Terrapin Restaurant — Rhinebeck, NY

How better to reward one’s discipline in attending an evening Pilates class than to head down the street to the local pub? Torie and I did just that this week and walked the short distance to Terrapin, a well-known watering hole in Rhinebeck for cocktails and dinner, justifying our indulgence by reminding each other how hard we worked in the Tower class.

Terrapin is well known in Rhinebeck. It boasts a great location at the entrance to town from Route 9 and Springbrook Parkway, ample parking, and a unique choice of casual tavern or a more “formal” dining room. We chose the tavern since we were still in our Pilates dress.

Unknown to us was its participation in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which has not really caught on in Dutchess County (it tends to feature spots in upper Westchester and Putnam but Executive Chef and Owner Josh Kroner is a board member of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week).  The tavern was jamming, especially given that it was a Monday night. Every seat at the bar was taken, and few tables remained.  Despite that, the service was prompt and warm and we received our cocktails soon after being seated. Torie chose a top shelf Margarita and I went with the classic Manhattan. Both were done expertly.

The menu was divided into two categories: Restaurant Week selections (2 courses for $29.00, 3 for $39) and general a la carte ones. We perused the extensive regular menu but decided that our favorites were part of the Restaurant Week one so we went with that.

Torie started with the barbecued duck quesadilla with mango/avocado salsa while I opted for the Caesar salad. We had promised to share the large portions, but somehow forgot to do so, probably because both were really, really good. My salad was crisp, the dressing was perfectly portioned (I have a particular dislike of heavy oily salad dressing) and included real anchovies rather than just paste.

Torie raved about her quesadilla and was particularly warmed by the fact that she had disclosed a food allergy to the wait staff and it was reiterated and honored with each dish.

We then moved on to the entrees, Torie opting for Uncle Vinny’s Special Rigatoni (with strips of grilled chicken and a sherry red sauce).

I chose Organic King Salmon with beet/truffle sauce. I was asked how I wanted the fish cooked and gave my usual reply: “However the chef thinks best.” I was delighted to see that the chef believes, as I do, that salmon should be seared on the outside (crispy skin) yet rare inside. It was accompanied by roasted potatoes and delicate squash.

No dessert for us (we did, after all want to reap some reward from the exercise) and we left feeling quite satisfied and virtuous.  Terrapin has a lot going for it and is a cut above most tavern food. The bar scene would be fun on another evening (perfect for solo dining) and the two distinct rooms provide solutions for family, casual, and date night dining.

Know Before You Go:

Pick your room carefully. The tavern is loud, the bar has a TV, and the tables are close together. Select the dining room if you want a more intimate experience.

Beware the cocktail list and read the prices carefully. We didn’t, and were a bit stunned at the Manhattan prices in a Rhinebeck restaurant.

Street parking is available but be careful about both the 2 hour parking AND the “no parking here to corner” signs. They’re enforced. There is also a free municipal lot around the corner that backs up to the restaurant. Rhinebeck can get crowded, especially on weekends and during the busy summer season.


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6426 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck, NY

Hours of operation:

Terrapin Red Bistro:

(later on Fri & Sat)

Dining Room:

5pm-9pm (9:30 on Fri & Sat)
Reservation Recommended

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