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A Romantic Lunch for Two at the Tuthilltown Distillery
When visiting the Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in Gardiner, NY, be sure to make a reservation at the Tuthill House at the Mill Restaurant and Tavern. You’ll be in for a very special treat.
Yesterday, I featured a post about my visit to the Hudson Valley’s Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, a tour of the facility, and the coveted tasting room experience for a flight of New York Corn Whiskey, Baby Bourbon Whiskey, Single Malt Whiskey, Four Grain Bourbon, Manhattan Rye Whiskey and Maple Cask Rye Whiskey.
For this post, we focus on the food and drinks served at the Tuthill House Restaurant. Gourmet. Delicious. Innovative. Beautifully plated. What more would you hope for? The restaurant has two floors. Downstairs you will find the kitchen, a bar in the center of the room, and tables alongside the wall. There is a lovely bank of windows in the back overlooking the stream and an outside deck for al fresco dining. Take a look at the photos below for a sense of the artistry coming out of this kitchen and from behind the bar. It’s a great place for a romantic meal for two and a day spent in the Hudon Valley.
First, a little bit of history. Built in 1788 by 18-year-old Selah Tuthill, the Tuthilltown Gristmill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the early 1980s, the mill began grinding Kosher matzoh flour which continued until 2003. Back in the day, before the railroads were built in the 30s, Tuthilltown was the commercial, cultural and social center of the town. While the mill has undergone a series of upgrades and additions over the years, you can still experience a sense of its history with mill equipment, shafts, hoppers, grain elevators, hullers, blowers and original stone grinding wheels dotted throughout the restaurant and the gardens.
The Tuthilltown Gristmill of the past is now home to the Tuthill Restaurant and Tavern. The menu is inspired by American country cooking, featuring fresh, local artisan products and ingredients of the Hudson Valley.
Here is what we enjoyed at the Tuthill House Restaurant. Every bite, every sip, was absolutely delicious. You know, the kind of meal that with each bite or sip taken, you have to close your eyes to savor every moment. To whet our appetite, we were served what is now my new favorite drink: Getting Caught in the Rain #JustDivine
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Kaffir Lime Panna Cotta
Getting Caught in the Rain Coconut Infused Hudson Manhattan Rye, Pineapple, Vanilla, Egg White
Burnt Ends Smoked Apple-Vanilla infused Half Moon Orchard Gin, St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram, Lemon
Friends with Benefits Hudson Manhattan Rye, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Aperol
***Check out our next post for recipes to some of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails***
That’s a wrap!
An alluring destination for foodies, cocktail aficionados, a hot date, or an al fresco gourmet meal overlooking the Shawangunkill River – be sure to make the trip upstate NY to experience a refreshing day in the Hudson Valley.
A friend called the other day asking for my advice. He wanted to enjoy an upstate NY day trip with his new girlfriend. They’re both foodies. I didn’t hesitate. Having recently spent a day at Tuthilltown Distillery I knew he’d make an impression with a day of gourmet food, beautifully crafted cocktails, and whiskey tastings in the country. What’s not to love about that?
You’ve probably seen the ubiquitous bottles of Hudson Whiskey and Hudson Baby Bourbon, the signature expression of Tuthilltown Spirits, in your local bar or liquor store. Having earned the distinction of being New York’s first whiskey distillery since prohibition (a pretty big deal thanks to the passion of proprietors Ralph Erenzo and Brian Lee), today, Hudson Whiskey is recognized as an award-winning, iconic American Whiskey brand. All that hard work paid off; in 2010 William Grant & Sons acquired Tuthilltown’s flagship Hudson Whiskey. The distillery also produces Halfmoon Orchard Gin, Indigenous Vodka, Tuthilltown Cacao Liqueur, Casis Liqueur, Triple Sec Liqueur, and Basement Bitters – all of which can be purchased at their Visitor Center.
Upon arrival you’ll come to a sign with many arrows directing you to all the grounds has to offer. The restaurant is the first thing you’ll see. To the left is a festive outdoor deck overlooking the Shawangunkill River; to the right is the distillery. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and as an homage to the past, you’ll find vintage equipment and artifacts adorning the property and old grindstones can be found dotted throughout garden beds.
