We are fortunate to live in the beautiful Hudson Valley. One of the most scenic areas of the valley is the Hudson Highlands, that stretch of river from Bear Mountain in the south reaching up to Mt. Beacon a few miles to the north. This region is not only filled with great scenic beauty and vistas, but rich history as well. The Hudson Highlands once home to Native American tribes was then settled by the Dutch, and then the English. Here Dutch captains sailed through the narrow turns of the river, the Americans built forts during the Revolution, and later great estates would be built along the shore to take advantage of the natural beauty.
It is at the south end of the Hudson Highlands in the town of Cortland Manor sits Monteverde at Oldstone. Monteverde is a fine dining restaurant and is situated in a historic mansion built by the Van Cortlandt family in the 1700s. The mansion would remain in the family for decades and during the 20th century it would serve a new purpose under new owners as an inn, a restaurant, and later as a catering facility. The current owners have fully renovated the mansion and have returned it to its glory.
On a recent visit we dined at Monteverde. The restaurant is located on a high bluff overlooking the Hudson. Vast green lawns reach out from the mansion toward the river. On the late afternoon we visited ,the rays of setting sun danced on the surface of the river. To the west, the mountains of Bear Mt. State Park create the perfect scenic backdrop for our evening of dining. The mansion has several different dining rooms all with their own atmosphere including The Grand Dining Room, The Veranda Dining Room and The Governors’ Dining Room each with river views. There is also a warm and charming bar room with rich dark wood paneling and fireplace. In warmer weather there are outdoor dining areas as well.
We started with cocktails as we sat at our table in the Veranda Dining room. A curving bank of large windows framed the fantastic scenery. We enjoyed the Monteverde Martini and the Hope Latham and both cocktails were a fine way to start our meal.
For appetizers we selected the Baby Clams which were prepared with black garlic, bacon and Fresno Chilis. The effect was smoky from the bacon and very flavorful and I have never had clams prepared this way. Very innovative and a worthy selection.
We also sampled the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes prepared with preserved lemon ailoli and grilled endive. The crab was fresh and unlike many crab cakes which lose their taste with the addition of too many ingredients and filler, this cake was the perfect balance of seafood flavor which was accented by the lemon ailoli. We paired our dishes with a glass of Savignon Blanc which was selected by our waitress who made excellent suggestions for us throughout the meal. The menu has just 6 appetizers on the menu ($14-17) and it would be nice to see a expansion of this part of the menu to include additional items including more seafood and vegetarian options.
Our entrees for the evening were the Braised Short Ribs, served in a citrus Hoisin sauce. The short ribs are slow cooked for almost a day and can easily be enjoyed with just a fork as the meat is so soft and tender. The Hoisin sauce gives the ribs an interesting Asian influence as it enhances the flavor. A fine dish and a nice presentation though some diners may feel the portion could be larger.
We also selected the Scottish Trout (on the Specials menu) which was prepared as a filet and sauteed. The trout was more mild than expected and was more akin to salmon in taste and appearance. A really excellent selection and presentation. We also shared the Lobster Tagliatelle one of three pasta choices and the lobster dish included mussels ,clams in a saffron sauce served with pasta. The pasta was cooked al dente which gave the pasta a more substantial feel and perfectly complimented the fresh seafood. A really great dish. Entrees on the menu range from $18-$26. The dishes do not come with sides and we ordered several which complimented our meal including the polenta, and the roasted garlic potato souffle.
With just a bit of room left we shared the Blackberry Teacake with Mango sauce, a sweet confection that was a perfect way to cap an evening of fine dining. Chef Eric Korn has crafted a menu of both classic and innovative dishes that raise the level of fine dining in the region. The bread and butter is made in house as are all the desserts. The staff was first rate and attentive and our waitress Stephanie was both knowledgeable and professional. I am looking forward to returning to Monteverde at Oldstone with the return of warmer weather to experience the seasonal update to the menu and of course the panoramic vistas that are a real treasure.
Arlene and Brent Perrott are the current owners of this historic mansion and purchased the property in 2011. At the time it had been abandoned and they saved the mansion from destruction. With modern restaurant design focusing on a sparse post-industrial motif, it is such a pleasure to dine in a historic structure that his been lovingly restored with great attention to authentic detail and craftmanship. Their efforts and vision in bringing this Hudson Valley gem back to life is something to experience.
Monteverde at Oldstone
28 Bear Mountain Bridge Road
Cortlandt Manor, New York 10567
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