Italian Delights on Main Street
Holiday guests enjoy a festive view of Main Street from Cathryn's cozy lounge.To a great many people—whether they are local residents or visitors to Cold Spring—there’s no need to add “Tuscan Grill” when referring to one of the area’s best, and best known, restaurants; it is simply known as “Cathryn’s.” Tucked away down the winding walkway off of 91 Main Street, Cathryn’s is renowned as a place for excellent dining. And, with the opening of the street-front lounge, it is not nearly as tucked away as it used to be.Wine lovers who have difficulty making decisions may have trouble finding closure with Cathryn’s three hundred choices, exclusively Italian. Some are “vertical” vintages—one wine, but from a number of years consecutively—or close to it. Owner Cathryn Fadde uses offerings by the glass to whet people’s appetite for new wine experiences. “I try to introduce lesser known varieties with our wine by-the-glass,” she said. She has the ideal background to do so having spent five years selling for an importer of Italian wines before entering the restaurant business.
Cathryn got her start as a pastry chef at a RocklandCounty restaurant in the mid 1980s. “The owner taught me everything I know,” she said upon reflection.
Cathryn’s clientele reflects a healthy mix of local residents and visitors. “I have really tremendous local support,” Cathryn said, before adding that a large number of her regular customers routinely drive up to an hour to get to her establishment. “It’s also a great place for people to meet in the middle: friends from Rhinebeck meet friends from Pleasantville here.”
The new lounge, formerly the St. Claire clothing boutique, opened in May of this year. Comfortable chairs and couches greet customers along with appetizers, drinks, coffee, hot chocolate—and Scrabble. “We have Scrabble boards in English, Italian, Spanish, and French.” Cathryn said. “I’d like to have one night a week devoted to Scrabble.”
The lounge has increased the restaurant’s visibility considerably. Fadde said “there are people who were absolutely surprised to learn we are here.” Some new customers who have been in Cold Spring many times and who enter the restaurant for the first time through the new lounge on Main Street ask how long Cathryn’s has been open—and are astounded to learn that the answer is twelve and a half years.
The ambience in Cathryn’s is comfortably elegant. “I try to offer the highest quality food, but never want hikers from Breakneck Ridge to feel that they can’t come in,” Fadde said.
Fadde describes her restaurant’s menu as being mainly “updated classic” Italian dishes. “We offer contemporary pastas that you would find in Italy today rather than traditional varieties,” she said. She explored Italy and its cuisine extensively before opening her restaurant.
Fadde lists sautéed calamari with arugula and smoked cherry tomatoes as one of her signature appetizers. Rounding out the appetizers are escargot with portobello-tomato cream sauce; pan-seared scallops with pancetta and fava bean sauce; shrimp and gorgonzola cheese wrapped with prosciutto; a selection of Sprout Creek Farms cheeses; and mixed exotic mushrooms sautéed with garlic, olive oil, and prosciutto.
Headlining the pasta selections are fresh pappardelle, pulled rabbit meat with seedless grape grappa sauce; and fresh squid ink pasta with fanned shrimp and lemon sauce. Also offered are fresh fettuccine with zucchini flowers, currants, pignoli, and anchovies; whole wheat fusilli and exotic mushrooms sautéed with garlic and olive oil; and fresh tagliolini pasta, half lobster, mussels, clams, and choice of red or white sauce.
Main courses include a very popular grilled hanger steak with espresso Frangelica demi glaze; seasonal selection of sautéed and grilled vegetables; grilled half pheasant with raspberry, pearl onions, and pancetta with red wine sauce; and grilled venison with current and sweet red wine.
Party goers may want to keep Cathryn’s in mind on the last day of December. With the addition of the lounge there will be a “lounge party” from about 11pm into the New Year.
Fadde has come to know many of her customers very well over the years. “It’s very cool,” she said. “A young couple will come in when they’re first married, and the next thing you know their son is about ready to work here as a busboy.”
A lunch menu is offered and a champagne brunch is featured on Sundays. Cathryn’s is also a popular venue for small weddings, rehearsal dinners, christenings, baby showers, and other special occasions.
Hours are about as easy to remember as it gets. Open daily from noon to 10:30pm with only two exceptions when the restaurant is closed—Thanksgiving and Christmas. Reservations are recommended.