The Gilded Otter: Go hungry and leave happy

Author: Bridget Schultz
Posted: Monday, April 05, 2010

After a morning hike in Minnewaska State Park, a friend and I walked around the nearby college town of New Paltz looking for a place to eat. Recalling some positive reviews it had received, I suggested we try the Gilded Otter Brewing Company. Locally made beer and hearty pub food sounded like a good fix for weary bodies.

A hostess led us upstairs to a dining area overlooking an expanse of windows that showcased a stunning mountainous landscape. The restaurant’s open floor plan and the large copper brewing kettles also contributed to the excitement of eating at a working brewery.Despite the vast space, my friend said he felt cozy and comfortable, a feeling reinforced by the natural wood furniture and the warm copper of the kettles.

Big pots of local brews

After seeing the massive brewing kettles my friend and I could not wait to try one of the brewery’s specialty beers. These include Huguenot St. American Lager, Dusseldorf Altbier (a two-time Bronze Medal Winner, Great American Beer Festival, 2001 and 2005 brown ale), New Paltz Crimson Lager (which our waitress described as having a sweet malt flavor with a delightful hop aroma and finish), Three Pines India Pale Ale, Winter Wassail, Naked Under Me Kilt Scottish Ale, Weizenbock (an unfiltered German wheat beer), Stone House Imperial Stout (a Russian stout) and Doc’s Draft Cider.

After a day of hiking, my friend and I both decided to avoid the heavier selections, and chose the Huguenot St. American Lager since it’s a lighter beer and features a nice, delicate flavor. There are also mixed drinks and a wine list available. Our beers arrived promptly and we found them smooth and refreshing.

Looking over the menu, our stomachs began to rumble with hunger.There was a chill in the air, so I ordered a cup of the potato and leek soup. My friend chose the Otter’s Three Meat Chili with beef, turkey, and pork, a dish brought together with onion and bell peppers in a tangy stew topped with cheddar, pepper jack cheese, and sour cream. The chili came with a generous helping of tortilla chips and corn bread. My companion reported the chili to be tasty, but he would have preferred it to be a bit spicier. My potato and leek soup was full of flavor, and I would recommend it as a starter.

For the main course I chose the BBQ pulled pork sandwich. My friend is a strict carnivore who was tempted between one of the several burger sandwiches on the menu, but ended up going with the Bistro steak topped with a Madeira demi glaze.

Big portions, too

When our entrées arrived we could not believe the portion size! The portions are so large that there is no way you will leave the Gilded Otter hungry. The food was so good the two of us barely talked.

When our friendly waitress arrived again and asked us if we would like to see a dessert menu, the two of us were so full we couldn’t fathom ordering one of their desserts, though they did sound delicious. We did, however, decide that another drink to cleanse our palettes was absolutely necessary.

We both decided to try one of the various Doc’s Draft ciders, which are from the Warwick Valley Winery. I tried the apple and he tried the pear. The drinks were both crisp yet sweet, so we counted them as our dessert.

With two drinks a piece, an appetizer and two large main courses, the Gilded Otter’s menu items were reasonably priced.The restaurant was a bit noisy, which only added to the fun environment. I would love to go back on a Friday or Saturday evening, listen to some great music, and enjoy a special night out with some friends.

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