Hi there everyone! This past weekend I was invited by some gracious friends to go on two different hikes and a kayak tour on the Hudson River; how lucky am I?! The views were unbelievable and the company was absolutely perfect.
To stay fueled between our kayak tour and hike on Sunday we stopped in Beacon, NY for lunch at The Hop. Let me just say that The Hop is my kind of place. There are a handful tables (perched on old kegs) and a whole lotta beer. All the beer on the floor is to go but about eight were offered on tap. After a 2 hour kayak tour and grueling hike the day before I was elated to see they had Elysian Night Owl on tap. Night Owl is a pumpkin beer (don’t roll your eyes, I saw that) but is made with roasted pumpkin seeds so the pumpkin flavor is more subtle, earthier than most. If you see it on a tap near you, ask for a taste before you declare yourself over pumpkin beer.
We had a diverse group of diners and even with a smaller menu everyone’s needs were met. The two vegans ordered a Vegan Ruben that deeply impressed them for vegan cooking. I was more impressed a place this small had a vegan option. There was a hefty looking grilled cheese sandwich, dripping with local cheddar-y goodness. A polenta bowl with sausage and kale that gave me second thoughts and, finally, my polenta with fried egg (duh), braised kale, smoky tomato marmalade and chopped almonds. It was the perfect mix of ingredients to serve as a ‘pick me up’ meal before embarking on a hike up Mount Beacon. Rich, textured grits mixed with the sweetness of the kale (I’m not sure how braising it made it sweet) and the smoky tomatoes filled a rather large void in my stomach. I was hoping they sold the marmalade at the store but no luck. It was almost like canned chipotles in adobo sauce, barbecue-ish in sweetness and viscosity.
For a small venue geared more toward beverages it turned out some remarkable plates. Maybe by the time I get back there they’ll have canned the smoky marmalade so I can take back more than just memories of Beacon. Until the next dish, ciao!