It’s Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2013, and I am jazzed about the new twist on things!
Liz Johnson is mixing things up this time and put together a fun Scavenger Hunt for everyone to participate in, while dining out at our magnificent Hudson Valley restaurants. Last night we decided to check out Morgan’s Fish House in Rye.
Admittedly we’ve never been there, and live only about 5 minutes away. Larry and I tend to venture beyond our “backyard” when eating out; but with it being a Monday night and the decision to go out on the fly, close seemed more realistic. The nice thing about eating out earlier in the week is restaurants are not jam packed so it’s easier to have a conversation and to take your time. That said, we were so pleased to see a great variety of options on the special menu that we had a feeling it was going to be hard to decide.
So let’s get to it. With our Scavenger Hunt Questions in hand we had a lot of fun with the menu and our server Peter! First up was a fantastic wine from Millbrook Winery in Millbrook, NY. Tocai Friulano is a varietal native to the Friuli region in northeastern Italy and the source of some of Italy’s finest white wines. As a matter of fact, one of my all time favorite whites is the Bastianich Friulano.
Relocating this traditional varietal, Millbrook produced a wonderful medium-bodied wine that has the aroma of citrus and a bright fruity flavor that was ever so slightly effervescent on our palate. It was a perfect choice for our dinner. For this tasty find we got a total of 125 points: the name of the wine and the restaurant – 25 points, tasting notes – 50 bonus points and a picture of it- 50 bonus points. We were off to a great start!
We saw so many things on the regular menu that looked absolutely divine, but we decided to stick to the HVRW menu for the sake of the hunt! For our first course I chose the soup and Larry the cod cakes. Clam chowder is an all time favorite of ours. For me in particular I prefer a thinner broth, which is traditional by the way. Their soup base is made with milk from the Crowley Dairy Farm in Binghamton, NY (I think that counts for 50 points!) and was just perfect. Larry’s cod cakes were our overall favorite of the night.
Apparently this is not something on the regular menu, and we hope that it will be for the future. They were tender on the inside with a great crispy crunch outside. The whole dish came together with the chef’s amazing tartar sauce. It’s not the typical by any means, it was creamy and light with a hit of citrus and I’m pretty sure a little cayenne kick at the end.
More after the jump …
Larry was a pretty happy camper eating those, for which I was given only a couple of bites. To my surprise he said that he’s never eaten them. So guess what? Yes, another 50 points for trying a new dish, and 50 for the picture.
The main courses were fantastic as well. Larry got the mahi-mahi and I picked the pasta. Both were tasty and nice sized portions. Larry really like the mahi-mahi so much that I never even got a taste of it! My pasta dish was loaded with rock shrimp, zucchini ribbons and fresh cherry tomatoes. I really wasn’t able to finish it all so I’m happy that I will have my leftovers for lunch today.
The desserts were great too. Larry picked the red velvet and I had the coconut. As you can see, nothing was left of that either!
Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to give a little “shout out” to our server Peter. Not only did he guide us though the menu and make great suggestions, but he even went back to the walk-in ‘fridge to check and see what ingredients they were using for my “local farm points.” For that we both agreed he went “above and beyond” garnering us another 50 points!
I highly encourage you to get out these next two weeks with your Scavenger Hunt questions in hand and have fun. We certainly did!
Please visit our friends at The Valley Table for all the details on Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.
Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She’s an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmers, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Maria lives in Port Chester with her husband Larry and their taste tester Cocoa.