My day trip started with an introduction to the history of the distillery followed by a tour of the facility in action. Next, a leisurely lunch of beautifully prepared gourmet food and luscious craft cocktails. Tune in tomorrow for a review of our meal – a food porn post if ever there was one. You’ll definitely want to book a reservation when you see this seductive feast. After lunch, we moved to the tasting room for a flight of New York Corn Whiskey, Baby Bourbon Whiskey, Single Malt Whiskey, Four Grain Bourbon, Manhattan Rye Whiskey and Maple Cask Rye Whiskey. Truth be told – I wasn’t a whiskey or bourbon drinker before my visit. I now have a mix of Hudson Whiskey bottles in my bar.
Take a look at the photos below for a snapshot of a day at Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery in Gardiner, NY. For more information or to book a reservation visit their website: Tuthilltown.com
This is one of my favorite cookie recipes: A Thyme for Lemon Cookies. A buttery, melt-in-your-mouth lemon treat topped with a luscious lemon glaze – with the added flavor of thyme. I don’t normally crave sweets, but when I do, I just go with it – and lemon is a wonderful flavor profile for sweets. I had some lavender in my pantry and a basket full of lemons and, well, this is the result.
Lavender Kissed Lemon Love Bites
All you have to do is follow the Thyme for Lemon Cookies and replace the thyme with lavender. This is definitely, what I call – an adult cookie.
Bobby Flay’s Apricot Glazed Lamb Tacos with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa
I had Food Network on in the background as I was searching online for a July 4th menu when Bobby Flay’s TV show caught my attention. He was biting into an Apricot-Smoked Chile Glaze Lamb Tacos with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa – what’s not to love about this? A quick scan of the recipe and I made my shopping list. First, I am a huge fan of this chef and as I would expect, these tacos rock. The apricot/chipotle glaze is a wonderful complement to the flavor of the lamb and the salsa provides a refreshing bite with the Serrano pepper providing a good kick of heat.
I have no idea if Mr. Flay gave the warning at the beginning of the Lamb Taco segment, but let me warn you –this cut of meat is expensive. I found out from my butcher this is the prized little fleshy round found on a baby lamb chop – so cutting away the bone and leaving just the loin is time-consuming for the butcher and costly for the shopper. Did it taste wonderful? Indeed. But I have to wonder if there’s an alternate, less expensive cut. For a special occasion – like a hot date, I would recreate this recipe in a heartbeat. Thank you, Bobby Flay, xoxo.
Pre-Prep: The apricot glaze and the salsa can be made hours before you put the lamb on the grill; the flavors will only intensify during this time.
For the tacos: When using the corn tortillas, I would sprinkle a bit of water over them before putting them on the grill to keep them from getting hard. Follow the suggesting timing – you don’t want to overcook them or they will get crispy like store bought tacos.
Tortilla trick: As an alternative, here’s a trick from a friend who lived in Mexico: Corn tortillas are often made in the microwave which allows you to do more tortillas quickly. The trick is to stack 3 tortillas (has to be three for some reason) wrapped in a (dry) paper towel and to microwave it for 30 – 40 seconds. Doing this longer could result in hard/crispy tortillas, so do a test and adjust according to your microwave. As soon as they are done, start plating your dish and put in your next set of 3
Apricot-Smoked Chile Glaze Lamb Tacos with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa
Ingredients: Tomato-Cucumber Salsa
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 serrano chile, finely diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo puree
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb loin
Canola oil, for brushing lamb
8 to 12 flour or corn tortillas (8-inch size)
Heat a gas grill to high.
For the tomato-cucumber salsa: Combine the tomatoes, serrano chiles, cucumbers and onions in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the dill and mint.
For the lamb: Mix together the apricot preserves, vinegar, chipotle puree and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Brush the lamb with canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill, covered, until nicely charred, 3 to 4 minutes.
Flip, brush with the apricot glaze, cover and cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 125 degrees F for medium rare, another 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board, brush with more glaze and let rest 10 minutes.
Tortillas: While the lamb rests, grill the tortillas for a few seconds on each side; keep warm.
