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Dinner and a Beer Flight at Mill House Brewing Company

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Mill House Brewing Company for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Mill House Brewing Company is located on Mill Street in Poughkeepsie, right off of Rt. 55.  Surprisingly, the restaurant was never actually a mill and was most recently a Chinese restaurant! My husband and I didn’t realize until visiting that we’ve driven by this place multiple times on our way across the river!  Now that we know that it’s there though, we will be back.  Mill House Brewing Company is a brewery and a pub.  When we talked to people at other stops on our Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail tour and mentioned that we were visiting Mill House Brewing Company, they always commented on how good the food was here.  And they weren’t wrong!

The restaurant has an extensive menu, filled with so many delicious options.  My husband and I debated making a meal out of Appetizers and Bar Bites, because there were so many dishes that we wanted to try!  In the end we took our server’s recommendation and shared the Fried Calamari Salad.  The portion was humongous and could have been a meal in itself!  I had never heard of a fried calamari salad before, but it was so good.  The calamari was so tender and the chili-lime vinaigrette and Srirarcha Ranch aioli complemented the arugula so well.

For our entrees we shared the Fig and “Pig” pizza and a Deep Fried Scallop and Oyster Po’Boy.  The sandwich was messy good!  Unfortunately, it was a daily special and not something that they serve every day.

The pizza Fig and “Pig” is one of five pizzas that the restaurant serves.  This has smoked mozzarella, housemade duck bacon, black mission figs, arugula and aged balsamic.  We were getting full and took most of the pizza home with us!

Mill House Brewing also has several burgers on their menu, including the 50/50 burger being the winner of the Hudson Valley Burger Bash, three years in a row.  They also make several different sausages and offer a variety of pasta, seafood and steak dishes.  There is something for everyone at this Mill House and I can almost guarantee you that it will be delicious.

We were seriously too stuffed for dessert, as much as we wanted to try some of them (I’m talking about you, Peanut Butter Sundae and Cannoli Profiteroles!).  Just another reason for us to go back!

“….our A-Team here, who make “holy s#*t” moments happen at Mill House day in and day out.”

But of course, besides serving amazing food, we can’t forget that Mill House is also a brewery!  They have 16 taps and are always changing the beers that they serve.  My husband enjoyed a flight, where you can choose 5 beers for $15.  His flight included Kold One, which is their most popular beer, Cross Reference Blackberry, Cucumber Blessings, Velvet Panda and Northwest Territory. Although he enjoyed them all, his favorite was Cucumber Blessings. This award-winning cream ale is crisp and dry with notes of cucumber.  Basically, a perfect summer beer!

Assistant General Manger, Chris, told to us that the brewmasters Jamie Bishop and Larry Stock have become more experimental with their beers since they acquired the additional space down the street that houses 20 additional barrels.  According to Chris, asking him to name his favorite beer is like asking a parent to name their favorite child.  However, at the time of our visit, his current favorite brew was Zoe.

Brewmaster Jamie works with a local artist to create unique badges for each new beer.

If you really enjoy your beer, hopefully it is one of five that are sold in cans.  Kold One, Cucumber Blessings, Hubar I DIPA, Grocery Getter and Northwest Territory Imperial are their five beers that you can find in stores like Whole Foods, some local beer distributors and even Grand Central Station.  Otherwise, you can purchase some on your way out of the restaurant to take home with you (along with some of their home homemade sauces made with their beer).

Stop by The Mill House Brewing Company for a delicious meal and a cold brew (or flight)!

The Details:

Mill House Brewing Company
289 Mill Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 485-2739

Website: www.millhousebrewing.com

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 9 PM, Friday 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM, Saturday 11 AM – 10:30 PM, Sunday Brunch 11 AM – 3 PM, Sunday Dinner 3 PM – 9 PM

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A Day of Contemporary Art at Dia: Beacon

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Dia:Beacon for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Dia:Beacon opened in 2003, bringing a significant collection of contemporary art to the Hudson Valley.   Housed in a former Nabisco box-printing factory, this art museum has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a short walk from the Beacon train station, and on weekends it is filled with visitors traveling up from the city.    NY Foodie Family visited Dia:Beacon a couple of years ago.  However, our most recent trip was a day date, sans kids, and proved to be an entirely different experience! My husband and I were able to view the exhibits at a much more relaxed pace.

Artist Dan Flavin is well-known for his work with florescent lights.  He has several works on view at the museum, but untitled is one of my faves.

Another interesting display is On Kawara’s Today series.  The paintings were completed on the date depicted on the surface in the language and date format of the country where the artist was at the time.

