Warren & Vine
It’s hard to know where to begin in describing Warren & Vine, the new eatery at 365 Warren Street. It’s hard even to define it, given the array of offerings along the savory-to-sweet continuum. Go for a snack, glass of top-notch wine, dessert, lunch.
Wes Dier, a Hudson Valley native, chef and twenty-year veteran of the Rhinebeck restaurant scene is a force of nature. Luckily for us, Wes and co-owner wife Bryn Bahnatka-Dier decided to bring their design for a different kind of eatery and their skilled experience to Hudson.
Warren & Vine is open 12-7pm, Thursday-Sunday, with intention. “[The four-day schedule] gives us balance,” says Wes, after decades of grueling work. During the remaining three days of the week, the kitchen is the domain of pastry chef Ali Albini, a 2019 winner on Netflix’s competitive cooking series, Sugar Rush (the “All Things Chocolate” episode).
Wes Dier in his natural setting - the kitchen - with fresh focaccia
In less than a month Warren & Vine has drawn a crowd, and for many good reasons - such as Wes’ red onion, lemon and fresh thyme focaccia. In addition, there's cheeses and charcuterie, baguettes, Euro-nation-themed plates, and wine tasters!
Do not forget to sample Ali’s masterful sweets: baklava, Milano cookies (you’ll never eat store-bought again), hazelnut brittle, truffles, or Lady Grey cake. There's delicious breads, scones and homemade pop tarts.
Show up when they open and simply eat your way through the day! Rotate through the distinct “rooms” that match setting with palate; it’s three small restaurants rolled into one. Sit under a cheery orange umbrella in the elegantly fenced front courtyard with coffee and morning pastry, and watch the street action (at a safe distance from Warren Street vehicle exhaust).
Bring your pup: Warren & Vine is doggy friendly with water bowls galore.
Move on, inside, to the cafe - under the watchful gaze of a much younger Keith Richards, partying with pals (and a bottle of something very yummy-looking). Billy Idol and the Beastie Boys (back when they were actual boys) grace another wall.
This is also where you’ll find the offerings of the day, from snacks to small-meal plates, cheeses, and a dazzling display of pastries. Takeout is available.
Finally, the back of the house - the kitchen - shares its space with an intentionally Scandi-vibed lounge area. It’s the uber-cool kitchen of your uber-cool friend-the-chef. This small area can accommodate about a dozen patrons, so if you’re lucky enough to score a table here, sit back and enjoy the exquisite food.
Let’s get back to the food. The choices seem, at first, a bit overwhelming, but the categorization makes the menu easy to navigate. It all starts with: how hungry are you? Just a snack?
Something more? A baguette? Warren & Vine “imports” their baguettes from the Tribecca Bakery in NYC; and you’re in bread heaven. Again, choices from old-school cultured butter and olive oil to child friendly strawberry jam, to tomato and mozzarella. Priced $8-$14.
Not feeling the sandwich thing? The Mason Jars are a discovery. Each of the four selections includes buttered brioche and are priced $8 - $14.
For a bit more, enjoy a small meal plate. We may not be going to Europe anytime soon, but Wes made it possible to take a culinary trip to Spain with a plate including Manchengo, or Italy with Burrita, or France with a boursin omelet.
That was just the day I dropped by - expect to be surprised - and delighted!
PLUS the absolutely coolest thing: a fine wine dispensing system that allows tasting - in 1 oz and 3 oz portions - of special wines/vintages. When your friend says, “I love the 2012 Opus One Blend” ($90/glass), you can share your informed opinion having tasted it (at $18/oz).
The day I visited, the above wines (see pictures) were on tap.
There are four red and four white selections, in a range of $5 - $90, depending on size. No, it’s not a self-pour arrangement. Of course, there are also wines by the glass.
With that kind of wine selection you need at least a nibble, and that’s where the boards come in, priced between $18 - $36.
Run, don’t walk to Warren & Vine! If you’re in the mood for something special - lunch, snack, wine, dessert - you're in for a treat. As Wes commented, their goal was to create a place where people “eat like we eat.”
I’ll happily have what he’s having!