This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to our very opinionated editors’ favorite things to eat, drink, and buy.
The Hudson Valley in New York has been my escape ever since I was a little kid. (That’s how my family beat the heat in Atlanta.) Now that I live in New York City, where access to upstate is even easier, my obsession has only deepened—especially once I tried the brunch at Bartlett House in Ghent, New York.
Filled with wholesomeness, off-duty celebs (apparently Julia Roberts is a regular!), and fresh baked goods, it’s the perfect place to sink into a long, lazy brunch before heading back to the fast pace of the city. I like to order a luxurious spread: housemade bread served with butter and jam, a maple cortado, and a few dishes to share, like the green shakshuka. Packed with charred kale and topped with feta and a runny egg, it’s my absolute favorite thing on the menu. It also photographs well in the gorgeous space, a 19th-century home brimming with gold accents and beautiful green-stained wood flooring. (Yeah, I’ve been known to place my food on the floor for Instagram.)
Once I’m caffeinated and full, I’ll pick up some jams (great gifts!) and grab some goodies from the bakery side of the house for my drive back. I change up my order every time, but I always get the ham and cheese croissant. Instead of having everything hidden inside, the croissant is flattened and topped with a slice of perfectly salty country ham and melted Gruyère cheese. It’s the first of the baked goods to go, which are almost always finished before we get back to the city.
If it’s good enough for Julia, it’s good enough for me.