Overall: The ambience was warm and pleasing. Oak wine barrels, baskets and drawings give a comfortable rustic-farm- vibe. A live jazz band played downstairs. Nice.
Background: Owners Bonnie and her husband, Nathan, are both former NYC chefs, and current Gardiner residents; they use all local produce where possible.
Starters: The homemade warm bread was delicious, paired with a really smooth, rich and fruity olive oil.
Appetizers: Autumn Pork Belly Special featured a nice crispy outside with a soft, flavorful, salty inside. The crisp apples and fennel served up on the plate worked well. The Poached Octopus served over a chickpea salad with roasted peppers and olives was cooked to perfection — amazingly soft and delicate.
Ramblers Rest in Monroe - review by HV Parent staffer, Felice Feinberg
Main Dish: The Braised Short Rib was “soft, melt-in-your-mouth-meaty goodness,” and served over a creamy parsnip puree. The Tagliolini Pasta Shrimp was not your typical scampi or Parmesan dish. Instead, there were nice healthy tiger shrimp, paired with melted leeks, pine nuts, fennel pollen and orange gremolata (a chopped herb condiment typically made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley) along with a thin linguine-like pasta.
Dessert: Housemade olive oil cake, paired with a lively, refreshing, local concord grape sorbetto (the Italian manifestation of sorbet). The olive oil cake had almost a pound cake-like consistency to it.
Ending: It’s more of a date-night type of establishment, although families with older children (10 yrs old +) might really enjoy it.
Jason Weinstein and his wife, Nicole, love dining out in the Hudson Valley because of the abundance of fresh locally sourced ingredients, coupled with the vast creativity of the area’s chefs.