Rosendale Cafe

Published June20, 2003

By Lori Pierce Abendschein
Poughkeepsie Journal

Open for about 10 years, the ultra-casual, funky, small-town setting of Rosendale Cafe welcomes vegans, vegetarians or those looking to put their carnivorous cravings aside, and even perhaps enjoy some music on the side.

Mismatched tables and chairs fill the eclectic dining space, and local artists’ works adorn the otherwise plain walls.

We focused our attention on the blackboard for a list of the evening’s specials and scanned the paper menu. Natural sodas, organic wines and three microbrews on tap that change each month are a good way to start.

The menu combines inventive vegan, vegetarian sandwiches, appetizers, salads and entrees all prepared from local, organic ingredients. Some of the signature specialties include tempeh Reuben, mushroom-tofu stroganoff and the vegetarian version of the BLT — the ‘‘FLT,’’ prepared with ‘‘fakin’ bakin‘‘ on sourdough with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Try a soy quesadilla

First, we shared an appetizer of roasted red pepper hummus ($5.50), too thick for the typical pita accompaniment, but full of flavor and perfect with the plateful of organic corn tortilla chips.

Quesadillas are offered in several different ways, with soy or goat cheese. We sampled the crisp ‘‘sandwich’’ of flour tortillas, fully loaded with spinach-garlic and goat cheese ($10.90).

Dinners are served with multi-grain bread and a palate-energizing salad of billowy greens sprinkled with salty, toasted tamari sunflower seeds and a choice of the two house dressings — Japanese or balsamic, both of which are quite good. The Japanese is available for purchase.

Unless you’re a vegan, it may be tough to appreciate the simplicity of the wholesome Zen platter ($11.95). The presentation of sliced and steamed zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and broccoli accompanied by organic brown rice, beans, tofu, arame and a side of ginger tamari, left me more disappointed than satiated.

Even though I was eating healthfully, I couldn’t help but desire the overstuffed Mission burrito ($11.95), fat with brown rice, organic black beans and melting cheese. The sweet potato black bean burrito ($11.95) that raised a few eyebrows as we read from the blackboard also proved itself worthwhile, a merge of sweet, salt and spice.

Pastas are also a favorite of the cafe’s guests, who order up a bowl of linguine with two veggie meatballs and thick marinara ($11.50) or the pasta special — mascarpone and asparagus ravioli ($11.95) on the evening of our visit.

Salads too, are ideal as entrees. Try the taco salad, made with the cafe’s signature black bean chili ($6.25), or the Mediterranean platter with red pepper hummus, grape leaves, feta cheese, olives and pepperoncini ($10.95).

The dessert menu is attractive and amplified by choices that are all prepared in house. Be sure to try the warm homestyle raspberry crisp with the perfect amount of crumble topping or the silken smooth lime tart.

Rosendale Cafe is a premier spot in the Hudson Valley where you can nourish your soul with good, healthful vegetarian cuisine and live entertainment, too.

The Poughkeepsie Journal pays for the meals that are the subjects of restaurant reviews and reviewers do not identify themselves prior to the end of the meal. Lori Pierce Abendschein is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and a member of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs.

Rating breakdown
Overall *** ( Good)

434 Main St., Rosendale; (845) 658-9048; vegetarian cuisine; open seven days, serving lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; Fridays-Saturday until 11:30 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 10 a.m., dinner until 10 p.m. Live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings; visit for menu and list of events; reservations not accepted; wheelchair accessible; all major credit cards accepted.

Entrée price range — $5.50-$12.95; children’s menu is available.

Directions — th. Take Route 299 through New Paltz. Make a right onto Route 32 north and follow until you reach Rosendale. The restaurant is on the right-hand side. Parking can be found in the private lot next door.

Rating breakdown

What ratings mean
* poor
** fair
*** good
**** very good
***** excellent.

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