The definition of farm-to-table food, is that which hasn’t been overly processed, passed through a bunch of middle men, or plucked early in order to travel hundreds of miles to finally be eaten. In other words, it’s local, real, Food. The truth is that the closer you get to the source, the more nutrient dense, fresh and delicious your meal will be. So, in an effort to get as close to the source as possible, I went on a mission to find some of the best farm-to-table restaurants lodged in stylish bed and breakfasts not far from NYC. These special spots are all worth coming for the food, and staying the weekend.
Click through and start planning a cozy winter getaway, or a last minute escape to peep the fall foliage!
Lenox, MA // 2 hours 45 minutes from NYC
For a food-first experience, look no further than the Kemble Inn. Having spent four years feeding Bill Clinton as Executive Chef in the White House, Chef Ron Reda’s resume speaks for itself. From the first bite of supposedly “simple salad” with flavors that beg otherwise, to fall-off-the-bone short rib from the farm down the road to a white chocolate cheesecake that’ll toss your “dairy-free” dedication out the window: Don’t. Skip. A thing.
The beautifully restored mansion from the Gilded Age is arguably as impressive now as it was at it’s birth. A spiral staircase connects the rooms to the downstairs, where the open reception area connects Table Six on the right, and a fashionable sitting room stocked with chic coffee table books to read by the fire, or just Instagram next to your cocktail. Large, paned windows and French doors look out onto a sprawling lawn and wooded area, where you are welcome to take your breakfast or your aperitif. There was a bridal shower Saturday afternoon while I was there, and the Inn had an overall jovial and youthful vibe.
This food is the kind that you’ll be telling friends about for months to come. I won’t blame you if you eat every meal at the Inn. Or just straight up move in to the Inn. But if you venture out, Prairie Whale only 20 minutes away is restauranteur Mark Firth’s (Marlow & Sons, Diner) version of Brooklyn by way of the Berkshires. For more adventure, ski at nearby Catamount or test out their treetop ropes course in the warmer months.
THE WHITE HART RESTAURANT AT
Salisbury, CT // 2 hours 15 minutes from NYC
The enthusiasm of my waiter upon explaining the evening’s specials was enough to clue me in on the treats to come. Luckily what followed exceeded expectations… A white bean and sage soup with herbs picked straight from the garden, halibut bathed in a smoky broth that had been simmering since morning and charred broccoli so good you won’t want to share. 202 by Nicole Fahri’s founding chef, Annie Wayte was to thank, along with thoughtfully sourced ingredients from neighboring farms. Come morning, the included breakfast at White Hart offers tasty basics in a sun-filled room, but downstairs the tap room serves specials like skillet baked eggs and hand cut bacon worth shelling out a few extra bucks.
From the checkered tablecloth and sunflower filled dining room, to the giant fluffy beds upstairs, this colonial manor house is impeccably appointed. Pay attention to the walls, where you’ll find artwork by Magritte, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and more. The stylish setting can be attributed to powerhouse owners author Malcom Gladwell, Redbook Editor Meredith Collins and the aforementioned Annie Wayte. On my first evening dining at the inn, I overheard a heated gun-control debate from the table behind mine, the only conversation in an otherwise subdued dining room. Despite a more conservative crowd at White Hart, the vibe isn’t the slightest bit stuffy, and feels a little like a movie version of your family home.
White Hart offers everything you’d want for a pampered weekend away: beds so comfortable that you won’t want to leave, and Pinterest worthy decor in every corner. Just next door is a tiny tea house called Chaiwalla, who’s handmade offerings are trusted by celebrities and health nuts alike. The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm isn’t far if you’re looking for cooking classes or a place to host a party, and Arethusa al Tavolo is a must, either for an elegant dinner or ice cream straight from the dairy farm.
HENRY’S AT THE FARM AT BUTTERMILK FALLS
Milton, New York // 1 hour 40 minutes from NYC
If you’re counting food miles, it doesn’t get any closer than this. Buttermilk Falls is a stylish inn and spa located ON a farm. The sprawling grounds encourage wandering, canoodling or meditating. You’ll find a private lake draped in weeping willows, and around the back is a working farm. I highly recommend taking a walk to visit the persnickety chickens responsible for the rich, yellow breakfast scrambles. Henry’s at the Farm serves up even more specialties sourced from the grounds as well as their neighbors’, with a notable attention toward organics. Equally notable are the portion sizes: the strip steak my friend ordered could have fed a family of 4, but the caramelized vidalia onion confit was the real star.
Vistas of the property and the Hudson Valley will have you gazing out the window even while in your room. A popular wedding destination, Buttermilk Falls has several guest cottages and multi-room suites for those those traveling with more than two. The spa offers a standard menu of services as well as a glassed-in sauna and pool area that ensures you’re never too far from the surrounding nature. Word on the street (or in the lobby) was that a team from Google was checking in when I was checking out, so the secret is out on this destination getaway.
The beautifully maintained grounds at Buttermilk Falls are the draw here, and will keep you busy being not-busy. But Dubois Farms just around the corner offers “You Pick” apples, pears, pumpkins, grapes and more depending on the season, and Benmarl Winery is close enough to justify wine tastings for everyone in the car. if you want to get out and see the leaves, borrow a bike or take a hike anywhere along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, or take a walk across the Hudson River Walkway to Poughkeepsie, where you can catch a direct 2 hour train back to NYC.