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Road Trips to Remember: New York

Road Trips to Remember: New York

An upstate culinary crawl

From afar, upstate New York?s patchwork of fields and hamlets looks like a Grandma Moses painting. But up close, the fertile valley of the Hudson River resolves itself into an Arcimboldo: The entire valley is made of produce. A quick two-hour drive due north from the city will bring you to the hamlet of Red Hook in time for dinner. At Mercato, an osteria housed in a comfy A-frame with a broad porch, chef Francesco Buitoni serves an ever-changing menu that synthesizes recipes from his native Italy with the bounty of his neighboring farms. The crimini cascading over fried polenta, for example, are courtesy of Wiltbank farm; the chicken liver, braised in red wine and herbs, is also local.

Nearby, Rhinebeck?s Main Street boasts an unnaturally high bistro-to-burgher ratio. At Caf? Gigi, Laura Pensiero, author of Hudson Valley Mediterranean, makes her own pasta and scores her chickens from Northwind Farms, a small farm in Tivoli, N.Y., that sells directly to the public.

During apple season you can pick your own at Liberty View Farm, where gay farmer Billiam Van Roestenberg, voted one of Huffington Post?s hottest farmers, grows organic Cortland and Empire varieties.

A perfect day: Spend a night at Buttermilk Fall Inn and Spa in Milton. Soak in the morning, lunch at one of the five restaurants on the campus of the Culinary Institute of America, such as American Bounty, where aspiring chefs serve hearty American fare.

For dinner, venture north to Peekamoose in Big Indian. Afterward, roast a marshmallow at the outdoor fire pit, stare at the stars, and contemplate never going home.

More Road Trips:
Chicago: A dog day afternoon in the Windy City
Key West: Fish seen, fish eaten in the Conch Republic
Napa: Massages and Meyer lemons in wine country
Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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