Slice the lamb into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Brush each tortilla with a little of the glaze, put a few slices of lamb into each, top with the salsa and serve immediately.
Jump Start 4th of July with Love Bites & Bourbon
July 4th weekend is just around the corner and I find myself online searching for something to serve to jump start my BBQ feast. Keeping it simple is always a plus in my book and this recipe by the Pretty Blog caught my attention. A four-ingredient recipe and no cooking required. Sweet! I’d like to serve up something other than prosecco, beer or wine to start so bourbon seemed a nice pairing. #LoveBitesAndBourbon
Melon, Blue Cheese, Prosciutto & Basil Canapés / ThePrettyBlog – Click HERE to get the recipe
BABY BOURBON SMASH (lower left)
A very straightforward smash, this is likely what you’d get if you bellied up to most bars and asked for a ‘Whiskey Smash’
1 1/2 parts Hudson Baby Bourbon
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 fresh lemon wedges
A couple sprigs of fresh mint Club soda
Muddle lemons, 4-6 mint leaves, and simple syrup in the bottom of an Old Fashioned/rocks glass. Add cracked ice, Hudson Baby Bourbon, and top with a splash of club soda. Stir briefly to combine and garnish with a mint sprig.
NEW YORK SMASH (upper right)
Here’s an Empire State variation with muddled apple, a splash of ginger ale and a float of port (or red wine), like is called for in a New York Sour.
1 1/2 parts Hudson Four Grain Bourbon Apple
Apple: a couple thinly sliced wedges
1/2 part simple syrup (1:1)
1/4 part Ruby Port (or a fruity red wine if you don’t have port handy)
Handful fresh mint Ginger Ale
Add apple slices, simple syrup, and two or three mint leaves to shaker tin (or pint glass half of ‘Boston Shaker’) and muddle together. Add Hudson Four Grain Bourbon and ice and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in Old Fashioned/rocks glass and top with
Channeling Frieda Kahlo – Snapper with Cilantro
After seeing a wonderful Frida Kahlo exhibit in St. Petersburg Florida, I purchased The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel, a fictitious tale written by one of Mexico’s most celebrated new novelists, F. G. Haghenbeck. If you’re not familiar with Frida’s life story, which is filled with drama and great pain, this book offers a beautifully written reimagining of her fascinating life, her work, and her many lovers. For me, part of the allure of this book was that it featured recipes from Frida’s personal journal. Frida loved to cook for friends and family and was quite the seductress in the kitchen…and beyond. Being summoned to the home of Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera was a much sought after invitation for artists, intellectuals, and the famous traveling to Mexico City. Guests would find themselves seated next to Georgia O’Keeffe (with whom she had an affair), Trotsky, Nelson Rockefeller, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Henry Miller, and DalÍ.
Like Frida Kahlo, my friend Virgina LOVES cooking for friends and family, so it seemed natural to present her with this book. So… while in Mexico, it seemed natural that bring along the book and cook one of Frida Kahlo’s recipes in honor of this remarkable person (see below for recipe). So without further adieu…
We bought our fish at a small seafood shop in La Penita, Mexico and then headed home to prepare Frida’s Red Snapper with Cilantro. Here’s a visual diary of it all!
Snapper with Cilantro
1 snapper, about 4 1/2 lbs, cleaned and washed
8 cups finely chopped cilantro
5 pickled chiles, cut into thick slices (we used plain serranos)
2 large onions, sliced
4 cups olive oil
salt and pepper
Make three cuts across the snappers back so that it will be well seasoned
In a large pot, prepare a bed using half the cilantro, half the chiles, and half the onion
Pour half of the oil over it. Season with salt and pepper
Place the fish on this bed and then repeat, making another layer with the remaining cilantro, chiles, onion and oil.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and bake for 40 minutes, occasionally basting with the sauce so it won’t dry out.
Serve in the pot.
After dinner, we walked to the beach for a beautiful sunset on Guayabitos beach and shared a tequila – toasting to our friend Frida – xoxo
It’s Thursday – Time for Tianguis Market in La Penita!
Thursday is THE DAY to set aside for shopping when you are visiting or staying near La Penita, Mexico. Every Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, this little village springs to life as people comes from miles away to shop for local goods and crafts at Tianguis Market.
