Friday, May 24, 2013

Fratello Brick Oven Pizza | Warwick, NY

If you're looking for a great evening with the family, live tunes and some of the best pizza in the Hudson Valley then head on over to Fratello Brick Oven Pizza in Warwick, NY.

Fratello serves up some great Italian food with a family friendly atmosphere! We make our way here mainly to see our friend Pauly Di Dio play some tunes…and the great food is a bonus.

If you have time why not walk around downtown Warwick. There is so much to see and buy!! YAY…As you can tell I like to shop. There are some great shops and restaurants in this quaint town!

So head on over to Fratello's and check out the great food.

Pauly will be playing there June 8th & June 29th… Enjoy!!

One of Fratello's great Bartenders Sara mixin it up!

Restaurant Seating Area

Veal Milanase

The Bar

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pics of the Week | DIA: Beacon

Have you visited DIA: Beacon? What a great place. My favorite installation isn't even inside the Riggio Galleries which were transformed from the old Nabisco Box impressive space, it's the Landscape Design by artist Robert Irwin in the forecourt and west garden. Beautiful!!

Forecourt Tree Garden Design by artist Robert Irwin

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pic of the Week | Regal Bag Building | Newburgh, NY

Great shot of the Historic Regal Bag building on the Newburgh waterfront. The Regal Bag currently rents artist loft space. LOVE!

Photo by: Jay Holt

Thursday, May 16, 2013

North Plank Road Tavern | Newburgh, NY

I love to tell people about hidden treasures in the Hudson Valley, especially great restaurants! Historic North Plank Road Tavern - Since 1801 is one of those special places.

The owners and hosts of North Plank Road Tavern are Tom and Denise Costa. They are wonderful people, friendly hosts, and utterly passionate about their guests , food, and history of the Tavern. (Visit the website for more information about the Tavern history).

Owner & Host Tom Costa

I tell people that walking in the door (back door) is like walking into a time capsule…Alice in Wonderland Like (Because of the narrow hallway and old detail). The bar is warm and comfortable with a small lounge area...great for a group of friends to enjoy a cocktail. The restaurant is roomy , painted in Trompe-l'œil, and has a quaint outdoor patio in warmer months. We were even served our Cappuccino and dessert out front at a small bistro table…very nice!
View from Front Door into Bar Area
Now to the food!! The best part. The food is absolutely amazing! Every dish we tried was better than the last. One of my favorites is the French Toast. It's a savory toast stuffed with goat cheese…OMG!!! (See below for more pics)

The kitchen is run by New Head Chef, Tibor Kogler who is passionate about fresh locally sourced food. He lives in the Hudson Valley and forages daily for special items such as fresh mushrooms (see pic he sent below). He also sources special ingredients from the best farms, including local organic growers. He is knowledgeable about food, and the proof is in the pudding!! (Or the mushrooms :)

Image of fresh foraged Oyster Mushrooms, Asparagus
and Ramps - Taken by Chef Tibor Kogler 

Head on over to North Plank Road Tavern and enjoy this jewel in Newburgh! You can stop over for a drink at the very cool bar, or linger over an amazing meal! Enjoy!

Additional Links:

Head Chef Tibor Kogler

Fried Cheese

Crab Soup..soooo gooood

Menu- Complete History is located on back of menu!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Lightbulb Project | Newburgh, NY

UPDATE....Final Lightbulbs are complete and placed all around the City of Newburgh, NY for the Newburgh Illuminated Festival. They are all so beautiful and different. Please visit Newburgh until the 29th of June and explore for yourselves. On June 29th at 6pm is the closing reception for The Lightbulb Project across from the Ann Street Gallery on Ann Street Newburgh. Please join us and get a chance to view all 52 Lightbulbs together. Special thanks to Gerardo Castro for Curating the entire project.

Here is my final Lightbulb:

Back of Lightbulb

Front side: George Washington Rabbit Lightbulb located at The Wherehouse | Newburgh, NY

OK…here I go! I've decided to participate in Lightbulb Project, one of the many events happening during the Illuminate Newburgh Festival in June of this year. Check back for updates on my progress!!

Newburgh Illuminated is a festival celebrating the arts, heritage and music in Newburgh. It's properly named for the historical innovation by Edison as Newburgh was the 2nd American city to be electrified. Learn More Here. The festival runs from June 21-23. (Lightbulbs auctioned of on the 29th)

The lightbulb project gives local artists the chance to participate, highlight work, and raise funds for supporting the arts. Local artists paint, decorate and dress up 4' light bulb-shaped plywood and are displayed at locations throughout the city. The works of art will be auctioned off on June 29.

