July 6, 2022

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Hello, summer and leisurely weekend drives to points north and south. Lately, we’ve been seeing truly worthwhile restaurants in quieter, outlying towns. Schuylerville and Glens Falls look ready to steal some of Saratoga Springs’ dining thunder, and historic Kinderhook, a short drive from Hudson, has a blossoming dining scene. 
Kinderhook is already home to Dyad Wine Bar, Saisonnier (with its excellent craft beer, cider and mead) and Broad Street Bagel Co., with sibling Italian bakery next door and a gelato shop out back. Soon they’ll be joined by The Aviary, an upscale restaurant with a separate cocktail lounge called The Nest in the renovated, 17,000-square-foot, multi-occupancy Knitting Mill Factory, conceptualized by artist Darren Waterston and chef Yen Ngo, owner of Manhattan’s Michelin-starred Vietnamese restaurant Van Da. 

Two businesses are already open in the Knitting Mill: Morningbird, an all-day cafe with lunch, baked goods and, in a nod to the imminent opening of The Aviary, pre-ordered dinners to go. Next door, OK Pantry sells esoteric collectibles, gourmet grocery items and plant-based drinks. With the Jack Shainman Gallery: The School again open for the season and the outdoor sculptures of Art Omi a short drive away, there’s much to keep you here. But point your car toward Hudson, and in 12 minutes you’ll reach Quinnie’s at the intersection of 9H and Route 66, the farthest edge of Ghent in spite of its Hudson address.

With limited menus and hours, not all spots reach the level for a full dining review, but these newcomers should not be missed. 
Morningbird
Location: 4 Hudson St., Kinderhook
Hours: Open Thursday to Sunday: Cafe, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner takeout, 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Prices: $3 to $18
Info: the-aviary-kinderhook.square.site
Available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Indo-Dutch menu from chef Hannah Wong, also formerly of Van Da, has everything you need, whether you sit outside the modishly painted black storefront or secure one of the small tables inside. 
Wong is the new chef for the three dining and cocktail concepts within the Knitting Mill, so just know your visit is not complete without a pliable, sugary mochi doughnut served warm or Vietnamese cinnamon coffee cake. Treat yourself to a Morningbird egg sandwich with fried egg and pork sausage on a homemade milk bun, topped with scallion chimichurri and sambal mayo for a bold umami blast. Wash it down with black rice horchata that’s purple-hued by the black rice in the sweet, cinnamon-spiked plant-milk drink.

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Those ready for lunch can tuck into sweet soy glass noodles with mushrooms, scallions and juicy, wild-caught shrimp; vegetable green curry with coconut rice or a duck, and Thai basil fried rice with shiitake mushrooms and bok choy, depending on the weekly choices inspired by Wong’s heritage and powered by Hudson Valley produce. The Dutch influence plays out in a weekly roggebrood, homemade rye sourdough, perhaps loaded with ramp goat cheese and sliced boiled egg, plus uientaart, a Dutch onion and leek tart similar to quiche, with an impeccable salty and flaky pastry crust. 
One stenciled wall holds Instagram appeal while a cart is overflowing with peonies, ranunculus and sweet peas in paper-wrapped bouquets from a local florist, and shelves tell a carefully curated tale in indie magazines and local ceramics. 

OK Pantry
Address: 2 Hudson St., Kinderhook
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 .p.m. Monday to Friday, 9  a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
Info: 518-610-8041 and okpantry.com
Sharing the black storefront, OK Pantry is a Scandi-themed dream in pale wood and minimalist tone. Shelves are a gourmet food lover’s paradise with Fly By Jing chile oil, Touchy coffee beans, Seed + Mill tahini, Umami Dust and Zab’s hot honey, along with neat stacks of unbleached natural canvas in aprons and tea towels, paper-wrapped candles and matcha green tea. Perhaps it’s not the essential backbone of a town pantry, but all is highly covetable in its own way. The cooler is filled with fresh baked goods from Bartlett House bakery in Ghent, Hudson Valley granola and uncured artisanal salami, while counter staff can make a half-dozen drinks, from iced chai masala latte and black sesame au lait to Touchy seasonal drip. If you have kids in tow, good luck getting out without one of their children’s books and retro candy. 

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Quinnie’s
Address: 834 Route 66, Hudson
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Monday and Tuesday
Prices: Food, $5 to $14; drinks, $2 to $14
Info: 518-697-3700 and quinniesnewyork.com
Quinnie’s might be the most exciting arrival in Hudson since Cafe Mutton opened in mid-2021. The yellow 1700s farmhouse has been lovingly converted into a combined specialty food market and cafe with the appeal of a weekend bar having expanded hours to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Show up any time of day and you’ll likely find young families or friends sprawled on the expansive lawns, playing cornhole or, in an open garage, table tennis. In the evening, some sip cocktails while sitting around the fire pit. Quinnie’s is relaxed, family friendly and, this summer, hard to beat. 

Named after chef-owner Quinn Levine, who lives in nearby Germantown with husband Simon Burstall and young family, the couple restored the farmhouse in 2021 while keeping many original features including wide-plank floors. The long counter doubles for counter service and as a bar for housemade cocktails, from a classic negroni to the Hey Mama, a low-ABV cassis cocktail made in collaboration with mixologist-author Natasha David, owner of the now-shuttered Nitecap, a subterranean bar on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The mantel and surround above the original fireplace is now the chalkboard menu, and a wine list includes crisp Basque txakolina, with Arrowood IPA and Suarez Big Night among the beers on tap.  
Between the imported Mexican Coca-Cola, local cheeses and house-made hummus in the cool case and stunning rhubarb galette among the day’s fresh pastries, you could put together a pretty good picnic. But scan the menu and your senses will light up. The menu, designed by co-chefs Levine and Amy Hess, runs the gamut from chicken salad with crispy chicken skin to mortadella with mayo and pickled hot peppers on local Pullman bread.
There’s real Toad in the Hole with Charlito’s salami picante, cheddar, kale and sambal; a classic NorthWind hot dog with Kewpie mayo or kimchi; and Velveeta grilled cheese. Let the toasted milk bun with parsley butter, anchovies and soft jammy eggs change your life. With it, share spicy potatoes with capers, herbs, sumac and Calabrian chile; roasted beets and turnips layered with labneh, horseradish, watercress, hazelnuts and dill (it’s phenomenal); and grilled baby artichokes with gigante beans. Served in paper boats lined with blue and white checkerboard paper, this is without question the ideal of summer grazing — all delicious things to savor and share. 

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Eclectic cafes in Kinderhook and Hudson appeared first on maserietv.com.