In this open-air market, you’ll find an array of treasures to remind you of your fabulous stay in Mexico, or to gift your friends and family back home. Be sure to look for the famous Huichol Indian beaded artwork, Talavera pottery, Oaxacan wool rugs, handmade silver jewelry, beautiful cotton and lace goods, beautiful handwoven baskets, placemats and bags, locally grown coffee, honey and so much more!
One thing you’ll have to find are the handmade leather shoes. About $15 a pair – I couldn’t help myself!
And of course – you’ll be drinking many margaritas this summer so be sure to set up your kitchen with some authentic Mexican glassware. They bubble wrap for easy carry-on!
Whew! Mission accomplished. After all that shopping, we worked up quite an appetite! Virginia, my traveling companion, and bestie, suggested the perfect spot – Hinde y Jamie bar and restaurant. First – the BEST lime margarita! And the fish tacos? Devine! See for yourself!
Hinde y Jamie – Av. Emiliano Zapata No. 57, La Penita de Jaltemba, Nay
Casa San Juan Mexican Breakfast Eggs
Another delicious Mexican breakfast whipped up by our mamasita, Virginia. The eggs in Mexico are super fresh, you can tell by the beautiful color of the yolks. Named after the house it was created in, these spicy black beans with fried eggs, served over a corn tortilla, was the best way to get ready for our next adventure… shopping in the market at La Penita, which takes place every Thursday. More on that later.
Case San Juan Mexican Breakfast Eggs
2 tbs coconut oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced rings (seeds removed if you don’t want to much “heat”)
1 can of black beans
1 tbsp butter
one egg per person
one corn tortilla per person
1 avocado, sliced
Chop cilantro, onions, tomato, Serrano. Divide in half.
In a pot, saute half of the chopped ingredients in 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add black beans and mash so it’s partially mushy. Add salt to taste and simmer
Saute the other half of the chopped ingredients in 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Crack eggs and add to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and cover the pan, simmering until eggs are done to preferred consistency.
Heat the tortillas in a pan
Place tortillas on a plate, put beans on the tortilla, add egg, and top with sliced avocado or guacamole.
The Magical Enchantment of Chacala Villas and Marina
Let me start by saying – we’re here for the legendary Mango margaritas! Ok, that aside…. Your senses will surrender to the enchantment of a day spent at Chacala Villas. I knew I was in for a treat the moment I saw the front gates. Hmmm, what’s this? We were announced and the tall wooden gates swing opened to reveal a tropical paradise filled with palm trees, striking tropical plants and trees, and perfectly landscaped surroundings.
Chacala, known for its physical beauty and unhurried lifestyle, is a beach-town set in a small cove on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the State of Nayarit. The name means “where there are shrimp” in Náhuatl, and is part of the coastline known as the RivieraNayarita. Upon entering the complex you are surrounded by a lush tropical paradise and welcomed by hot pink bougainvillea and beautiful pink walls. The place is very well maintained. The main communal buildings house a cabana, a pool and a casual outdoor cafe. You can see the private beach and plam trees from the pool and restaurant. We’re meeting friends for lunch including Millie and Arturo (and their lovely girls) who run the place.
Time for those mango margaritas! On a hot sunny day, one sip of this well-crafted libation and you’re in heaven! Well worth the trip for this experience! Our table is filled with tasty Mexican bites – quesadillas, guacamole, and popcorn shrimp. After time eating and catching up with everyone, we alternate between the beach and the pool and end the day toasting our friendship and good fortune with tequila. Ahh, another excuse to down some tequila!
All I can say is “another day in paradise”! And yes, for a magical finale – that’s a mermaid! Her name is Lucy.
Chacala Villas / Chacala Mexico – Vacation Rentals and Homes
Click HERE to learn more about Marina Chacala, an exclusive oceanfront development located in Chacala, in the heart of the Riviera Nayarit. Less than 90 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, Chacala is one of the most beautiful beaches in the state of Nayarit, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and beautiful, yet untouched coastline. From the moment you enter the development, you feel as if you’ve entered another world. The design of Marina Chacala is low density, low impact, in harmony with the coastal and jungle surroundings. The calm waters and tropical landscape of Chacalilla Bay are a soothing, tranquil experience. Designed with the utmost respect for the environment, this incredible Chacala development is a perfect blend of architecture and nature that strives to maintain the natural ambiance of this unique stretch of tropical Mexican coastline.
