The view from Valley at The Garrison is simply stunning. A patio off the dining room sits high in the trees, offering a sprawling panoramic view of the Hudson Valley, lush, green and rolling in all its splendor.
The Garrison is a bit tucked away— high on a hill off of Route 9 — and you have to cruise through the Garrison Golf Club to find it. It’s no wonder the restaurant does a ton of weddings and private parties — the setting alone will impress your guests. Serve them dinner and they’ll be dazzled by the romance of it all.
Chef Vinny Mocarski’s dishes are highly seasonal and change often, so you’re likely to read a different menu each time you visit. Many ingredients are plucked right out of the organic garden visible from the deck.
Outdoor tables are flanked with plush rattan armchairs and umbrellas, and with a calming quiet despite wait staff bustling to serve the more than eight tables. If the weather isn’t cooperating, inside the views are just as lovely, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. And World’s End, a small bar adjacent to the main dining room, is equipped with flat-screens and offers a small plates menu and the same excellent drink options.
Brunch is spectacular — complete with oysters, fresh spinach salad and a sriracha steak sandwich — but if you’re planning on dinner, we recommend making a reservation for the sunset hour, when the view becomes even more dramatic.
What we tried
Soft shell crabs: Whenever I see soft shell crab on a menu I have a hard time passing it up, and Valley’s appetizer version does not disappoint. Two delicate crabs are fried and crispy, but not greasy, and served with briny pickled ramps, sweet watermelon and soy.
Lobster risotto: Available in two portion sizes, and I went with the larger, but this dish is so rich I would opt for the smaller one next time. Large chunks of lobster meat are plunked into the velvety risotto, then given a sprinkling of fresh-from-the-garden greens and lemon zest to cut the decadence.
Prime flat iron of beef: There’s real beauty in a steak cooked just as you like it: perfectly charred on the outside and juicy, tenderly pink in the center. Served with a mixture of diced potatoes and sweet corn, a few stalks of crisped summer broccoli rabe and a dash of earthy truffle salt. Like the risotto, the portion was heavy but leftovers were appreciated the next day.
Drinks and dessert
We opted to share the brown sugar pecan blondie, a crumbly cookie served over chocolate ice cream and slathered in espresso sauce. A table nearby ordered a beautiful deep fuchsia cherry sorbet and it made me wish I hadn’t agreed to split a dessert.
Despite a wine list several pages long and featuring wines from all around the world, we opted for local craft beers since they happened to have two of my seasonal favorites: Brooklyn Brewery’s Summer Ale and Peak Organic’s Summer Session Ale. But the real indulgence came just before the check, when we enjoyed two glasses of 12-year old single malt Glenlivet, neat. A fitting finale to a fantastic sunset.
During our dinner on a Friday night we were surrounded by other couples, some clearly celebrating an anniversary or other special occasion. And walking through World’s End Bar after dinner, we saw pairs of women and small groups of adults chatting quietly and sipping drinks in front of a game.
An informal lounge menu is offered from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings. It includes a house specialty burger, Maine lobster roll, Long Island duck tacos and garden fresh salads.
What we will order next
Brunch. In addition to romantic sunset dinners and lovely weddings, it is what Valley at The Garrison does exceptionally well. A best bet for a special occasion.
Boscobel House and Gardens is less than five miles away and a check off the Hudson Valley bucket list if you’ve never been. The grounds feature a historical mansion-turned-museum dating back to the early 1800s, rose garden and stunning river views. Boscobel’s annual Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival runs through Aug. 31. Shows begin at 7 or 8 p.m. on multiple nights of the week, and tickets start at $20. Visithvshakespeare.org.
The 411 on Valley at The Garrison
Cuisine: Seasonal American
Entree price range: $27-$36
Great for: Date Night, Excellent Desserts, Seasonal Menu, Craft Beer, Brunch, Cocktails, Dining at the Bar, Outdoor Dining (Patio, Porch, Deck, Sidewalk), Romantic, Dinner with Grandparents, Special Occasion Dining, Vegetarians, View, Wine List.
Noise level: Quiet.
Hours: 5 -9 p.m. Thursdays (for a lounge menu), 5-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 11:30-2:30 p.m. brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Go: 2015 U.S. 9, Garrison, 845-424-3604, www.thegarrison.com.