Category Archives: To Go

Super Soups! Fresh and Frozen

Our “soup freezer” broke down last month, all better now (thank you Charlie Groeter and Mary Anne to the rescue). In the process of pulling all the soups out we took stock of what we had. Now we know why our savviest customers walk in and head straight for the soups. We’ve got a pretty impressive collection to suit most anyone anytime. All our soups are made here with fresh stocks, herbs, vegetables and lots of love. It may sound trite but as any true cook will tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than making a delicious soup.

Often we have some of the stocks we make, chicken of course, but also a roasted chicken jus for making sauces or gravy and fish stock. Many are vegetarian, some are vegan, all are fresh, clean and delicious. The mix is constantly changing of course but to give you an idea we’ll run down a partial list:

  • Chicken Soup, far and away the best seller, they don’t call it Jewish penicillin for nothin’
  • Butternut Squash and apple, made with local cider and Granny Smith apples Carrot Ginger, smooth with lots of fresh ginger and yogurt
  • Italian Minestrone, rich with bean, tomato and packed with vegetables
  • Minestrone Verde, a green vegetarian version of the classic
  • Potato Leek, sometimes vegetarian, sometimes classic with chicken stock
  • Harira, spicy with lamb, barley, lentil with lemon, traditional to break fast of Ramadan
  • New England Clam Chowder, we steam fresh chowder clams ourselves!
  • Vegetable Beef, packed with vegetables and beef in a rich beefy broth
  • Curried Mussel, one of the most requested, check our specials menu for dates Chili con Carne, stew meat and ground meat with multiple layers of flavor
  • Turkey Black Bean Chili, a popular lighter version of chili con carne
  • Split Pea and Ham, simmered with smoked pork shanks

We take requests and are always happy to be reminded of something we haven’t made in a while. We also make and freeze Marinara, Putanesca, Bolognese and vodka sauce along with Lasagna and Mac n’ Cheese. Occasionally, you can find chicken pot pies or our chicken burgers with feta and olives in the freezer as well. Stop in, check it out, a couple of quarts of soup or a great sauce can be a real lifesaver if you get snowed in!

Farm Fresh Milk

Got milk?

Yes we do! Great tasting local milk from a farm in Salem N.Y. The McEachron family has been farming for over 100 years, the old-fashioned way. They grow their own feed for their cows, recycle the manure for fertilizer, do not use growth hormones or antibiotics. Taste the difference, rich clean milk. The reduced fat milk is so good it tastes like whole. The milk is only sold in a 275 mile radius from where it is made and it goes from cow to bottle in under 8 hours! This is the milk we use for our cooking, coffee, and for sale in our store. I was won over from the first sip, and I was also won over by the price, very affordable for such a premium product. What could be more satisfying than supporting your local farmers and getting a great tasting product? Come pick some up today.

Hawg Wings for Super Bowl!

What the heck’s a “hawg wing”? Well if pigs could fly, would they have wings?

This year, we’re offering up our delicious version of this recent invention from the food industry – that is a reshuffling of  the shank portion of the pig. The pork is wrapped around a sturdy bone, in a drumstick fashion which  allows you to eat the tender morsels with one hand. They taste like a cross between chicken wings and barbecued ribs. If you’re tired of chicken wings, or just want something meaty and different, come on in and check out our hawg wings!

Surprisingly, I asked Richard a few weeks ago if he had stocked up on chicken wings for the Super Bowl party weekend and he replied “no”! What? Sacrilege!  How could you NOT have chicken wings for the Super Bowl? Then he explained that the price of wings had skyrocketed out of sight and most of the big chains had bought up all the wings. He couldn’t even get ahold of wings, almost two weeks out from the Super Bowl.

This reminded me of the old days when we owned a restaurant and the liquor companies would jack up the cost of champagne a month or so ahead of the holidays. Unfair!! or just the American way?

Anyway, enter the hawg wing! And I have to admit – I tried my first one today and they ARE delicious! So if you want a special treat to take to your party tomorrow, stop on in and get a bunch!

