Anyone who knows me, knows I am a foodie. And one of the pleasures of living in Beacon is the selection of dining experiences it offers, mostly with CIA graduates who have stayed in the Hudson Valley and taken to the start-up nature of Beacon's Main Street. I thought that I should blog about my dining experiences as a feature on Beacon Bits on an irregular-regular basis that features the fare of one of the local restaurants-- not because I am a food critic, but because I want to highlight the unique cuisine that Beacon offers and share my experience of dining alone or dining with friends, and in so doing, highlight what I will call a "Beacon Signature Dish".
So I went to The Hop on a recent Sunday evening after attending a concert and found that it was lively and practically full to capacity. The excitement is palpable -- the sound reverberates off the high-tech features of the renovated space and the effects of potables on tap added to the din. I waited to be seated and found that my wait was quite long. I was a bit dismayed that when a waiter/host approached, he asked the younger couple behind me if they wanted a table; I was overlooked and sensed that invisibility factor that creeps in for a woman of a certain age (or perhaps, the fact that I literally was shorter than the host and the two guests behind me), but I was able to assert myself and ascertain that I had been first in line. I was seated at a table almost immediately and then the experience unfolded as I had originally expected into an evening of comfort food and drink surrounded by other patrons who were clearly enjoying their meals and beverages. I asked the waiter about a 'signature' dish and I couldn't have been more pleased to hear that the "Kale & Lamb Sausage" was probably one of the favorites. I placed my order and asked for an "Oak Hill Red" apple cider on tap, which all spoke to the autumn chill in the air.
As soon as my meal arrived, I did not have any lingering angst about waiting to be seated, it was all worth the wait! The kale and lamb sausage had a spiciness that added a kick to the nutty-texture of a creamy polenta that was floated in a bit of melted butter with some sharp artisanal cheese and poached egg to add to the mix of flavors and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Added to the mix was the dry-prosecco-like apple cider that provided an acid contrast, which cut the richness of the lamb and polenta; it was a definite keeper and perfect for a Sunday evening supper that greeted my favorite season of the year.
Food for thought: I believe everyone should look for the 'joy' in life since everything else finds us whether we look for it or not. I also believe it is important to do things alone, whether it is going to the movies or out to a restaurant for a good meal. Everyone needs to feel empowered to indulge in the simple pleasures of life whether or not one is alone or can share the experience with others. Beacon is the type of community that allows one to have solo experiences since every individual adds to the fabric of community life that is being woven into the spirit of the village. There's no need to wait for that special someone to step into the fine dining experiences that are found on every corner......I'll keep you updated on other 'signature dishes' that I explore in the future.