French Restaurants You Must Try in the Hudson Valley
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While we are nearly 4,000 miles from Metropolitan Francethere is so much amazing French cuisine to enjoy in the Hudson Valley.
It’s a well-known fact that some of the best food and drink in the world comes from France. But if a trip to Paris or Provence isn’t currently in the budget, you can enjoy the country’s must-sees a little closer to home in the Hudson Valley.
In towns like Le Gamin County, for example, you can just drop by for a coffee and a croissant. For foodies looking for a little slice of heaven, head to The Bocuse Restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a three-course meal prepared by chefs in training at the Culinary Institute of America.
That said, who is ready to eat snails?
This farm-to-table restaurant is a culinary gem in Rockland County, offering French cuisine with an American twist. For chef Denis Whitton, excellence in cooking consists of using only the freshest ingredients. As a result, the menu changes frequently to accommodate the array of fruits, herbs and vegetables that each season offers.
Whatever your appetite, Les Baux will deliver the French classics imagined by chef Hervé Bochard. After traveling the world and gaining international recognition for his cuisine in France, Bochard decided to share his gift for food with the Hudson Valley. Whether you come for a small plate or The dishes-this is the language of Les Baux for starters-you will be delighted with your meal. Please note: Les Baux will be closed until September 17, 2022.
Le Bocuse is one of the student-run, faculty-run restaurants at the Culinary Institute of America. Its name comes from legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, recognized as the father of modern French cuisine for his simple dishes that emphasize high quality ingredients and presentation. Dine for lunch or dinner and taste three courses of the best French dishes in the valley. Please note: The Bocuse Restaurant will be closed until September 7, 2022.
Poughkeepsie is a central hub for foodies in Dutchess County, so it’s no surprise to find this stellar French bistro in historic Main Street. Start your meal with the mac and cheese appetizer, which features butter-poached Maine lobster as part of the gooey, cheesy goodness. When it comes to entrees, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose between a seafood dish – think fried oysters, pan-roasted salmon and grilled Portuguese octopus – and local dishes like dry-aged steak and Bovine Tartar.
Housed in the former Mercato space, Brigitte is an honest French bistro in a charming corner of Red Hook. Starting with the appetizers, diners can savor everything from snail with parsleyaka herb garlic butter snails, for fresh and smoked salmon tartare, a gourmet pairing of fresh smoked salmon tartare and crème fraîche with horseradish. The main courses are a slow preparation and full of flavors, emphasizing the association of proteins with vegetables and starches. Opt for the fried mussels if you fancy a classic, and don’t forget to savor every single fried — they take three days to prepare!
In our opinion, every city should have a little French cafe where customers can order a beer and a latte at the same time. If that’s unfortunately not the case in your hometown, take a trip to Le Gamin country in Hudson, where you’ll find small plates and a great atmosphere. The restaurant has everything from croissants to ratatouille to snails, but it’s absolutely does not have Wi-Fi. Instead, he urges Gamin fans to “pretend it’s 1995 and talk to the person next to you.”
Live out your Parisian fantasy as you sip an espresso with a croissant at Le Perche, or come in the evening and order from the dinner menu. Nightly offerings include potato and leek soup, snails, soft-shell crab, peppercorn steak, and creme brulee. As for wine, the restaurant offers an extensive list, which even includes three varieties of orange wine.
This Rhinebeck restaurant is a go-to spot for fine French cuisine, oysters and cocktails. Whether you’re just looking for great food or you’re a full-fledged Francophile, Le Petit Bistro has something for you. Dinner menu highlights include steak tartare, pork tenderloin, roast duck, and veal française. During the day, however, it’s a great choice for brunch, with a selection of coffees, pancakes, eggs Benedict, crepes, and more.
This new French bistro puts a modern twist on French classics using seafood, fine meats and seasonal vegetables. Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the wine selection, for which you’ll pay between $13 for the coasts of Gasgodne and $145 for a bottle of Hermitage by Yann Chave (isn’t it sound fancy?). Speaking of fancy, adventurous eaters just have to order a plate of snails.
This French restaurant is conveniently located in one of Rockland County’s prettiest little towns: Piermont. Although it might be an odd choice for a French restaurant, we can’t get enough of the Kobe beef burger, piled high with the usual lettuce, tomato and onion with a side of fries. The pasta and seafood offerings are equally delicious, with three varieties of mussels, a crab cake appetizer, scallops and shrimp, to name a few. And yes, there is snail. Be sure to budget for your trip so you can wander around the city after your meal!
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