Turducken or Turkey Ballotine? It’s Our Recipe!

“a post-mortem on our favorite Christmas dish”

Let me first say it didn’t start out to be a “turducken”, that is a chicken, stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey. It really was a “ballotine”, a French name for something stuffed inside a boneless poultry.  The turducken to which I refer is a Cajan creation involving andouille sausage, cornbread etc.  I wanted a long cylinder filled with something delicious, suitable for a Christmas-type dinner celebration. What I came up with was a boneless turkey breast wrapped around a chicken mousse that was studded with confit of duck. All poultry, all delicious, seemed like a winner. I later added prunes and some spinach for contrasting color. It turned out fantastic! Trouble was very few people had heard of a ballotine.

Turducken Recipe Hit (…or Miss!)

Food Arts Magazine, a popular food industry publication for chefs, that is heavy on recipes, has a wonderful semi-regular feature titled “Hits & Flops”. It’s quite  interesting because everyone has them, hits and flops, that is. What fun to read about high profile chefs having to pull something from their menu! Usually it’s a matter of wording, timing, or ingredients that are too unusual. It could even be that it’s too much work for the kitchen staff.

Technically this dish worked quite well, it was beautiful and delicious. It was hardly a flop, but I think customers were afraid to order it as no one knew what it was…  “Turkey Ballotine with chicken and duck”. I think next year with a few pictures and a better description it could be a big hit. I was quite pleased with it. Not much new under the sun these days, but I’ve never seen or heard of a similar dish. I’m not quite ready to call it a “turducken” just yet but when I described it to people that seemed to be the word that really gave a visual. So the next time you’re looking for a fabulous dish to entertain your guests, give the turducken a try – then tell us what you think?

And as for the recipe? There are so many steps and it’s so time-consuming, that we recommend you let us do all the hard work! Order ahead, then come in and get it from us!

Enjoy the slideshow of how we made the turducken.

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The Beet Goes On! / The Health Benefits of Beets

Beets were the number one item on the list of “best foods you are not eating” which first appeared in the NY Times in 2008 ( This incredibly popular article lists eleven foods that are good for you but for some unknown reason don’t make it to the dinner table or into people’s lives. So what is it with beets? Sometimes it’s a matter of the labor involved (the long cooking time and messy peeling process), and is probably why they are so popular in our store. We’ve had beets on our daily menu since we first opened in 2007 and they continue to be a big seller. And now we understand they have become very popular in upscale restaurants too!

The Nutritional Value of Beets

Beets are related to spinach and chard; the leaves and ribs are all edible and good for you: from the New York Times article, “Dr. Bowden says, … they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.” Mostly we boil the beets, peel and cut them, then cover with a vinaigrette/brine seasoned with star anise and clove. They are great oven roasted as well: we parboil them briefly before peeling, seasoning and roasting. Occasionally we have golden beets which are a bit milder in flavor and appeal to those who are not crazy about beets. This week we are making borscht so stop in for a warming bowl of beet soup!

And just for fun, we thought we would share a wonderful excerpt from Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume:

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”

Beet recipes: Roasted Beets / Pickled Beets / Sugar Beets / Cooking Beets!!!

And here is our favorite recipe for Borscht! Another great thing you can do with beets!

3 lg. beets, peeled and shredded
3 lg. carrots, peeled and shredded
3 medium baking
potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lg. onion, sliced thin
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 qts. water or vegetable broth
1 medium head cabbage, cored and shredded

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cloves garlic
minced salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon white sugar, or to taste sour cream, for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill for garnish
horseradish also makes a nice garnish with a little kick

Sweat the vegetables in the oil, (beets, onion, garlic and carrots) until they release their juices. Then add  tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the water, salt, pepper, and diced tomato. Simmer for 1/2 hour and then add the cabbage and potato. Cook for another 20 minutes, then adjust seasoning. Garnish with the sour cream, dill and horseradish as an option. It can also be chilled and served cold.

