Restaurant Review: The Rock and Rye Tavern in New Paltz

Posted by Dylan Taft on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 1:09pm.


           Looking for a different kind of dining experience in New Paltz? I think I may have just the place. The other night I attended a dinner with friends at a brand new restaurant. The Rock and Rye Tavern is nestled into the historic Huguenot section of New Paltz. Located in the former Locust Tree inn, The Rock and Rye Tavern offers a tranquil setting, worlds away from the noisy bustle of the Main Street strip. Upon arriving at The Rock and Rye Tavern, one is struck by the beauty of the historic tavern itself, and its surrounding environment which borders the New Paltz Golf Course. As I strolled down the walkway to the tavern’s entrance, I instantly unwound as the natural sounds of a spring evening filled the air and the sun set over the Shawangunk Ridge.    

          Upon entering the The Rock and Rye Tavern, you are welcomed by the ancient bar, with its low-beamed ceilings and smooth, colorful granite countertop. Spirits play a big role in The Rock and Rye Tavern’s allure, featuring custom and classic cocktails, courtesy of House Mixologist and partner Cassie Fellet. “With a firm foundation in classic cocktail and spirit theory, I’m ready to build a better cocktail.” Her talents are on full display with creative and delicious cocktails, including the restaurant’s namesake, the Rock & Rye Manhattan, or the tart and tasty Jack Rose. Anyone who can appreciate a finely crafted drink will be delighted with this restaurant’s creations.  


          The fine dining offered by The Rock and Rye Tavern is presented by Chef Jeremy Kolakowski. A Culinary graduate and native of Upstate New York, Jeremy honed his skills in the luxurious Four Seasons hotels both in Washington DC and Jackson Hole, Wyoming before returning to his roots in Upstate New York and working at the prestigious Mohonk Mountain House. While there, Jeremy developed an appreciation for local organic food, and a passion for charcuterie, which is the art of smoking, curing, and flavoring delicious meats. His offerings on the menu are creative and scrumptious, in which his unique craft of flavoring all kinds of meat runs wild. The delicious sweet corn chowder and artisan cheese platter showcases the local and organic ingredients used in all of Jeremy’s dishes. In perhaps a testament to Jeremy’s cooking, most of my party was too stuffed to sample the dessert; however we all split a slice of the carrot cake, which was rich, delicious and massive!  


         New Paltz is home to great restaurants, however many of them are crammed into the noisy town center, which can be anything but peaceful. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience that also offers a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere both inside and out, then the new Rock and Rye Tavern is for you. You can learn more about the Rock and Rye Tavern on their website, and follow them on Facebook. I highly recommend it!            

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