A taste of Germany in the Hudson Valley

The Chalet off 9D aims to please

Author: Stephanie Heimann
Posted: Friday, October 22, 2010

This restaurant review begins with a kidnapping. I knew my partner would never agree, not even in a sunny moment, to choose to dine at this establishment. However I had been driving by it daily and the combination of the location and a sign that promised GERMAN FOOD, TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS made me feel nostalgic for my national food.

So I got him in my car, distracted him with a cute baby, and pulled off 9D into the Chalet on the Hudson parking lot on a Tuesday evening as the sun was at its most blinding, reflecting in the river as it began its descent. Once I persuaded him to come inside, we were greeted by a variety of tchotchkes, two other couples sitting quietly at tables, a soundtrack that included the word ‘Danke’ in the lyrics, and no staff.

We couldn’t find anybody who worked there. The other couples ate silently. We felt we were in a movie, we waited, explored the side bar, the baby grand piano, the patio, and the secondary dining room. I finally gave up and walked into the kitchen, where I found the chef and the sole waitperson, busy with the food.

Which, as we discovered, is the main reason to make a stop at the Chalet, a place that, with its slightly odd location just south of the Breakneck tunnel, seems to be hiding in plain sight.

Schnitzel, spaetzle, sauerkraut, bratwurst, knockwurst, assorted wurst, rouladen, pierogies, fondue, herring, potato pancakes. What more could a German girl want?

My Heiefferweissen was ice cold, and my only complaint was that I didn’t have enough. So I ordered a larger, second glass. Rumors out of the kitchen were that Chef Steve marinates the Sauerbraten for a month. Even the side salad was given attention, with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, which we overheard were purchased by the chef at the local farmers market.

My sauerbrauten was absolutely tender, falling off the fork, and in a sour-sweet marinade over red cabbage. My companion ordered the beef rouladen, another traditional dish made with thin pounded fillets of beef rolled around bacon, pickle, and onion, and coated with mustard. The ‘Something from Germany’ menu includes ten classic entrees, all priced at $18.95, with more traditional dishes appearing in the appetizers ($7.95). Almost at the end of the meal, the waiter brought us a basket of warm black bread.

 

Since then, it’s become a party conversation starter. “Guess where we ate?” Like a New Yorker finally visiting the Empire State Building, the Chalet is a classic worth more than your passing glance.

 

Chalet on the Hudson

3250 Route 9D,

Cold Spring, NY

845-265-2600

Prices for most entrees about $20

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