Poughkeepsie, New York probably isn’t on everyone’s tongues as a quality food destination, however: The Culinary Institute of America isn’t far away; In town there’s a number of highly rated and the primary wedding destination (the Grandview) has won several awards for their culinary prowess. Therefore, it’s no surprise Shadows on the Hudson offers such a resounding experience.
Situated on the east bank of the Hudson River overlooking the Mid-Hudson bridge and Blue Point Peaks, Shadows is a stunning place to sip a cocktail on their wrap around deck or enjoy a meal from behind the floor-to-ceiling windows which is why you shouldn’t be fooled by the unassuming, strip mall-esque exterior when you first drive up. It’s beyond what you would image on the inside and it begins with a welcoming and professional staff both for our dinner and our time in the lounge.
The lounge service was OK overall, but it was more about time with friend, the selection of drinks and that view anyhow so it’s not a complaint per se.
From the perspective of the bourbon feature I routinely do on the blog Shadows was on point, and then some.
The selection of bourbons, whiskey, rye and scotch was pretty thorough for not being a place that specializes in it and then, they pour some pretty interesting cocktails to boot:
the Honey Barrell: Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey, Fresh Squeezed Lemonaide, Hudson Valley Honey
What I enjoyed about sipping this was it wasn’t just an attempt at a spiked lemonaide per se. There’s a delicate balance between the sweet of the honey the citric of the lemon and the smokiness that Jack typically brings to the table. It’s good, maybe too ‘rich’ to have more than one, and definitely has the potential to go down a little too easy meaning you might not need more than one…
the Kentucky Fizz: Bulliet Rye, Chambord, PAMA and fresh grapefruit juice.
At first, I will admit, I wasn’t sure what to make of this, but ultimately in the same way that the previous one is a balance of the sweet and tart this is as well. It’s bold and definitely has a strong nose (the Rye and the Grapefruit separately take no prisoners so imagine their pungency together). Solid twist on a cocktail, to be sure.
Boilermaker – it isn’t on the menu, but it is a personal favorite and when you spike draught Saranac Seasonal with a recent interest of mine in Redemption Single Barrel and it’s an up-scale version of the classic shoot and a beer combination. Granted, we didn’t drop the entire shot glass into the pint glass in the traditional manner but the two flavors combined were exactly as invigorating as you’d expect.
I’d also make note, although somewhat un-releated, of the Hudson Valley Punch they serve: Absolute Grapevine, Chardonnay, White Grapes, Papaya, Dragonfruit
As for the meal itself, we had a fairly large group with us and were on a prix-fix menu which is simply a slightly culled and more focused version of the main dining room menu which allows everyone to feel like there’s selection even though it’s scaled.
I ordered the Rib-eye Steak served medium-rare was served with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies was a solid dish – just the right seasoning and sear on the stake, chunky smashed tates and a good mix of seasonal veggies still having their crispiness. I also tasted the Grouper Provencal Pan-Seared with White Wine, Lemon, Diced Tomatoes, Olives and Capers featuring a good balance of flavor that complimented the delicateness of the fish nicely and was especially impressive considering it was coming out as part of an order of like 20 plates. There’s always the chance the fish is going to be a disaster in those kind of services and it wasn’t.