The art at Dia:Beacon is not just paintings that you see on the wall.  There are exhibits on the ground like Robert Smithson’s Map of Broken Glass.

You can walk on a set path through Francois Morellet’s No End Neon on the bottom floor of the museum.  You can also walk inside Richard Serra’s series of Torqued Ellipses exhibition. On nice days, you can walk out to the gardens designed by artist Robert Irwin.

 

The museum is large and you can spend a couple of hours looking at the exhibits. I’m going to be honest, some of the exhibits perplexed me.  Strands of yarn, different shaped holes in the ground, a pile of rubber……please don’t ask me to explain or understand it.  But, it’s all definitely interesting to look at!  Many of the pieces are on long-term view at the museum.  However, they also continuously bring in new exhibits.

After visiting Dia:Beacon, I highly recommend traveling into the town of Beacon.  There are lots of great restaurants, shops and the Hudson Valley Brewery, which are all a short drive away.

The Details:
Dia: Beacon
3 Beekman  Street
Beacon, NY

Hours:  January – March, Friday – Monday 11 AM – 4 PM,  April – October, Thursday – Monday 11 AM – 6 PM, November-December, Thursday – Monday 11 AM – 4 PM

Parking:  Free parking

Admission: $15/adult, $12/students and seniors, Free/children 12 and under and members

Additional Info:

*There is a cafe and bookstore/gift shop onsite.

*Public tours are given on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 PM and 2 PM, free with admission.

*The museum is a short walk from the Beacon train station.

*On the last Sundays of the month Hudson Valley residents receive free admission with proof of residence.  City of Beacon residents, as well as residents of the adjoining communities of Fishkill, Glenham and Chelsea receive free admission every Saturday and Sunday.

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Enjoying Locally Made Spirits at the Taconic Distillery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and the Taconic Distillery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Distillation is the process of selectively boiling and condensing a liquid to separate the components, in this particular case, the alcohol. The Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail currently has three distilleries.  The first one that we visited is the Taconic Distillery located in Stanfordville, NY.  The Distillery was established in 2013, originally known as the Millbrook Distillery.

Driving up to the Distillery, the first thing you notice is the giant dog on the side of the building.  This is an image of Copper, the owner’s beloved dog who passed away.  It is also Taconic Distillery’s logo and is found on everything from its bourbon and whiskey bottles to the tasting glasses and stickers.

Taconic Distillery’s founder, Paul Coughlin, is a big hunting fan and lover of the outdoors.  The decor of the tasting room reflects this love.  The wood lined walls and leather furnishings give the space a rustic and cozy feel.

My husband, the spirits drinker, enjoyed a tasting at the Taconic Distillery.  We asked the bartender for her recommendations.  She started him off with the Dutchess Private Reserve, a 90 proof straight bourbon whiskey.

Next, he had the 90 proof Founder’s Rye Whiskey.  He finished with her favorite, the 115 proof Barrel Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The bourbon and ryes are made onsite and after the tasting, our server took us into the back so we could see the actual distillery. To be considered NY state grown, 75% of the ingredients used must be made in New York.  Taconic’s products are 100% New York state sourced, from the grains to the spring water.  The Distillery performs their bottling every Tuesday.  As a small-run operation, bottling is an all-hands-on-deck affair.   Although the operation is small, their products are available in liquor stores in 12 states.

The spirits are stored in barrels to age.  The maple syrup that they produce from their nearby farm, Rolling Hills Farm, is also aged in their barrels.

While the Taconic Distillery doesn’t serve food, they do have a carry-in/carry-out policy.  There is plenty of outdoor seating, including a lovely fire pit, and a grill is available for public use.  Who could say no to enjoying a cocktail with this view?!

The Details:

Taconic Distillery
179 Bowen Road
Stanfordville, NY 12584
(845) 393-4583

Website: https://www.taconicdistillery.com

Tasting Room Hours: Saturday 12 PM – 6 PM, Sunday 12 PM – 5 PM, Closed in January

Tasting Price:  $15 for 3 tastings of your choice and a souvenir glass or $8 for a cocktail

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Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Milbrook Vineyards & Winery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is one of four wineries in Dutchess County.  This was the only winery stop on our recent Craft Beverage Trail visit.  I have to be honest, my husband and I are not regularly wine drinkers and have not visited many wineries.  However, I can see why the Millbrook Vineyards & Winery has been voted “Best Winery” in the Hudson Valley.

