May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and it’s the perfect time to highlight the incredibly diverse assortment of Asian American restaurants throughout Dutchess County. Eateries range from authentic Northern Chinese dumpling joints and contemporary Indian restaurants to hotspots with Korean fusion and Tibetan street food. Here are a few of our favorite spots to explore traditional and modern dishes from Asian cultures.
This award-winning spot in Wappingers Falls crafts immensely popular and delicious Dongbei-style dishes. Of course, their handmade steamed dumplings are the main draw. Stuffed with nearly endless filling combinations (like pork and sour cabbage, shrimp and chive, lamb and onion and an eight vegetable medley, to name a few), these beautiful treats make for a fine meal. Classic Northern Chinese noodles and spicy tofu skin sides really bring the heat. Chef Jenny Hu pulls inspiration from her family’s restaurant in Harbin, China, and often uses that region’s distinct flavors in dishes from other countries (like the Korean staple kimchi.)
Craving a taste of the Himalayas? Momo Valley brings delectable Tibetan and Nepalese street food to Beacon. Momo dumplings are a beloved delicacy in many countries, and this Dutchess spot serves a heavenly assortment. Choose pasture-raised chicken, grass-fed beef or spinach and cheese as your filling, and have them either lightly pan-seared or steamed. Plus, Momo Valley offers a vegan option: culinary-grade matcha dough with a veggie filling. Other specialties include thukpa (a buckwheat noodle soup), gundruk ko jhol (a tangy fermented greens soup) and phing sha (a beef stew with glass noodles and mushrooms.)
Tamarind offers a sleek, modern interior and a slew of authentic Indian dishes. Chicken Vindaloo, malai kofta, a creamy tadka dal and an assortment of kebab delights round out a few of the vast menu’s highlights. Hoping for heat? Their ghost chili murg tikka pairs tandoori grilled chicken thighs and spaghetti squash with one of the spiciest peppers on the planet. Tamarind’s executive chef brings his experience from top hotels in Dubai, resulting in fine vegetarian and meat-focused bites.
Any foodie that’s exploring the Hudson Valley must visit Rhinebeck. One of its most impressive establishments is Cinnamon, which serves contemporary Indian fare. A convivial atmosphere sets the table for an unforgettable meal. Select communal seating for a traditional experience or head upstairs to the spice room for creative cocktails and small plates. Many ingredients are sourced from local farms, adding a distinctly Dutchess twist on Southeast Asian specialties. All the staples, like murgh shahi korma, dosas, paneer, samosas, chicken tikka masala and lamb biryani are stellar. However, be sure to sample something new and unexpected when you dine here.
Find an elegant and passionately authentic old-world Thai ambiance at this Beacon restaurant. Sukhothai, named after the ancient capital city of Thailand (and a word meaning “dawn of happiness), created a colossal menu of delights. Start with mee grob (sweet and tangy crispy noodles), pan-seared mussels or tasty spring rolls. Then, opt for tom yum goong (sour lemongrass soup), som tam (sweet papaya salad) or larb, a Thai staple consisting of minced pork or chicken. Of course, classics like pad Thai, drunken noodles, and red, green, Panang and Massaman curries will surely satisfy.
Featuring a charming porch and garden-side outdoor seating, Aroi is another of Rhinebeck’s culinary treasures. Start with a wide variety of Thai drink specials including butterfly pea blossom sangria, sake mojitos, mango margaritas, Thai iced coffee and boba tea. Then, dig into light and flavorful southeast Asian dishes. An assortment of options for pad Thai, pineapple fried rice, pad kee mao and Thai-style curries provide the perfect meal for any visitor. Aroi’s red curry with duck is incredibly popular, as is their seafood and vegetable green curry.
In Red Hook, Yum Yum Noodle Bar dishes up customizable bowls along with Thai and Japanese fusion. Select ramen, soba, udon, tonkotsu or rice noodles as a base, and pair it with a broth (miso, veggie, pork or coconut curry.) Then, top the affair with a protein ranging from braised pork belly or salmon to tofu or house made seitan. In addition, the menu features items such as bibimbap, pork banh mi, kimchi burgers and steamed buns. Of course, no trip is complete without a signature cocktail.
With three locations in Dutchess County, Bonsai is the place to go for sushi and other Japanese dishes. Udon noodles, shumai and gyoza dumplings, teriyaki specials and hibachi menus join endless specialty rolls on Bonsai’s menu. There are far too many to list, but a few favorites include the Sunset Boulevard (steamed lobster, shrimp, avocado and mango), the White Swan (white tuna tempura and avocado topped with yellowtail), and the Sweet Heart Roll (spicy tuna and crab meat wrapped in pink soy paper.)
Chef and co-owner Kwang Kim curates an assortment of Korean specialties in Poughkeepsie. At KorPot starters shine; for example, select haemul pajeon (a seafood and scallion pancake), dak gang jueng (a sweet chili Korean fried chicken) or jap chae (stir-fried glass noodles) to kick off your meal with a bang. Well-known Korean favorites like bulgogi and bibimbap are joined by a rotating specials menu of stews, bowls and other items. Pair the authentic cuisine with equally flavorful drinks, ranging from Korean wines to buckwheat and honey plum iced teas.
This under-the-radar Vietnamese eatery in Wappingers Falls is a true gem. Score authentic Pho loaded with brisket, shrimp, chicken and other toppings. Banh mi sandwiches, peanut vermicelli bowls, vegetarian spring rolls and egg noodles are a few of their most popular items. Don’t forget to try Saigon Pho’s bubble teas, Vietnamese iced coffees or frozen da chanh as well.
Reconnect Foods, Eastdale Village in Poughkeepsie; Photo by @hudson_valley_eats
Chef David Cruz, a Poughkeepsie native and a Culinary Institute of America graduate, presents Mexican Asian fusion dishes made with farm-sourced seasonal ingredients for a unique, flavorful dining experience. Local squash and mushroom tacos, pork belly bao, homemade wheat noodle ramen and more await at this cheery lunch spot.
For homestyle Thai cuisine in Southern Dutchess County, grab a seat at Golden Buddha Thai. Every meal is prepared from scratch, from a wide variety of Thai curries and soups to noodle and rice dishes. Spicy specialties include a spicy tart lemongrass paste baked with squid, scallop and mushrooms and a spicy red curried tuna steak.
New to Dutchess County, KPot brings Korean barbecue and hotpot to the heart of the Hudson Valley. Join a table and partake in a fun and tasty tradition. Diners dip thinly sliced meat, seafood, vegetables, egg dumplings, mushrooms and other ingredients into pots of simmering soups to cook them. Soup bases for hotpot include spicy szechuan, mushroom tofu and Japanese miso. Visitors can also select the Korean barbecue option, grilling high-quality short rib, bulgogi, octopus, brisket, pork belly and more tableside.
Related: Top 10 Dutchess County Events in May
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