GET OUTTA TOWN
HUDSON, NYby Joe Meny
A lively urban gem set in the natural environment of Columbia County in upstate New York, Hudson, is a small town whose historic buildings have been beautifully preserved (its hundreds of historic buildings represent every architectural style of the last three centuries) yet buzzing with all the ingredients of a city many times its size. With its diverse and creative people, world class retail and dining, and a happening art and music scene, Hudson has been called “One of the coolest small towns in the USA” by Budget Travel magazine.
Located just 120 miles north of New York City, a two-hour car ride away, and easily reached via a scenic drive up the Taconic Parkway. On your way up the Taconic Parkway, be sure not to miss Taste NY Market at Todd Hill in Poughkeepsie. You’ll find a unique assortment of New York sauces, sugars, and syrups, along with local, farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, locally made ice cream, sandwiches, pastries and so much more. The staff is friendly and attentive, ready to assist with your selection, or help you get back on the road in the right direction.
The main commercial street in Hudson, is Warren Street, renowned as a hub of art, culture, great shops and restaurants in the upper Hudson Valley. The length of Warren Street, a full nine blocks, showcases varied, yet distinctive, architectural styles in its public, religious, and banking institutions, three- and four-story commercial buildings, and late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century row houses. Warren Street is one of the few intact nineteenth-century commercial streets in New York State today.
Where to eat
Tanzy’s (223 Warren St.) is a small café and gift shop that serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. It is run by two local sisters, Tisha and Sandie. It features a simple menu of everyday items with two or three daily specials depending on fresh produce available from local farmers. For a delicious home-made breakfast of eggs (made to order) along with your choice of extras, Tanzy’s made us feel not only at home, but like mom was in the kitchen and made breakfast just for us. Absolutely delicious.
Most of the waitresses at Tanzy’s are family members or old family friends, and each enjoys cooking or baking. While Sandie is the cook and Tisha is the baker, each of the other staff has had a hand in the making of the daily soups and special desserts of the day. Just ask “who made the soup today?” and it may just be your waitress!
The other top choice to start your day is Moto (357 Warren St.). This motorcycle-themed coffee shop, complete with a motorcycle and related gear shop, serves great coffee and some of the best homemade waffles. You can even sit and watch Chef Kate our the batter and create your waffles right before your eyes. Moto has reasonable prices, a fun environment, friendly baristas, and a menu that satisfies your craving for some good food.
Dinner at the Red Dot Restaurant and Bar (321 Warren St.), the oldest continually operating restaurant and bar in Hudson, was a combination of warm, comfortable environment together with perfectly prepared appetizers and main courses. The Red Dot offers attentive service in a fun and relaxed environment. The menu is a delicious combination of seafood, chicken, salads, and steak. There’s even a Thai dish! We had the Lobster Risotto and Crab Bibb Salad for appetizers, and both were truly amazing. Would definitely go back just to have more of the risotto! Dinner included the Sautéed Chicken Breast with Creamed Potatoes and Green Bean Almandine, and the Orrechette Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Tomato Cream, and Peas. Every selection on the menu sounded just as delicious.
On our last night, we ate at Wm. Farmer and Sons, a relatively new restaurant and guest house, located on the western end of Warren St. around the corner on South Front Street, and just 1 block from the Hudson River. Have to say, we don’t know what their secret is, but the hamburger here is probably the best we’ve ever had. Seriously. The selection of beef, the seasonings, the sauce, the bun. A trip to Hudson is worth it just to have their hamburger. And we definitely want to check out their rooms. They were sold out on a weekday night!
For a truly amazing assortment of wines, including some of the best from the local Hudson Valley wineries, be sure to stop in Hudson Wine Merchants (341 1/2 Warren St.). The sheer number of wine bottles is quite impressive, and the staff is quite knowledgeable to help you choose the perfect wine to fit your taste or menu.
On your way driving home down Route 9 South, stop off at Hill-N-Hollow Farm (7217 Albany Post Road, just south of the traffic light at Hannaford). Here you’ll find pumpkins, delicious apples, pure honey, some of the sweetest corn, and beautiful potted flowers to bring home. As we got out of our car, Gail greeted us with a smile that went from ear-to-ear, and helped us choose the perfect assortment of farm-fresh produce, and a gorgeous potted plant to bring back to the city. Thanks, Gail!
Getting away and out of town for a break from the hustle and bustle is always a good thing. Hudson offers so much, in a historical, picturesque, and welcoming environment, that the car drive or train ride (Amtrak stops here) makes Hudson an ideal getaway. The fall colors are definitely inviting, but we’re certain Hudson is quite colorful any time of year!
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