Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Survives New Ownership
by Raphael Beretta
Perfectly al-dente potato gnocchi sat upon short-rib, smothered in brie and served alongside Italian Chianti is one-fifth of a meal that isn’t as expensive as it sounds.
Decadent plates were served in three-course forms at Hudson Valley Restaurant Week restaurants. Despite taking on new ownership, local food magazine The Valley Table hosted another successful iteration of the multi-county event from Nov 4 to Nov 17.
The Valley Table was acquired by TodayMedia back in early June. TodayMedia, run by the Martinelli family for two generations, publishes Delaware Today, Westchester Magazine, and most notably, Hudson Valley Magazine.
“This acquisition enables Today Media to expand its audience and build on The Valley Table’s success while honoring the mission and values that have made Valley Table an authority in its specialty,” said digital publisher of TodayMedia Michael Martinelli.
Part of the successful continuity of the event through the acquisition comes from the HVRW Advisory Board, a dream team of chefs, restaurant owners and local officials. Josh Kroner, chef and owner of Rhinebeck’s Terrapin, Mary Kay Verba, CEO of Dutchess Tourism, and CIA-grad David Dibari among eight others have continued their guidance and support toward the initiative.
“Today Media’s deep roots in the Hudson Valley and its expertise in publishing make it the perfect fit for carrying on and growing The Valley Table magazine, its digital platforms, and Restaurant Week event,” said Janet Crawshaw, co-publisher and co-founder of the Valley Table, in a press release.
Twenty restaurants in Dutchess County alone supported the biannual event that has grown tremendously since its commencement in 2006. These include Newburgh’s Cafe Pitti, Rhinebeck’s Terrapin, Wappingers Falls’ Heritage, and more.Terrapin Restaurant in Rhinebeck, one of over 200 participating restaurants (Photo by Raphael Beretta)
When it started 70 restaurants participated; Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Fall 2019 had over 200 restaurants spanning seven counties.
Restaurant week allows denizens of New York State, from Westchester to Albany to indulge in fine dining for a lower cost than usual. A three-course prix fixe lunch costs $22.95; dinner is $32.95. Typically restaurants will offer three options for each course of the meal.
Certain establishments will alter this model slightly, offering sampler meals with multiple facets to the main course. The Culinary Institute of America featured three of its restuarants for restaurant week: American Bounty, Bocuse — French cuisine — and the place on campus for Italian culinary tradition, Ristorante Caterina de’Medici.Menu at the Caterina de’Medici during Restaurant Week (Photo by Raphael Beretta)
“The Caterina” as it is referred to by locals served one dessert, two appetizers, and a whopping five-pasta entree, all included with the restaurant week price. Traditional Italian recipes like orrecchiete met new harvest specialties like pumpkin ravioli.
The event is a proven economic catalyst for the upstate food industry. Over 90% of featured restaurants have reported a quarter increase in sales during the two weeks. Regionally, sales revenue comes to an estimated $10 million- a small boom compared to the nearly 600-million-dollar food and beverage industry in the Hudson Valley.