As you drive up to the winery, you pass some of the 30-acres of vineyards, as Millbrook grows most of their own grapes.  You can even take a tour of the vineyard and learn all about their grape growing and wine making process.

Because we had so many stops that day, we were limited on time and visited the winery for a tasting only. I was impressed by the elegance of the tasting room.  The tastings are held in a restored 1940’s Dutch style barn, which is bright with two different bar areas.

Millbrook offers two tasting options.  The portfolio tasting, which we enjoyed, includes a cross-section of six wines as well as an olive oil tasting at the end.  Reservations are not required, but space is limited. The winery also offers a reserve tasting, which includes the “upper tier” of their wine portfolio.  Reservations are required for the reserve tasting.

We arrived at the 12 PM opening and, during our tasting, the entire bar was filled with approximately 12 guests.  Since I was the designated driver for the day, only my husband participated in the wine tasting.  The tasting started with white wines and ended with red.  The first wine was a 2017 Hunt Country White. This is a table wine and the lightest and sweetest they offer.  It is also one of Millbrook’s most popular wines and was my husband’s favorite as well.  The next wine was a 2017 Tocai Fritulano Proprietor’s Special Reserve.

We then sampled a 2017 Dry Riesling Proprietor’s Special Reserve. This is produced Mosel-style, in a green bottle. Keeping wine in green bottles helps prevent oxidation, which can make wine taste dull or vinegary.

A 2016 Chardonnay was next.  Several restaurants in the Hudson Valley serve this wine.  Then the reds were served which included a 2016 Pinot Noir. Of the two red wines sampled, this one was my husband’s favorite.

The tasting ended with the Hunt County Red.  All of the featured wines are available to purchase by the glass, bottle and/or case.

 

The winery has made many award-winning wines and the ribbons and medals are proudly on display in the wine shop area.  There are also other locally made products available for purchase.

The winery is beautiful and is set up for guests to stay and enjoy the afternoon.  There is an approximately one mile vineyard walking trail.  The route leads through the vineyards up to the top of the estate.

The vineyard also has a volleyball net and corn hole boards set up in the front of the winery as well as plenty of seats for those that just want to sit back and relax.

The Vineyard Grille is located next to the winery. The tented outdoor space is open on the weekends and serves burgers, sandwiches, salads and more from local catering and gourmet shop, Slammin’ Salmon. Everything is reasonably priced from $8-$15 dollars.

There are several ponds on the property as well, which help create a tranquil environment. Throughout the summer, the winery hosts several different events including Friday Night Food Trucks and Jazz at the Grille Concerts on Saturday evenings.   Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is a beautiful location here in the Hudson Valley.  If you are looking to visit a local winery, we highly recommend stopping here.

The Details:

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
26 Wing Road
Millbrook, NY 12545
(800) 662-WINE or (845) 677-8383
Website:  www.Millbrookwine.com

Hours:  Open daily 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturdays 12 PM – 7 PM

Prices:  Portfolio Tasting – $12.50/person (includes a souvenir wine glass)
Portfolio Tasting and Tour – $15.00/person
Reserve Tasting – $25.00/person (includes souvenir wine glass)
Reserve Tasting and Tour – $27.50/person

 

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A Visit to Blue Collar Brewery {Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail}

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Blue Collar Brewery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

In November 2014, Blue Collar Brewery opened on Cottage Street in Poughkeepsie, NY. The brewery epitomizes the concept of a small family business, with a small operation including father-son partners, Kevin and Randall.

Brewing has been a part of the Marquis family, long before Brew Collar Brewery opened. Kevin Marquis is a former Physical Therapist and was brewing at home since the 80’s.  Having a father interested in brewing meant Randall grew up in the craft beer world.  Childhood vacations always included stops at different breweries. Randall went away to college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  While at college, he even spent some time working at one of the pour houses at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, before returning back to Poughkeepsie.  He is now a professional brewer, with credentials from the University of California Davis.

The brewery is located in what was a former factory dating back to the late 1800’s.  Before housing Blue Collar Brewery, the building was previously a garment factory, a meat packing factory and, most recently, a storage facility for a paper company. With assistance from the city of Poughkeepsie, the Marquises located the building, which was not in the best condition.  The father-son team did a lot of the renovations themselves to get the building to its current state.

We visited Blue Collar Brewery on a sunny, summer Saturday afternoon.  During our visit, there was a family with children eating in the dining room.  However, the majority of the crowd was comprised of singles, friends and couples of all ages, both at the bar and sitting in the dining area.