Date Night at Xaltemba Restaurant / La Penita Mexico
Dinner at Xaltemba Restaurant and Gallery in La Penita is an excellent choice for sharing a romantic meal for two while vacationing in Nayarit, Mexico. The energy of this place is as vibrant as its owners – Roberto Gil de Montes and Eddie Domingo.
As you enter Xaltemba you will find a bar to the left and tables to the right. The room opens up to an open patio with a number of tables for dining al fresco. A two story second building faces the patio, with two open windows where the kitchen crew passes culinary creations to the wait staff.
Tonight, a local musician (and excellent sax player) entertains while patrons shimmy in their seats and dance around the tables. Looming large over the patio on the kitchen side, is a two-story whitewashed wall, with projected images of international music videos and iconic Hollywood dance scenes.
With all this going on – I once again, forget to take photos! For now, you’ll have to imagine a perfectly prepared fiesta of garlic shrimp and crusty bread for dipping, grilled dorado fish perfectly paired with a mango salsa, and key-lime pie for dessert. Between the music, the fabulous imagery on the walls, and the food you’ll relish your night of dinner and dancing under the stars.
Garlic Grilled Snapper at Guayabitos Beach
Time for an afternoon stroll along the beach of Rincón de Guayabitos, with its fine sand and colorful homes and hotels. You’ll find an array of food as vendors walk the beach with all kinds of tempting treats: fresh coconut, chili rubbed pineapple, donuts, grilled shrimp and coconut bread to name a few. There are also beachside outdoor shacks if you prefer a more robust meal like our featured garlic kissed red snapper. The first thing I had to try is the fresh coconut on them beach. After cutting the coconut open the fleshy meat is loosed and served in half of the coconut shell with a fork. You can also get a version that is spiced up Mexican style. Of course, you can also relish the coconut water served in its shell with a straw. On a hot sunny day, this is a refreshing treat.
After a long walk on the beach, we stop for lunch: grilled garlic red snapper, rice, and crispy fries served with a refreshingly, cold bottle of beer. This is the kind of meal that, for some reason, always tastes ten times better served on the beach. It was perfectly grilled – crispy on the outside, tender inside and beautifully spiced with just the right amount of garlic. Here’s a taste of a day on the beach – a great way to spend day two of our travels.
This is the perfect beach for a romantic getaway; it offers the true nature of life in Mexico. Not too crowded, a beach with gentle waves for easy swimming, local music and food, and just the right mix of locals and tourists. This time of year presents the real spirit of this place. Time for a swim!
There’s nothing as special as a good friend, except perhaps a good friend with a good bottle of wine . . .
Always strive to create temptation – a glimpse of the pleasure to come – SeductionMeals.com . . .
Seduction is always more singular and sublime than sex and it commands the higher price – Jean Baudrillard . . .
Age and glasses of wine should never be counted . . .
He was a bold man that first ate an oyster – Jonathan Swift . . .
A gentleman seduces his lady’s mind before he even touches her body . . .
First we eat. Then we do everything else – M.F.K Fisher . . .
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away . . .
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Terry Dagrosa, founder and publisher of SeductionMeals.com. As President of Digital Marketing Collective and Tara del Mar Productions, she has extensive experience in sales, design, digital marketing and social media.
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Time for an afternoon stroll along the beach of Rincón de Guayabitos, with its fine sand and colorful homes and hotels. You'll find an array of food as vendors walk the beach with all kinds of temp
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About Seduction Meals
Seduction Meals is about Food + Romance, and everything in-between. . . a sumptuous menu, alluring presentation, sensuous music, luscious cocktails and the right ambiance. Like a precious gift, preparing a romantic meal for two is about making that certain someone feel extra special. With just the right combination of ambience and culinary delights, you too can create a memorable, delicious experience for your loved one. Seduction Meals. Everyone has one - what's YOURS?