common / Restaurants
A Menu for All Seasons
Brandon Collins and Vincent (Vinny) Mocaski like to change things up. That philosophy melds perfectly with the local, seasonal approach to cuisine at Valley, the restaurant at The Garrison, the golf club and country inn on Route 9, where they serve as co-chefs. “The menu changes very regularly with the seasons,” Mocaski said. In fact, depending on what is available from their two-and-one-half-acre farm, offerings at Valley often change, not just with the seasons but from week to week.
“We grow most of our produce,” Collins said as he explained what sets Valley apart from other restaurants. Valley shares the produce grown by farmer Brian Bergen with Tavern, its sister operation at the Highlands Country Club.
Just because the sweet corn and tomato seasons have passed, don’t think there still isn’t plenty of fresh produce being harvested. These days the farm’s bounty includes brussel sprouts, lettuce, carrots, beets, Jerusalem artichokes, arugula and other baby greens, kale, and broccoli rabe. But in addition to the fresh food, Mocaski said that being located in the middle of a beautiful golf course doesn’t hurt either. The Garrison and the Valley restaurant boast stunning views of the Hudson River.
Another way that the two chefs combine changing-it-up with keeping-it-local is their “Eat Local” Thursday dinner fare. Each Thursday, a special menu puts the spotlight on products from a different farm in the region. Last week’s $35 prix fixe menu made creative use of dairy products from Ronnybrook Farms in Ancramdale, NY. There’s even a bit of suspense involved. The weekly Thursday “Eat Local” menu isn’t announced until the Monday prior, when it is posted on the Valley website. “We like to wait until the last minute to see what is available fresh that week,” Collins said.
The chefs pointed to the “Duo of Wagyu” as a unique and delicious entrée. A flat iron steak, it is the American version of Japan’s Kobe beef, well known for its high degree of marbling. While it is not as heavily marbled as its Japanese counterpart, both Collins and Mocaski speak very highly of the Wagyu.
Other first-course offerings of late have included celery root soup, foie gras, local baby lettuce, papardelle—hand cut lobster mushrooms, ricotta, and porcini mushrooms—yellowfin tuna, and potato gnocchi. First courses range from $10 to $18.
Recent main course dishes have included grilled scallops with Blue Moon Farm pea leaves, cauliflower, and scallop jus; duck breast with Jerusalem artichokes, chanterelles, and duck jus; Berkshire pork belly with Dijon, potato, and Garrison Farms Swiss chard; Montauk striped bass with fennel, long beans, potatoes, and pesto broth; risotto with lobster, spinach, truffle, and lemon; and black cod with brioche, parsnip, Serrano ham, and baby arugula. Entrees range form $28 to $38.
A great dinner has to include a great dessert and Valley has an impressive selection. Who could argue against the likes of upside-down apple cake, warm pumpkin donuts, pear and cranberry crumble, or sweet potato pie ice cream? Valley’s comfortable bar, The World’s End, is open Thursday through Saturday from 4pm until 9:30pm, and from noon on Sunday— and offers more than your average pub menu. Valley also offers Sunday brunch from 11:30 until 2pm. For those not interested in cooking for Thanksgiving, Valley will do it for you with a special carry-home dinner offering. Valley is located at The Garrison on Route 9 at Snake Hill Road. Visit
thegarrison.com for information.