When dining in the Hudson Valley, The Bear Cafe should be on your short list.
I've never been here before but based on the Yelp Elite reviews and pictures, I knew it would be a great place for dinner. I highly recommend reservations, this place had a wait!
Its a little confusing because I came here in the dark. The parking lot is dark and crazy crowded. There is some event happening in one restaurant, a band playing at the other bar/restaurant and there is even a Chinese food restaurant?? These places are calling Big Bear, Little Bear, Bear something, mamma bear??
My wife and I walk into the Bear cafe, it looks like a lodge with all of the cedar woods on the walls and ceiling.
The bartender was spot on, he was mixing some STRONG drinks! Holy smokes, the whiskey they used was probably a 1/2 glass alone!
I am here for the chef and his locally sourced menu. We ordered two starters, the mussels and the beet carpaccio. The beet carpaccio was simple yet elegant. The beets were at their peak of freshness and the fried goat cheese made this dish amazing.
The mussels, my wife is Brooklyn-French-Canadian and gives it a thumbs up.
I had plans to get the steak but what caught my eye was the fresh fusilli pasta with lamb sugo along with fresh spring peas. Wowza! Coming from NYC, this dish was a large portion and the lamb had a little kick to it. Not a lot but just enough for me to say baaa..
All in all a pleasant experience in the Hudson Valley. I high recommend The Bear Cafe. Next year, the Chinese food Bear restaurant menu looked really really good!