Ashley Goforth, 27, associate community manager, and Amanda Waas, 26, marketing manager
Duration: 3 Days
“We like going to high-end restaurants because we both regard meals as a big event. We’re partial to local breweries, and we’ve spent so much money on artisanal cheese, we’ve pondered whether a heroin habit would be cheaper.”
Go here: Hudson Valley
Why now: The hamlet-strung region famous for farms and fall foliage has drawn the attention of New York’s culinary elite. At the same time, the production of craft booze and other small-batch eats is taking off, making the area ideal for a food-filled weekend escape.
What to do: Hillrock Estate Distillery (408 Pooles Hill Rd., Ancram, N.Y.; 518-329-1023), open since September, is one of the world’s only “field to glass” distilleries, meaning the rye and barley used for its whiskey and bourbon are grown on-site. Hour-long tours ($20) include a tasting session. Sweeten up later at Madava Farms (47 McCourt Rd., Dover Plains, N.Y.; 845-877-0640), home of Crown Maple syrup, which opened to the public earlier this month. On the Catskills side, the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery (114 Little York Rd.; 845-258-4858) has a charming tasting room with frequent live music.
Where to stay: New ownership at the Barn in Tivoli (from $250; 917-402-9016) has brought an airy revamp to the two-story converted outbuilding. The barn sleeps up to eight and has a spacious kitchen for cooking. Across the river, the Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa (from $250; buttermilkfallsinn.com) offers Hudson views and a newly revamped restaurant using produce and eggs from its on-site farm.
What to eat: Since summer, a pair of wd-50 alums have served their innovative take on the region’s offerings at the Crimson Sparrow (746 Warren St., Hudson, N.Y.; 518-671-6565), housed in an eighteenth-century building; come winter, they’ll be joined by Zak Pelaccio (Fatty ’Cue), who’s rolling out a seasonal restaurant just a few blocks down. Locals can’t stop talking about the Hop (458 Main St., Beacon, N.Y.; 845-440-8676), a suds-lovers haven that opened in March and sells growlers and more than 150 beers. The culinarily curious might also poke around the Culinary Institute of America’s scenic campus, then have lunch or dinner at the locally focused American Bounty restaurant (1946 Campus Dr., Hyde Park, N.Y.; 845-471-6608), celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Buy this: If you dine at Italian favorite Mercato-Osteria & Enoteca (61 E. Market St., Red Hook, N.Y.; 845-758-5879), pick up some of the grassy, peppery olive oil produced by chef-owner Francesco Buitoni’s mother on her farm near Rome ($25 per liter).
Also consider: The booming vineyard scene in Baja California’s lush Valle de Guadalupe is also drawing top chefs, including Javier Plascencia (Finca Altozano) and Diego Hernandez (Corazón del Tierra).