Birdsall House Opens in Peekskill

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Local beef from Hemlock Hill Farms, local beer from Captain Lawrence: Birdsall House, named for the place across the street where General George Washington directed the Continental Army from 1776 to 1778, is taking its local heritage very serioiusly.

The tavern has an Art Deco feel, with black-and-white tile floor, and three hanging globe lights hanging over the mahogany bar that date from the late ’30s or early ‘40s and belonged to owner Tim Reinke’s grandfather. The chef, Matt Hutchins, has created a bold but straightforward menu with pork chops, charcuterie, burger and hearty vegetarian fare, too.

Reinke and his partner, John Sharp, also own the Blind Tiger Ale House in Manhattan, and have made Birdsall a beer mecca too: they built a 20-line draft system that focuses on New York state and American craft brews.

We’re heading up there to take some photos tomorrow, and once I see they’re in our system, I’ll post them for you all to see.

This is one on my can’t-wait-to-try list.

The 411 on Birsdall House.

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

4 Comments

  1. denise & John koller on

    Re: Birdsall House/Peekskill

    Hi Liz,
    My husband and I dined at Birdsall House last night and I thought I’d share some comments regarding our experience. At first sight, we LOVED this place. It’s incredibly charming. I’d say it’s the type of atmosphere we could find ourselves frequenting often. The beer list is tremendous and offers something for everyone. We’d say it’s a very well balanced and thought out variety of choices. The menu is interesting, if not vast in variety. The concepts of the dishes seem very inspired. However, I believe the execution of the dishes could use some restraint. Here’s our take on the items we ordered…I began my meal with the Sweet Maple Glazed Pork Belly. It sounded very good in print, however, it really was cloyingly sweet. I think a few less sweet elements on the plate would have improved the dish immensely. My husband began with the Pork and Stout Chili. At first bite this was a good dish, however, after a few more spoonfuls, the overwhelming amount of cumin and, possibly, chili or curry spice ruined your palate completely. Next, my husband ordered a charcuterie plate consisting of Spicy Chorizo, Pork Terrine and Bacon Wrapped Chicken Terrine. Only the Chorizo appealed to him. I, personally, thought the Pork Terrine was very pleasant with a lovely vinegary taste. The Chicken Terrine was okay, but not really anything to write home about. Next…main course…I ordered a special of Lamb Three Ways. I swapped out the turnips or parsnips for some creamy polenta (which was fabulous). The lamb was good and well prepared (chop, slices of loin, and some cubed mixed with white beans and greens). Overall, the dish was very abundant and filling, but not something I would order again most likely. My husband ordered the Hemlock Hill Beef Burger and Fries. After one bite of the burger, his face took on a very disappointed look. The bun was incredibly soggy. The beef had an odd taste (as if garlic or some other unappetizing spice had been added to it). The ‘house-made’ ketchup they promote tasted to me like ketchup mixed with bbq sauce. Not unpleasant, but not something made from tomatoes in their kitchen. On to dessert…yes, we kept going…I ordered the Chocolate Pecan Pie with Nutmeg Whipped Cream. No complaints here. This was very delish in every way. My husband ordered the Maple Bacon Ice Cream. I did not find the maple aspect front and center at all. I thought a drizzle of maple syrup might assist in this. The chunks of bacon in the ice cream, to me, seemed vile. My husband, on the other had, thought that although the bacon didn’t have any flavor, but simply added texture, it was pretty good overall. The coffee was very good. I added a little Jameson and fresh whipped cream to mine and would declare it a top notch Irish Coffee. Overall, we do not plan to return to Birdsall House. FYI – This review is being submitted by two people with extremely different palates when it comes to likes/dislikes in the culinary field. My husband is a pretty picky eater, enjoying mostly meat and potatoes. I, on the other hand, enjoy trying new things and have a much wider range of food I like to eat. We don’t often agree when it comes to restaurants, but when we both love one, it’s fabulous. When we both come away not liking our experience, I think that’s a telltale sign. Thanks for reading!

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