It’s that time of year again: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) will kick off on March 6 with affordable dining at more than 110 county restaurants. For the first time in 10 years, prices are rising. Prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus will now cost $22.95 and $32.95, respectively, a slight increase ($2-$3) from years past. It’s a direct response to increased costs in the restaurant industry, says The Valley Table publisher and HVRW founder Janet Crawshaw. “It was time to make an adjustment for the restaurants [that] show off their creativity and talent, many [of which] go beyond to feature special Hudson Valley ingredients,” says Crawshaw. “The increase will go a long way to preserve the quality of the HVRW dining experience.”
So, which restaurants will take advantage of the new cash flow to give diners the best experience this restaurant week? We break down our top choices below.
Jordan Hall 10803
Grilled Zucchini Carpaccio at Jordan Hall, which opened in Pelham in summer 2016
Photo Courtesy of Jordan Hall
Why: One of the best things about HVRW is the opportunity to try new places. And if you’re making a first impression, you want it to be a good one. Jordan Hall is poised to do just that with great bang for your buck and some of our favorite dishes on the menu.
The Perfect Meal: Start with the grilled zucchini carpaccio with arugula and pesto, and follow with the aged New York strip steak (no surcharge required – a restaurant week rarity). No word what’s on the dessert menu yet, but with offerings often sourced from nearby Simply Sweetz Boutique, we’re not worried.
142 Fifth Ave, Pelham;
Why: Chef Constantine Kalandris’ other Westchester restaurant, 251 Lex, has made our list before for showing off the dishes it does best during restaurant week. 273 Kitchen is following in those footsteps, with a menu of light Mediterranean flavors that’s also available for Friday- and Saturday-night dining. Bonus: a HVRW wine list features four bottles for only $26.
The Perfect Meal: Stick with seafood: start with ouzo-cured salmon gravlax before moving onto the ‘Fish of the Moment’ sourced from New York State (the Wagyu burger is also a fine choice) and ending with the dark chocolate pot de crème or 273’s panna-cotta-flan hybrid with vanilla and wildflower honey. If you feel like spending a few extra bucks, the sizzling Spanish octopus (a mid-course addition) is worth every cent.
273 Halstead Ave, Harrison;
Photo Courtesy of X2O
X2O Xaviars on the Hudson
Why: Sometimes it’s the experience that makes the meal. The HVRW menu at X2O isn’t Chef Peter Kelly’s most exciting work, but the discounted (yet still delicious) menu does include the same breathtaking views and doting service at no extra cost.
The Perfect Meal: Start with the spicy tuna tartar with togarashi or Kelly’s signature risotto with green onions and truffle. Next, you can’t go wrong with beer-braised short ribs and cheddar grits, rack of pasture-raised heritage pork, or ravioli with Hudson Valley foie gras and beef cheek. For dessert, it’s got to be the classic red velvet cake.
71 Water Grant St, Yonkers;
Trofie with crab and Calabrian chile at MP Taverna in Irvington
â€‹Photo Courtesy of MP Taverna
Why: If you’re not serving dishes from the regular menu, then your offerings better be equally creative. That’s exactly what’s happening at MP Taverna where the HVRW menu is replete with plates you’re not getting any other time of year.
The Perfect Meal: For a first course, it’s a tough choice between the homemade trofie pasta with crab, roasted tomato, Calabrian chile, and Thai basil; and Psilakis’ riff on French onion soup made with lamb-bone stock. For a main, the roasted leg of lamb risotto and grilled salmon with romanesco are both tempting. While baklava is a classic choice, be adventurous and try the winter-squash-and-olive-oil cake instead.
1 Bridge St, Irvington;
Fennel Hummus at the newly opened Red Zebra in Sleepy Hollow
Photo By John Bruno Turiano
Why: This new restaurant is taking a different (and somewhat) confusing approach to its menu – and we’re big fans. Instead of having a separate restaurant-week menu, it’s printing its regular menu with all starred items (and there are a lot) available as part of the HVRW prix-fixe.
The Perfect Meal: Start with a shaved Brussels sprouts salad or the RZ kale Caesar with popped amaranth. Then follow something a bit richer like roasted fennel hummus or fried, gorgonzola-stuffed olives. For the main, go full-on decadent and try pappardelle with oxtail ragù and soft-poached egg or lasagna with kale and béchamel.
31 Beekman Ave, Sleepy Hollow;