One year into opening The Flammerie, Andrew and Conny Chase have created one of the most innovative farm-to-table dining experiences in Columbia County. The cozy restaurant, located in an historic building in the Village of Kinderhook, has been evolving since the day the doors opened for business at 7 Hudson Street.
The Chases have set down deep roots in this corner of the Hudson Valley. And like any long-term relationship, in the beginning there’s the inevitable dance of discovery. “Getting to know you” aptly describes the evolution of The Flammerie’s mission and menu. Andrew reflects on the discovery phase of the restaurant’s first year as he describes how he and the staff have gotten to know their customer base, learned about their expectations and preferences for their dining and drinking experience, and observed with satisfaction the enthusiastic response to a cuisine and cooking style that’s unlike anything else in the region.
Over the past year, the Chases have also been getting to know and forge close relationships with the local farmers, growers, and suppliers who supply the restaurant with the farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients the menu takes its inspiration from.
A NEW PRIX-FIXE MENU. Flexibility and innovation have been paramount to the Chases’ business plan since the early stages of imagining the eatery they dreamed of opening. It’s not surprising then that after the first year in business, the couple decided to rethink the menu, which features soups, salads, petits plats, entrees, and a selection of desserts to die for. The new menu still retains the restaurant’s signature German-inspired dishes of four different variations of flammkuchen (wood-fired flatbread with a variety of toppings) and spaetzle (yummy gratineed egg noodles), while adding a prix-fixe option to the a la carte offerings. As Andrew and Conny explain, the new prix-fixe menu, which changes weekly depending on what’s in season, allows diners to have a fuller dining experience at an affordable price while giving the two Culinary Institute of America-trained chefs in the kitchen the opportunity to be creative and ramp up the flavor complexity by increasing the number of ingredients in each dish— now averaging six to twelve per dish.
GOOD NEWS FOR VEGETARIANS. And there’s even good news for the vegetarians among us. For although The Flammerie’s offerings are heavily invested in satisfying the palates of meat and fish lovers, with dishes built around beef, chicken, duck, goose, lamb, pork, and fish, each week the changing menu features vegetarian options in all four menu categories that are more than just the usual so-so nod to non-meat eaters. In fact, the kitchen’s delicious vegetarian options are as fully conceived and creatively complex in taste and plating as any of the other dishes—an accomplishment not many fine restaurants can lay claim to.
If you visited The Flammerie earlier in its first year, you’ll notice other changes this winter as well, such as an expanded wine list, new craft-beer choices, and the addition of a cozy, old-fashioned–style propane-fired stove in the dining area.
SO IF YOU HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED THE FLAMMERIE YET, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
To check out what’s on this week’s menu, go to http://www.theflammerie.com.
7 HUDSON STREET
VILLAGE OF KINDERHOOK
Currently Open for Dinner
Wednesday through Sunday