Serves 6-8 as a first course or 4 as a meal!

Wild Mushroom Lasagna with black truffles

Some dishes are carefully planned and executed and others just seem to happen by themselves.  Yesterday was an example of the latter.  Wild mushroom and black truffle lasagna an accident!!  Let me explain.  Several days ago a salesman left some pasta samples from Italy, paper thin sheets of egg pasta, absolutely gorgeous!!  My first comment was I’d like to do a different type of lasagna with this, not really knowing what that might be.  The next day, a local forager came by with beautiful chanterelles, black trumpet mushrooms, some boletes, and one I’ve never heard of, “cinnabar”, a brilliant orange cousin of the golden chanterelle.  The wheels were starting to turn…last night after a long Friday preparing for weddings and keeping the storefront filled with food it all came together.  A quick canvas of the walk-in turned up the perfect amount of bechamel, nice fresh ricotta, and a small wheel of sublime black truffle cheese.  Some fresh thyme, Portobello stems and truffle oil and it was happening. Within minutes onion and chopped mushrooms were sweating on the stove and the ricotta was being whipped with bechamel and grated cheese.  A layer of pasta, a layer of mushroom-cheese mix, and so on…and finally a shower of the sautéed mushrooms on top and bam, in the oven!  I’ve never put together a lasagna so quickly.  There it was and here it is! Just out in the store and going fast!

The Blue Mountain Bistro is the GO TO place for TO GO food!


We’re having a CONTEST – and we would love YOU to ENTER!!!!

Many of our customers have told us that we are the ‘GO TO’ place for ‘TO GO’ Family posing with their Bistro-to-Go take out at Harriman State in the Kingston / Woodstock / Shandaken neck of the woods – and that brings us great joy!

We also found out that folks often take our take away far away – they sometimes end up enjoying our Moroccan Chicken Wrap on a Trans-Atlantic flight, our Antipasti Platter at The Bronx Zoo, and our Frittatas in the Holland Tunnel!

In the Historic Hudson Valley community, it is summertime – and that means picnic time! Our personally prepared picnic to go food is ready in a flash for you to put in the car and take to any Hudson Valley happening, event, activity and attraction. What is YOUR destination?

A couple enjoying a picnic lunch to go.And then there are the ‘secret’ spots! The swimming hole nobody knows about, the hammock under the pine trees in your back yard, the grown over mountain trail long forgotten.

And sadly, there are the boring places our food travels to. The icky basement office in Kingston, the employee back room at the mall shoe store, and behind the Honda lawn mower you push on a hot August day when you’d rather be at the beach!

So pick up your ‘big old’ or ‘mini new’ camcorder, your Flip, your iPhone, or your waterproof Nikon, and take a fun video of – you, your friends, your family – that answers our question: Where Do YOU go with your Bistro-to-Go?

We want to know!! Your video will be judged on creativity (25%), originality (25%) and most interesting place (50%).  TECHNICAL QUALITY DOES NOT COUNT – so just do it!

Simple Instructions:


1) Make your short video and save it on your computer

2) Go to our Facebook Contest Page:

3) Click on the Enter Contest Button Enjoying a cookie from the Bistro-to-Go at CitiField.

4) Fill in the simple entry form

5) Upload the video

6) Fantasize about winning the Grand Prize!!!


(If anything above seems too technical for you – just get your own (or a friend’s) kid to do it all for you in under 2 ½ minutes!!!)

We love all our customers – so we look forward to see where you eat our food!

Outfield view of the NY Mets CitiField.

Opera! Jazz! R&B! Classical! Choral! World! Childrens! Gospel! : It’s a World Class Opera Festival / Music Festival – in Upstate New York!!!

Live From (Phoenicia) New York – It’s Saturday Night (Live) Opera in the Park!!!!

It’s almost here! One of the Ulster County region’s most awaited summer event – the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. Mother father son and daughter having a picnic and chatting.

