For Meena's birthday, I gave her a trip to Hyde Park, NY where we'd stay at the Journey Inn, a beautiful little bed and breakfast across the street from the Vanderbilt Mansion. When considering bed and breakfast options in New York, there are literally a million options. They're everywhere ... from Long Island to Albany, they pepper the entire state.

One of the primary reasons I went with Hyde Park was its proximity to the Culinary Institute of America. After some brief research, it seriously seemed as if half the restaurants in town had former graduates (and current students) manning the pots and pans.

After a day of driving our newly rented car through New Jersey and some of the most beautiful parts of New York I'd ever seen, we checked in to Journey and wandered into town for a bite at Twist.

We got lucky because when we arrived, they still had two seats available at the chef's table. It was a long bar overlooking the open kitchen and it allowed you to see all the excitement. It was like getting entertainment along with the meal. I'm sure Meena could have done without, but for me, it was wonderful to see all that was happening in there. I think you could probably learn a ton just by eating there once a week.

At any rate, we got started with a bottle from their unbelievable wine list. And to accompany the wine, Meena had:
- spicy tuna tartare (with bell peppers, sesame oil, avocado puree, house-made spiced crackers)

And Alec had:
- 1/4 lb. peel and eat shrimp

For the main course, Meena had:
- seared sea scallops (mashed potatoes, peas & shoestring potatoes, lobster cream sauce)

Alec had:
- sautéed hudson valley duck breast (bacon-wrapped fingerling potatoes, swiss chard
red onion marmalade)

The food was fantastic. And plentiful. We wanted dessert, but we just couldn't do it. We couldn't even (ODDLY) finish our wine. I had to drive back to the Inn, so I didn't want to go nuts. Fortunately for us, they had the most fantastic thing in the world ... the wine doggy bag! In NY you can apparently seal your wine in a bag and take the thing home with you! Fantastic.

But seriously, the food was amazing. We both enjoyed Twist tremendously and we'll be back the next time we hit Hyde Park.

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