Although we didn’t eat here, the menu has a variety of offerings.  Cleverly categorized into “shifts”, the brewery serves appetizers and a variety of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and other finger foods.  The offerings are reasonably priced and there are plenty of kid-friendly options.

But, of course, this is a brewery and you want to know about the beer!  As you walk from the entrance into the dining area and bar, you pass the brewery, located in the basement level below.  Blue Collar Brewery is always changing the brews that they offer.  Since opening the brewery in late 2014, they have offered 40 different brews.  They always have 5-7 brews on tap, direct from the cold room downstairs.  You will always find the Cream Ale and IPA #8 on tap, as these are the most “mainstream” people-pleasers. However, the Marquises are always creating new experimental batches and one-offs (beers that are only made once), so you’ll never know what you may find on tap on your visit.

On our visit, my husband had a flight that included the five beers on the brewery’s draft list and a bonus.  Pictured (from right to left) is the Cream Ale, IPA #8, Irish Red Ale, Dry Irish Stout and the Pilsner.  The last beer on the left is a Saison, not listed on the printed menu.  You can sample five (5oz.) beers as a flight for only $12.  Of the six that he tried, my husband’s favorite was the Irish Red Ale. This is in line with the best sellers, which are the Irish Red Ale and the IPA.  While Randall’s favorite draft is constantly changing, at the time of our visit he was favoring the pilsner.

For those that may not prefer beer, the brewery also serves cider and wine, most of which are also made locally in the Hudson Valley.

A visit to Blue Collar Brewery is highly recommended. The brewery got its name from the “Blue Collar” atmosphere that Kevin and Randall wanted to create.  They wanted “a gathering place free of pretension, where American craft products can be enjoyed.” And I think they did just that.  The brewery is very casual and has a laid-back vibe.  You can sit at the bar and watch your favorite sports team on one of the many large screens.  Or you can relax at a table in the dining room.  Regardless, Randall is a superb and gracious host and treats every guest like a friend.  He has such a warm vibe and converses easily with all the patrons.  During our visit, Kevin was mostly on the floor, making sure all the dining room guests were taken care of.  He was super-attentive and always on the move.  They make a great team.  You can tell that the two are rightfully proud of the business that they have created.  NY Foodie Family wishes them much continued success!

The Details:
Blue Collar Brewery
40 Cottage Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 454-BREW

Parking:  Street parking is available in front of the brewery.  There is also a small parking lot next to the brewery.

Hours:  Monday – Thursday 3- 10 PM, Friday & Saturday 12 PM – 11 PM, Sunday 12 PM – 10 PM

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Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and the below craft beverage sites for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

The craft beverage industry has seen expansive growth over the past several years.  The Hudson Valley is home to many breweries, wineries and distilleries, with more opening over time.  A large number of Hudson Valley’s craft beverages can be found in Dutchess County.  So many, in fact, that they’ve created their own craft beverage trail.  The Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail currently has 20 “stops” with more continuing to be added.  My husband and I have visited several of the breweries, wineries and distilleries that make up the Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail.  I could merely provide you with a list of all the places that we visited.  Below, you will find a list of those stops.  I have provided the important details like location, hours and website links.  However, during our stops, we chatted with owners, managers and employees.  Each of the places we visited has its own story that really should be told.  Over the next several weeks, I will be linking to the unique stories that NY Foodie Family is thrilled to share.  We haven’t yet been able to visit all the stops on the Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail.  But if we haven’t visited it yet, you can be sure it’s on our list to check out soon!

Blue Collar Brewery (Read about our visit here!)

40 Cottage Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 454-BREW

Website:  http://www.thebluecollarbrewery.com/
Hours:  Monday – Thursday 3 PM -10 PM, Friday & Saturday 12 PM – 11 PM, Sunday 12 PM – 10 PM

Denning’s Point Distillery
10 North Chestnut Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 476-8413

Website: http://www.denningspointdistillery.com/
Tastings & Tours:  Friday 2 PM -8 PM (Tastings only), Saturday 2 PM – 8 PM (Tours at approximately 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 PM, except for the second Saturday of each month when tours are at 2:30 and 3:30 only), Sunday 2 PM – 6 PM (Tastings only)
Price:  Tastings & Tour $5

Hudson Valley Brewery
7 East Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(323) 552-6563

Website: http://hudsonvalleybrewery.com
Hours: Thursday & Friday 5 PM – 10 PM, Saturday 2 PM – 10 PM, Sunday 2 PM – 8 PM

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (Read about our visit here!)
26 Wing Road
Millbrook, NY 12545
(845) 677-8383

