Be Indulgent During Hudson Valley Restaurant Week
So I crashed the spring 2013 sneak-preview of Hudson Valley Restaurant week. Guilty! In addition to rewarding my inner fat-girl with some exquisite caloric combinations I wouldn't trade for anything I also got to meet the 'who's who' of the food industry. The kick-off party went off at the Culinary Institute allowing board members who have been full-throttle in prepping for the occasion and local chefs to delve into the world of the culinary arts before a captive audience. Members of the press and local tourism officials sat anxiously through an afternoon press conference which was followed by a celebration involving a decadant spread by the institute as well as demonstrations by restauranteurs, purveyors and event sponsors.
Among the tasty morsels of information that were presented- confirmation that there are nearly 2,500 farmers in the Hudson Valley making it one of the most prominent farm-to-table regions in the world. The local restaurant industry is valued at nearly 221 million in annual sales.
Crawshaw shown with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro
"The Hudson Valley is a rising star in the culinary world," says Janet Crawshaw, founder of the event which now boasts over 200 sponsors and 170+ participating restaurants. Crawshaw along with her husband (and project partner) took nearly a year sabbatical in order to travel across the country on a quest to experience American culture through its cuisine and delicacies. They landed back in the Hudson Valley 35,000 miles later with a common thought: local is the essence of every unique place in the country. Crenshaw launched The Valley Table, a quarterly publication dedicated to local farms, food and cuisine in response to the journey.
"The Hudson Valley really has it all," she was able to say after many miles traveled. " Wine, food landscape; it's really extraordinary."
The local showcase - now in it's 7th year - has become a bi-annual event across 7 counties. Mention of the Restaurant Week has been seen in publications as far away as New Zealand. Crawshaw described the event as a magnet for tourism inviting metro north travelers to take advantage of several restaurants within walking distance of public transportation including several Mahoney's Irish Pub and Steakhouse in Poughkeepsie; X2O Xaviars on the Hudson in Yonkers; Sala on Hudson in Croton; and Hudson House River Inn in Cold Spring and others.
With so many restaurants participating the cultural offerings are diverse. Food styles that will be featured include Argentinean, French, Greek, Irish, Japanese, Latino, Mediterranean, Mexican Moroccan and Swiss. Many chefs integrate locally-sourced and locally grown ingredients. Hudson Valley restaurant week features prix fixe three course dinners for $29.95 and lunches for $20.95. (plus beverage, tax and tip).
So, indulge!! Give yourself a taste of something different and delicious and local all at once!
Please remember to tip your server accordingly!
Images ©2013 The Valley Table & Jim Metzger for Simondigital.
Special thanks to the event sponsors: M & T Bank ; 100.7 WHUD; Millbrook Vineyards; Irving Farm; The Culinary Institute of America; Dutchess County Tourism; Continental Organics; White Plains Linen; Hudson Valley Bounty; Hudson Valley Hospital Center; Westchester County Tourism; Clear Channel Outdoor; Warren Kitchen and Cutlery; Red Barn Produce; Hudson Valley Cattle Co.; Harney & Sons Fine Teas; Craft Beer Guild Distributing of NY; Performance Food Group; M&R Energy Resources Corp.; Lowland Farms; Sprout Creek Farm; Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery; Tuthilltown Spirits; Whitecliff VIneyard; Tousey Winery; Madura Farms; Castskill Mountain Sugar House; Journal News; WKZE; Halston Media; WHDD