It’s time to move beyond the buzzwords and start using fresh, local produce to feed our bellies. Lucky for us, there’s quite a few great restaurants in the greater Hudson Valley that feel the same.
Text by Jackson Finds • Photos: Henry’s at the Farm
“I believe that there is no greater joy than that of grilling farm fresh ingredients while enjoying the open air,” explains Executive Chef Gary Lucato of Henry’s at the Farm in Milton, NY. “Living in the Hudson Valley we get the best of all the seasons.”
And the best of those seasons we shall make in 2015. With hot grills and hungry bellies, local foodies and grilling aficionados are ready for the spring season to break. After all, the best part of the warmer months after the reemergence of beautiful grill marks of course, is the abundance of locally grown produce that we are so fortunate to have in our area. A big thanks to the farmers who bring us these amazing goodies!
Lucato says “his springs are filled with abundant ramps, asparagus, fennel, rabbits, lamb, and fresh honey and balmy summer days of donut peaches, stinging nettles, mini watermelons, heirloom tomatoes, basil, radishes, and garlic scapes. Leading into the colorful fall days filled with pumpkins, squashes, apples, kale, venison, carrots, and beets.” Keeping local sourcing a priority, Executive Chef and Owner, John McCarthy of The Crimson Sparrow in Hudson, NY, says “some of my favorites have been lamb ribs from Pigasso Farm and pork from Raven and Boar Farm.”
For preparation, Lucato points out that “one such cooking technique that demonstrates the versatility to continue creating palate pleasing meals all year round is grilling. Although classically pegged as a summer specific technique, there are many great applications that the grill can be used for all year round.” McCarthy enjoys “smoking vegetables and finishing them on the grill (e.g., carrots from MX Morningstar Farm in Copake).”
For the final product, one of Lucato’s favorite dishes is one “that really highlights the bounty of the Hudson Valley is our grilled donut peach, English breakfast radish, lemon sorrel, sylvetta (wild rocket), toasted walnut and cherve salad, topped with a light champagne vinaigrette. In this dish we slice and gently grill local donut peaches to bring out their sweetness while locking in their succulent juiciness and ever so slightly warming them to add a new temperature element to and otherwise cold salad.” A favorite of McCarthy’s is smoked local carrots with black garlic sauce, creme fraiche, and sunflower seed brittle. Try this one with the accompanying recipe!
Whether you include local, seasonal ingredients all the time or just sometimes, there is a lot to appreciate from the few restaurants that share the local, seasonal philosophy like Henry’s and Crimson Sparrow. As Lucato points out, “our philosophy is that as a proud local chef, it is our responsibility to find the right cooking technique and flavor pairing to bring out the greatest potential of each ingredient that we feature.”
Buttermilk Falls Inn + Spa Henry’s at the Farm
220 North Rd., PO Box 444 Milton, NY 12547
(845) 632-7098 www.buttermilkfallsinn.com
The Crimson Sparrow
746 Warren Street Hudson, NY 12534
(518) 671-6565 www.thecrimsonsparrow.com