By the time visitors place their orders at Julianna's Schoolhouse, they've worked up a fine appetite driving through miles of fresh air to get to the tucked-away bistro. Built before the Civil War, the pink clapboard building is still nestled in a quiet, rural region untouched by the hustle, bustle, and liquefied astronaut food of contemporary life. Inside, however, chefs concoct bistro dishes with a modern twist.
Their eclectic menu spotlights fresh produce, seafood, and herbs and high-quality cuts of steak and chicken, all transformed through classic French-, Italian-, Latin American?, and southern-style preparations. When they're not busy forging homemade chorizo and flatbread, chefs turn their DIY ethic toward desserts, such as a rotating selection of freshly churned ice cream.
Sue's Sunset House's line of culinary wizards dispenses hearty portions of homemade pub grub and sandwiches concocted from scratch. Bountiful burgers, hot and cold wraps, and fresh salads satiate patron palates alongside a build-your-own sandwich option that supplies diners with breads, cold cuts, cheeses, and a construction crew for assembly assistance. Feasters can relish the fresh air from an outdoor patio or curl up by an indoor fireplace and gaze upon a stunning view of the Hudson River. In addition to a fully stocked bar, Sue's Sunset House screens sporting contests and Nintendo Wii games on its 42-inch flat-screen plasma television and hosts live entertainment every weekend.
For close to two decades, the chefs at Pasta Cucina have used tried-and-true recipes as the blueprints for their classic Italian dishes. Manager Mario Espana and his team make bellies feel like they’re part of the family with comforting plates of veal parmigiana, fettuccine carbonara with imported prosciutto, and traditional ravioli prepared with a modern twist of ingredients, including jalapeños and brandy cream sauce. Exposed-brick accents and paintings depicting rustic Italian scenery whisk diners to the Old World and create an environment more inviting than a cliff leading to a giant pile of pillows.
Inside Las Margaritas, eye-catching Mexican folk art and a bar with deep-blue tiles surround patrons digging into sizzling fajitas and spicy enchiladas. In the kitchen, chefs whip up such south-of-the-border specialties as ceviches, pollo mole poblano, and steak monterrey. Bartenders complement the complex, sometimes spicy flavors of these feasts with tangy margaritas, sweet sangria, and beer.
Las Margaritas also encompasses an expansive patio, where guests can take in views of the Hudson while dining in the sunlight or taking shelter beneath umbrellas that block out bright rays and falling satellites.
Persimmon-hued umbrellas line Hudson Water Club’s outdoor patio, where visitors dine along the picturesque Hudson River. In the kitchen, executive chef Michael Dobias tailors his lunch and dinner menus to the season’s fresh produce, adding Italian flair to dishes ranging from almond-crusted tilapia to wild mushroom gnocchi. An Italian-built wood-fired oven cooks pizzas in three minutes or less at temperatures over 800 degrees, creating lightly-charred pies topped with house-made tomato sauce, thin slices of prosciutto, and mozzarella.
Guests can also admire the river views from the indoor dining room, where floor-to-ceiling windows offer river views. During the weekend, you could catch a musical performance over from local DJs, bands, or champagne flutes filled to varying heights.