Eleven 11 Grille & Spirits in Fishkill: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Fall 2012


Hi. I’m Theresa Narvesen with my first HVRW blog post.  Welcome to Eleven 11 Grille & Spirits in Fishkill. This gem of a restaurant is nestled in a strip of local favorites that line Main Street. While it may look small from the outside, inside packs a world of flavor. Come on in!

Featuring a private party room and bar upstairs, the restaurant downstairs is cozy, yet has a wonderful open air feeling. Dimly lit, it is the perfect getaway with a group of friends or for a romantic dinner. When we arrived at the restaurant, we had a reservation and I was greeted by my name by the hostess. How’s that for service? Promptly seated, the hostess let us know about the Restaurant Week menu. Butternut squash soup, Caprese salad, pumpkin ravioli, and shrimp & spinach rigatoni with goat cheese were just a few delicacies to grace the menu. It didn’t take long for my husband and I to make our choices.

The waitress greeted us as soon as we were seated, and she told us her name is Theresa. What a coincidence! We ordered drinks and then rattled off our choices from the selected menu. By the way, they have an extensive array of wine by the bottle or glass, and they also have a great beer selection on tap or by the bottle. You may not believe me when I tell you how much fun it was to wait in anticipation for our food. Our first course was our appetizers: lobster bisque for me and a Capresse salad plate for my husband.


Lobster Bisque

The Capresse salad was fresh and crisp. I could taste the freshness in the basil. It was almost as if they had pulled it out of a garden growing out back. Hey, maybe they had.  The balsamic reduction that was drizzled over the mozzarella, tomato, and basil was so sweet; not at all acidic like some vinegar can be. This salad is so simple, and yet that is the beauty of it. One of the best Italian combinations, you won’t be sorry when you try this dish.

My lobster bisque. I wonder if I have enough time to tell you about my bisque because I can honestly go on forever. Smooth and creamy, there was nothing ordinary about this soup. Served with a side of oyster crackers, and who doesn’t like oyster crackers, the soup was the perfect precursor to my meal. Even though this is clearly a cream based soup, it was nothing short of light and heavenly. Flavorful, not in the least bit fishy, and loaded with the taste of fresh seafood and herbs. Delicious bits of lobster swirl in the creamy soup as I lift up yet another spoonful. I told you I couldn’t stop eating it! This could have been a meal in itself, for me, but I couldn’t forget about the main course I had coming.

The second course was a no-brainer for me as well. Pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage for me, and crab meat stuffed salmon broiled with white wine and garlic for my husband. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Pumpkin Ravioli

Crabmeat Stuffed Salmon

Here’s the best way for me to describe the ravioli. Have you ever had a dinner dish so sweet and flavorful that it could almost pass for a dessert? That was this dish! Perfectly al dente pasta encased a sweet, spiced pumpkin filling. Hints of maple and cinnamon ran all through this dish, and the flavors were offset by a subtle hint from the sage butter. I’ve never eaten anything quite like it before, and now I have, and I’m floored. So amazing! Again, complex flavors put together in a dish that is so simple. I was blown away. And don’t be scared, a brown butter sauce is not greasy, nor is your pasta floating in a pool of melted butter. A light amount of butter sauce is added to the dish to perfectly coat all the ravioli and ensure you get the lovely sage flavor in every bite. And I did!

On to the salmon; the light, flaky, melt- in- your- mouth salmon. Again, sometimes seafood dishes can be overpowering and fishy, but not this one. Tender salmon that fell apart when I touched it with my fork was combined with sweet crabmeat. Yes, I’m talking real pieces of crab and not anything imitation. Clearly, they give you a nice bed of rice so you can soak up all of that white wine and garlic sauce. Don’t waste it! Fresh vegetables were the perfect accompaniment to this light meal. Did she sample every piece of food that came to the table?, I’m sure you’re asking yourself. The answer to the question, yes I did! How could I not? Everything was so beautifully plated, and I couldn’t pass it up.

And last but not least, dessert. Apple strudel and pumpkin pie. These are the quintessential fall desserts and a perfect ending to a fabulous meal.

Apple Strudel with ice cream

Pumpkin Pie

I loved the crust for the strudel. It was moist and chewy, and the apples inside were spicy and warm. Cool vanilla ice cream on the side is the perfect marriage. The pumpkin pie tasted exactly like mom would make. The homemade taste was enough to transport me right to my family’s dinner table on Thanksgiving night. It was that good.

I have to backtrack for a second and mention our server again. Theresa not only came over during each course to make sure everything was perfect, but she would talk to us a bit as we waited for the next course. She treated us as if we were old friends, and she was extremely personable. With such a great personality,you could tell this was just her way of interacting with patrons.

All in all, what a great experience! We’ll definitely be back on a regular basis because if their Restaurant Week menu is any indication of their regular menu, you can count me in!

The 411 on Eleven 11.


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