HVRW Spring 2013: Harvest on Hudson, Hastings Revisited


On our way home from a most sad occasion we decided to lighten our moods on a late Sunday afternoon by dining by the water. Somehow we always feel better seeing the waves splash along the shore and smelling the sea air. Bradley being of Norwegian decent is reminded of the Fjords of Norway looking at the Palisades across the water. Here is my handsome dining partner enjoying all that the HVRW menu has to offer. (100 points)

As you have seen thus far by all the photos shared by others, this is one of the more popular restaurants and Executive Chef Vincent Barcelona has been a big part of the promotion of this grand program, HVRW 2013.  Although Bradley and Donna Monaco Olsen have dined here on many occasions, this was a special night knowing that our friend was in the kitchen and her hands touched many things on our plates. Fellow blogger Patrice Costa is someone whom I admire – changing careers later in life and truly getting “Behind the Kitchen Door“.  She has followed her dream to be hands on with food – she is a great chef. (100 points) Chef Scott heard she had a friend in the dining room and sent out a special treat – lobster ravioli (pictured above). Not just any lobster ravioli (which I usually find too salty with a mushy filling), but the most decedent, delicious kind with pieces of lobster that you could identify and a lovely confit of tomato in a tarragon butter sauce. Thanks Chef Scott (who was camera shy), for a fabulous treat!



We have gone out each day to a different restaurant, enjoying everything we have seen and tried. We love Liz Johnson’s creativity in setting up a scavenger hunt and we have taken many pictures to share, some with great chefs, and others of their creations.

This restaurant is located in one of the most spectacular settings along the river. Our server graciously relocated us to a table near the window, even though it meant her giving up the table.  We applaud you Jessica, it made for a most romantic evening, reminiscent of our “courting” days. (50)

Enough about our surroundings – on to our food.  These are some of the highlights of our dinner on the river.

Crispy lamb spring rolls with mint tzatziki sauce.  Maple Brook Farms yogurt (50+50) created a creamy sauce to support the light and crisp rolls.  Lamb mixed with pieces of fregola (a toasted pasta similar to Israeli couscous).

Risotto and Brussels sprouts with pears – creamy and light with a touch of sweet.

Roasted Hudson Valley Chicken Scarpariello was a tasty rendition of an Italian favorite with house made fennel sausage and garden vinegar peppers over a buckwheat polenta.  The chicken was moist and we assumed it to have taken a brine bath.  The sauce was most flavorful from the fennel and vinegar combination. (50+50)

The Grilled Skirt Steak and Bone Marrow Butter was a very tender cut of beef, marinated and seared with lovely char marks.

Usually not as big a fan of the dessert course, to our surprise, they were the highlight of our meal (except of course for Patrice and the lobster ravioli).  A very tasty almond cake and a beautifully executed Hudson Valley Crown Maple Syrup Sea Salt Panna Cotta. (50+50)


Donna currently writes on Small Bites as Chef’s Tip, re-capping great cooking demonstrations in local restaurants. She is the co-coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Taste of Westchester program.  Knowing many of the chefs in Westchester, she has been enjoying getting to visit with them as they participate in HVRW with over 185 restaurants.

There is still one more day left to check it out HVRW and many of the restaurants extend their restaurant week menus.  We have loved our adventures together with friends and family these past two weeks. Happy hunting!

Total points: 550


About Author

As a contributing blogger and the author of "Chef’s Tip", Donna Monaco Olsen recaps great cooking demonstrations from local restaurants. As the the coordinator for Westchester Community College’s Continuing Education program, named “A Taste of Westchester,” she writes the program, which offers more than 35 cooking classes each semester, and recruits chefs to do cooking demonstrations in their restaurants. She holds a full time position in the education field, and in her off time develops and contributes recipes for cookbooks. She is an avid baker and a former cake decorator who created many custom designed specialty cakes. Along with her husband, she reviews restaurants on Small Bites during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week.

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