December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve at Terrapin in Rhinebeck

Every year my boyfriend and I go away somewhere for a short weekend break during Christmas and New Years.  For the past several years we have stayed at the 1770 House in East Hampton over New Years, but this year we went with The Rhinecliff Hotel in Rhinebeck, figuring it was just easier to hop on the train for a weekend in the Hudson Valley.

For Christmas Eve dinner we went with the prix-fixe at Terrapin, which was basically $45 for your choice of appetizer and entree.  Only later did we realize a la carte it would have been about $10 cheaper!  Why do restaurants do that?  At least throw in the dessert for it to make a little more sense...  Or serve dishes off the menu so the diner doesn't feel a bit cheated!

Tempura Calamari

Duck Quesadilla
Anyhow, Terrapin's chef Josh Kroner, a disciple of Bobby Flay, serves up what I would say is nuevo American cuisine that spans everything from Asian influences to Southwestern flavors.  For our appetizers we went with the tempura battered calamari and the mango avocado salsa adorned duck quesadilla.

Now, they may not look that special plated, but the calamari was light and airy as it should be and the duck quesadilla did it's part to whet the appetite. I don't know, maybe I was just really hungry, but it was a great snack!

For the main course I went with the short ribs that had everything I thought I wanted.  Caramelized onions, mashed potatoes and a gruyere crostini to boot!  The short ribs melted off the bone and the onions tasted like sweet butter.  But, the gruyere crostini (possibly the part I was most excited about!) left a lot to be desired.  A bit soggy and wet, it just didn't live up to the hype.  Oh well, you can't win them all.

Short Ribs
My boyfriend ordered the lamb shank, which I can't speak much for since I personally find lamb a bit to gamey for me.
Lamb Shank

But, he enjoyed it, although the garnishments looked very similar to my dish (did they just put different proteins on the same plate?)  I guess that's what you get when dining out on a major holiday and are confronted with the dreaded prix fixe....

All in all, it was a good dinner though and I would visit Terrapin again.  Just not for the prix-fixe.  :)

6426 Montgomery Street
Rhinebeck, NY 

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