Here are the Beacon winners of the Best of Hudson Valley 2009
BEST Place to Pair Wine & Food
Artisan Wine Shop
Looking to wow dinner guests with your ability to match meals with just the right wine? Consider Mei Ying So and Tim Buzinski your senseis, and their Saturday-afternoon wine-food tastings your dojo. The Artisan Wine Shop owners call on their CIA backgrounds to compose such harmonious pairings as shrimp escabèche with Spanish whites and grilled skirt steak tacos with California reds. (The hours-long sessions are a blast to attend, too.) Bring in your dinner menu and So and Buzinski will even create a complementary wine list, which you can then set up as a registry for your guests to use. • 845-440-6923; www.artisanwineshop.com
BEST New Burger on the Scene
This lunch-dinner spot, opened in January 2009, offers local, grass-fed beef and seasonal produce, as well as an array of toppings such as hickory-smoked bacon and roasted shallots. The veggie burgers have even won over the hearts of carnivores (think bean patties topped with avocado and homemade vinegar, or mayonnaise-based cole slaw for crunch). The skinny, crispy French fries put their fast-food brethren to shame — and they’re made with organic potatoes.
• 845-765-2121; www.poppyburger.com
BEST Innovative Farm Practice
Common Ground Farm
Stony Kill Environmental Center Wappingers Falls
Painted lettuce-green with images of squashes and carrots, the Veggie Bus mobile market brings fresh produce to area residents who otherwise might not have access. It’s just one of many innovative programs of Common Ground Farm, a working farm that leases land from Stony Kill Environmental Center in Wappingers Falls. From June through October, shareholders in the community-supported agriculture program claim their weekly haul of vegetables, herbs, and flowers; nonmembers can buy their produce at the Beacon Farmers Market on Sundays. This not-for-profit also offers fun community events including brunch in the fields on a summer day, campfire sing-alongs, and adult workshops on beekeeping, raising chickens — even natural lawncare. Summer dropoff programs for school-age kids give them a daily “haycation”: catching turtles in the pond, visiting the farm animals, working in the garden, and walking the trails. • 845-231-4424; www.commongroundfarm.com
BEST Consignment Shop Block
Love Me Too Times
and Be Mine Again
Beacon wins big for its arts and culture scene, and now the charming river town can add affordable style to its list. Made with the recessionista in mind, Love Me Too Times and Be Mine Again consignment boutiques — both a hop, skip, and one-piece jumpsuit away from each other on Main Street — offer the perfect combo of recycling and shopping for the family on a tight budget. Lightly used, high-end fashions (think Donna Karan, Coach, and Gucci) often fill their racks, but it doesn’t end there. In addition to clothing and accessories, each shop boasts lots of extras: Be Mine Again carries home décor and antiques, and Love Me Too Times holds regular music and art events.
• Love Me Too Times: 917-273-9418; www.lovemetootimes.com
• Be Mine Again: 845-234-0672
BEST Wallpaper and Paint Store
Sun Wallpaper and Paint
Beacon, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie.
When it’s time to spruce up your digs, Sun — in business since 1920 — offers more than the standard big-box-store inventory. Sure, you’ll find tried-and-true decorating products, but Sun is also stocked to the brim with other options, like upscale paint brands Farrow & Ball and Fine Paints of Europe. If wallpaper is your thing, you can browse through more than 150 styles in stock, plus choices from top designers like Ralph Lauren. The store also provides online shopping, decorating services, senior and student discounts, and helpful advice from salespeople for those times when you just can’t decide on the perfect color or pattern. • Beacon, 845-831-0093; Fishkill, 845-896-6200; Poughkeepsie, 845-471-2880; www.sunwallpaperandpaint.com
BEST Local Musician: Pete Seeger