I’m so happy that Spring has finally arrived (on the calendar at least) but the warmer days and sunshine can’t be far behind! So it’s time to think about the fun and exciting variety of yearly events that are held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds May 31- June 2nd 2019 in Rhinebeck NY! It’s just a 40 minute drive thru the lovely and picturesque countryside and stunning farms along the route from Hilltop House here in Amenia to the fairgrounds. One of my very favorites is the Country Living Fair! click here Some call it junking! Making good of cast-offs is good for all of us; it produces less trash in the long run. The pendants above are made from old optometrist lenses–“do you see better now? how about now? and now?”–with nostalgic images secured inside. We made the photo big so you could see how wonderfully involving they are.
antique soup tureen lids
This photo above, shows a whimsical wall decor of pottery lids which have lost their bottoms long ago. I always thought that the lids were the first to break, “Auntie Em, I love these sweet potatoes, oops! Hot lid! Sorry.” but someone somewhere pulled all of these beauteous pieces together and they made for a compelling display. And you know, there’s money to be made in them thar lids, even if you don’t have a bottom seeking cover, they’re very handsome just on the wall (come to think of it, I wonder if any of those were used for chamber pots?).
There is so much to find and be inspired by in Dutchess County and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut. You’ll find a little piece of heaven here waiting for you here in one or all of our Hudson Valley towns. Come on up and see us! click here
Trade Secrets, a rare plant and garden antiques show, is a yearly Spring time event held at beautiful Lion Rock Farm in Sharon Connecticut. Located just over the New York border, the event is held to raise funds for Women’s Support Services, a non-profit that assists victims of domestic violence.
After hosting many guests here at Hilltop House that come back year after year to attend this event, I decided it was time to go and check it out for myself. Well, to say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement! Featuring over 60 vendors and artisans you’ll be sure to find something you just can’t live without! Trade Secrets is packed with every beautiful thing you could want for your garden, from rare plants to antique garden furniture and art to hand made pots and planters, topiaries and so much more.
Below you’ll see just a sampling of some of the lovely things you can find at this amazing garden show.
Make sure you bring cash or checks because they aren’t set up for credit cards.
Nestled in Amenia, Serevan restaurant has graced the surrounding Amenia area with it’s distinctive cuisine by Chef-Owner Serge Madikians. The restaurant opened in May of 2005, and continues to wow patrons with cuisine influenced by Serge’s native heritage in Iran, inspired by many other ethnic cuisines, and also from the bountiful offerings that the local farms of the Hudson Valley provides.
Serevan is located just minutes from the local train station, and a hop skip and a jump by car from the Inn. A historic farmhouse with a wraparound garden, it is a cozy intimate place where patrons can settle by the fire and enjoy themselves dining. As one journalist put it, “When Madikians came onto the scene, he transformed the dwelling and grounds into a lush, gastronomical oasis.” Dining there, you have the option of two different dining rooms, a lively bar, or in the warmer season, sitting on the terrace overlooking the gardens. The restaurant’s gardens also provide an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables for the kitchen’s use, and aromatic flowers to grace tables.
Serevan collaborates with the local farming community, and makes it a tenant to stress that understanding how the natural growing process works, he visits the local farms weekly in season to provide the restaurant with fresh fruits and vegetables, and regularly personally flies to Massachusetts (he has his own pilot’s license) and scours the Cape fish dockyards for fresh fish directly from the sea.
Come check out Serevan the next time you are visiting the Hilltop House B&B to discover a lovely meal, and please your palate with dining featuring a menu inspired by ingredients and techniques from diverse cultures and cuisines.
6 Autumn Lane
Amenia, NY 12501
Monte’s Local Kitchen & Tap Room highlights the freshest local and seasonal ingredients to be found in the Hudson Valley with it’s innovative farm-to-table cuisine. Dafna Mizrahi, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, says this is a concept she’s been developing for years, what she calls “farm to table, chic and rustic.” The feta, she says, comes from the owners of the Four Brothers pizza parlor a block away, the “toussaint,” a cow’s milk pecorino, from Sprout Creek in Poughkeepsie” (quoted from http://www.ruralintelligence.com/food_section/food_articles_news/montes_in_amenia) to name a few of her local vendors.
Mizrahi appeared on Food Network’s Chopped in April of 2015, and came away as the champion for that episode, with $10,000 which she donated to a local charity. She is currently the General Manager and Executive Chef. Mizrahi partnered with member of the Monte family, who have a long history in the hospitality industry with restaurants in Montauk on the tip of Long Island, and an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, to start Monte’s Local Kitchen in 2014.
Monte’s tries to support the local farm community, changing the menu seasonally to highlight local farms. Specials change weekly and the use of local ingredients inspires grilled meats and seafoods and a variety of fresh rustic salads. As a recent article about Monte’s so interestingly stated in parts, “The décor at Monte’s Local Kitchen is vintage rustic, antique wood tables, planters with fresh herbs, cocktails in Mason jars and a local wall with jams, maple syrup, pickled vegetables and wines from the Hudson Valley for sale.”
A few recent for reviews from Tripadvisor, Facebook and Yelp to whet your appetite………
Local from farm to table – amazing, Our experience was really great here – from the drinks, to the apps, to the main event, everything was local, delicious and there were no leftovers!
My wife and I have been here a half dozen times over as many months. This is by far the best meal you will find without traveling to Poughkeepsie or Rhinebeck. Their quality coupled with consistently excellent service and great cocktails makes them the go-to place in the Amenia/Dover area
Worth the trip from anywhere! Let me first begin by saying my husband and I were drawn to Monte’s after watching an episode of The Food Networks Chopped, where the Chef/Owner Dafna Mizrahi took home the prize. Our curiosity got us and we had to try it. I called to make a reservation and Dafna herself answered the phone. The we arrived half hour early and we sat at the bar for cocktails. We were greeted by the friendly bartender who made me the best manhattan and my husband loved their craft beers. We were then greeted by Dafna where she took us to our table. I could not help but watch her greet patrons, answer the phone, deliver food, clear tables and then some. Amazing to say the least. We ordered appetizers, a pasta special we split and two entrees. And oh yes, dessert too! We cannot say enough about how wonderful all the food and our experience was. As frequent diners of the Culinary Institute of America and very nice restaurants, Monte’s was definitely our favorite. You will not be disappointed. Oh, on another note, arrive early so that you can visit Monte’s Health Nut Hut, located behind the restaurant, for some great items to take home!
We stopped in at Monte’s for an early dinner on the way home from the races at Limerock. It was a whim that paid off! We loved the decor and the attention to details, including a custom “branded” table top, vintage items, cool artwork and a lovely bar. The wait staff was extremely attentive and we wanted for nothing. My boyfriend had the fettuccini Alfredo with scallops, which was very good, albeit a “normal” kind of dish… but he had a hankering… and it was satisfied. I had the chicken with Boursin “stuffing” and OMG. This was, quite possibly, the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. It was crispy on the outside with creamy Boursin cheese between the skin and the meat served atop crispy fingerling potatoes (How did you do that?), and perfectly grilled asparagus. I loved it beyond words. Not to mention that the entire area is quite charming. Will definitely be back.