.  It was definitely among the top mousses that ever came across my palate.

The next morning we decided to give Oriole 9, a breakfast and lunch only locale a try.  Walking though the door was like walking into a relaxed European café.  It was decorated with local art and featured a variety of unique seating options from wonderfully comfortable banquettes to an elevated “stage” which is where we opted to dine.  The first thing you notice about this place is the coffee.  They have real European coffee that instantly transported me back to my favorite European café.  The menu was quite extensive and consisted of local offerings which was a nice touch and always good to see.  The menu on this Sunday morning was a mix of regular brunch items with specials also available – one of which was a gluten-free pasta option – nice.

I was really in a breakfast mood and when I saw they had homemade corned beef hash, I knew exactly what I would be having.  What then transpired was hash nirvana.  This was without question the best corned beef hash that I have ever indulged in.  It was fresh, lean corned beef that was mixed with just a small amount of potatoes and topped with cooked to order eggs.  I opted for over easy which made for a wonderfully decadent combination.  It is served in a bowl so you can mix until your heart is content.

I love it when I stumble across great new places and it just goes to show you that you can go gluten –free anywhere with just a bit of advanced research and planning.   If you find yourself in the Catskills, please give these two eclectic locales a try – you will not be disappointed.

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