You would be hard pressed to find a prettier setting for a restaurant than the Tuthill House in Gardiner. It sits on the banks of the Shawangunk Kill, which in days of yore powered the mill machinery that still resides in the restaurant, just waiting for someone to throw the levers and turn the millstones that now decorate the dining room. The building and the décor remind me of the Gristmill Restaurant in Warrensburg near Lake George. The Tuthill House features an outdoor deck which looks out over the creek, which joins the Wallkill River just downstream before heading northeast to meet the Roundout in Rosendale.
The entrance leads to a very cozy bar area, which has served as our gathering spot on a few occasions this fall. We had stopped in twice when they first opened up, and we revisited this Monday night for dinner to see how the operation was progressing.
We stopped for a glass of wine at the bar and ordered a bottle of Gavi from Cascina Winery in the Piemonte region of Italy. The wine was available for $8 per glass or by the bottle for $30. Unfortunately the wine was a little corked and discolored – which was no fault of the restaurant. They haven’t been open long enough for the wine to spoil in their cellar. We shifted gears quickly to a bottle of New Zealand’s Sandy Cove Sauvignon Blanc, which met with everyone’s approval. The wine list is (hopefully) still a work in progress. On an earlier visit it was limited to a few local wines. A few other varietals have made an appearance, but the choices are still very limited.
Doc (who I think has been sneaking over without us) secured a tour of the upper floor space, which the new owners are refurbishing as a dining room for private parties. While I was up there I saw the old wooden bin for the pancake flour that I used to buy when the mill was still operating. The grain chutes coming down from the second level now serve as decorative banisters as you descend to the main floor. It was quite the trip down memory lane, and it is wonderful to see the old building, now a National Historic Landmark, being put to such good use.
The restaurant has separate lunch and dinner menus (available here), with some dinner appetizers doubling as lunch courses. The lunch menu also lists sandwiches and burgers. The roasted beet salad ($12) is one of those double duty dishes, (and one worth ordering) served with seasonal veggies, sliced radish and shaved fennel, and chevre from the Acorn Hill Creamery, a local goat farm. The Caesar salad ($7) also makes an appearance on both menus, tossed with a nice home made dressing and topped with slices of parmigiano reggiano, and (for $1 extra) anchovies. (Note to owners – make the salad $8 and skip the extra buck.) A crab cake appetizer ($12) was warmly received by my dining companions. It was also a special one of my prior visits and was very well prepared.
The dinner menu was written for the weekend steak crowd, and features a 28 oz. Porterhouse, a 20 ounce ribeye for $32, a fourteen ounce NY strip ($25), in addition to osso bucco ($28). Last night I opted for the veal saltimboca ($21), which was served with a side of sauteed kale. The kitchen uses prosciutto and sage to prepare the scallopines, and then finishes the dish with some white wine. The prosciutto was exceedingly salty and overwhelmed the veal, but it was still quite tasty. The cioppino was better, but was a variation on the traditional seafood stew. The dish was served over a bed of linguine, and some of the fish – the salmon filet and the shrimp – were grilled. Tasty indeed, but I don’t think I would call it cioppino.
We were very pleasantly surprised by our bill – which came to only $60 per person, including drinks, wine, apps, entrees, and a 20% tip. I look forward to visiting the restaurant again when we can sit outside overlooking the Shawungunk Kill. I also look forward to seeing how the kitchen develops with a little more time.
If you do stop in please let our readers know about your visit in the comments section.
North Country Rambler is a personal blog about our favorite dining destinations in "upstate" New York. Posts are not intended to be "critiques" or "reviews" in the classic sense. We do not criticize any establishments (at least not intentionally). If we do not like a venue, you will not read about it here. We only write about the restaurants that we enjoy. Our focus is on bistros, usually ethnic. We prefer a crock of cassoulet and a bottle of Beaujolais to just about anything else. We do not accept any advertising on the blog, we pay for all of our own meals, and we do not accept any remuneration from any establishments mentioned in the blog unless we can drink said remuneration before we leave.