Tuthilltown Distillery and Char 1788 Restaurant, Gardiner, NY

DH and I took a little road trip today for a belated anniversary celebration and decided to head to Tuthilltown Distillery after hitting up a local orchard for some early apples and peaches. The distillery, tasting room and restaurant are nestled together in an absolutely charming nook of the Wall Kill River. The outdoor seating area overlooks a little bend in the river with small waterfalls, etc., and they have expansive grounds for picnicking or lawn games.

Anyway, we tried a variety of spirits in the tasting room - they had two vodkas, a gin, two bourbons, two ryes and a handful of other liqueurs, syrups, bitters, tonics, etc. to try. $10 to taste any five of their alcohols, with a very knowledgeable bartender to guide you. Excellent stuff! We bought a bottle of the maple aged rye whiskey and the gin.

After our tasting we headed over for brunch at 1788. I didn’t have high expectations of this place due to the very mixed reviews I had seen online - apparently it changed hands a couple of years back and people haven’t been impressed with the new owner/chefs. Fortunately we had a great experience. Really delicious, creative cocktails, solid food and good service. We split an open-faced pork belly BLT for an appetizer, then DH ordered the hot chicken sandwich and I had the sweet potato and pulled pork hash. The bun on DH’s chicken sandwich was lackluster but he didn’t really want it anyway because he preferred to fill up on their excellent french fries (and the chicken was fantastic by itself, super crispy coating). The hash was very good but became just a little too sweet by the end - I would ask for them to add something spicy or at least give me a bottle of hot sauce to give it a little kick next time. The pork belly and green sauce on the BLT were amazing and the sandwich as a whole was very good, but the tomatoes were a bit sweet (I think they were candied or confited) for my taste.

Our bill before tip and tax was around $70, which we thought was quite reasonable for a ton of food, two cocktails and a beer. Portions weren’t huge but weren’t stingy either - I saw a lot of complaints about that in online reviews, so either they have started listening or their usual customers expect a lot more food than we do! I’d love to come back and try their dinner menu at some point. Recommended!