With much of the contemporary food scene incorporating as unique a twist on cultural cuisine as possible, it’s not often that you come across an eatery so intent on providing a classic experience that it’s designed to feel more than a hundred years old.
“It looks like it’s always been here,” co-owner Dennis Duffy suggests, describing the precisely restored space that makes up McDonald & Peacock Cider House. The 1890s soda fountain sitting behind the bar, combined with a 19th-century Tiffany chandelier and prominent Union Jack fluttering beside the entrance drive home the consciously traditional air.
But what makes the Peekskill pub decidedly distinct is it’s diverse array of ciders. McDonald and Peacock have eight on tap, hailing from as nearby as Awestruck Ciders in Sidney, NY, to Blackthorn in Somerset, England, where Duffy’s wife, Joy Court, is from.
Photo courtesy of McDonald & Peacock’s
“Somerset is cider country, explains Duffy, pointing to a black-and-white landscape of the South West England county’s countryside hanging on the wall. Most of the old-timey photos in the pub, depicting rosy-cheeked brewers enjoying their own ciders, are from Court’s grandfather.
Additionally, 6-oz. flights are an option, and McDonald & Peacock carries around 20 bottled ciders, including the all-natural Irish Longueville House, the New York-bottled True Believer from Standard Cider, and the familiar McKenzie’s original and black cherry. If you’re not into the cider scene, they have plenty of beers and wine as well. But Duffy drives a hard bargain. To the initial cider naysayers, he’ll often request, “Why don’t you try a cider instead?”
To be fair, McDonald & Peacock’s heartening Anglo-Indian menu options are a perfect complement to a sweet, crisp swig of cider. English pub classics like bangers and mash, pork pie, and beef Cornish pasties with tamarind and mint for dipping are homespun, while Indian-style curries and fresh, warm baskets of naan soul-warming. Head in on a Sunday or Monday, and you’ll have the option for a traditional roast lunch, lamb or beef.
Beef Cornish Pasty
Mild lighting, quarter-sawn oak floors, and a normally low noise-level make for a cordial experience; the metallic pineapples mixed in with the décor are a symbol of hospitality.
“We just hope that people see the flag outside,” explains Duffy, hoping it waves as a beacon of a traditional English treat.
McDonald & Peacock Cider House
38 N. Division St, Peekskill
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