We enjoyed a gorgeous brunch each day of our stay at Clay, Wildflower Farms‘ on-site farm-to-table restaurant. We also had a very memorable sunset dinner at Clay in Hudson Valley, NY, the same restaurant. This turned out to be one of the best meals we’ve ever had, and that’s truly saying something if you’ve ever set foot in my Fine Dining archives, where we’ve eaten at some of the very best restaurants in the world. Read on to find out why we loved it so much.
Location: Gardiner, NY
Address: 2702 Main Street
Gardiner NY 12525
Inside Wildflower Farms Resort
Food Type: New American
Dining Experience: Indoor & Outdoor
Price: $100+ per Person
Dress Code: Smart Casual +
Reservations: Recommended (Here)
Special Diets: Pescatarian, Gluten-Free (not GF dedicated)
As I mentioned in my post about Brunch at Clay, the restaurant’s rustic yet refined atmosphere makes it a very relaxing place to make the meal what you want. We saw people dining in athleisurewear while my husband and I, along with other diners, were dressed more elegantly. Despite the different levels of dress, no one looked or seemed to feel out of place, and I think that speaks volumes about the welcoming nature of the restaurant.
Dining inside on the sun-soaked deck was the perfect spot to watch the sunset as we did our first night on the property, but sitting in front of the kitchens to watch the chefs work means that not only can you catch a glimpse of some of the finest culinary talent Hudson Valley has to offer, but that you’ll also receive your meal fresh from the flames of the kitchen. Each dining experience is unique, and the seasonal, fresh, and locally sourced menu is always changing to reflect what’s growing on the farm or the greater valley.
Clay Menu & Our Meals
As I mentioned, this restaurant is farm-to-table, and much of what’s served on the menu is grown on the farm. As the farm grows and expands, so too will the amount of Wildflower Farm-grown produce served in the restaurant. The resident farmer told us that they’ve already planted an orchard and are expanding the land they’re using to plant in order to accommodate more diners as the restaurant and resort grows in popularity.
We started off the meal with Pickled Beets, Grilled Octopus, Farm Eggs, and Garden Milk Bread with summer tomato, miso smalec, maldon.
The Farm Eggs were something our waiter said not many people order, BUT it was so delicious and reminded me of something we ate in the mountains of Japan at Kurokawa Onsen. Rich, creamy, and custardy yet savory and deeply flavorful, this delectable umami dish was my favorite starter (tied with the octopus, hehe).
The octopus, ours ordered without lard, was flavored with rosemary and garlic in a rich white foam. This was the best-cooked octopus I’ve ever had. The outside was crispy and rich, while the inside was hot, tender, and succulent. It was perfect!
Robin had the Garden Milk Bread and said not only was it the best bread he’d ever had but that it was as silky, fluffy, and light as the bread in Japan was. It smelled heavenly and was stuffed full of beautiful summer tomatoes and served with savory herbed butter.
The beets were so fresh and delicious, with a little bitterness within the leaves around them that complimented the dish perfectly. Also, we have the same plates at home, but smaller, haha.
Our main courses were incredible. That’s the only way to describe them. I had the Morchella, and Robin ordered the Black Cod.
Robin’s Black Cod was very plainly served – all white on a white plate. Don’t let this fool you. The potatoes were buttered and seasoned to perfection, the cod was so tender it melted in our mouths, and his fresh garden vegetable salad was resplendent as if it was a crown of spring’s bounty on his meal. Everything was so delicious!
Dessert was a sumptuous Pavlova with fresh spring rhubarb, pistachio, and pink peppercorn that combined to be a little sweet, a little bitter, and perfectly delicious.
Dinner at Clay was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. There wasn’t a single thing I’d change about this or the food, and everything was exquisite. The atmosphere, service, quality of ingredients, flavors, variety on the menu, and ability to accommodate our food preferences was second to none, and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to travel and experience such exquisite meals all around the world. If you’re traveling to Hudson Valley and looking for a phenomenal place to eat, head to Clay. It’s open to the public and an experience unlike any other.