Website:  http://www.millbrookwine.com/
Hours: Open Daily 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturday 12 PM – 7 PM

Millhouse Brewing Company
(Read about our visit here!)
289 Mill Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 485-2739

Website: https://www.millhousebrewing.com
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 9 PM, Friday 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM, Saturday 11 AM – 10:30 PM, Sunday Brunch 11 AM – 3 PM, Sunday Dinner 3 PM – 9 PM

Taconic Distillery (Read about our visit here!)
179 Bowen Road
Stanfordville, NY 12584
(845) 393-4583

Website: https://www.taconicdistillery.com
Tasting Room Hours: Saturday 12 PM – 6 PM, Sunday 12 PM – 5 PM, Closed in January

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Escape the Mystery Room {Family Date Night}

 

We recently celebrated my husband’s birthday.  When asked what he wanted to do, he requested we visit Escape the Mystery Room at the Palisades Mall.  This is one of those places where they lock you in a room and you must solve a series of clues to escape before time runs out.  My children are 9 and 11 and we thought this sounded like a fun family date night.

Escape the Mystery Room has locations throughout the Eastern part of the United States and one location in Austin, Texas.  There are several different themed rooms to choose from with a variety of difficulty levels (1 through 5).  During our visit themed rooms included Black Ops, Escape from Alcatraz, Treasure Island, Superhero’s Adventure, Houdini’s Magic Cell, Sherlock’s Library, Special Agent, Zombie Apocalypse and Hollywood Premier.  The room themes change approximately every twelve weeks.

We arrived at the Palisades location around 3:3o PM.  When we arrived we went to the desk and asked for suggestions of themed-rooms appropriate for families.  The girls at the desk noted that their most popular room is Escape Alcatraz.  However, they had no more reservations for the evening.  The other two rooms they recommend for beginners are Superhero’s Adventure and Treasure Island.  They did note that only 50% of visitors are able to escape the room on their first visit. We let the kids choose and they voted for Treasure Island.  However, the next reservation available wasn’t until 7:05 PM.

Escape the Mystery Room costs $20 a person, regardless of age.  The experience for the four of us cost $80 plus tax. They accept credit cards and once we paid and reserved our spot, we were told to come back at 7 PM.  Luckily, the place is located in a large shopping mall, so we shopped and ate dinner before our reserved time.

We arrived back at Escape the Mystery Room at 7 PM.  We were given a sheet of rules and instructions to read over before our experience.  There was also a list of charges if you broke locks, keys, or other items in the room.  Phones had to be turned off and pictures are not allowed to be taken.  Although you can be grouped with others, fortunately, it was just the four of us in our room.

We were escorted to the Treasure Island room, given a super brief overview and locked in. We were allowed to call for assistance two times, if needed. We had 50 minutes to figure out the 4 digit code that would unlock the door and set us free. There was very little direction given as to what you were supposed to do and it took a good 10-15 minutes before our daughter found our first clue!  We were on our last clue when we needed to request a clue.  Honestly, we didn’t find the info given very helpful, but we were at the last clue.

This was a Level One (beginner) room and we escaped with 6 minutes to spare!  We were told we could use the extra minutes to continue on and try to figure out the Level Three puzzle.  Unfortunately, there was not enough time for us to complete it.  But we were super excited that we were able to complete Level One!

I thought that there would be a fun photo op at the end or some recognition for escaping the room, but there wasn’t.  So we had to take our own picture in the lobby as a souvenir!

I think my 9 and 11-year-old were at a perfect age to do Escape the Mystery Room.  The Level one room was challenging, even for us adults.  If your children have short attention spans, are easily frustrated, or are not interested in puzzles, then I don’t recommend this experience.  My kids enjoy these types of challenges so this was right up their alley.  As soon as we left, my daughter wanted to try another room!

The Details:

Escape the Mystery Room
Palisades Center (this was the location that we visited, but check the map for the nearest location to you!)
3681 Palisades Center Drive
West Nyack, NY 10994
(845) 358-1978

Hours:  Sunday – Thursday: 10 AM – 9:30 PM, Friday & Saturday: 10 AM – midnight
Cost:  $20/person
Parking:  Plenty of free parking

Tips:
*Reservations are highly recommended.  You can call or book online. If you want to make a reservation while at the mall, arrive several hours before your targeted time.

*If you want to make this a couples only date, I recommend gathering up some friends to make it a group date.  Otherwise you may be grouped with other people.

*If this is your first time doing an Escape the Mystery Room try a Level One room.  My husband and I found this room challenging for our first experience.