The Catskills Brunch of Your Dreams at Heather Ridge Farm
Lilac-hued picnic tables, a dreamy mountain view, farm-raised fare that could hold its own against our favorite Brooklyn brunch spots, the best brownies for miles around, and adorable alpacas, too? Hello, beautiful Heather Ridge Farm!
Chef Rob Handel's stellar brunch and lunch menu changes according to what's fresh. On our last visit, the highlight of the meal was a breakfast skillet (pictured above) of free-range eggs and farm-raised chorizo in an ancho chili sauce, redolent of smoke and spices. Cool, sweet corn relish topped off the steamy dish.
The outdoor setting is perfects for kids, but the food is grown-up. Even the humble, crumbly biscuits are served on beautiful antique china, with a pretty little jam jar and dandelion-yellow butter.
On the hottest summer days, I daydream about this cucumber salad, with its sweet kernels of fresh corn, tangerine-colored tomatoes, and whisper-thin slices of red onion in a cooling yogurt-mint vinaigrette.
And I just can't get enough of their giant, gooey, incomparable caramel brownies. Neither can Ramona, whose little hand kept sneaking into my shot. The tables overlook a hill where wildflowers run rampant, and the view of the mountains is too pretty to capture. You've got to go there in person, and soak all it up with an herbal-sweet home-brewed root beer.
Farmer Carol Clement answered all of my kids' farm-related questions, lovingly referring to each of her animals by name. She shared the fun fact that it's nearly impossible to tell when an alpaca is pregnant and told us about an alpaca named Butterscotch who must have been secretly pregnant when she arrived at their farm. She hadn't shown any signs of pregnancy when she had a visit from the vet, but she surprised them all by giving birth shortly after her check-up. Her cuddly and affectionate baby was discovered by a farm intern, and and was named Shea in the intern's honor.
There weren't any farm tours scheduled during our visit, and the self-guided walking trails were temporarily closed, but after lunch, Carol directed us to the field of alpacas and llamas down the road.
She is the white alpaca in the center of the photo above, and her mother, Butterscotch is pictured below.
Man, that face! I just love this place.