Brushland’s Guide to the Catskills

Photo by Jessica Tabora via Wikicommons

Okay, okay, we know, another guide to upstate or the East End, right? Not so fast there Eastwood. After heading north for a weekend in August to stumble upon one of the best meals I’ve had in or around NYC, we were able to convince the makers of said meal to give us their ideal guide to their neighborhood to the north. That meal was had at Brushland Eating House, and the good folks behind that gem of a restaurant, among other entrepreneurial endeavors in and around Bovina, gave us their favorites. Now it’s up to you to make the trek before the leaves stop being so damn good looking.



Along walls papered with artfully drawn prawns, and atop tiny marble-clad cafe tables, you’ll find the swath of colorful, naturally-made wines of Brunette. Just down the block from Kingston Wine shop, Brunette is the perfect place for weary travelers to make a pit-stop, nibble on mini bagels and sip on a glass of sassy pet-nat.

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Kingston Wine Company

One of the most thoughtfully curated wine shops happens to be en route to Bovina, just a ten-minute detour off of 87, in Kingston. We swing through – and send all of our guests – when we are headed back from the city. Michael, the owner, stocks really delicious, sought-after bottles of which he can talk about each producer, vineyard, and grape with fervor. Our usual? Ask Michael what he’s excited about that week, and take home a few bottles of his choosing.



Spruceton Inn, Westkill NY

This charming motel, formerly a Schwarzenegger-owned joint, offers everything you’d want in a relaxing Catskills retreat – comfy beds, sweeping valley views, lawn games aside hammocks, fire pits adjacent to their cozy little first-room bar, which is stocked with bubbly,  local beer and of course a fiery bourbon to keep you warm on chilly autumn evenings.<

Wayside, Andes NY

After navigating a long stretch of 28 lined with bucolic farms and winding country roads, you’ll arrive into the picturesque town of Andes. Anchoring the center of town is Wayside, the eponymous taproom of their hard cider, which is made largely from wild apples growing here in the Catskill region. Need a tipple before dinner? Belly-up to the bar or snag a picnic table outside, where a fire crackles into the evening.



Bramley Mountain Trail

This newly forged trail takes hikers up an old, wide farm road through various vegetation to wide views of the Catskill Mountains. Our favorite time to go is early summer when the berries are coming on, or in the fall as the leaves are changing. Make the most of this two-hour trek with a backpack full of cheese and salumi, which if eaten at the top, will lighten your load for the meander back down.

Russels General Store

Just a stumble away from us here at Brushland, is Russells General store, a historic building on the edge of Bovina Center that stocks pantry staples and serves up ridiculously good breakfast sandwiches, made famous by their brightly-hued, over-easy eggs. Everyone in town, and even a gaggle of folks from neighboring towns, gather here on saturday mornings for some small town politicking and to fuel up on three-too-many cups of coffee.



Stone & Sawyer, Delhi NY

We are suckers for local craftsmanship and these lamp makers are the best example we’ve ever found. Throwing their own ceramic bases right here in town, Stone and Sawyer creates a product you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere – city, country or otherwise. Their shop, right on Delhi’s main strip, feels like you’ve been invited to peek into an artist’s studio – finished creations live on shelves up front, while lamp parts of various shapes and colorways make up the back, next to linen shades, metal knobs and polished wood necks, where you could find yourself feeling stuck inside Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, unable to choose a favorite. Can’t decide which one? Julian and David will help you combine base, shade, hardware and diffuser to make a creation that is totally your own.

Dixie’s Liquor, Delhi NY

Our love for a well-stocked booze cabinet has led us to open our own bottle shop, aptly named after Sara’s late mom, Dixie (a lover of Scotch and tiny Rolling Rock’s.) Lining shelves with a hi-lo mix of everyday amaro, Sunday-supper chianti and anniversary worthy sparkling, Dixie’s will be sure to have something for just about everybody—including your kooky uncle who can only drink Heaven Hill whiskey. Opening December 2018.