Just want to finish up the Rhinebeck-related blogging, and then hopefully later this week I can tell you all about how my Rhinebeck sweater didn't fit.
Also, this is a giant bunny:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Kingston. My primary concern was that the big, green Holiday Inn sign did not match the hotel itself, which was accented in turquoise and didn't say "Holiday Inn" anywhere on its exterior. But as the only other thing in the parking lot was a pizza shop, by process of elimination, we determined that it was, in fact, our hotel.
It was fine. Nothing special. Our room was out of the way, no excessive noise from the restaurant or event room, and we could get back and forth to our car from a side door, and didn't have to traipse through the lobby repeatedly. The wi-fi was lacking--supposedly it existed, but would only connect if you were in certain parts of the (quite small) room, and even then, was so slow, web pages timed out.
Last year we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fishkill, and though it was further away from the festival, it was much nicer. Also, no toll--it's only $1.50, I believe, and we have an EZ Pass, but if we didn't, I would've been annoyed paying it every time we wanted to go somewhere.
We arrived around 4pm on Friday, and though it was raining, we wanted to do something. We decided to check out Woodstock, NY. It was . . . disappointing. Perhaps because it was drizzling, it was dead, and most of the shops were closed. The ones that were open seemed a bit bizarre. Antiques and chocolates? Tacos and ice cream? We were hoping to kill some time in a coffee shop, but there wasn't one.
We made reservations in advance at 2 restaurants in the area: Terrapin in Rhinebeck, and Pan Zur, a tapas restaurant in Tivoli.
I was mildly annoyed when we first arrived--we were a few minutes early, so couldn't be seated right away, but couples coming in behind us somehow were. I assume each reservation is assigned to a particular table, so if the diners before you are lingering, you wait, while people coming in after might have been assigned to a table previously occupied by speed eaters. I personally think is a terrible model, but I'm not in the restaurant biz.
More importantly, though, the atmosphere was cozy (lots of knitters!) and the food was delicious. The menu was varied, portions were generous, and they even had a few non-alcoholic "cocktails" for the preggos. CP had a salmon dish, I had pumpkin ravioli and we finished with "coffee and donuts"--mini pumpkin donuts with coffee ice cream.
This place . . . where do I start?
The menu we saw online was not the menu we got at the restaurant. While I know restaurants often have seasonal menus that may change, I assume they will try to keep the same balance: a mix of meat and non-meat options, a similar number of appetizers/small plates/entrees, a little something for everyone.
This is apparently not true.
The appetizers were all meat based, so we skipped that right off. They also offered a "selection" of cheeses--4 whole ones, 1 of which was sold out. We ordered the remaining 3: a rubbery cheddar, a goat cheese with an odd after taste, and a manchego that was pretty standard, as far as manchegos go.
It's supposed to be a tapas restaurant. The menu has a grand total of about 5 small plates, which is really quite a small offering for tapas. We ordered the one we could eat, something with shrimp, and while we got a large portion, it featured the most bizarre combination of flavors I've ever seen in a single dish. In an effort to be unique and innovative, the chef seemed to have thrown together the most bizarre collection of foods he could think of, and the result was a disaster.
(Technically there was a second dish we could eat, but it was some kind of squid abomination I'm really glad we didn't try.)
Overall, I felt like the restaurant was just trying too hard. And failing.
The fries were pretty good, though.
And that's it! Rhinebeck is over for another year.
Nothing to do but wait for MD Sheep and Wool in May.