La Crémaillère and Bedford Post have signed up for the 2013 Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW) which returns on Monday, March 11 for its seventh season. [There is also a November “second season” version of this event which debuted in 2012.]
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week runs through Sunday, March 24.
La Crémaillère owner Robert Oliver Meyzen has promised that his HVRW menu will include local farm ingredients. "La Crémaillère is the original farm-to-table restaurant,” he pointed out. The restaurant occupies a white clapboard farmhouse called the "Widow Brush House," built in 1750, and renovated and expanded many times since.
Bedford Post executive chef Jeremy McMillen said, “For the first time, we are providing dinner service in The Barn during the winter. We will offer our restaurant-week menu in The Barn at night Monday through Thursday along with our new Barn dinner menu.”
“We will be using The Barn’s fireplace to warm breads and the ashes to roast vegetables and meats,” McMillen added.
Like La Crémaillère, the Bedford Post is about 250 years old. [It also has a more formal restaurant called The Farmhouse.]
The lunches and dinners at both restaurants will cost diners exactly the same as last year: $29.95 per person for a three-course dinner and $20.95 per guest for a three-course lunch. Beverages from coffee to cocktails, tax and gratuity are additional.
One-hundred sixty-eight restaurants have registered for the March, 2013 program including 96 from Westchester County, 71 from other New York State counties and one from Connecticut.
The La Crémaillère menu
For an appetizer choose from potage du jour, green salad or escargots with angel hair pasta.
The main courses to be offered by La Crémaillère are:
- Sweet pea ravioli with crispy shallots, Gruyère Sauvignon blanc sauce
- Sautéed skate with ratatouille, mashed potato, lemon butter and capers
- Loin of lamb with pearl onions, baby carrots, Shiitake mushrooms, new potato, green Oliver red wine sauce
Desserts: Crème brûlée, fig bread pudding or panaché of ice cream or sorbet
The HVRW prix-fixe menus are not available at La Crémaillère for dinner on Friday and Saturday.
The Barn menu
Start with minestrone soup, Brussels sprout salad or duck confit salad
The entrées to be served at The Barn are:
- Mushroom burger with roasted garlic and rosemary aioli with simply dressed greens
- Codfish chowder with smoked clams, mussels, potato and celery
- Smoked pork ragu with pinto beans, charred tomato and guajillo chile
Desserts: Peanut butter mousse or cheesecake
The HVRW prix-fixe menus are not available at The Barn for any meals on Friday and Saturday.
At both restaurants, diners can opt to order from the regular menu instead of the prix-fixe menu.
The program organizer points out that “the menus shown are subject to change due to product availability.” They are also subject to change because of marketplace costs.
Attendees with dietary restrictions should be sure to contact the restaurant in advance.
Restaurants pay an $800 fee to join the program and are encouraged to include at least three appetizers, three main courses and a choice of three desserts on their menus.
Pros and cons associated with restaurant-week dining at participating restaurants and tips for your visit follow:
Advantages for diners
- There has not been an increase in meal cost from last year. The prices for lunch and dinner remain exactly the same: $20.95 and $29.95 respectively.
- Prestigious participants. Many of the regions finest and most expensive dining establishments are represented.
- Wide restaurant participation. One-hundred sixty-eight restaurants are participating.
- Good value. Even if you are fussy, the prices represent an inexpensive way to eat at many elite places at a fraction of the normal menu cost and a way to try previously unvisited restaurants.
- At least some of the restaurants post their menus in advance.
Disadvantages for diners
- Less attentive wait staffs. Since HVRW patrons pay less for their meals, some waiters and waitresses may provide poor service assuming that tips received from these guests will be lower than received from other customers.
- No side-dish substitutions may be allowed. To alleviate the kitchen overload, some restaurants have adhered firmly to a "no substitutions" rule for side dishes even if the request is made for allergy reasons.
- Smaller portions. Restaurants may skimp in the portion sizes of their dishes to offset the reduced prices they must charge.
- Limited selection choice. Although the HVRW’s organizers recommend that participating restaurants offer at least three entree choices, a few places have offered as little as two in the past.
- The customer is more likely to see items that cost the restaurant less in the marketplace than its most outstanding food.
- Seating time restrictions. A few restaurants have previously offered patrons the HVRW menu only during specific non-prime-time dining periods.
- Exempted days. Some restaurants exclude participation on Saturday or both Friday and Saturday. Not all restaurants offer the luncheon prix-fixe menu. Some are closed on Monday.
- Extra charges. Charges for incidentals normally provided free such as parking may automatically appear on the bill. In the past, a few restaurants have added a surcharge per person to the bill.
- Reserve quickly. Popular upscale restaurants fill up fast.
- Be flexible. When you make your reservation, be prepared to ask what dates are still open should the one you prefer not be available.
- Arrive ahead of your reservation time. The most popular places will be packed to capacity. You may be asked to wait awhile.
- When seated, ask for the HVRW menu if not given one. Some hosts or waiters provide it only if it is requested.
An excellent source for information about and reviews of meals served during previous Hudson Valley Restaurant Week programs is Liz Johnson's food.lohudblogs.com
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week runs from March 11 through March 24, 2013. All participating restaurants in Westchester (96), Rockland (16), Putnam (6), Orange (11), Dutchess (30), Ulster (7) and Columbia (2) counties and Connecticut (1) can be viewed at the Hudson Valley Restaurant Week website.
The Bedford Post is located at 954 Old Post Road, Bedford, NY. 914-234-7800, www.bedfordpostinn.com
La Crémaillère is at 46 Bedford-Banksville Road, Bedford, NY. 914-234-9647, www.cremaillere.com