At Blue Mountain Bistro, if we have a day off, our favorite thing to do is to go to an outside event.  This summer is so full of concerts, festivals and theater – from Woodstock’s Bird-On A- Cliff Shakespeare outdoor productions, to the Belleayre Music Festival, to the second season of Phoenicia’s 4-day town wide International Festival of the Voice – and it is inspiring to be able to enjoy art and music in the Catskills.  All these events create delicious opportunities to bring along a gourmet al fresco picnic!

Since Blue Mountain Bistro-to-Go is located on the way to the fun on Route 28 in Kingston, it’s easy to phone ahead and order a delicious entrée, drink and yummy dessert to take with you. The Bistro-to-Go is the Go-To place for take away!

For a relaxing time wherever your day takes you – Woodstock’s beautiful Comeau property or Opus 40, Phoenicia’s Parish Field or kid-time at the Empire Train Museum – we have created a variety of box lunches and dinners that will be freshly made and ready to eat under the twilight stars or sparkling sun.

Made Especially For the Phoenicia Voice Fest – Your ‘Opera Box’ Dinner To-Go

On August 4th, Thursday evening, consider a concert by R & B and gospel artist Roz Morehead along with a picnic of steak kabobs, Israeli couscous salad roasted patty pan squash, a giant gourmet cupcake and refreshing drink.

Patrons enjoying the Phoenicia Festival OperaOr on August 6th, a night at the opera underneath the shooting stars of summer, listening to Mozart’s Don Giovanni or the voice of Lauren Flanigan echo off the encircling Catskill Mountains while dining on grilled salmon with summer salsa, bistro potato salad, green beans vinaigrette, delicious dessert and a beverage.

Kids have concerts to go to as well – Ralph and Ralph August 5th & 6th @11:30am & Uncle Rock August 6th @4:00pm – and if you are in a rush to get there, you will want to order a few boxed lunches to bring before they get on the Esopus stream side train that follows the shows!

We have a breaded chicken cutlet (or grilled tofu), pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella and a huge cookie along with a bottled drink all ready for when hunger strikes!

Don’t forget the day concerts with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Choir, Mid-eastern ‘oud master Simon Shaheen and concert pianist Justin Kolb!

For a hot day, we have created a cold plein air dish of cold sesame noodles, spicy Asian slaw, grilled tofu, choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake and bottled water, ice tea or lemonade.

How Do I Get My Food?

Your orders need to be placed early enough so we have time to prepare them just for you – It’s easy and convenient – pick out your delicious ‘Opera Box’ take away choices (below) and phone us at:

845-340-9800Romantic opera picnic with wine.

Please order by 4:00 pm the DAY BEFORE the event you are picnicking at!

Put your portable gourmet dinner order in – then swing by on your way from the NYS Thruway to Phoenicia – and pick up.  It will be like having a personal restaurant cater your outdoor summer concert fun! (The folks sitting next to you will be really jealous!)

Here is a complete list of our offerings:

Box #1
Grilled salmon with summer salsa
Bistro potato salad
Green beans vinaigrette
Choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade

Box #2
Steak kebobs
Israeli couscous salad
Roasted Gill Farms patty pan squash
Choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade

Box #3 (Vegetarian)
Cold sesame noodles
Spicy Asian slaw
Grilled tofu
Choice of Melinda’s giant cupcake
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade

Box #4 (kids)
Breaded chicken cutlet (or grilled tofu)
Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
Bottled water, ice tea or lemonade

…and for tickets and concert schedule, please go to Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

Healthy Hudson Valley Food On The Go

Healthy To Go Food For When You Shout, “I Don’t Want To Cook!”

