Dutchess County has a long agricultural legacy. Even before European settlers came to the area, the fertile fields and valleys were cultivated by Native Americans. And throughout the decades the region acted as the breadbasket for the growing metropolis of New York City.
Dutchess County is home to hundreds of farms and food producers, whose bounty is celebrated and elevated in the area restaurants. The farm-to-table movement has increased access to local produce and meat, and transformed the Hudson Valley into a culinary hotbed.
We’ve hand-picked a scrumptious itinerary that will let you taste the flavor of Dutchess County. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway upstate, or live locally, this farm-fresh itinerary is a great way to meet some of the region’s amazing important producers and chefs.
You’ll need a place to set down your bags. In the spirit of the farm-to-table adventure, we suggest a stay at Troutbeck. With its highly Instagrammable grounds and stone structures, this curated homestead in Amenia is a bucolic respite from the busy world. The carefully restored buildings pair historic character with modern convenience and country privacy. It’s only a two-hour train ride from Grand Central Station. Trouteck also teams up with area farms for fresh, seasonal breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch in their chic but understated restaurant.
Brookby Farm, Dover Plains
Head to Brookby Farm for some cow-peeping fun on this sixth-generation family dairy. Pet the calves, see the milking process, and shop in the adorable farm store, which has an impressive selection of local products, including beef, pork, eggs, and chicken from the farm; McGrath Cheese Company products (made with milk from the farm), Dutchess Coffee Roasters beans, and more. Brookbyfarm.com
Zoe’s Ice Cream Barn, Lagrangeville
Speaking of local milk, make sure you take a pit stop at Zoe’s, where their artisanal ice cream is made with only Hudson Valley Fresh dairy products and fruit from area farms. This is as fresh as you get: Zoe’s boasts that their ice cream goes from cow to cone in just three days! Treat yourself in the barn-like setting in Poughkeepsie. Zoesicecreambarn.com
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery, Millbrook
Millbrook has been producing award-winning wines on its 13- acre vineyard for over three decades. After a guided tour, enjoy tastings of the current varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Tocai Friulano and Riesling. Or plan your visit during an outdoor jazz concert, wine blending workshop, or “Art in the Loft” exhibit. Millbrookwine.com
Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Poughkeepsie
Why stop at wine? Keep the buzz going and head over to Plan Bee on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie to see Cuomo’s Farm Brewery Act in action. These farmers-turned-brewers keep bees, making yeast for the beer from honeycomb. Plan Bee’s mission is to make high quality beers with ingredients sourced entirely from New York State, and many grown on site. As their website says, “Our beers go from ground to glass within measurable feet of their origins.” The farm reopens for visits May 25, and will be open all summer Fridays through Sundays, 12 to 7pm. The historic 1830s barn will also reopen soon as a tasting room, so stay tuned for updates. Planbeefarmbrewery.com
The Amsterdam, Rhinebeck
The Amsterdam’s menu features an array of locally sourced dishes that complement the newly renovated space; upscale with a country soul. In early April, nearly a year after opening, The Amsterdam brought on a new executive chef: Alex Burger, who left the prestigious Bar Boulud on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for the position. Under his direction, the restaurant will maintain its focus on farm-to-table food, while expanding its offerings to incorporate Burger’s French culinary experience and expertise in charcuterie and grilling. Lovetheamsterdam.com
For more Dutchess County excursions, information, and itineraries, visit the Dutchess Tourism website.