Toot. Toot. All aboard the Tuthilltown Express

Happy Monday. Gorgeous day. Heat off for good I hope. Bright sunshine. Birds chirping. A five-star way to start the week.

We really had a fun time yesterday. Getting there required an unusual and illegal u-turn on I-87 North via one of the Police Only crossovers (yikes!). Long story. Don’t ask. Anyway, that brought us onto Rote 299, through the town of New Paltz, where in the sunshine, SUNY New Paltz students were out along the Main Street in full force. The shopkeepers were surely pleased. Lots of hippie looking homes in New Paltz – like leftover 60s hippies who are probably now professors? I don’t know enough about the history of New Paltz to understand why is seemed so colorful.

Right near by Mohonk Mountain House too and Mohonk Nature Preserve, again lots of people walking and riding bikes.

It took about an hour an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Tuthilltown (and honestly, I never heard it pronounced so I don’t know if my headline is wrong and I should have gone with a King Tut reference to be rhymingly correct).

We were the only ones there at noon which you’d THINK would have meant a good dining experience……but…..
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On the Wallkill River….
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Appropriately located on Grist Mill Lane…
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The interior of the restaurant was rustic and quaint – beautiful wide planks floors and a big bar..seating inside and out and yesterday noon was just a shade too cool to sit outside but it would be a nice option in the summer, with the rushing Wallkill underneath.

The chandeliers were made from Hudson Bourbon bottles…

The bar menu was pretty humorous, with signature drinks having clever names.
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Alas, that’s where the good experience ended. The food was atrocious, the service was so slow it was unbearable, ESPECIALLY since for the first 45 minutes, we were the only ones in the place.

Three of us ordered breakfast from the brunch menu- the other six had lunch items. And for the table we ordered a few sides to share.

The sides came before the drinks and were stone cold (they were meant to be hot!). And before anyone had been served their bar drinks. Most of us had a version of a Bloody Mary.

I ordered the day’s special omelet, with goat cheese and spinach. It was special alright, not because it was good but inedible. The “eggs” looked like a crepe, so thin and fried dry it was unrecognizable. The goat cheese was about a teaspoon worth and the spinach must have been cooked last month, long strands that looked like the stems, no leaves. It came with hash browns that sat in a puddle of grease, likely something they bought frozen and tried to fry crisp but failed. It too was inedible. Two had hamburgers, so giant they were next to impossible to eat and both cooked to well-done, even though ordered rare to medium rare. A well-done burger might as well not be served. Horrible. The only one who was happy was the one who ordered french toast.

Overall, a bust of a food experience but in a nice enough venue so we made the best of the worst.

Out Tasting Tour was at 2pm and because we ate so quickly (or didn’t eat what was on our plates actually) we had a good half hour to walk around before the tour.

Lots of their products to buy in the shop where, duh, the tour starts and ends. And a very fat cat named Bourbon.

Our tour guide was excellent and the story of how the distillery started is a good one, too long to share here, but our guide told the tale well.

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Our guide, whose name I never heard, is in the middle.

You can’t see it here, but this is where the corn comes in and the process is started. They are required to get 75% of their corn from New York, the balance he said comes down from Canada. There was a discussion of Kentucky being where only REAL bourbon versus New York bourbon. And talk of weather in Kentucky and new York and how it affects production.
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This is the cooling process machinery.
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The copper pot stills are gorgeous, one costing nearly $450k he said.
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The barrels are all numbered and marked, ready to age
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The cooperage logo, the people who make all their barrels.
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And if you turn this photo upside down, you’ll see it marked 17.4 PG as in Proof Gallons. We asked what the difference was between a proof gallon and a gallon as in some cases there was MORE PG in the barrel than the actual gallon size of the barrel. Our guide said he didn’t know the answer so I’ll leave it up to you geniuses to help us out.
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We saw the bottling room where the wax top is applied and he said they aren’t allowed to do any drip wax as that is trademarked by another bourbon brand.

And this final room, the mixing room.
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We were the only family who asked questions, and we asked a lot. Poor guy but we are so inquisitive. Lots of physics to understand. Lots of questions about New York. Lots of why why why. He was an excellent guide and handled every question we thew at him, with the exception of proof gallons versus gallons inside a barrel.

The tasting was fun afterwards – five samples were allowed of anything they sell. I tried the Maple Bourbon, pretty strong for me, but good. I stopped there because I was the designated driver home and we noticed a lot of state troopers on the way up.

Everyone did some booze shopping afterwards., considerably less than my Mount Kisco liquor store sells their products for. They even make and sell a maple syrup. All in all a perfect birthday outing. I’d recommend the tour but for sure, have your meal in New Paltz.

Happy Monday one and all!

14 thoughts on “Toot. Toot. All aboard the Tuthilltown Express

  1. You don’t honestly think we’re going to let you get away with not telling us why you made a u-turn on 87?

    Did you complain about the food and service?

        1. Oops. Meant to answer that. Yes, there was a survey card with the bill that one of the kids filled out. That itself brought on the discussion of what restaurant managers or chefs do with a complaint. The consensus was our complaint would end up in the trash bin.

    1. I think yesterday was the first time I’ve actually driven through New Paltz. I’ve stayed at Mohonk and the kids have rock climbed the Gunks but without me along I guess. In a simple search I see it’s been a hippie haven for a very long time. One place was called the Groovy Blueberry.

  2. PS – A proof gallon is a liquid gallon where the spirit is 100 proof (50% alcohol). Since this bourbon is likely 86 or 80 proof, you would think the proof gallons would be less than the actual gallons. They must make a high proof bourbon like Wild Turkey (101).

    1. Ya know, I don’t think we were their typical clientèle and the chances of a repeat brunch there is zero, so I’ll skip the reviews. Maybe they just had an off day or we expected too much.

    2. PS: I see lots of the good reviews are about the drinks. The link wouldn’t let me Read More of a review unless I had the app. I’ll try opening the link on my laptop later.

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