Phoenicia based children’s music artist, Robert Burke Warren, aka Uncle Rock, Photo of children's music performer Uncle Rock, aka Robert Burke Warrenwrote a brilliant song for kids entitled, Shop at a Mom N’ Pop, which he performs  to help raise a young audience’s awareness of local Mom and Pop stores. He and his family lived in NYC and were weekend commuters to this area for many years, until the loss of their St. Mark’s Place apartment jump started them to relocate full-time to the Hudson Valley. Robert is passionate about supporting local businesses and has tried to pass that on to his many fans – so that they grow up appreciating the wonderful relationships that can flourish when you connect one to one with the proprietors of a neighborhood shop, restaurant or business.  In an age where mall stores hire employees with very little expertise in their specific departments, there is a new desire for shopping local, as well as the enjoyment of discovery when we find that new place-to-go.

The Kingston Daily Freeman Agrees

Chef Richard Erickson with a delicious plate of food.Our local newspaper recently gave some local love to us – and that is so much appreciated! Thank you, Daily Freeman for the recent wonderful article on our Blue Mountain Bistro. Front of house manager and co-owner Mary Anne Erickson is quoted as saying, “We are, in the best sense, a Mom and Pop operation, where people can pop in, any day or every day, and feel welcome.” It’s easy and convenient to pop into this Mom & Pop because it’s right on the way up the line from NYC. In your Woodstock travel, Phoenicia travel, Hudson Valley travel – you can discover your new favorite place-to-be. Just come on in and get your food!

I Don’t Want To Cook

Another musician associated with this area, Todd Rundgren, wrote a song called Bang The Drum All Day, and the chorus starts with the simple, pertinent phrase “I don’t want to work!”

Photo of rock star Todd Rundgren performing

Sometimes when you’re on the go, rushing home after a long day doing your thing, or anxious to get to your upstate weekend digs: cooking = work!!! Remember the old advertising phrase from the 60’s – “Don’t cook tonight – call Chicken Delight!” Well, decades have now passed, and though a ‘don’t cook’ premise is still appropriate, people are actively seeking HEALTHY food on the go. The mega-supermarts have their pre-packaged and deli selections – but that is not an alternative for delicious home cooked to go food. We derive great joy and satisfaction from knowing that many of you consider our kitchen an extension of your own – because we cook the way you cook – when you have all day, when you feel creative, when your cupboard and fridge are stocked with the freshest, Photo of fruit dessert from Blue Mountain Bistrobest quality, and healthiest ingredients. So please check out this article on what we do. Our cherished regular customers will enjoy reading about their local home base for good food to go. For those who have never stopped in, please discover us. When you come to this beautiful area of the world, country living and small town life slow the pace down. Simplify your life today and let us do the cooking.

Our favorite chicken salad recipe

Best Chicken Salad Recipe.
Everyone is always looking for the best chicken salad recipe. One of our favorites is this healthy chicken salad recipe that has its roots in the savory flavors of Morocco.

We thought you’d like to learn some of the secrets to our famous, ever popular Moroccan chicken salad. We do it as a wrap or put a big dollop of it on a salad, AND we also chop it finer and spoon it into phyllo cups for a tasty and satisfying party appetizer. Here are some of Richard’s thoughts:

As long as I’ve been a chef I’ve been a strong proponent of the Mediterranean style of eating: which includes lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lesser amounts of fish, meat and wine. When I was designing a luncheon menu for Blue Mountain Bistro-to-Go in the weeks before we opened, I wanted to emphasize that by taking some classic deli favorites and giving them a Mediterranean twist.  The Moroccan chicken salad was quickly a big hit. Visually it is striking from the bright colors in our homemade spice blend, ie. turmeric, cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, nutmeg and more (called ‘ras al hanout’ in Morocco, literally translated as “top of the shop”).

Moroccan spice blend.

For this easy chicken salad recipe, we start by roasting Murray’s free range chicken breasts rubbed with our spice blend (mentioned above), then mix the diced chicken with dried currants, red grapes, red onion, scallion, celery and cilantro. Finish the mix with mayonnaise (to taste), a splash of lemon juice and fresh ginger juice. Take this wonderful chicken salad to your next summer picnic or neighborhood BBQ and be prepared for many compliments.

Enjoy this slide show of how it all comes together.

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