You should make the trip to Local 111

local 111 exterior

In an earlier life, it was an auto garage.

We made the short trip through Columbia County this past weekend to have dinner at Local 111.

And we're very happy that we did -- because it was very good.

Local 111 is in Philmont, about 9 miles from Hudson and little off the beaten path (take the Taconic Parkway). Even so, get people talking about that area and Local 111 often comes up. With good reason.

"Farm to table" is one those of phrases that gets thrown around so much now that it's lost its meaning (You mean... this food... it was grown... on a farm? Whoa.). Local 111 has been tagged as such a restaurant and it does mention (and thank) a bunch of farms on the menu. As they explain on their website:

At the heart of our restaurant is the desire to use the wonderful bounty of these local farms in a setting that evokes the warmth and sense of community of a small town general store. Our commitment to using local produce is combined with our desire to provide excellent food and drink at prices accessible to everyone.

Put that on a political platform and we'd vote for it.

There was nothing crazy about the meal we had this past weekend -- not in method of preparation, size of portion, or level of pretension. It was "just" good food. Here's what we ate:

Snacks

Local 111's menu includes a "snacks" section -- stuff like house-cured olives and toasts smeared with various toppings. We got the olives (just $2!) and three toasts with pesto, walnuts and shaved parm:

local 111 olives

These were surprisingly good. It's just an olive, right? But they had a very pleasant texture -- firm, but yielding under pressure, with a really smooth interior. A hint of star anise provided a nice accompanying note.

local 111 toasts

The pesto was good. The walnuts were good. The cheese was good. The toast was a little too hard.

Salad

local 111 salad

We shared the salad special of the night -- mizuna, with hard boiled egg, bacon, and blue cheese vinaigrette. This was really good. The greens held up well against the strong flavors of the bacon (smoky, meaty, fatty) and the dressing. The egg was cooked just right. Crispy fried onions added good crunch. And our server helpfully offered to split the salad onto two plates before reached the table.

Entrees

The menu includes big plates, but we went the somewhat more modest route. We still left pleasantly full.

local 111 pasta

Pasta in a garlic sauce with spinach and ricotta. This had good, deep garlic flavor. And the ricotta was nicely creamy. Straightforward and pretty good.

local 111 shortrib sandwich

A beef shortrib sandwich with arugula and garlic mayo. This was seriously good -- the short rib, slathered with what seemed like some of its braising liquid, had really good, deep meatiness. The pepperiness of the arugula played against the meat, and the mayo added zing. The crispy fried onions brought crunch and a little touch of sweetness. Even the bun was good. (One thing we'd change -- just a bit more meat, or maybe a smaller bun. The ratio was off by a little.)

And the fries! Really crunchy on the outside -- with great bits of crinkly potato skin -- yet nicely fluffy on the inside.

The total, including a glass of wine, was just short of $60 before the tip -- we considered that a good value given the quality. The food was really enjoyable. The service was friendly. And we were able to enjoy the beautiful summer evening on the front patio. The whole experience was just... pleasant.

If you haven't made it to Local 111 yet, you should go. It's one of the better restaurants in the greater Capital Region. And it's worth the trip -- especially if you line it up with a few other fun things out that way.

Earlier on AOA: In 2009, Jess enjoyed her birthday meal at Local 111

Find It

Local 111
111 Main Street
Philmont, NY 12534

Google Maps seems to have it misplaced a bit, so keep an eye out.

Comments

You can also take 9H (or, make it a circle and use it and the TSP), which is another scenic and pretty much traffic-free jaunt.

Definitely off the beaten path but I've never had a disappointing meal there.

I've been wanting to eat here for years. Just never motivated myself enough until now.

You know I love this place:)

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