IN AN EARLIER “Peeks & Piques!” editorial, I spoke of the Maple Sugar Enterprise down the road from me, and this time I want to take you a few miles further to my favorite restaurant. As a dedicated isolatoe, I begrudge my time away from my studio, preferring to have quiet meals at home. This restaurant, however — Reginato’s Ristorante (visit them at www.ReginatoRistorante.com for some great discount coupons!) — has been our little secret “get-a-way” since we began ART TIMES in 1984. In fact, we watched as an old farmhouse was transformed by two brothers from Asola, Italy — a bit north of Venice and up in the foothills of the Alps — into a world-class restaurant that features a style of Italian cuisine that most likely has been transported from their hometown. Thus, their opening anniversary nearly coincides with our founding of ART TIMES. The outside is beautifully landscaped with fountains ala Italian piazzi, and an outside eating area surrounded by shrubbery. It has been our custom to celebrate all our “special” days — birthdays, anniversaries, holidays — at Reginato’s, always heartily welcomed by brothers Roberto and “Johnny” (Giampaolo). The waiters — who, of course, have changed over the years — Glen, Emiliano, Trish, Betiana, Kayla, and Stephanie (the wife of Johnny’s son, Kevin, who is also one of the cooks) — all have given us special service and smiles when we come. In all our years of going there, we have never felt anything but greeted as “familigia” and never had a meal that we didn’t talk about for days afterward. At times, after trips to Florida, Cornelia has always thought to bring “Reginato Fratelli” a special bag of honeybell oranges; in spring, she often brings them a handful of fresh asparagus from our garden. In return, we have always felt a little special “extra touch” given our meals, as well as a visit to our table from Chef “Johnny”. Every so often, after the place empties of other customers, we share a private drink with the brothers, joined by “Johnny’s” wife, Mimi, at the bar. I remember one night (after hours) when we spent an hour or so on the bocce court and finished at least one bottle of wine (making us steadily worse at the game, of course). Although the Maple Syrup business is seasonal, Reginato’s Ristorante is year-round good food — with an early-bird special for us senior citizens and a luncheon menu that cannot be beat — excellent food and portions for unbelievably reasonable prices. Next time you are up in the Kingston/Saugerties area, this is one place that should be on your itinerary. I’m sure that a visit to Reginato’s will long linger in your fond memories.
This Peeks and Piques column first appeared in the Jul/ Aug 2011 issue of ART TIMES http://www.arttimesjournal.com (see previous issues under current pfd of current issue)