New York's Hudson Valley has long supplied the kitchens of city chefs like Daniel Boulud and Michael Romano with first-rate produce and pasture-raised meat. But in recent years chefs of the valley itself—about two hours north of Manhattan—have begun making the most of this bounty, opening restaurants committed to ingredient-conscious cooking. Dan Barber's superb Blue Hill at Stone Barns, in Pocantico Hills, is the most lauded newcomer; just north are a handful of other spots worth seeking out.
Aubergine The veteran in the valley, chef David Lawson continues to pack the dining room of this 1783 Dutch colonial house near the Massachusetts border. His French-inspired fare includes panko-crusted veal sweetbreads accompanied by apple meunière; sage-scented roast chicken served over wild mushrooms and fresh cavatelli; and perfectly seasoned lamb chops paired with quivering garlic flan and tapenade. Dinner, $75. At the intersection of Rtes. 22 and 23, Hillsdale; 518-325-3412.
Bølgen & Moi A decade ago Toralf Bølgen and Trond Moi opened their first Bølgen & Moi outside Oslo. Last year they expanded their empire—all the way to the bustling antiques town of Hudson, New York. The menu at this quirky space, decorated with artwork by photographers Knut Bry and Gilles Tondini, offers dishes such as salmon confit with mango chutney, chicken liver gâteaux with port wine syrup, and an herbed Norwegian fish soup. The hopping bar serves bistro-style soups, salads, thin-crust pizzas, and burgers. Dinner, $70. At 136 Warren St.; 518-671-6380.
Mina After meeting at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Natalie and John DiBenedetto got married and opened this romantic spot just up the road in Red Hook. He's the sommelier, she's the chef, and together they compose a weekly menu based on ingredients grown locally. Chic weekenders come for horseradish-spiked oysters; a salad of just-picked baby greens, pickled beets, and fava beans; meaty smoked sturgeon accompanied by white bean-and-kale stew; and thick grilled hanger steak served with balsamic agrodolce. Dinner, $60. At 29 W. Market St.; 845-758-5992.
Tavern Tucked away in the Highlands Country Club, this well-kept valley secret is tranquil during the day, boisterous at night, and always first come, first served. The French-country dishes range from Provençal-style codfish brandade with saffron aioli to a traditional raclette—melted cheese served with purple fingerling potatoes, cornichons, and pickled pearl onions. Dinner, $65. At 955 Rte. 9D, Garrison; 845-424-3254.
Valley On the grounds of the Garrison golf club, Jeff Raider runs a laboratory of flavors from a variety of cuisines: Delicate foie gras comes with scallop ravioli covered in white-wine froth; ahi tuna tartare is topped with wasabi cream and a crown of sesame seaweed. There are plenty of dishes from closer to home, too, such as honey-lacquered chicken and a local artisanal cheese plate served with truffle-infused honeycomb. The only things competing for attention here are the Tony Chi-designed dining room and the views of the Hudson. Dinner, $90. At 2015 Rte. 9, Garrison; 845-424-2339.