As I do consider myself an artist and creative, it's been years since I've painted as I make a living as a graphic artist (mostly computer generated)…but that's what I've decided to do for my lightbulb. It's a chance for me to get back to the roots of why I'm an artist and I also want to start getting involved with the Newburgh Arts culture as they are so talented!!. I've asked my mother (an amazing artist and my inspiration for this project!) to collaborate with me for a portion of my work…she is also a resident of Newburgh who is currently living in France (Read her blog here called "A Year In Josselin").

Progress....and we begin! :)

I am very excited about the project and I'll be giving updates here on the blog. Good Lord what have I done!! LOL

Links for additional information:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hudson Valley Sangria | Recipe

Summer is creeping in and many of my friends may know that I'm somewhat of a summer Sangria connoisseur! I like to try Sangria at any establishment that serves it. I'll be trying new ones from Palaia Vineyards and The Wherehouse this year! I've enjoyed some great ones, but sadly, many places serving sangria add extra refined sugar in their recipe…eeeewwww…those are the ones that disappoint…too sweet and create sugar fuzz on your teeth! So, a few years ago I decided to just start making my own.

There are a TON of Sangria recipes out there…again, many use refined sugar! I adjusted mine over the years to taste exactly how I like it…without using "Extra" sugar. All you need is fruit, juice, wine and orange liqueur... and your good to go!

Speaking of fruit, my recipe uses mainly citrus, and a few extras. With June around the corner you can also add fresh strawberries, or most seasonal local fruits. Using fresh and/or organic local ingredients just enhances the flavor…but beware, If you add strawberries the day (or 2) before serving, your sangria will have a strong strawberry flavor (not my fav).

So…here it is…my Hudson Valley Sangria recipe. It's "Hudson Valley" because I'm using local wine and fresh orange juice from a local store and local apples. This is for RED wine sangria that is crisp, fresh and NOT overly sweet:

Hudson Valley Sangria
  • 2 Gallon pitcher
  • 1 Cup of Orange Liqueur (I used 1/2 Patron-1/2 Triple Sec) Triple Sec is slightly sweeter than Patron. You can also use Gand Marnier Brandy Liqueur…but it's pricey OUCH.
  • 4 Oranges (I use organic navel)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Apple (any fresh crisp local apples- can be tart or sweet)
  • 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple
  • 1 Cup Red or Green Seedless Grapes
  • 1 Bottle Hudson Valley Wine- Whitecliff Table Red (or any red that's not too dry and not sweet...and not too expensive. Not going to put my favorite red in here...but also not going to use the cheapest wines...your still drinking it!)
  • 4 Cups Fresh Orange Juice (mine is from Adams Fairacre Farms)
  • SECRET WEAPON (See Below)
1) Combine orange liqueur with juice of 2 fresh oranges. STIR  2) Add fruit: slice 2 remaining oranges and lemon into 1/4" slices with skin on (you can take the skin off if you prefer...but the fruit tends to fall apart), cube apple and pineapple. I like mine somewhat chunky…but you can cut small cubes too. Add grapes if desired. STIR  3) Add entire bottle of red wine. STIR  4) Add orange juice. STIR. Refrigerate overnight. You can also serve right away, but the flavors will not be as blended..but still awesome!! 

THAT'S IT……Store Sangria overnight to be served the next day so your flavors blend. Add ice to individual glasses…and serve chilled. Serves 6-8

Now for the secret weapon: FROZEN PEACH CUBES
Add frozen peaches to glasses and/or pitcher to use as ice cubes when serving. Adding Ice WILL dilute the Sangria. You can also add frozen local strawberries or grapes when serving.

Warning: pitcher will only last a few minutes! What's great is you're always left with some fruit in the pitcher, so I use this as a compote that you can eat alone or with dessert or ice cream! YUM (Yes…if you've steeped overnight it's full of alcohol so beware!)

Enjoy and let me know if you tried and like the recipe. Do you have a favorite place that makes killer Sangria in the Hudson Valley?

Pics of the Week | Hudson River from Kayak

Another beautiful Hudson River photo taken by my brother who Kayaks daily on the Hudson River. It's perfect!!

Early morning on Hudson from Kayak: By Jay Holt