Kitchen open Tuesday through Sunday
Bar open 7 Days
To answer the first question - yes, there are toads on the property. And, apparently, holly.
We love to hear about new restaurant openings, and were very happy to hear about the Toad Holly Pub, just south of the village of Rosendale on Route 32. Professional restaurant critics always give a new place a few months to "work out the kinks", but we are not critics, and we are certainly not professional, so we rounded up the Boyz and stopped in last Wednesday for dinner. Word gets around quickly in these parts; we found a full bar upon our arrival.
The building that houses the pub and restaurant is newly constructed, on space that was formerly Cappy's. The bar area has its own separate entrance, and is physically separated from the dining room, which looks to seat around 60 diners. The dining room was empty when we arrived. Thirty minutes later, the bartender asked if we would require a table for dinner. I peeked inside the dining room again and it had exactly one table left. Friends that had stopped by the bar to say hello were actually shut out and ended up eating in the bar. Good news travels fast.
The menu at Toad Holly sports an eclectic mix of bistro favorites and all of the meals that we sampled were thoughtfully constructed, well prepared, and very reasonably priced. For example - two savory crab cakes were made with lump crab pieces laced with red onion and celery bits, coated with Japanese style panko bread crumbs, and served with a cabbage and parsnip cole slaw and peppery remoulade sauce. For $7.95.
A Nicoise salad didn't actually have any olives in it, unless you count the olive oil the tuna steak was poached in, but for $9 we are not complaining. The tuna was perched on a bed of greens and rings of Bermuda onion with green beans and Yukon Gold Potatoes. Very very nicely presented. For $15 a hanger steak was grilled to a perfect pink medium rare, and served up with a blue cheese mashed potatoes, and plated with a red wine reduction. Other steak choices include a strip ($16.50) , a rib ($18), or a T-Bone and lobster tail combo ($25). There's a San Francisco style monkfish and mixed seafood ciapino on the menu, and an offering of grilled diver scallops ($16) which we tried. My platter of Farfalle (bow-tie pasta) and sliced chicken was tossed with a garlicky Gorgonzola cheese sauce, and dusted with a spritz of locatelli. I would most definitely order this dish again, especially priced at $14.
As is often the case in newly opened restaurants the kitchen shows better than the wait-staff until everyone learns where everything is. Our server needed to be convinced that the restaurant probably did in fact have a wine list, and after checking with the bartender produced one. The sound system played Chistmas carols throughout our dinner, which is aggravating enough in November, but perhaps this is an Ulster County custom that I have not been introduced to.
We do look forward to returning to see how the place is progressing. It may be in its formative phase right now, but based on the menu - which is well thought out and very reasonably priced - and the expertly prepared dishes, I predict great things for this casual dining Ulster County newcomer.
The complete menu can be found here.