A Modern Twist on Farm-to-Table at The Amsterdam in Rhinebeck, NY
6380 Mill St | Rhinebeck, NY
Welcome to The Amsterdam, a multi-story farm-to-table restaurant in picture perfect Rhinebeck, just a 20-minute drive from Kingston across the Hudson River. Set in a 1798 Dutch townhouse, the restaurant, open since spring, has become an exciting new gathering place where local food and exceptional hospitality shine; it is the exact neighborhood establishment that husband-and-wife owners Chris and Howard Jacobs sought to create with their very first culinary venture. “We fell in love with the building’s history and warmth, and felt it was just calling for the right hospitality offering. It had soul and grandeur without being serious; it felt like a gathering place for community,” says Howard, an executive from New York City who left his marketing career to pursue his passion for hospitality in Rhinebeck, a town the two fell instantly in love with one summer while vacationing at Mohonk Mountain House.
Chef Sara Lukasiewicz, a James Beard Rising Star Chef semifinalist who gained recognition at Red Devon in Bangall, NY, is behind the menu, which Howard describes as “soulful, New American comfort food reimagined, and everything from scratch.” Diners have taken to ordering her charcuterie board, which features a rotating selection of specialty meats all made in-house, relying on old-school restaurant favorites that are nowadays often forgotten, such as seasonally changing terrines, chicken liver parfait, and pâté made with all local ingredients.
Restored and designed by hospitality design veteran Siobhan Barry, The Amsterdam’s aesthetic blends industrial details, like exposed metal beams, with a comforting and old world color palette of blue, brass, and wood. Sophisticated furnishings fill up a spacious, loft-like dining area, barroom, and upper level cocktail lounge that doubles as a private event space. Behind the restaurant, the dining experience spills out into a sprawling backyard, complete with vintage garden furniture and picnic tables, string lights, a bocce court and a fire pit to linger around in all seasons.
Modern comforts are undeniably present, yet there is something decidedly old-fashioned about eating at The Amsterdam, whose name pays homage to the town’s early Dutch settlers. Maybe it’s the etching by Rembrandt, the first thing you see when you walk through the door; or the Prohibition-inspired cocktails; or the fact that George Washington, Philip Schuyler, Benedict Arnold, and Alexander Hamilton spent many nights across the street at Beekman Arms, America’s oldest inn. “We want our guests to feel warm, welcomed, and embraced,” says Howard. “Maybe a little transported, as if you were entering a gracious neighborhood home for a night out with hospitable friends.”