The village of Rhinebeck is a real gem in the heart of the Hudson Valley. With its history, shops, galleries, architecture and fine dining, it is a great day or weekend destination. Gigi Trattoria is one of the restaurants that should be on your “to dine” list if you are in the area. Gigi Trattoria is the perfect place to eat with its innovative Mediterranean menu and emphasis on sourcing its ingredients from a host of local Hudson Valley growers and purveyors.
Laura Pensiero is the owner and creative force behind Gigi, is a chef, a nutritionist, and an author of three cookbooks. Gigi Trattoria opened in 2001 and was one of the first restaurants in the Hudson valley to source the bulk of its ingredients from local farmers, growers, ranchers, and purveyors.
Her book “Hudson Valley Mediterranean: The Gigi Good Food Cookbook” showcases her passion for fresh local ingredients as well as her approach to healthy and flavorful eating.
Starters: We started with a dish that could easily be an entree as well. The Gigi Skizza is a flatbread pizza topped with fresh ingredients. We sampled the Bianca Skizza which was a perfectly executed blend of shaved pears, fig compote, goat cheese mozzarella, arugula and truffle oil, sitting on a thin crispy crust. This combination of sweet, creamy and savory toppings in contrast to the crusty dough was a real delight.
The Caesar Salad is a nice take on the classic with red and green romaine, homemade caesar dressing, razor thin slices of fresh parmesan cheese, and ciabatta croutons. A real nice and healthy choice for an appetizer.
The Main Course: the homemade pastas are available as an entree or in smaller portions. Gluten free brown rice penne is a nice substitute if requested. I indulged in the mouth watering tagliatelle with beef and pork ragu and fresh ricotta. This was pasta was an excellent choice as it was made fresh in house and it simply melted in your mouth. A real comfort food.
Our main entree was the Fazio Farm chicken with summer succatash which was light, fresh and a healthy choice. It was pan roasted with sweet local corn, fava beans, cherry tomatoes and summer squash. I also ordered a side of quinoa tabbouleh which is a fine example of a healthy grain with a fun and tasty twist. It was a perfect pairing.
There is a list of interesting cocktails which we did not sample on this visit. The staff made suggestions for wine pairings at each course and we were happy they did as they truly complimented our meal. There is a happy hour at the bar from 5-6pm several nights a week.
The restaurant which is housed in a former commercial space right in downtown Rhinebeck has three separate dining areas. The outside space is sunlit and faces the street and is great way to spend the afternoon or evening. Large umbrellas shield diners from the sun. The bar room with has seating as well and large windows illuminate the space. The rear dining area is a long rectangular space with warm color palette for the walls and floor which echo the Mediterranean theme.
The walls are also adorned with art from local artists which reflect the artistic vibe not only of the menu but the Rhinebeck community as well. Indeed as we dined, a local artist whose works were on display was enjoying a drink in the corner of the bar. The staff was plentiful , very friendly and attentive. Menu changes seasonally.
For a fresh modern approach to Mediterranean cuisine, you need to dine at Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck.
6422 Montgomery Street Rhinebeck New York ( easily accessible via the Taconic State Parkway)
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