In our last episode, you heard I took a photo of a stranger in a Springsteen hat, no? She turned out to be Marybeth Mills, and she and her husband Devin own and operate the Peekamoose Restaurant and Tap Room in Big Indian, NY.
Their beautiful website tells the story of how they left NYC behind and headed upstate to be closer to the farms whose crops they use each day to create the dishes on their menu.
The Peekamoose is situated in the heart of ski country, at the base of a big mountain called Peekamoose. What are the odds of that?
It doesn’t hurt that on the way, you see things like this:
These are not jigsaw puzzles from Woolworth’s.
First stop, the Tap Room, which has its own menu, and outside is a fire pit, with marshmallows and sticks ready at all times.
Upon entering the Tap Room, you’re greeted by a cozy feeling, big smiles, and comfortable, beautifully creative décor.
If you can’t have a window behind the bar, why not a mural that shows what you’d see if there was one?
We got there just as the restaurant was opening, and Marybeth took the time to give us a tour telling us stories along the way about how each little touch came about.
Phyllis the coyote (once known as Phil, until a discovery of sorts proved otherwise) keeps an eye on the bar.
The first thing that catches your eye when entering the light-filled main dining room is the chandelier, which Marybeth tells us was plucked from the East River–and an artist friend added the roots. The shades are veneer from a home DIY store, rolled into cylinders.
Marybeth says the primary interior designer of the space is Shawn Patrick Anderson, a friend who has introduced her to other artists whose work is featured in the restaurant too.
Each corner of the room has been made into something special. We noticed none of the tables were too close to each other, and most of them faced away from one another, so you still have your own space–a bonus in a busy place like this.
This beautiful spot combines the talents of different artists. Devin and Marybeth used the old furniture they found in the basement to create the Louise Nevelson-inspired wall.
The same artist who made the roots on the chandelier made the gorgeous one-of-a-kind sconces.
Jenny Hyde did the horse paintings, four in all throughout the place.
This painting of Jenny’s was hung upside down during the move in, and everyone decided they liked it that way, so it stayed. Marybeth likes to watch groups react when they sit at this table–she’s heard various interpretations regarding the upside down horse.
The horses on the deck are on loan from Burning Man — The A Cavallo exhibit, by Quill Hyde, Jenny’s brother. Here’s a NY Mag article about Quill and his work.
Wondering how this was done? Simple! The leftover paints used in the mural below were dripped down this piece –voila. I so want to try this at home.
One of the salvaged treasures found in the basement– the compressor still works, but instead of chilling chocolates, it’s a handy display case for the many awards and mentions the restaurant has deservedly received.
Serving pieces custom made by local potter Marilyn Price.
Madeline, Devin and Marybeth.
Thanks again for an unforgettable experience.
Oh wait!! The FOOD!!!
You didn’t think I forgot about the food, did you?
Had the food not been the best we’ve had in the area, you wouldn’t be reading this, no matter how beautiful the joint is.
I had this:
wood grilled cured pork tenderloin
wine braised red cabbage and carola mashed potatoes
The recipe’s in this month’s Shape magazine.
slow-braised beef short ribs
salsify, oven roasted tomatoes, bordelaise
We shared this:
homemade goat cheese gnocchi
local golden beet confit, toasted walnuts
The gnocchi was crispy! You can’t imagine how good it is till you try it.
All was served by Bob, a super-efficient, friendly, calm and funny guy. He’s working on his PhD, makes motorcycles, plays bagpipes, brews beer… pretty sure he was in the running for a Nobel prize too.
The food was fantastic. You must go.
Here’s the menu.
We really can’t wait to go back, for both the food and the wonderful experience.
Oh my! Yes, I think I really must go! This place (and the area) look truly incredible and quite memorable! Love the photos of the interior, the decor is such an eclectic cool mix, the views look stunning and the outdoor fire pit area sounds well planned for enjoyment. Not to mention the descriptions of the food! What a find. Thank you so much for sharing and I do think hell or high water I will try to go to this place next time I am in the NYC area. Which may be sooner then later.
Let me know if you make it!