Catskills Weekend: Saugerties

Downtown Saugerties

Our homebase during or our Catskills weekend was the little town of Saugerties, NY.  The word quaint comes to mind. The core of the central Village area stretches a few blocks each way around the intersection of Partition Street and Main Street.

Beautiful old homes—some that have been kept in shape and a few that could use a little TLC—surround the village area.

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Despite its tiny size, the downtown area has some dinning gems to offer. The Hudson Valley Dessert Company was a perfect place to start the day. In addition to a plethora of pastry options and adorably decorated cookies to tempt a girl away from her diet, there’s also good coffee and an edited list of solid breakfast staples.

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Cookies

Greg was very happy with his hearty sausage, egg, and Asiago roll.

Sausage, egg, and asiago roll

I’m a sucker for quiche, so couldn’t resist trying the mushroom and Asiago version (apparently we were into the Asiago that day.)  The filling was delicious, but I thought the crust was a little lacking. It wasn’t quite flaky, nor was it crumbly, and unfortunately was a little limp. It’s just as well, as I should have been avoiding such indulgences anyways.

  Mushroom and asiago quiche 

 I indulged in biscotti with my coffee instead—and the biscotti were worth the splurge.

Biscotti and coffee

I love biscotti—they’re one of my favorite class of cookies—and it was clear that these people take their biscotti very seriously as there were many flavors and even a couple of textures to choose from. I would have liked to try them all, but fully enjoyed the ones we had.

The biggest restaurant find of the weekend had to be Miss Lucy’s Kitchen right in the center of the Partition Street.  Aprons and country kitchen bric-a-brac adorn the walls, but while the ambiance is cute enough to draw in the girliest of girls, it’s mitigated by more rustic touches to ensure that husbands and boyfriends feel just as at home. On the whole, there’s a comfortable, casual feel with some hints of the romantic.

  Apron Decor 

Have one of the delicious cocktails, and make yourself at home.

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The food is seasonal and farmer’s market driven, taking full advantage of Hudson Valley’s abundance. As much as possible is prepared in house, from the freshly baked bread and desserts, to the smoked pork—they even grow a lot of their own vegetables. 

Should you feel a Portlandian need to investigate the origins of your dinner, a long list of purveyors is posted on their website.

 
 
Fred and Carrie interrogate their waitress on the origins of their chicken.

Kidding aside, the food was simple, elegant, and very fresh. The grilled peach and prosciutto salad invited us to take a bite out of the last throes of summer with its large slices of lightly charred peaches mounted enticingly on top.

Grilled peach and prosciutto salad

We devoured both of our entrees. The tangy plum sauce complemented the beautifully prepared duck perfectly.

Duck in plum sauce with spaetzle and veggies.

The crispy skin on the pan-fried trout was set off by the silkiness of the cauliflower puree.

Pan fried trout w cauliflower purée.

If carrot cake is on the menu, I highly recommend ordering a piece.  They pulled apart the elements and deliciously reconstructed them. A warm individual cake was topped with a luscious vanilla frosting and crunchy pecans and served with creamy ice cream. The frosting brought back childhood memories of scraping the frosting from the bottom of the little cup that comes in the tube of Pilsbury Cinnamon Rolls, but the frosting's all grown up now and a whole lot better. 

Carrot Cake

Altogether, each bite was a fabulous mix of textures, temperatures, with spicy and sweet notes. It was one sexy piece of carrot cake.

Cue Shack 

I wasn't as big a fan of 'Cue, Miss Lucy's sister venture down the street—it was just ok. 'Cue is a super casual BBQ shack. There are a bunch of picnic tables and a beer bar set up outside from the no frills BBQ counter. At the time we happened upon the place, we had no clue it was related to Miss Lucy's—it just happened to be open on Labor Day Sunday when most other places in the tiny town were closed. To give it the benefit of the doubt, I think we got it out of context. This seemed like the type of place you hit with a big group of friends and all enjoy a bunch of beers with your BBQ. On a bustling night, I could imagine it might feel like you're walking into a rowdy backyard BBQ. It was dead that Sunday, so that party atmosphere was not in the air. Moreover, it was clear the teenage chickadee that was minding the store that night was bored and seemed like she'd rather be home. When we asked for recommendations, she seemed pretty indifferent about the food. In truth, I kind of was too. I love cornbread, but found it easy to virtuously pass this one up since it was pretty dry. I had the brisket, which while incredibly moist and very tender, was a little lacking in flavor. The Caesar salad I had as a side was a little overloaded with dressing.

  Brisket and Caesar 

 Greg's sausages were a little better, as was his mac and cheese.

  SausagesMac n' cheese

I did like the selection of hot sauces available at each table, and those helped punch up the flavor on the meat.

Sauce Selection

It hasn't been very evident up until now, but the impetus for this weekend break was a desire to get out and do some hiking—which I will get to soon. Long days, or even not so long days, of hiking require portable sustenance. We found that at Brianna's Full Belly Deli in the form of giant subs.

  Brianna's Full Belly Deli

Horsey Boss 

We took our very generously sized sandwiches to go and ate them later that day in between hikes. If hiking isn't for you, take them for a picnic down by Saugerties’ little riverfront park and enjoy the beauty of not being jostled around Manhattan for a while.

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Other stuff to see and do in Saugerties:
Every year, Saugerties hosts a Garlic Festival.
We didn't make it over there, but there is also a historic lighthouse.
There are also antique stores and book shops on Partition Street, for treasure seekers.


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